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The cutest laugh ever!

Throwback to this time last year when Mikey was absoloutely p**sing himself laughing at Jack throwing the ball for the dog!

This kid has just got the cutest laugh ever!

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When the protective Lioness roars

As mothers, we have built in “feeling sensor” it’s when we get a feeling something just isn’t quite right with our little ones.

Even if they aren’t in the same room, building, town or even the same country, no matter how old we get or how old they get, it never goes away, when there’s something amiss we just know!

I have to say, sometimes it can be a bit off, I’ll have the strongest feeling something is going to happen or something is wrong, but in reality it’s fine, but I’d say I have a 70% accuracy for knowing when my little ones need me.

So today in a play area we go to quite a lot, I got the feeling.

Jack ran off on his own, as he does and I was sat in a place I could see all parts of the play area, so I could see him at all times.

I didn’t even hear him scream, I just suddenly got this feeling he needed me.

I stood up, to look at him…Jack was walking away from this other kid who was following him and hitting him, Jack fell to the floor and this kid started kicking him!

This all happened within a few seconds, I was there by his side within this time, but it felt like a slow motion lifetime.

I felt this rage in my belly, I can’t explain, but it was as if my inner lioness was roaring, like I needed to rescue my baby cub…

OK OK, I know it wasn’t that bad, we aren’t at war and my son’s life wasn’t at risk, but he was scared and being hurt by another person, all-be-it this kid was no older than 3, definitely around Jack’s age, but still when someone is causing your child to be upset, the feeling you get as a mother is indescribable.

If it had just been a “toddler smack” I’d of probably waited to see if Jack either “toddler smacked” them back or told them off (the more likely option from Jack), but I saw the fear in my baby’s eyes and this boy wasn’t hitting like a toddler, he was using his fists to punch, this little boy was obviously used to playing rough.

So before I had a chance to compose myself, or even think about it, I found myself hunched over in the soft play area telling a strangers kid he was naughty and he shouldn’t hurt other kids.

Was it wrong of me to call another person’s child naughty? Probably…

Do I regret it? Probably not…

Should I have just pulled my child away, comforted him and left the parents to deal with whether their child should be punished? I don’t know…but I know it was my instinct to protect my child and to show him that if someone hurts you it is NOT ok.

I know if my child was that intentionally cruel and hurtful to another child, their “play time” would be over and they’d either be sitting out until their siblings finished playing or we’d be going home.

Usually, I’d wonder if I’d overreacted, to how bad a situation was. But me and every other mum in that place were sat gawking at the destructive rampage this kid was on, even after I told him he was naughty and he continued to hit and kick other children.

I have to say hats off to the mum, she brought him over, there was a bit of resistance, but she relented and got her kid to apologise.

It is embarrassing, really we’re all in the same boat, with these tiny dictators trying to show us up at every opportunity, it’s always a worry if you’re going to have to face the “judgemental, snooty mum”, well that definitely isn’t me, I have three very normal, very cute but at times extremely irritating children, I’m in no position to judge…

I mean at the end of the day, they are kids!

They push the boundaries, that could have easily been Jack making another kid cry, sometimes he shocks me with how brutal he can be to his own brother, so I’m not one to judge. All kids want to see what they can get away with and I don’t think anyone is exempt from their kid misbehaving, it’s how we deal with it that counts.

So maybe I should have waited for the mum to come over, before telling her son off, but I know if that were Jack he’d be less likely to do it ever again if a stranger were to tell him

 off, it would terrify him, so I don’t think I’d thank someone for telling my kid off, but I think having the fear that someone, especially a stranger might tell them off, would prevent future naughty moment (we can hope).

But to be honest kids are pretty unpredictable, so they’ll probably just do what the hell they like whilst making us look like terrible parents at the same time.

I’ve diverged a bit in this post, I’ve been thinking about it all day, knowing I’d write it. To be honest I was pretty upset when it happened and I was angry that my son told me “Mummy I’m too scared to go back in” but throughout writing this piece, it’s put it into perspective, that we’re all mums just trying to raise our kids into semi-descent human beings, so instead of judging the mum and her son, I need to look at the bigger picture and not let my inner mama-bear take over before thinking.

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Procoal Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder: Review

Whiter teeth…

Something we all want, but don’t want to ruin or teeth or pay the earth for the luxury.

If only there were a natural product, that we can safely use at home, for a low price and only takes a few minutes.

Say hello to: Procoal Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder

Want to see how it works…look no further:

 

After just one use I had brighter, whiter teeth. It’s quick, easy and not too messy to use.

I’ve always been self conscious about my teeth and tried so many things to try and make me confident enough to show my teeth when I smile, finally now with Procoal I can!

Here are some before and after pictures of my teeth:

There’s every reason you should be using PROCOAL:

It’s 100% Natural

Removes stains and discolouration from the teeth

It’s Vegan

Anti-bacterial

It’s got a new lowered price of £9.99 (Down from £19.99) at the time of this blog post (Jan 2017) plus you can buy two for just £15.99 with the discount code “BUY2”

Plus when you order, you can let the order sync to your Facebook and you will get a message straight to your Facebook Messenger! Talk about awesome, I mean let’s face it we use our Facebook way more than our Emails, so it’s way easier to get updates through messenger!

Plus one pot alone lasts 2-3 months! So if you buy two pots with the BUY2 discount code that’s half of the year sorted for just over £15! How great is that?!

Here are the links you need to find out more, get more honest reviews and purchase Procoal:

Procoal Website

Procoal Facebook

Procoal Twitter

Procoal Instagram

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Holidaying as a family: Maintaining your health and your sanity.

Holidaying as a family: Maintaining your health and your sanity.

Life with little ones is hectic at the best of times, I should know I’ve had three in three years! Leaving the house is a daily battle, you almost need a military operation to pull it off and coming out the other end can leave you with some post-traumatic stress. It might just seem like a trip to ASDA, but to my kids it’s a defiant battle with three main targets, how to:

A) Give mum a heart attack thinking they are missing/been kidnapped

B) Find the most valuable and breakable item in the store and destroy beyond all recognition, making sure Mummy has to pay for the damage they’ve caused

C) Scream, Swear or just plain whine enough to make an entire store of strangers glare at mum like she’s raising the Antichrist.

That is just a trip to the shops, so how are we going to pull off a holiday? I mean all of us, leaving the house, for longer than a few hours and all coming back alive and unscathed…is that even a possibility?

Let’s be honest, we go on holidays to relax, unwind and escape reality, when you’ve got kids it can be really difficult to achieve that, especially in an unfamiliar place that you are spending your hard-earned money on. The average family go on one holiday a year, so that’s a lot of built up anticipation and expectations, you need to make sure it’s going to be worth it and that you actually unwind, relax and maintain your mental health whilst having your kids with you.

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Here are some tips on how to ensure you stay healthy, well and relaxed on holiday:

#1 Plan

Some prep before hand is essential to have a relaxing time, I don’t mean organised activities from hour to hour, I mean…DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Questions

First things first, your accommodation:

Does it have a travel cot?

Does it have a safe deposit box?

Stair gates?

Washing machine or nearby launderette?

Important factors you need to be aware of. The last thing you need is to arrive and realise there is nowhere for you to keep your expensive belongings or money safe and that your toddler or baby has to starfish in between you and your partner every night, because it’s either that or the floor when the hotel have no travel cots…I don’t know about you but I don’t find a swift kick in the face very relaxing and that is the reality of bed sharing with a toddler.

If you’re in a villa then is the pool gated?

If you’re in a hotel is there a crèche? Is it safe and governed? Or is there a creche nearby if you want to stay in a villa? 

Are there real reviews?

Check it all out, the key to a successfully relaxing holiday is peace of mind.

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Activities

OK so I know I said no activities, you don’t want to be rushing from place to place to get somewhere for a certain time, but it is handy to know what is going on in and around where you are staying.

If you know there is a certain show or activity you were interested on from say 1pm it might be nice for you to make your way over there in plenty of time, but if it gets a couple of days in and your on Google searching for where to go and what to do because the kids are getting restless, it just means more time wasted on that, that could be spent relaxing.

Have a little look on trip advisor before your holiday, find out where has the best reviews and save your self the disappointment of getting food poisoning from the 0 star restaurant you could have avoided.

2# Indulge and Hydrate

Drink, drink and drink some more…water!

If we’re talking about a summer holiday, especially abroad, staying hydrated is a no-brainer. I mean it’s a great idea to stay hydrated every day of your life, but when you are in an environment where you will become dehydrated rapidly, it’s important not only for your health but for your enjoyment to make sure you drink plenty.

You don’t want to risk causing yourself damage and ruining your holiday just because you forgot to drink, I mean you’ll get thirsty so you’ll more than likely drink, but it’s important to drink bottled water and be healthy. Even if you aren’t usually a “healthy” person, you are out of your usual environment so therefore are more at risk if you do dehydrate.

Little ones will have no idea they have to keep themselves topped up with water, they might tell you they are thirsty but don’t wait for that, make sure you remind them to drink plenty. It’s only a small detail that won’t even seem like a big deal, carrying water around with you, but it could be the difference between your holiday being relaxing and healthy or ruined by being unwell due to dehydration.

water

Eat safe

Also make sure you eat plenty, if you’re planning on a busy holiday with lots to do, then don’t forget to eat and eat well! You are in an unfamiliar place so look at your surroundings, look at how hygienic the area is that you are eating in, if you don’t feel something is quite right then don’t eat it, but don’t stop your self indulging, you’re on holiday after all! It’s important to stay healthy but holidaying is a time of enjoyment so scoff the cake and for that week or two don’t worry too much about your waistline, a bit of indulging never killed anybody.

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3# Book Smart

Be realistic

When booking your holiday, you flick through the brochures and watch the adverts of the couple clinking their wine glasses together, snuggled in a shawl, watching the sunset. That’s great there’s no reason that can’t happen, but be realistic! If you are taking little ones with you, then book into a family friendly place, DO NOT book into a couples paradise.

Pandora’s Box

It’s all well and good thinking your kids are well-behaved, but when all the couples are cooing at each other over a candlelit dinner and you’re trying to contain Pandora’s box (a.k.a your kids) it isn’t that relaxing.

If junior decided to catapult meatballs across the room at a family friendly restaurant, then the waiter will no doubt duck without batting an eyelid because he will have become a master of dodging little people food fights and Freddie his new best friend with will be in fits of giggles at the other side of the room.

Whereas if Junior pie faces the guy who is about to change his girlfriend’s life by getting down on one knee, you won’t get the smirking glance from a fellow mum who knows what you are going through, you’ll get the laser stare of the ice queen who spent three hours doing her hair that your child has just streaked with spaghetti.

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Family Friendly

Trust me…just visit family friendly areas and restaurants! For your peace and tranquillity, even if there are kids running around, you can relax, because everyone’s in the same boat, your kids are running around too, there’ll probably be a crèche or some activities where you can leave the kids so you can get some one on one time. You don’t want to spend the entire trip red-faced or trying to contain a pack of wild beasts, set them free in the right environment, sit back and chill whilst watching the carnage unfold.

4# Open invite

I’m not saying invite the world on your holiday (1. Impossible and 2. Unrealistic) but it’s becoming an increasing trend to holiday with other families or even with a large number of your own relatives. If you don’t have friends (or you can’t stand the ones you have) and your extended family are the reason you need a holiday than this option may not be for you.

Multi-generational

But if Nana and Grandad need a holiday and love watching the little ones, it means you get lifetime memories with a larger portion of your family and let’s face it you’ve got ready-made, trustworthy babysitters whilst you clink the champagne glasses, cuddle up and watch the sunset (see, I told you it is possible).

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Bring your bestie

If your best mate has a family of their own, why not go together? Share a villa (half the cost for each other) you’ve got ready-made playmates for your little ones and you can take it in turns watching the brood of kids from both families while you clink, cuddle and watch the sunset (becoming more realistic now, isn’t it).

Basically, you are making your holiday cheaper (in theory), more relaxing (trusted babysitters & playmates) and more enjoyable (spending time with people you like). There’s every reason to expand the number of people coming on your holiday, for your enjoyment and also for your peace both physically and mentally.

#5 Where to go

Thinking of where to go? Think relaxing, beautiful sunsets, stunning scenery and an air of elegance…Tuscany is a region in central Italy, it is full of character and the perfect place for a relaxing family holiday.

If you’re like me and have a brood of kids, that make the thought of staying in hotel fill you with dread, then a villa is the place to go. No worries about disturbing guests or irritating staff with your kid’s wacky ways.

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Here’s the best place to rent a villa https://www.to-tuscany.com/

They have over 350 positive reviews on Feefo reviews and are a trusted merchant on there too: Feefo

They are also highly commended on thegoodwebguide.co.uk

Check out the To-Tuscany pages:

Facebook Twitter G+ Pinterest To Tuscany Blog Flickr Youtube Instagram Flipboard  To-Tuscany Newsletter

#6 Remember why you’re going

You want to enjoy your holiday, relax and rejuvenate. Make sure you don’t over do activities, booze or just not taking care of yourself. You don’t want to come home feeling like you need a holiday to get over your holiday.

Keep reminding yourself why you’re there and if something is stressing you out or making you unwell then don’t do it. Just remember these three key facts which sum up all the yammering I’ve done above:

  1. Stay healthy (Eat right & drink plenty)
  2. Make it easy (Do whatever gives you mental peace)
  3. Enjoy (Lay down, walk, dance, sleep..if it makes you happy then do it)

    BE HAPPY

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Proud Mummy Moment

The Proud Mummy Moments

Premature baby

When you have a premature baby the idea of the distant future doesn’t seem as important as it did before, all that matters is the next day, the next hour, the next five minutes. While they are NICU the outside world doesn’t exist to you anymore, all that matters is this moment and getting your baby through it.

Memories

When those days become a memory and you look back on what your little miracle has been through, it makes you so grateful for all they can achieve now they are out of the woods.

Luckily for us, Jack came home with no complications, he surpassed all his milestones for his birth date never mind his due date and was discharged from the paediatrician. He turned three in November and is about to go from two to three sessions a week.

Nursery

I popped in to pick him up last Tuesday and his key worker brought out his monthly review that she was filling in and said he’s surpassing everything, but they always look for an area of improvement so they are going to focus on his maths, he can count but they are going to develop his skills further. Great! I thought to my self, quite advanced if you ask me but he seems to be enjoying himself and learning more and more so who am I to argue.

This was when I mentioned increasing his sessions by one more, asking her to see when they had another morning session available. I explained to her, he started April 2016 with one three hour session, then in September 2016 I increased it again and it’s now January and we’ve increased to a third session. I’d like him to be doing 15 hours before he starts school, so I have an idea in my head of increasing to four sessions in April (12 hours) and five sessions by September (15 hours) then he will be doing 15 hours for a year before he starts school in September 2018.

The wrong group

I explained this to his key worker and she looked at me confused, saying he starts school in September this year. Nooo, I told her he was born November 2013, yes he will be one of the older kids, but he doesn’t start until 2018. She had thought he was more advanced therefore older and it turns out he’s been in the pre-school group all this time! Not only that but he was doing amazing in every aspect!

Advanced

I’m proud of my kids for hitting any milestones and for all of their achievements, but for Jack it is just that bit more amazing, he was born almost three months early weighing only 3lbs, he couldn’t breathe on his own and was only allowed 0.5mls of milk every 6 hours, how does he go from that to being the top of a class that is supposed to be too advanced for him?!

Proud mummy

He really is our little miracle, he overcame all the odds and now he’s surpassing everyone’s expectations, he makes me such a proud mummy, to have such a clever, special boy.

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Mikey’s Progress: Speech Therapy & Portage

If you follow my blog, you’ll know my son Mikey has just turned two and has recently been referred to SALT (Speech and Language Therapist) and Portage for some of his behaviours and the fact he isn’t speaking yet.

He’s only just turned two

So speaking to the everyday parent, everyone I’ve spoken to has had the same reaction “What?! All that intervention already? He’s only just turned two!”. 

Look, they aren’t wrong, but the fact is he is struggling in certain aspects of his life, it’s only a flicker at the moment, but his social skills, interaction and communication are just not developing at the “average” rate, and before you say it…I know! Every kid is different and Mikey is my extra special unique little boy, he looks at the world differently to the rest of us, he doesn’t tell me that, but I just know.

Therapy

So what’s wrong with a bit of therapy? That’s all it is! Some gentle support along the way, so if there is the chance of him struggling when he’s older, we don’t “wait and see”, we give him the support he needs now, there won’t be a huge barrier he hits in a few years. Think about it, celebs pay thousands for therapy, Mikey’s getting it free, why not?!

For those who don’t know Speech and Language Therapists provide support for a whole host of people with different support needs, one of which being children  who struggle to speak. 

If you ask Google what Portage is, it’s “The carrying of a boat or it’s cargo between two navigable waters” but for our little Mikey it means “a home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with additional support needs and their families”.

Bubbles

This week he had his first proper session of Speech Therapy, I say “proper” because the first one we went to was a drop in session where she assessed if he needed further support, which she did, so on Monday we went along and said “Bubbles, Up, Pop, More and Yeah”w we had been given “homework” which was a sheet of paper with tips on to improve his speech, so over Christmas we’d perfected “Bubbles”, he’d said the odd other word, but it was like he’s saved it all up for his speech therapist and since that first session he’s non-stopped babbled, it’s amazing to hear his little voice, I’m excited by how much he’s progressed, he seems so much happier already.

We had his initial visit from Portage and they just wanted to know all about him, us and our life. They were telling me about Portage and how they interact with him through play and that it will improve his interactive skills, I’m so happy they have this support available and that my little boy gets to take advantage of it, we start his first session at the end of the month, so I’ll update on his progress.

The world would be a better place

I know a lot of parents are in a similar position to me, there is an Autistic question mark floating around and it’s hard to know what is the right thing to do when it comes to letting intervention take place and introducing therapies. I’m only at the start of this journey, I don’t know if Mikey is Autistic, there is no way of knowing, but it doesn’t matter, he’s MY baby, no label is going to change how special he is to me or anything  about him, if he needs different support to other children, then so what? He’s unique and sees the world in his own special way and do you know what? I think if we were all a little more like Mikey the world would be a better place.

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