Monday, 28 March 2011


I've been recommended myself at  I'm so pleased to have been helpful; and to our friends across the pond as well!  Many thanks to California!

Baby kit I just can't do without!

There's one particular gadget that we just can't do without in our household.  We have two of them (one per child) and I'm tempted to purchase another two (one for the bathroom and one for the landing).  Each one is branded with whatever your choice of current favourite TV show might be (we have "In the Night Garden") or a particular range (and "Farmyard friends".)  They are very child safe.  Can be dropped on numerous occasions and still seem to work.  They are chargeable, but then wireless.

Has anyone guessed yet?

They are torch-style night lights.  Or night lights that transform into torches?  Click here to see an example!  Essentially they are chargeable cone shaped torches that sit, upside down, on a round base.  The light is low enough to be perfect for night time, but bright enough to facilitate a nappy change should one be required.

Because they are completely portable you can put them anywhere, and the kids can pick them up and move around safely at night.

Genius invention.  So I thought I'd share.

Discovered another one this week too.  Little straps to hold babies socks on!  Too late for me, but enjoy!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Child Safety...... Over protective or too relaxed?

I am such a risk adverse worrywart.  I worry about everything.  Will the girls be too hot? Or too cold?  Should they take their gloves to school, even though it's been 20 degrees Celsius this week? (It'll never last)  If they stay up late they won't get enough sleep and will be grumpy, but if I try and put them to bed too early we all get tense when they won't settle.  Nap in the day, or not?  Snacks of fruit, or chocolate, or both?  Shake n vac on the carpet, or not - just in case I miss a bit and they decide to try and eat it?

You get the picture.

And as a result, you can perhaps imagine how I reacted this winter when, during Christmas visits to family and friends, we entered two separate houses, on two separate occasions, in which the gas fire was on, but no fire guard was in sight.  Now I love a fire with 'proper' flames; but when the children are running around the lounge playing with balloons, I find that I have to go and deliberately and yet as inconspicuously as possible, park myself right in front of the fire to protect them from the risk of falling on it.

Am I too risk adverse?  Maybe I am, in many respects.  But I work on the basis that, if I can avoid my children experiencing great pain, then I will.  And I seem to remember being a child in the 70s, playing in my Grandad's living room, and placing my Chocolate Mousse on the small ledge around the fire (outside the very large fire guard) and waiting for it too melt into lovely gooey yumminess.

So what's the deal?  Are fire guards too old fashioned these days?  Do trends really out way safety?  Or am I just a crazy women going through a midlife?  Hmmm?

Monday, 14 March 2011

Getting the kids to school on time!

I have read the works of such greats as Anthea Turner, Trinny and Susannah, Nigella Lawson, in the promise that they held the key to some great secret of time.  How to save time to be exact.  One particular publication by the Trinny and Susannah team gave plenty of space to the concept of 'saving time'.  Tips on how best to pack for a holiday, get the kids to school on time etc... 

These works however, misled me.  I foolishly believed there was indeed some great secret and that every other mother in the world was quietly and gently sipping their coffee in the mornings, whilst children dressed themselves, hats and scarfs miraculously appeared on their heads, and school bags were packed full of all the paraphernalia that they seem to require these days (often including money for various trips, but sometimes randomly requiring empty boxes, spare t-shirts, or a piece of homework on 'people that help us').

Finally, after nearly 5 years of being a mother I've discovered the truth that they wished to keep hidden.  I'm really sorry to tell you that you can't 'save' time.  There is no quick fix special methodology that will enable you to do all the chores that being a mother entail.

There is though, a way of traversing the shark invested shores of motherdom in a stress free way.  And it's that way that enables you to sip that coffee whilst hot, instead of throwing it back in the microwave for the 4th time.

In short it's as obvious as the 'more exercise, less food = better fitness' equation that we all refuse to acknowledge is so simple.  The ONLY way to save time in the morning is to move the chores to some other, less time-pressured time.  Such as the night before.

Yes I know that's mumsndads time and shouldn't be further infringed upon.  But seriously, the only way to not tear your hair out throwing the children and their bags into the car on time in the morning (not literally - no need to write in) is to get their bags set out the night before with all the reading books and so forth pre-packed.  To ensure they have a clean uniform (including underwear) all ready and waiting.  To set out the hats, scarfs, and gloves in the hall ready for the last minute dash.  To get your own outfit laid out the night before so you don't throw on the first clean thing you lay your hands on (still trying to be yummy here), and to set out your shoes, makeup, contact lens etc etc, the night before.

However obsessive it may sound, however freaky you may look with your tights laid out neatly by your shoes., it sure beats tearing around the house looking for a clean pair of socks at a quarter to nine when school starts in 5 minutes.

Boring?  Yes.
Sanity saving? Absolutely.

Now where's my packed lunchbox?

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Explanations and apologies......

2010 readers will have noticed I've been somewhat on the quiet side this year.  Not by design (I hasten to clarify) but by an onslaught of health problems that, whilst perfectly manageable, were at times excruciating, at times unnoticeable and mostly very frustrating.  The long absence leads me to feel I should explain.

After a bout of a particularly bad viral illness (flu systems with an horrific cough, leading at it's low point to a particularly embarrassing episode at my mothers when I had to borrow spare clothes due to simultaneous release of other fairly important muscles) I woke up one morning thinking I'd pulled a muscle around my ribcage.  Unsurprising after all that coughing, but after the pain had increased for a few days I toddled off to my local doctors surgery and was prescribed ibuprofen to, and I quote, "reduce the inflammation".  It worked, and the pain subsided over the next couple of days, but the cough....that dreaded cough, returned.  1 week later I'm in serious pain, on the phone to the surgery and they prescribe co-codomol.  (codeine and paracetamol), because they believe that, although I'm not asthmatic, I am suffering symptoms brought on by the ibuprofen!  Who knew?

7 days later I'm more than happy on these painkillers.

10 days later and I'm in absolute agony, on the phone to the out of hours service, thinking I'm having a heart attack, as the pain has localised around where I imagine my heart is. 

I'm in tears, struggling to breathe as I'm so frightened, and the nurse kindly takes me through a series of questions to try and establish whether the problem is indeed cardiac.  Luckily she doesn't think so, but is worried, as I shouldn't be in such pain when on those painkillers, so I'm given an appointment immediately.  If she's worried, I'm worried.  But 1 hour later the kind doctor (proper old school, tapping his fingers on the back of his hand, perfect bedside manner) is telling me I have Bornholm's disease, otherwise known as Devils Grip.  Apparently it's not at all worrying, and just needed some replacement anti-inflammatories, instead of the pain killers.  2 weeks of Diclofenac and it's been under control.  Though, now I've ran out of the tablets this morning, I'm almost waiting for the pain to return? 

I think the hardest thing has been coping with the chronic nature of the illness.  When I was taking the painkillers I could tell when my next batch of tablets was due because the pain intensity would creep up, and I was given an insight into how pain effects mood and behaviour.  I've been grumpy around my family,  have been sleeping and sleeping and sleeping and not feeling rested, and have shied away from cuddles from my girls because of the pain.  Just writing that last sentence makes me cry. 

I have the utmost respect for anyone that is going through any health problems that cause chronic pain and that can still raise a smile.  Luckily mine has been a treatable problem.  Not every one's is.

Sorry for the sad mood.  But I am now back in the rhetorical writing saddle, and will be posting some more useful tips and stories over the coming weeks. 

Apologies for my absence and take care. 

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