Sunday, 30 October 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday was inspired by

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Friday, 28 October 2011

A Sick Monkey! Part 3.

So Monkey has been poorly. His asthma has taken over our summer, but the other issue is his back.

When visiting the doctor about his asthma we mentioned his back and the doctor referred us to the hospital in Plymouth.

As it happens after our trip there last Sunday night/Monday morning, his consultant appointment was on Tuesday. Derriford Hospital twice in two days!

We arrived to what seemed like chaos. Children running everywhere. Monkey sat close to me, and watched the other children.

We were eventually called to the consultants room. He asked me for the low down on what had been going on.

If I am honest, I really don't know where to start with this. I know it is strange for a then 2 year old to complain of back pain, it is usually tummy ache, and part of me thinks its for attention. Worm gets carried because he can't walk and a lot of me thinks it is jealousy and wanting to still be the baby. BUT there have also been times when I think that actually there is something really wrong. Like the time he was jumping down some steps holding my hand and as he landed he winced and shouted "Ouch me back hurt" and then asked to be carried.

Part of me thinks that there is now the beginnings of a pattern of his back hurting just before he has an asthma attack, so could it be that he just cannot tell me where the pain is and actually it's in his chest.

I really don't know, it could be anything.

The consultant stripped him to his nappy and poked and prodded his back, he checked his legs and his reflexes. he explained that it could be a number of things, to diagnose some they would need to MRI him and that would involve a general anaesthetic, and they would only go down that route if they thought it was there only option. (Thank Goodness!) In the meantime they would do blood tests and get a wee sample from him(good luck!) and test for the normal things.

Taking blood from a 3 year old is an achievement. he was fine until the needle went in, then he screamed. The plaster and the bag of Haribo quickly stopped it!!

As for the wee sample. He is still in nappies, we have tried pants but he is not interested/can't be bothered/ couldn't care less! They sent us home with a sterile pack. He sat on the potty for mummy and did the smallest (but hugely congratulated) wee. Not enough for the sample pot. So I had to do the pad in nappy and wring it out! Lovely!

Now just to wait and see. If the results are negative then we have to think again and we need to go back in three months to see if there is any difference/improvement.

I hope it is nothing, or at the most related to his asthma, I think this Monkey has been through enough.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Half Term Treats.

I worry that as a parent I don't do enough for my children.

I worry that because there is such a difference in their ages, I don't provide for all of them.

I worry that because I am on my own with them a lot, they miss out.

Today was a bit different. Today I did something that I have wanted to do for a long time but have never been able to.

Today, the boys and I went swimming.

Okay, so I had a bit of help!

So there were eight of us, four adults, four children.

Beanie and his cousin I, were off and gone, both confident swimmers.

Monkey stayed with Nanna, he loves swimming and is growing more confident. He wears his Roll Up arm bands, and his googles around his neck! He kicks his legs and moves his arms, and Nanna even let go of him for a split second and he remained above water!

Worm, is very different. Worm hates the Bath, so I was concerned about how he would react to the pool.

I was right to be concerned. Worm in is swim nappy, and arm bands, held onto me for dear life.

To the extent I thought I was going to reveal more than I would have liked. The grasp so strong and pulling at my costume.

The scream so high pitched it could be heard above the water fountain, sprays and a full swimming pool.

I was determined not to give in.

The scream continued, the grasp tighter. Tears rolling down his face. Ten minutes of tantrum. He has definitely reached the terribe twos early.

And then just like that it stopped.

He laughed.

He giggled.

He smiled.

He splashed.

That was it. The legs kicked, the arms moved, he went under the fountain, chuckled and went back and forth. He loved it.

It as a fantastic swim. Part of me wished I had done it sooner but I know that I cannot do it alone with all three.

The only negative - I haven't seen myself in a swimming costume for sometime and that needs addressing!!!

When we got home, bath time. Worm had his normal 2 second bath, screaming and crying. Back to normal. Maybe I should get in with him and stay for at least ten minutes!

Monday, 24 October 2011

A Sick Monkey! Part 2.

After the terrifying first asthma attack at the end of June, Monkey had his second one at the beginning of August. He had gone to the Beach House with my parents for some grandparent and Monkey time, and on the Wednesday I got a phone call from my mum, saying that he wasn't right.

Monkey is very hyperactive, always on the go and is so comical. He is not a cuddly boy in comparison to Beanie but when he wants a cuddle you know. Mum told me he had spent the whole morning on the settee with her, complaining that his back hurt. They had taken him down on the beach, in an attempt to take his mind of it but within ten minutes he was begging to go back up.

I tried to get a doctors appointment the following day but they had none.

2 hours later my mum phoned again, saying that my dad was bringing him home, and that he really wasn't himself. Even though he was not yet at home I phoned the surgery again and asked for the doctor on call to ring me. He returned home, and seemed quiet but not too bad. By 5pm the doctor had not called. Then the wheezing started. The doctor eventually called me back at 6:30pm and said they would see him first thing in the morning. I was told if he deteriorated, call 999.
I didn't sleep that night but kept him near me, making sure he was breathing. Somehow we got through the night. The doctor called at 9am and we went straight down. He was put on steroids for three days. Something I am not overly happy about but needs must...

His next episode was the middle of September, mild by all accounts, and we managed him at home. He was really good this time and took his inhaler. We got through without any other medication.

A month later, last Sunday, he had another great day out in the garden playing with Beanie. By teatime he was flagging, by bed time he was wheezing. Moors-daddy and I went to bed at 11pm. Monkey was restless, moaning and whimpering. He woke up every half an hour. By midnight we were sat listening to him wheezing over the baby monitor. At what point does a wheeze become an emergency?

We sat there looking at each other, wanting the other to say, yes do it, phone the ambulance, but each knew it wasn't that bad. So I phoned out of hours. They responded quickly, returning our call within ten minutes, their words, "Would you like an ambulance?". I declined, it is probably just as quick to drive him into Plymouth. So bags packed, we were off to Derriford again. Out of hours was quiet, they were waiting for us, and bless Monkey he lay on the bed and took the nebuliser, it was like he had finally accepted it and knew it would make him better.

Half an hour later we were given a bottle of banana medicine (amoxycillin) and more steroids and were on our way home. Our journey home was lovely across the moor. We saw three foxes, a tawny owl, and countless rabbits and he talked all the way home, constantly telling me that Mr Moon was following us! It took me over an hour to get him to sleep, and since last Sunday we have had a couple of days that have been worse than others, but in general he is much better.

Tomorrow we have an appointment with the nurse to discuss his medication. He quite clearly needs to be on more than a blue inhaler. 4 attacks in 4 months is more than enough for a 3 year old to contend with.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A Sick Monkey! Part 1.

Any normal parent values their children more than anything else in the world.

Having had a premature baby, I understand how fragile and special life can be.

I have always had in the back of my head that there would be something wrong with Beanie because of his early start to life. He has surpassed everything, he is a healthy, happy, 7 year old, who is funny and intelligent (sometimes too intelligent for his own good) but other than a touch of asthma, he is perfectly healthy.

Monkey was 11 days early, but perfectly healthy and home within 36 hours.

I never expected him to be ill, or have any problems. The first two years of his life we had no problems other than the normal, teething and general baby issues.
Every time his teeth came through, when I look back now, I realise he did get very chesty, but I just assumed it was because of his teeth, and that was that.

Just after his second birthday, he started complaining that his back hurt. At first it was when we put him in his car seat, then when he got up in the morning. We bought a new car seat, and eventually a new bed, but still he complained. This summer his complaints were every day, more than once a day, and for a two year old to complain of back pain, we decided this was not an attention seeking ploy,enough was enough.

But that wasn't all this summer.

At the end of June we had, had a lovely Saturday at home in the garden. Monkey and Beanie were playing and running around like the lunatics that they are. Late afternoon Monkey started to flag, by tea time he was flaked out on the sofa. He wouldn't come into the dining room for Dinner, by the time we had finished our meal and returned to the lounge, you could hear the wheeze.

By 7pm I had phoned the local hospital to see if we could take him straight up, but no, we had to go through out of hours. We waited for them to return the call, to then be told to take him to the local hospital. (Fuming!) Moors-daddy took him straight up whilst I stayed with the other two. They left the house at 8pm. By 9:15pm I had heard nothing and was beginning to worry. Five minutes later the phone rang, it was moors-daddy saying that we had to take Monkey to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. I packed the other two up for an impromptu stay at Grannies and we were off.
Our local hospital had tried to nebulise Monkey, but being the stubborn two year old that he was he would not take it. We got to Derriford hospital, having dropped the other two off, and he was admitted. I, at the time had a chest infection and so could not stay with him, but during the remainder of the night he had another five nebulisers, to try and stabilise his breathing.
I returned the next morning, he was still wheezing slightly but was up and about and had found the playroom! He was there all day. We left late afternoon, with an inhaler and spacer and were told to administer 10 puffs every four hours. In the hospital it had taken moors-daddy and myself to pin him down whilst the nurse gave him the inhaler - it wasn't going to be easy, but we knew it had to be done.
We returned home and over the next few days gave him as much inhaler as he would take, to the cries of "no push button", but eventually he improved.

I honestly thought that Monkey would get away without having asthma but it would seem that mummy was far from right.

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Friday, 21 October 2011

Pintoy City Fire Engine - Review

This beautiful little fire engine was sent to me from the guys at They are a local company, as I found out after contacting them in reply to a tweet for a toy tester.

We had a choice of what to get, within a set limit and having already reviewed some games for Beanie I decided it would be time to give Monkey a treat.

Monkey is fire engine obsessed. Everything he does is "an emergency". He has dress up, he has fire engines and other accessories from a certain Fireman, but this I thought would be a bit different.

It is lovely.

I love traditional toys. I love wooden toys. When I looked through the website I was in heaven. I adore the fact that this toy will be played with, and the quality of it is so good that I can see that this toy will be kept and passed down to the next generation.

It arrived when I was at work, I saw it on my return but didn't open it immediately. When I did open it, I was spied by a little Monkey who asked me "What's that?"
"What do you think it is?"
"A car."
"Not a car."
"A fire engine." - at this point jumping up and down in pure delight, the biggest grin on his face!

We opened it and it comes completely set up and ready to go, no ties in sight, a god send when you have a very excited 3 year old desperate to play!

It was immediately taken to the lounge, to join the other engines.

The Fire engine also comes with a little wooden man. He is very sweet and has flexible arms and legs. He sits perfectly in the front of the engine and has two holes in his hands, so that he can hold the hose.

He is a lovely addition to the fire engine as when I read the description on the website I wasn't entirely sure that we would receive a figure, but was thrilled when we did. (Other accessories are also available on the website).

The fire engine is very well made, there are rounded edges and the paint detailing is fantastic. the Lid lifts off, so the hose (and an abundance of other treasures) can be stored inside. The hose is in two sections that clip together so there is no choking hazard and it can be placed on either side of the engine. On top of the lid is the ladder which can be moved up and down. The man can stand on the ladder but both his feet do not fit on one rung.

This really is a lovely toy, and one that I know I will not part with. There are other fire engines in the Pintoy range and an accessories set and fireman set, all of which will be on Monkey Christmas List!

It is so solid and child friendly that even Worm has had a sneeky play with it when Monkey has not been looking!

The Pintoy City Fire Engine is available from for £24.49 and was sent to us free to review.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

BritMums - Blog Prompt If I had one day to myself...

This week I am joining in with BritMums Blog Prompt.

It is not easy to decide what I would do......but,

If I had one day to myself I would....

Sleep so soundly that I do not wake at the slightest noise, I would wake to an empty house.

I would not be at home.

I would be alone at the Beach House.

Snuggled up in bed.

It would be winter, my favourite season. I would lie there and listen to the sea, the waves crashing against the shore. The wind howling and the rain drumming on the windows.

I would take my time to get out of bed.

In an ideal world I would then have a long hot soak in the bath, scented candles, bubbles and a book. (Too early for a glass of wine and there is no bath at the beach house - just a shower!)

I would have a cooked breakfast - poached egg on toast, sat eating it in front of a roaring fire.

I would go for a walk along the beach. In the rain, wrapped up, in waterproofs and wellies.

I would return for my lunch, strip off my wet clothes and into my comfy fleece pyjamas. I would have a bowl of Heinz chicken soup, and thick granary bread for lunch before curling up in my duvet to watch a film.

Dinner would be scallops, salmon and chocolate pudding and then I would have an early night.

Would I miss the boys? Of course, however one day to myself would be so nice, but just a dream! And at least I would be all refreshed ready for another day of mayhem!!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


The lovely people at sent me some information about a new eco-friendly game from Finland.

Let’s play "Mölkky" by Tactic Games.

Mölkky is a fun combination of chance and skill that’s quick to learn and exciting to play.

Based on a centuries-old game from Finland, Mölkky is fast becoming a global phenomenon. National Mölkky competitions are held in several countries around the world, and teams even come to Finland every year to compete in the world Mölkky championships.

The aim of the game is to throw the skittle to hit the pins that are each uniquely numbered and the person who scores exactly 50 points is declared the winner. But watch out, if you get more than 50, your score will be knocked back down to 25!

The game is easy to play and is suitable for all ages. It looks like a great family outdoor game that could be played anywhere.

For more information check out

It is available in the UK from for £29.99

You and Me, Me and You!

Sometimes I think you have to take time out.

Time out as a mummy, as a wife and as a teacher.

There are always days when life seems too much.

Too much stress, noise, taxiing, telling off, all the things we do everyday but sometimes don't think about enough to realise exactly what it is that we do!

Our 'jobs', take it out of us.

There are days when I go to work at 7:15am, having had 3 hours sleep. I know I am not the only one. Some weeks I have two or three days like that and I wonder how I function.

At times I know I need a break.

My life is complicated. I am a mum, I teach and I am married to a policeman. A policeman who works shifts.

70% of the time, I am a single parent. If moors-daddy is at home, he is probably asleep after a night shift.

Beanie feels the effect, and at times asks if he can play with daddy, the little two aren't old enough to understand - yet!

There are days, when I want to be alone. There are days when I want to sit and read a book!

Sometimes it gets too much, moors-daddy and I are both tired, our body clocks messed up. Sometimes we need to spend time alone,(together).

This Easter (our wedding anniversary) we treated ourselves to a weekend in Paris.
It wasn't a relaxing break. We were up early and out to the attractions before 9am, but we spent time together. We had the most amazing Japanese dinner, saw the Mona Lisa, did all the tourist things, apart from climbing the Eiffel Tower (no way would you get me up that!)

Whilst we were there we agreed we need to do this every year (grandparents permitting). We need to take time out, just me and him, him and me.

Next year we plan to go to Edinburgh, somewhere moors-daddy has been to a lot (with his previous job) and loves, but he has never taken me. Somewhere I would love to go.

Then we start the list, places we can visit for a weekend without the children!!

Any recommendations?!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

True love (at 7).

Beanie normally showers but tonight he asked for a bath.

He likes having a soak once in a while but refuses point blank to get in with either of the other two!

Tonight I left him to soak, and when I returned he had written the names of the family around the bath with Monkey's bath crayons. He started to rub them off as I entered the bathroom. I asked him why and he replied that he was going to write his friends names instead. (Obviously they are far more important).

When I rerturned again a couple of minutes later, he had written a few names, Ruth, Dan, Sam .... But one stood out more than the others. His writing in bath crayon isn't that great but it is clear enough.....

Loving the Hearts!!!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Saturday is Caption Day!

started by Mammasaurus, just think of a caption for the picture below!

and then go on over to to check out the others!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Gallery - Colour!

This week's The Gallery from Sticky Fingers is Colour.

I thought I'd do Green, it is a colour that I like ....sometimes! It has to be the right shade of green. Our hall is a beautiful shade of green, a classic traditional green which I love but some greens are horrible, but natures green I find fascinating, as there are so many different colours.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Tactic Games - "Dotto" Play and Say Review

The lovely people at set me up with my first review from Tactic games. (

They sent me two board games, called "Roll for Gold" and "Dotto".

Roll for Gold is aimed at children age 7 years and older and Dotto 6+.

Dotto is a strategic game, using dice, whereby the players have to place the coloured dice in the correct position on the board within the time limit.

The board was really easy to set up and the games comes complete with a timer (battery not included), ten coloured dice, 16 counters (of which you use 15) and 55 playing cards showing the patterns.

Each player has three tokens to start, the timer is started and the oldest person takes a card and has to replicate the pattern that is shown on the card onto the grid board. When they have completed their pattern the next player takes another card from the pile and replicates the next pattern. This continues until the timer stops. Who ever's go it is when the timer stops looses one of their tokens. When all three of your tokens have gone you are out and the winner is the last person with a token left.

This game is based on a really simple idea, and we found it to be really enjoyable. You get quite frustrated when you can't find the correct colour when you need to but it was quick and easy to play and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Even Granny played it tonight and said how good it was.

Beanie loved the fact that he was against the timer, and the timer is unpredictable as to when it goes off, so you have to be quick when playing. It is a great game for developing hand eye coordination and logical thinking, as well as being incredibly quick to play (about 10-15 minutes).

My only negative about this game would be the quality of the timer. It feels quite flimsy and doesn't always start when you push the button, you have to push it really hard, which Beanie has found difficult at times to get it to work!

Both games are available to purchase from

Tactic Games "Roll for Gold" - Play and Say Review

The lovely people at set me up with my first review from Tactic games. (

They sent me two board games, called "Roll for Gold" and "Dotto".

Roll for Gold is aimed at children age 7 years and older and Dotto 6+.

Both perfect for Beanie, who I have to admit is a bit of a game guru! He loves board games and likes the old ones the best, the ones me and moors-daddy used to play when we were little, so this was a real test.

We started with Roll for Gold, he liked the fact that you could choose which side of the playing board was face up, and after about five minutes of going over the instructions (they did confuse us a bit) we understood what the aim of the game was and how to play.

You set up the dishes into the holes and each player has two dice of the same colour. You also have three small coins each. To start you all roll your dice and the lowest score starts by pushing the dice in the middle of the board, which gives you your instructions to either throw, one or both of your dice, one or both of an opponents or one of yours and one of your opponents. The two coloured dice that each player has in their dish has different numbers of skulls on it and a parrot, the parrot equalling 5. The aim is to get the highest score on your dice before someone throws Blackbeard's Ghost on the central dice. When Blackbeard appears, the person with the highest score on their dice gets a big coin. Little coins that you start the game are worth 1 and the big coin 5, and the aim and how to win the game is to be the first person to get to 21 coins.

Once we got into it, it was really good, it didn't take long for the three of us to get competitive and Beanie very quickly learnt to be tactical and throw either mine or moors-daddy's parrot to lower our score.

It was a quick game lasting about 15 minutes, which is great for people like us who seem to be constantly busy, but it could be fitted easily into family life.

Beanie loved it, he really liked the pirate theme and played it again with moors-daddy before school the next morning!

Both games are available from

Saturday, 1 October 2011