Sunday, 18 March 2018

A letter to me, the first time mum

Dear me,

My, my, my what an unforgettable journey you've been on...

Lets take it back to when you were pregnant the first time, remember those really REALLY cute pram shoes you bought for your boy? Along with a multitude of other clothing items, you thought they were a bargain because they were reduced and you'd get another sale item half price. Win win, right? Wrong! Eliot wore one pair once and never wore the second pair! However you did learn from this mistake and didn't make the same error the second time around!

Of course I'm sure you recall labour, don't you? All 37.5 hours of it!!! You did a pretty awesome job pushing a not so tiny 9.5lb-er out of you. You were determined to only have gas & air which you managed but it would have been ok you know to ask for some further pain relief! It may have enabled you to get that bit of sleep you so desperately wanted. You were too stubborn to give in and actually a little afraid to ask the midwives. They were very pro natural birth and you were being given lavender to help relax you.

You were not 'unconfident' as a midwife said when giving you reasons why you shouldn't go home the day after birth. At no point during pregnancy or after birth were you told that a baby can still have some amniotic fluid in them that needs to be expelled. It was only natural to panic when Eliot seemed to be choking.

One thing you will always remember is that first poop...sure you'd read all about meconium and knew it would be a black tar like mess. You didn't bank on it happening when your MIL snatched him off you mid change. She was the one that got covered in it though as well as the hospital floor!

Give yourself a pat on the was hard being in hospital for almost a week for various reasons, you wanted to breastfeed but it wasn't happening and there was a concern that Eliot had a hernia. Thankfully he didn't but I know you believe it was a bit a preparation for what would happen around six weeks later.

The best bit of advice you needed in those early days was not to take to heart comments or things that people said about feeding. You tried to breastfeed, staff in the hospital tried to help you breastfeed but you needed to do what YOU felt was right for you and Eliot, you made the right choice for you both.

Remember six weeks later when you took Eliot to A&E after speaking to the health visitor and the GP? You were told it was reflux and prescribed medication but you took him to A&E when the projectile vomiting still continued. As you know Eliot needed an operation when it was discovered he had pyloric stenosis.
And there's another big tip! Continue to trust your instincts and get anything you're not sure about checked out! No matter how small you think it may be, it's always better to be safe than sorry. I know you remember this tip as it was something you needed to do with baby two, Nola when she was two months old.

There were lots of baby groups on and you were enthusiastic about meeting other mums but that didn't really happen and you were quickly put off the baby groups. The one group you did attend a few times  was baby massage, you enjoyed it as did Eliot and you learnt how to use lotions to help Eliot feel relaxed and the experience increased your bond. Even though you didn't know it then, using Vicks baby rub with Nola would also further your bonding experiences and it would be a relief to see her calmer and more relaxed after using it when those pesky teeth played up!

There are so many things you learned that first time round, like how muslins were an invaluable baby essential with various different uses, and how to avoid being pee'd on whilst changing a nappy, well almost, you did get better at it!
One thing is for sure, I know you know it's the most amazing journey you've been on, even with the ups and downs.
Keep going, there's lots more to learn as they get older!

With love,
You xxx

“This post is an entry for BritMums #VicksBabyRub Challenge, sponsored by Vicks BabyRub. Specially designed for babies aged 6 months and over, Vicks BabyRub is available at Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and all good pharmacy chains. RRP £3.99.”

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Car Safety Checks

Next week I’m going away with my parents, we’ll be taking two cars as you’ll know if you have children, especially babies you normally end up taking everything but the kitchen sink! Add my mum into the mix and you do literally take everything, in self-catered accommodation she won’t use any of the plates, cutlery etc. provided including the kettle, so that comes along too! As you can imagine there’s not an awful lot of room!

The journey will be quite a long one, around four hours I think so this weekend I need to make sure I do some checks to ensure my car is ready for the long drive. I must admit I am a bit of a stereotypical female when it comes to cars and not always the best at doing those checks but thankfully my dad is on hand to remind me! He comments/reminds me I need to check my tyres, oil and even asks me if I have enough petrol! Petrol is one aspect I do keep on top of!

 I need to do to make sure my car is as safe as possible and hopefully less likely to break down, like everyone else I don’t want to be sat on the side of the road waiting for roadside assistance especially with two children on board! So these are the checks I’ll be doing…

1.       Check the oil level and top up if I need to

2.       Check the engine coolant level

3.       Top up with water or screen wash to ensure I don’t run out

4.        Check my wiper blades are working correctly. In the snowstorm a couple of weeks ago they were smearing Ice across the windscreen making it almost impossible to see and I had to pull over on the hard shoulder of the M1 to sort them out, which was not a pleasant experience!

5.       Last but not least I will be checking my tyres, checking that the pressures are correct. I replaced two of my tyres a couple of weeks ago so I know the tread is ok. I did have to stand around in the cold and rain whilst they were fitted, I didn’t know about Jet Wheel Tyres where I could have saved some time and ordered online!


Have a missed anything out? Are there any other safety checks you carry out on your car before journeys?
*This post is in collaboration with Jet Wheel Tyres

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

GUEST POST-Workplace Issues That Will Keep You Busy In 2018 And How To Manage Them

The business and corporate world have been seeing massive changes over the years. However, the year of 2018 is coming to be known to have many workplace issues and changes. These workplace issues are going to keep you busy and have your bringing about many changes in the overall functioning of your office. We have put together a list of the changes that you are likely to see and what you can do to manage them. Here’s everything you need to know and be prepared for in the year of 2018.

Striking A Balance Between In-house And Freelance Employees
A lot of companies and corporate organizations are now hiring freelance employees for odd jobs like social media management, blogging, product photography and other jobs rather than employing full-time in-house employees for the same. While being able to hire freelance employees to get certain jobs done can prove to be a real boon, not being able to strike a balance between the in-house employees and freelance ones can be an absolute nightmare for the management.
 The overall office environment needs to be set up in such a way that external and internal collaboration become easy and hassle-free. You need to make sure that your office has a document depository space where both in-house and freelance employees are able to access documents as per their requirements. Further, in-house employees need to be trained in such a manner that they are absolutely secure with their job and can coordinate with freelance employees as opposed to getting hostile with them due to job insecurities.
Being More Digitally Efficient
Let’s be honest, the whole world is gradually moving on to digital interactions. Whether it’s billing processes or HR forms or reports, most organizations are opting for the digital methods in keeping such documentation ready and handy. Nobody in today’s day and age likes to get paperwork done in the ancient and bureaucratic way that is ridiculously time-consuming and very exhausting. Additionally, having piles of forms, reports and other paperwork can turn out to be a painful storage issue. You will require cabinets, storage spaces and files to keep the papers in order. Employees who have been in the organization for years on end but aren’t comfortable with changing technologies should be offered basic training courses in digital management of paperwork. Further, new employees who are used to being digitally efficient and lack the skills of handling bureaucratic paperwork may begin to lose job satisfaction if your organization isn’t working towards making the switch. Hence, it is absolutely essential that you and your organization keep up with changing times and become more digitally practical and efficient.
Changing Corporate Culture
In earlier times an office space typically meant a 9 to 5 desk job, dull and drab surroundings and limited interaction with other employees of the organization. Over the years this old school corporate culture has seen a massive change. Offices today are more lively, vibrant, have far more flexible hours and are a lot more inspiringly and creatively designed. The walls are painted in bright and vibrant colors, the office is given a more motivating feel with the installation of faux trees, flowers, and plants. Installation of these lush green trees and plants in and around the office area helps employees work better and in a more relaxed manner. You can get some beautiful faux landscaping products like bonsai trees, flower arrangements, ficus plants, bougainvillea plants, hanging baskets, sunflowers, hedges, bushes and lots more to decorate your office and make the surroundings more energetic to work in. The employees of today like to work in office setups that have character and charm.
More Focus On Employee Mental Health
We live in stressful times where money problems are on the rise, mental illnesses are as common as a tooth cavity and having high blood pressure is extremely common amongst employees. A lot of employees have pending student loans, home loans and piling credit card bills that keep on getting bigger due to the accumulating interest. This further results in high-stress levels and high blood pressure in the employees. A large number of individuals today are even facing and battling mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and others. A lot of employers offer free in-house therapy sessions to their employees. The HR manager is trained to handle psychological and mental issues. Bosses today are even helping their employees pay off their student loans to reduce the stress levels of their employees. If your office isn’t prepared to battle the high-stress levels and the growing psychological issues of employees, it is about time you took some action and brought about some changes in your office to be able to handle such situations tactfully.

Embracing Diversity Is The Need Of The Hour
Organisations today are a lot more welcoming to women employees, employees from different races and cultures and so on. Racism is pretty much no longer acceptable globally in the corporate world. Gender pay gaps are also not accepted by employees any more. Men and women from different cultures and races are now paid more or less the same salary for the same job. Unlike olden times, where men were given a higher salary than women for the same job or designation, now the pay scales are more or less equal. Further, organizations are now employing people from different cultures and backgrounds without any hassles or apprehensions. If your organization is not yet prepared to handle cultural differences and embrace diversity, it is about time that you make some changes in the organization, or be ready for a civil suit being filed against you and the organization.
In order to keep up with changing times, you also need to bring about some drastic changes in your workplace. Employees today are a lot more aware of their rights, the laws and so on. You need to manage workplace issues in a practical and efficient way if you want your organization to grow and rake in more profits.
 Handle workplace issues in a more practical, efficient and sensible manner by making small tweaks and changes in the basic functioning of the office.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Mothers Day Plans

As I've become older, wiser and grumpier I've grown less fond of  the likes of Mothers Day etc. Although it is a nice way to show our love and appreciation for our mothers, I think to some extent the overall sentiment has been lost. A part of me can't help thinking it's a big commercial money making scam but the other half enjoys making the time to spend with my mum and now my own children.
Many of the Mothers Day themed gifts in the shops are not my cup of tea and I wonder what an earth anyone will do with them once Mothers Day is over. I know some mums will love the mothers day themed gift and others won't be so keen. It's a personal preference.

This Mothers Day will be my first as a mama of two little ones, which I'm very excited about. The best Mother's Day present for me is that Nola is currently doing really well and has been seen seizure free since 18th January. That is all I could ever ask for, for my baby to be as healthy as she can possibly be! And this Mothers Day as it our first mothers day she will be wearing this very special personalised romper from Teether Baby Wear who have a range of baby and childrens wear, from personilised items to parent and baby sets. I feel that this Mothers Day is extra special not only because I have two children to spend it with but also because Nola has been through a lot and as mentioned above she is currently doing well.
So what are our plans for Mothers Day? Not a lot really, what I would like is to have a lay in and a nice little breakfast with the kiddos. Later on we will head over to my mums to spend some time with her and go out for lunch or dinner. I'm not sure where yet as the chain restaurants obviously get very busy. Last year we ended up in McDonalds because Eliot was adamant we were going there after there was no space in Pizza Express. It saved another melt down!
I still haven't bought my mum anything yet, all organised with cards as I bought them a few weeks ago. I find my mum one of the hardest people to buy things for, so if you have any suggestions please leave a comment!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Today is Rare Disease Day!

When Nolas' seizure activity had just begun (November 2017)

Until January this year I'd not heard of  Rare Disease Day. I say I'd not heard of it but what I'm sure I mean is that it has probably cropped up on one of my social media feeds at some point but I'd not really taken much notice because it didn't affect me. As selfish as it sounds that is likely to be the honest truth.
However this year it does affect me, it affects us as a family. Nola has a rare condition, something that will be with her for life, something that we're still getting our heads round.
 At this point in time we have no idea to the extent she will be affected. She could have a poorer quality of life or she could lead a near to normal life, only time will tell with her rare condition.
What we do know is that she'll probably be on medication for life to help control seizures that are caused by multiple growths in and on her brain. These will need monitoring and possibly in the future two will need some sort of intervention. That is just one of the aspects of the rare condition, that I haven't named yet because we are still waiting for genetic blood tests to confirm it.
Rare Disease Day takes place on the last day of February every year. Did you know that 1 in 17 people in the UK have a rare disease? Not as rare as you may think but there are thousands of rare diseases, most are not curable. So the aim of the day is to raise awareness of rare diseases to make the public more aware of the challenges some people face and encourage more research.
I will always remember Rare Disease Day now. Nola is my 1 in 17.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate comments and read all of them!