Friday, 15 June 2018

The Golden Hinde London

If you're in London or not too far away,The Golden Hinde in Southwark is one of London's many things to do and is part of a perfect trip out for any pirate/history fans. 
 Eliot has always enjoyed being out and about across the capital and loves the varied sights of what the capital has to offer. Lately, he has been particularly fond of London’s historic sights and revels on the background stories and facts behind them. One of his favourite historic subjects at present is pirates and ships.  So when we mentioned paying the Golden Hinde a visit he was very keen! Especially when his dad told him stories and facts about of one of history’s most famous Elizabethan sea captains, Sir Francis Drake and the mighty ship, he couldn't wait to get there!
Situated on the historic banks of Southwark, moments from London Bridge Station, and under the shadows of the gothic majestic Southwark Cathedral, The Golden Hinde is an exact replica of the real thing and is moored perfectly to where many boats and ships of the time would have docked.
Below deck is very tight and apart from Eliot, the rest of us had to duck down as we explored the lower decks. It really gives you a feel for how difficult and awful it would have been for the crewman who manned the guns as explosions and chaos rumbled around the ship. The living and sleeping quarters  were extremely cramped which makes you wonder how the crew coped. 
Being a grumpy, bossy captain!

We enjoyed our trip to the Golden Hinde and learning about the different parts of the ship and what they would have been used for.
The Golden Hinde is open daily but do check the website as they close for private functions, you can also see what's on as they have special events on certain days. The day we visited there was a pirate training activity!
Jumping with excitement!

Have you visited the Golden Hinde?
*We received free entry in exchange for a blog post

Friday, 8 June 2018

Nola's 6, 7, 8 & 9 Month Update!

Nola you are now nine months old, the same amount of time you were growing inside me. I'm sorry I haven't kept up to date with your updates, there wasn't any big changes between five and six months so I thought I'd pick things up again at seven months, then eight months and before I knew it here we are at nine months old!
You have grown a lot, especially your hair it's getting thicker and thicker! You have become more smiley, you 'talk' a lot making an 'aahhh' sound and you have continued to work hard at holding objects and rolling over. You have been rolling all the time these past couple of weeks and you're getting pretty good at it, you did bump your head at the weekend and bruised your head.

Seizure wise they made a come back unfortunately. When you were six months old I noticed when you were sleeping sometimes you eyes would open and then flicker, I was pretty sure they were seizures. So I sent a video over to the epilepsy nurse, I didn't hear back but then received a letter for an appointment at Addenbrookes with the paediatric neurologist, it turned out the epilepsy nurse had forwarded the video to him. He put you on a third medication and told us he would see you again in July.
The next day you began to have infantile spasms again so called I the neuros secretary and explained. The Dr called me that evening and said we'd stick with the plan, which was introducing the third medicine over four weeks and that should hopefully stop the spasms.
 It didn't so our appointment was brought forward and we saw him again a couple of weeks ago and he said the next stop was to put you on steroids. I really didn't want to put you on these as the side effects aren't great. But the with the overall outcome of infantile spasms there really is was no other choice. You have been an absolute trooper on them though Nola, you've just been amazing so so good! Very quiet and dazed at times but you have been smiley at times too. The good news is they stopped the spasms quickly and they have kept away so far! We started to wean you yesterday on your nine month birthday so I'm hoping that will be ok as I know it can be difficult for some little ones.

I don't think your development has gone back, if it has only a little. You wanted to roll for ages and you're doing it consistently now! You also want to sit up by yourself, you're getting there. I know you'll do it, I'm so proud of you! You're still not overly keen to use you hands, although you'll bash things and try to grab them if you're in the mood. A few weekends ago you mastered blowing raspberries and couldn't stop doing it! You haven't done it as much since you started the steroids.
 You cut your first tooth just after you turned six months and the second one followed shortly after!
In April you had your first trip abroad to Disneyland Paris, you were far better behaved than your big brother! It was such a nice getaway, not in anyway relaxing but wonderful to getaway...Disney is magical!
We were chosen to be ambassadors for Turtle Tots which is very exciting! We started our swimming lessons in May but have stopped for now due to your immune system being suppressed whilst on steroids. You love being in the water and did lots of splashing around.
 I moved you up to size 4 nappies at some point but discovered today you still fit in a size 3! 
Wearing purple for world epilepsy awareness day!

Nothing has changed about your appetite! You still love milk and of course I started weaning you at six months. I gave you different vegetables first, broccoli, potato, carrot, cauliflower, parsnip, peas, green beans. You liked most of them but broccoli made you heave he first time, you were fine after that though. You definitely prefer sweet though as you can't get enough of fruit and yogurt! You are loving eating solids!
Milk is still very much a favourite, you have three to four bottles a day 5-6oz, I mix a bit with one of your medicines in the morning and at night. I have been putting some of steroid doses in.  

Mostly you sleep through the night but there have been a few times you've woken up very early, to be fair you happily lay there kicking your legs and playing with your feet. Mostly you have been waking around 7am.

I can update your weight this time! You were weighed at the hospital a couple of weeks ago and were 8.16kg = 17lbs9oz which is lighter than I thought you were!

You are mainly in 6-9 month clothes but also wearing some 9-12 month bits.
More Nicknames
The nicknames keep coming!  Here are what came out last time and below there's more!     

30. Kee Kee
31. Kee-Kai
32. Beauty
33.Beauty Weauty
34. Tutti Fruitti
35. Pumbles
36. Kee-Kai
39.Poochie Woochie
40.Poochie Woocha

With big bro at Hampton Court Palace
Your Likes
  • You still love snuggly cuddles...I do too!
  • Milk and food
  • Bath time still makes you happy and now swimming does too
  • You love being out and about
  •  Watching trees, they make you very excited for some reason
  • Big brother playing with you (when he's not being too rough!)
Your Dislikes
  • Waiting for milk or food
  • Still not a fan of being dressed or undressed, although you don't grumble as much
  • Still being disturbed
In all honesty there's not a lot you kick up a fuss about right now, you are so chilled!

    That's it my darling girl, until next time!


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

My Car History*


My beloved Mini!
Ever since I was a child I have always wanted to drive so when I started driving lessons just after my seventeenth birthday I couldn't wait to pass my test. Just the thought of being able to get to places by myself whenever I needed or wanted was very exciting. It did take me around nine months to be ready to take the practical test but I passed first time as I had with the theory test. I also already had a second hand car that I'd practiced driving in with my dad, often with some arguing.
But how I loved my first car, a Vauxhall Nova. I remember so well the first journey I drove by myself after passing my test. It was a short drive down to my friends house. It felt amazing being independent albeit a little nerve wracking driving completely alone. My trusty Nova was in my life for the next three years until it was in an accident and sadly written off.
Next I ventured down the new car route, I'd been saving for a while so had a deposit could afford the monthly finance payments. My second car and first 'big purchase' was a Renault Clio. How exciting it was ordering a brand new car, I had to wait a few weeks before it was ready to be picked up, I still clearly remember that day and how I stalled it doing a right hand turn on to the main road as I left the show room! I kept it until 2011 when I decided I wanted a new car, a Mini  to be specific! I bought it before I sold my Clio and again absolutely loved it, even though I had no idea about the 'Stop/Start' function when I first drove it and was confused when the engine cut out when I stopped at traffic lights! I only had it for a year and a half before I sold it due to wanting/needing a five door car when pregnant with Eliot. As my parents were getting a new car they gave me their old one, a Nissan Almera. It saved me from paying out for another car and was ideal for a growing family. When I went back to work full time I decided to go down the new car route again and went for a Renault Captur. My Clio had been reliable and efficient so I was happy to go back to a car brand I'd driven before.  It's still the car I'm driving today.
I feel lucky that with all the cars I've had, I've not had any major issues (touch wood), only problems to do with batteries. The worst case being with the Almera when the battery was cutting out when I was driving which wasn't great and also a little scary on a dual carriageway!
Of course I've replaced a fair few tyres, sometimes with the MOT highlighting the fact they needed changing. I knew worn tyres were pretty dangerous but wasn't aware that tyre blowouts are one of the main causes of car accidents. I've admitted before that I'm not the best at safety checks with my car which is why it's useful to have my dad frequently reminding me. Sometimes it's a bit of a pain to get car jobs done etc which is why it is helpful to book online. If you need new tyres you can reserve tyres online & get free professional tyre fitting from Iverson Tyres Ltd. in London. 
It's really important to do regular car safety checks, such as making sure your tyres are the correct pressure and the tread is not worn beyond the legal limit.
How often do you do car safey checks?

Thursday, 10 May 2018

We Are A Turtle Tots 2018 Ambassador

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen last week that I announced Nola and I were chosen to be one of the Turtle Tots ambassadors for 2018. I was thrilled when I received the email to say we had been selected.
 I have swam myself for as long as I can remember, weekly lessons at my local pool throughout my childhood and as part of PE in primary school. It was a hobby that gave me confidence as it was something I was good at. I always knew that when I became a parent I wanted my own children to swim, one of the main reasons being that it is a life skill. I took Eliot to lessons a couple of months before he turned two then had to stop as the parent & toddler lessons were only on weekdays and I was going back to work full time. When he was three he started lessons again and has been going ever since.
When Nola came along I knew that at some point I wanted her to begin lessons and she has a lot sooner than I expected! We've had a our second lessons with Turtle Tots and she is loving being in the water! As well as being a skill that could save your life and a way to exercise, baby swimming offers many more benefits that I hadn't looked into. The physical benefits include building strength and motor skills. The classes also benefit social and emotional development too, you can read more about their benefits here.
We'll let you know how we get on in our lessons over the next few weeks and keep an eye out for a chance to win a £50 voucher for Turtle Tots swim products and a free taster lesson!   

Friday, 4 May 2018

Having A Baby*

I have always known since I was a little girl that I wanted to become a mother. When I was older I did have the worries, 'would I meet someone', 'would it happen for me', 'would it be difficult to get pregnant'?
In my third year of university I missed a period, not because I was pregnant (that was impossible) and started freaking out. Could I be going through the early menopause? I went to the doctor, who was very unprofessional, as well as answering the phone and swearing at his colleague he also laughed in my face when I asked if I could be going through early menopause. I swiftly changed my doctors surgery and after speaking to friends, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) came up. I made an appointment at my new doctors surgery and this time saw a much more understanding and professional doctor. I was referred for blood tests and when the results came back I had a higher level of testosterone than normal. I was then referred to endocrinology at the hospital and took a 24 hour urine test which my uni housemates thought was hilarious. I was also very specific about the day I did the test as I couldn't drink any alcohol which was a very important part of my social life back then! When the results came back they also showed some abnormalities and the endocrinologist said it was highly likely I had PCOS but didn't want to do any invasive scans at that point. As I wasn't planning to have any children in my final year of uni I was happy with that and the plan was for me to have a follow up appointment in a year. When my appointment came through I was actually moving back to my home town as I had finished my teaching degree and had a job. Since 2007 I have not returned to an endocrinology department.
PCOS was always at the back of my mind and I worried it would be difficult to fall pregnant. I always spoke about having a family and when a couple of my friends had babies it made me very broody. In 2012 the other half and I discussed trying for a baby, once my 30th birthday celebrations were out of the way.
Surprisingly I found out I was pregnant less than a month after my birthday. At an early scan the sonographer mentioned there were cysts on my right ovary.
I felt so lucky that it happened as I know that fulfilling the dream of having children is not always an easy journey.
I have friends that have gone down the IVF route  not only because it was hard to conceive but due to genetic reasons. For them I know it was a difficult time. I know that if I had struggled to conceive I would have certainly have seriously considered IVF.
Of course another option is adoption, not only for couples that can't conceive but same sex couples and single people too. Not everyone meets their so called 'the one' to bring up a family but that doesn't mean they can't become a parent, in addition to adoption there is the option of sperm banks and surrogacy. So how much does it cost to get sperm from a bank?  In the UK you're looking at around £800 for a vial of sperm through fertility centres such as Complete Fertility Centre in Southampton.
I can't imagine how painful it is not to have children when you so desperately want them. Fortunately there are options in this day and age to help people become parents and nobody's journey to parenthood is the same.

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