Kids – They are unpredictable!

No matter what age your kids are there is one thing that can be guaranteed. They can be very unpredictable. You will have carefully laid plans and without warning one of them will throw a giant spanner in the works. This weekend has been proof of that fact.

Very early Friday morning Mr S and I were supposed to be heading for a boozy weekend away in The Netherlands. My sister had kindly agreed to mind my kids. She had planned a full itinerary that was going to keep them entertained in our absence.

Thursday night we were all packed and ready to go. Hoping to get a reasonable nights sleep before we had to get up early for the long journey. (We would be travelling with a large groups by coach and ferry).

Well….that’s when our middle child threw a giant metaphorical spanner at us. Four and a half hours before we were due to leave we found him having a seizure. He has no history of having one in the past so you can imagine how much this took us by surprise. Forget sleepy dreams about heading off for our weekend away we were now heading to the hospital.

Fortunately our Son is okay, and typical him can’t quite understand what all the fuss is about. He’s a typical overgrown 15 year old that thinks Mum fusses to much. He has minimal recollection of having a seizure only the paramedic telling him he was heading to the hospital.

As yet we have no idea what caused the seizure, he does have type 1 diabetes so it could have been hypo related. His blood sugar levels however were not actually that low. We do know it wasn’t an infection as those tests came up clear. There is also a history of Epilepsy within our family. I had it as a child and so did his sister. We both grew out of it. Usually though everyone is allowed an isolated seizure before doctors will diagnose Epilepsy. We do have a follow up appointment at a ‘first seizure’ clinic so that might provide some clues.

Technically we probably could have still made the coach for our trip away as we didn’t have to wait too long in Hospital to be seen. Both Mr S and I though didn’t feel we could leave our Son with my sister. Not that she isn’t capable, but we would have spent the whole weekend worrying.

I would be lying if part of me wasn’t disappointed about cancelling our trip, that’s just natural though as anyone would be. We have decided to make the best of the situation though and instead have a staycation doing some things with the kids.

My sister also now gets to go to Wembley for a football match tomorrow instead of minding my tribe.

Today we had a lovely sunny walk across the local fields to eat lunch at the Wilkin & Sons Tearooms In Writtle.

Once lunch had settled the boys also went swimming.

Tomorrow we plan on heading to the Secret nuclear bunker in Kelvedon Hatch which is actually something we have been saying for ages that we fancied doing.

This was definitely not how we had been planning to spend weekend. I’m not sad about it though as I’m always complaining about my “working mum guilt”. Fate clearly wanted me to spend some quality time with the kids rather than having a piss up!

5 Things In May

It’s been a little while since I have had time to write. Lots has been happening in my life, I thought then It would be a good idea to share some of the highlights with you in one post. So here goes….

I Ran My First 10k

On the 9th of May I achieved a huge personal goal. Along with my sister Michelle, AKA marathon runner, and Husband Chris who completes triathlons, I ran my first 10k. 

We took part in a runthrough chase the sun event at The Olympic Park in Stratford. 

I am so proud of myself especially as I had to push through the last km. My calf’s were starting to feel like I had weights attached to them, yup it hurt! 


My Fourteen Year Old Son is Taller than Me!

The difference In these two photographs is crazy. Since the second picture was taken he has grown even taller. 

This dawned on me the other day. Harrison has always been cheeky, however on this occasion he was being a bit too cheeky. I was telling him off and he was looking down at me! What!!! 

No wonder he has been eating me out of house and home. 



I Finally Finished ‘Me After You’ 

This was such a great book. It is the sequel to Jo Jo Moyes bestseller ‘Me before You’. Set a couple of months on, after Will takes his own life, the book tackles grief and whether you are able to move on. It has a somewhat humerous approach whilst managing not to make light of the subject matter. 

At times I did want to give the main character Louise a good old shake, other times I just wanted to hug her. 


I have been channeling my inner Marie Kondo

My head is in that place where I’m feeling it’s time to get my home and life organised. 

I have been having a good old clear out and a reorganise of my storage. I just want everything organised so that I can eventually be more productive with my time. The sight of all these neatly folded tops makes me so happy. 

Infinity War Was AMAZING!!

Okay so technically this was released in April, but it was May before we went to see it. 

It was such a good film. It’s not often the outcome of a film leaves you speechless. I left the cinema thinking ‘I don’t know how I feel about that!’ 

To be honest I’m still reeling at what happened and cannot wait into the second part next year. 

This is hands down my favourite Marvel film so far! 

So that’s at little update of what’s been happening In my life recently. 

My Sunday Photo


This was my Friday evening… It was a very abnormal evening for me… I sat on the living room floor and played Lego with my 10 year old. 

Here’s the thing, I can’t remember the last time I sat and played with one of my children. It probably would have been a game of Monopoly though? 

Usually when asked my response can vary from, ‘Im too tired’ or ‘I have jobs to do’. Worst of all I can find myself panicking at my complete lack of imagination. I sometimes feel Ive actually forgotten how to play. What was different this time though? 

We had just sat and watched Channel 5’s Rich House, Poor House and It really struck a cord with me. 

In this particular episode the Rich family had a huge disposable income. They worked crazy hours to achieve that. This meant they could provide their Kids with a Big house, expensive golf lessons, money to spend on whatever material possessions they wanted. Guess what though? They rarely spent any time together. Sitting down for a meal at the same time was unheard of. 

Swapping their lives with the ‘poor’ family forced them to live in closer proximity to one another and actually spend time together. The kids described the experience as having ‘had fun’ that week. 

Our family live a fairly average but comfortable life. My Husband and I work full time. Any free time we get is precious. We do try to take them for days out as often as possible. 

The kids don’t get everything they want but money isn’t a worry. They have a warm roof over their heads, clean clothes on their backs and don’t go hungry. They don’t have to miss out on school trips because we can’t afford it. That is unless it’s the annual letter home  about the bloody £900 ski trip. Yeah…not happening! 

My point though is that kids aren’t any happier for all the material stuff. It’s the quality time spent with them that makes them happy. Watching rich house, poor house reminded me of this. 

So when Jed asked me to play Lego with him on Friday evening, I squashed the initial ‘ughhh I’m too tied’ reaction. Jed was thrilled. Two hours of Lego building fun later I realised that I had also actually had fun. I will definitely be saying ‘Yes’ to play more often. 

My Sunday Photo | #2

My daughter will probably hate me for sharing this photo. To me though it shows her happy and relaxed, laughing with her Dad. He was teasing her about how much rent she will have to pay now she has joined the world of work. (None yet she is going to be on a very modest apprentices wage FYI) 

This photo was taken whilst out for dinner celebrating that fact. We had all just raised our glasses in a toast to her. 

Molly started her placement for her Hairdressing apprenticeship just this week. We also collected her GCSE results meaning that those final ties with school and childhood have begun to be cut. 

My baby is all grown up and that terrifies me. Last week saw the book shutting on one chapter of her life and another one opening. This will bring with it the independence that carving out her career and earning her own money is going to bring. 

It signifies that she is no longer a little girl who is going to be reliant on her parents for everything. I say that Laughing, because guess who does all her ironing and makes sure she comes home to a hot meal? Mummy and Daddy! 

Whilst I still can though I will. I can remember what a shock to the system working full time was.

Molly wasn’t the most academic of kids. She is very creative and ambitious though. After taking part in her Schools work experience scheme she found something she  knew she would enjoy, becoming a hairdresser. I’m proud that she has gone out and found herself the opportunity to fulfill this ambition. 

She had a few knock backs finding the right training route. The local College turned her down originally because her predictive grades weren’t strong enough. Unfazed Molly decided that an apprenticeship within a salon would be better for her. I’m 100% supportive of her decision. In the long run I think it will work out for the better. 

Ironically she did actually achieve the grades to get onto the College course she had applied for. She is no A* student but I’m proud of her achievements so far. 

Molly is at a very exciting and scary point in her life. Once she has finished her training there will be so many opportunities available to her. I hope she seizes everyone of them. 

Mini-Egg Rocky Road |A Kid friendly No-Bake Make

This very sinful but tasty treat combines two of my favourite things, classic Rocky Road and Cadburys mini-eggs. It’s super easy to make a kept my son entertained and away from his Nintendo DS yesterday afternoon. 

When I shared a picture of them on Instagram it got a lot of interest so I thought I’d share the recipe. 

The basic recipe I use I came across a couple of years ago through BBC Food. I tend to change up what I add to my Rocky road depending on what I might have in the cupboards. 

I usually like to add some from of dried fruit such as glacé cherries or cranberries if it’s Christmas time, as it is nearly Easter we went with the mini eggs instead of a fruit element. 

Ingredients 

  • 200g Digestives
  • 100g Mini Marshmallows 
  • 125g Unsalted Butter
  • 3 TBL Spoons Golden Syrup
  • 200g Dark Chocolate 
  • Bag Mini Eggs

Method 

Melt the chocolate, butter and syrup in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir till smooth and remove from heat.

Break up digestive biscuits into small pieces and add to pan with the Marshmallows. (If I was using cherries I would usually add them at this point).

Mix well until everything is evenly coated with the chocolate mixture. 

Transfer to a foil lined tin, (this makes it easier to remove later as it’s can be sticky). 

Decorate with your mini eggs. 

Allow to set in fridge for at least 2hrs. 

Remove from fridge and with and dust with icing sugar. 

Lift out of pan using edges of foil, then cut into 16 pieces. 

Enjoy! Just try not to eat it all at once! I failed and ate about 3 pieces, #SorryNotSorry! 

#MummyMonday | Pokemon Go the bane off my life??

Unless you’ve been under a rock somewhere remote you can’t fail to have noticed the latest craze that is Pokemon Go. My two boys are obsessed, and to be quite frank they are driving me up the wall.

Honestly If I had a pound for everytime I heard “Mum, Mum, MUM!! Can we go look for Pokemon?” I’d be rich. It’s fair to say that at times its doing my head in. 

Now as weird as it may sound after that little moan, I actually think that the Pokemon Go app is a good thing. Let me tell you why. 

Just before the school summer holidays I wrote a blog post talking about how difficult I found it to keep the boys Screen time down to an acceptable limit. Pokemon Go does require a smartphone, which I class as screen time, but here’s the difference, it is actually encouraging the boys to not want to sit on their bottoms and get out and about more. 

If the boys have a Pokemon egg they want to hatch then they are desperate to go out for a walk as walking a certain distance is the only way to hatch Pokemon eggs. This is great as it means they are much more active and getting some fresh air. See here’s one they hatched earlier. I couldn’t tell you what Pokemon it is though.


It’s not just the kids that are benefiting from this as we have made a habit of going for a family post dinner walk now. I’m getting out for regular walks as well. 

I make the time to go out with the kids as having heard a few horror stories about people being the victims of muggings or more bizarrely managing to walk off cliffs (how??)  whislt playing Pokemon go I am reassured that they are safe. 

Even when I’m with the boys I am constantly having to remind them about road safety. 

This may also sound like an over reaction but if I see a group of what I consider to be undesirables ahead of us I make the kids put the phone away till we have passed them. Okay I’m judging people by appearance and body language but it’s important for the kids to understand that there are people out there that would be more than happy to steal their phone given half the chance. So why advertise the fact you have one on you? 

One thing I’m not so keen on when it comes to Pokemon Go, well…that’s the cartoon itself. Yup it’s available for viewing on Netflix, and Oh My God it’s annoying! I’m definitely not up for cuddles on the sofa watching that. 

So yes the constant “Mum Mum MUM! Can I check Pokemon Go ?” is blooming annoying, but it has found a positive place in our lives. 

#MummyMonday | How well are the kids brushing their teeth? 

Have you ever wondered how well your kids are brushing their teeth? Especially if they are no longer of an age that it’s appropriate to be standing over them and supervise whilst they brush. 

Well I recently discovered a handy little bit of kit that can help check the cleanliness of your kids teeth at home, thanks to some advice from our dentist. 

The Plaque bacteria that causes tooth decay can often be colourless, so is hard to spot. Boots Advanced plaque disclosing tablets cost just £2 for a box of 10. After brushing, get your child to chew on one of the tablets (without swallowing) and then rinse with water. 


The disclosing agent shows areas of plaque bacteria that have been missed when brushing by staining the bacteria red for newer plaque and blue for older plaque. 
With all my kids they were brushing most of their mouth well, even those hard to reach back ones, but for some reason would miss the gum line of top two front teeth. 

Actually being able to show them the bacteria has been a bit of a light bulb moment. I’m able to say to them “you’ve missed that bit, go back and brush again till the stain is gone”. This is a great way to visually teach your kids how to brush their teeth thoroughly. 

I wish I’d known about disclosing tablets years ago. You see, it also leaves no room for getting away with that teeth brushing dodging phase they all seem to go through. Yes!!! The kids are very aware now that mummy has a tool for random checking of teeth cleanliness. These tablets will catch them out. Mwahhhhahah! 

Now be prepared, these pictures aren’t pretty but this is the difference in the quality of teeth brushing when they can see the bacteria. 


I highly recommend you trying this out at home with your kids. Mine have actually found the whole process really funny and almost like a game. The prize being they have improved their brushing skills. Yes they still aren’t perfect but the proof of their improvement is in the pictures.

#MummyMonday | That damn Xbox!

One of the most difficult things I find about being a parent in 2016 is controlling the level of screen time my kids partake of. If they had their own way they could happily spend a day divided between playing on the Xbox, watching YouTube, Netflix or playing Angry Birds on a hand held device. 

It’s not even done quietly now, as thanks to Xbox live and those darn gaming headsets they are shrieking their heads off in the living room with their virtual mates. It feels like my living room is being invaded by a bunch of rautious 12 year olds. 

Oh and before you say ‘But you let them have them, stop moaning’ The Xbox is actually their fathers (who never gets a look in now, ha ha) and a well meaning grandparent supplied the headset. Thanks!! You don’t have to listen to it! 

I’m fairly strict about the rules surrounding levels of usage, however my kids are crafty little buggers and always try and bend said rules. I’d be lying if I said they hadn’t got one past me on more than one occasion. 

My two boys are both early birds, so a favourite trick is to creep downstairs  and play on it whilst Mummy and Daddy are still asleep.  

We’ve tried unplugging all the devices but no, they are more technologically savvy than we are and so have figured out how to connect it all up again. Without fail they will be happily playing on the Xbox when our morning alarm goes off. For how long?? Your guess is a good as mine. Yes, I know, that makes me sound like a terrible parent. 

My answer at the moment is to lay down a ‘to do list’ before they are allowed to go near the Xbox. At least it then limits some of their available time. 

  • Tidy room
  • Homework done 
  • Ready for school
  • Practise guitar 

If I find out they have skipped on anything then nasty mummy will ban them from any further screen usage until the next day. 

I won’t lie I find that option a complete pain in the bum as then I’m constantly getting ‘I’m bored’ or ‘I don’t know what to do’. 

When did kids lose their imagination? 

The summer holidays are coming up and I’m determined that it won’t be spent in front of a screen. Their lack of imagination though is going to mean mummy coming up with activities that they won’t turn their noses up at. Help??

I reckon I’m going to be exhausted by September. 

If you have any suggestions, that don’t involve robbing a bank, send them my way please. 

So far I’m thinking of visiting a local maize maze, den building, and heaven forbid the rain stops visiting the beach. 

Let’s cause Mummy worry!| Emergency Hospital Admission for DKA! 

Just when you thought managing a diabetic child’s  condition wasn’t challenge enough, the pre teen hormones kick in and it’s a bit like the poop hitting the fan. 

So this wasn’t what I had planned to write about today but as I’ve committed to blog everyday in May and Im unprepared whislt stuck in hospital with my Son I’m improvising. 

We are currently, fingers crossed, coming out the tail end of a DKA (diabetic ketoacidodis) after two stints of being placed on DKA protocol treatment. 

I have had one very sick young man on my hands and I’m not going to lie he scared me this time. Even when he was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes he wasn’t this poorly. 

Initially it was thought Harrison had a sickness bug, which in itself can cause complications but after 3 days of continued sickness and no body else becoming ill, well this couldn’t be the cause. 

No Harrison was in the early stages of DKA, the sickness was actually one of the symptoms that he was deteriorating and untreated this could have been life threatening. 

The Doctor’s suspect that due to his age and the increased hormones and growth spurts this meant his levels have been rising overnight for a prolonged period of time meaning his body wasn’t getting enough insulin. 

Instead of using insulin to absorb blood sugar for energy his body was breaking down fat. The harmful waste product of this process is ketones. 

As it stands the doctors have treated the DKA and are now working on getting his insulin dose increased to the right level. Fingers crossed it is enough and we don’t have a third day of going through the protocol again. 

Let’s hope that things will be resolved very soon. Though I think I’m in for an interesting few years of keeping on top of his control. Oh yes as well as all those other teenage challenges! Wish us luck!

#MummyMonday – The one with the hide ‘n seek fail!

Yesterday was a lovely sunny Sunday, prompting us to take a family walk over the nearby woods and playing fields. All was going well, we had bought ice creams, taken customary Instagram shot and no one was squabbling. Yay happy times! 

  

Ice creams eaten, we went into the woods, the youngest then wanted to play a game of hide ‘n seek. Okay all sounds like a bit of harmless fun, right? Yup, that’s when it all when a bit wrong. 

Jed was going to hide first, so off he went. We could see he hadn’t gone far as Mummy and Daddy were cheating watching him in the reflection of each other’s sunglasses. My Husband had watched him go off behind some trees so we were loudly making a pretence of checking behind some of the bigger trees we knew he hadn’t gone behind, stupidly confident that we knew where he was hiding. 

Hang on a minute though, WHERE THE HELL IS HE? He was literally there a second ago but had vanished. 

Jed is 9, so he’s not a baby anymore, he is my baby though and I still struggle not to think of him as such. My baby had just vanished!

I kept saying to my husband,

“he was there, he can’t have got far”

so we carried on looking. After what felt like a very long ten minutes, but was probably only five, the panic started to set in. We literally had no clue where he was. 

Our eldest who is 14 was starting to get cranky and was unhelpfully shouting her head off. 

“Jed this isn’t funny anymore, come out”

Yes thanks for the help darling, that’s going to make him come out from his hiding place, NOT! 

At this point off we had set in various different directions (thank technology for mobile phones, no one else was going to get lost) calling his name and pleading with him to come out. Nope, still no sign of him. 

It was getting to the point my brain is starting to tell me he’s been kidnapped, yes I was really starting to panic. 

Thank god this was not the case though. 

The little Bugger can run! 

He had done a complete 180 on us and had run round the outside of the woods and across playing fields to the other entrance to the woods, Mummy and Daddy were looking in completely the wrong place.

It  was our other son, along with some school friends who found him in the end, after being dispatched to help find him. Thanks boys! 

Fortunately all was well, and Jed hadn’t even realised the panic he had caused. Mummy and Daddy though were very close to calling the police and reporting him missing. 

Just imagine that phone call! 

‘Um yes officer, we were playing hide and seek with our 9 year old, and now we’ve lost him’ 

Not my finest moment as a parent! 

At least I can see the funny side of it now. Though I’m not sure if I will agree to a game of hide ‘n seek in the woods again in a hurry. 

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