Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Paw Patrol Giveaway

If you have a Paw Patrol fan in your house then you will want to enter for a chance to win these Paw Patrol walkie talkie's.

I wanted to give something back to my reader's so I bought this little set for one of you to win. I do have another giveaway planned which will go live when this one ends so be sure to check back for that. To enter this giveaway please use the rafflecoptor below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will begin at 12:00, midnight 31st May 2018 and will end on the 21st June 2018 at 12:00, midnight. This is UK only. There will be only one winner who will be chosen at random via rafflecoptor. The winner will be notified via email and they will have 14 days to respond if they fail to respond another winner will be chosen. The prize will be sent out via 2nd class post. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Hair Loss After Baby Number 2

I've always had a thick head of hair, I have moaned about it for years. It's to heavy, it knots easily and it cost more to dye it. Hairdresser's like my hair they say it's easy to manage and to style, for them yes for me not so easy. I used to try all different ways to wear my hair until I had my daughter in 2016.

After I had Eryn I started to notice my hair had changed in texture and it looked rather dull. It was getting me down so I took a trip to the hairdresser's and while having my hair washed she asked me if I always lost this much hair? I lied and said yeah and explained I had just had a baby, inside I was dying. Once home I read up everything about Female hair loss. Although reading about it didn't make it any easier.

I began to obsess about the amount of hair I was losing every time I washed or brushed it. On the crown of my head it was noticeably thinner but thankfully I didn't have a bald spot. I took to either having my hair in a ponytale or a bun just so others didn't notice. After a few months I decided to speak to my doctor as I wasn't sure how much longer this hair loss would go on for. I was told that it was normal after having a baby but it could also be down to my current medical issues and stress.

It's been two years since it started and I still have an increase in the amount of hair I'm losing but I've come to terms with it a bit more now. I use less products on my hair and I don't brush it, luckily with my wavy curly hair it looks ok and doesn't need a brush. I have gone for a better shampoo that contains less harmful chemicals, but I alternate between one bought from a hairdresser's and one from lush. My crown is still a lot thinner than other parts of my hair I learning to just accept it and until I have a bald patch I'm stuck on what I can do.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

My Life Sentence

Ok so maybe the header sounds a bit dramatic but having a condition such as an under active thyroid is something you have for life. In 2008 it was discovered that I have Hashimoto thyroiditis which is an autoimmune condition and happens to be a common cause for hypothyroidism. I wasn't informed that my hypothyroidism was a result of Hashimoto's until two weeks ago, it took ten years for them to inform me. However I was told in 2010 that I had an under active thyroid yet another two and a half years before they thought to give me medication to help me. It is my understanding after spending years of nagging the GP and trawling through forums that GP's don't really have a clue when it comes down to thyroid issues.

When I began to get medication I didn't really notice much of a change as I had just had a baby who was very ill in hospital so everything I was feeling I put down to that. I never really understood my diagnosis at first and everything I looked up was just relating to my under active thyroid as I wasn't aware of the hashi's. I have been doing everything that people had recommend but recently things just weren't right and if you have an under active thyroid you will know when things just aren't right.

Since last year I have had several problems that I didn't associate with each other to begin with, the first was my gut. I was suffering a lot after eating with a sudden need to use the toilet and horrendous cramping I was tested for Crohn's and Coeliac which all came back clear but the matter died down after I made very little changes to my diet and eating habit's. The next issue was my joints and body in general just aching constantly to the point that I needed to take painkillers (something I never normally do) the issue giving me the post pain was my wrist so I was sent for an electrical conduction test on my arm to test for carpal tunnel, and I was also tested for arthritis. Again all was clear and no solution was given other than to not over do it and to lose weight. Yeah because losing weight is so easy when you have an under active thyroid! I also started to become extremely fatigued and yawn constantly which led to me making an appointment a few weeks ago.

I walked in sat down and told her I was not leaving her room until she referred me to a specialist as I can not continue living like this. I told her it was not normal for a 28 year old to want a nap during the day because they physically can not stay awake then to be tucked up in bed at 9pm later that night. I explained that over the past few weeks things had begun to get worse and I have been struggling to talk (Liam said I sounded drunk) and remember things. It was at this point she said 'Oh you have Hashimoto's' I looked at her with a blank face and replied with 'I've got what'. She went on to tell me that in 2008 when I lost my first son they had discovered that I have Hashimoto's and that somewhere while moving doctor's it had been coded differently and nobody had looked through my history on that matter. Great. My refferal was sent there and then and blood's were ordered to re-test for diabetes, I have type 2 now but I'll leave that for another day. I get to see my consultant on the 31st May which I'm actually really excited about as I will hopefully find some answer's and ways to deal with my ever growing list of symptoms. In the mean time I my medication of Levothyroxine has been increased from 150mcg to 175mcg which is the higher end of the scale.

I wanted to write this post as when I was first diagnosed I had no idea what it meant and if I'm honest I just thought it meant I was going to be fat all my life. I felt really lonely and when I told people they would say oh yeah my aunt has that or oh I think my other friend has that. I was never told how important the medication or how serious the condition can be. I wasn't aware of how I would always have this looming over my head and how my symptoms would come and go depending on a wide range of factor's such as temperature of diet. I'm glad that I now know I have hashi's as I can now learn how to deal with this and how I can hopefully get back to feeling somewhat normal. I will be writing up about my chin wag with the consultant so be sure to check back.   

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Phonics Screening

If you have a primary school aged child you may have heard a lot of talk about phonics, maybe even homework? Jared is in Year 1 so I'm relatively familiar with them but I have needed a bit of extra help to get my head round what they are and what it's all about. Clearly I wasn't the only one as his teacher held a phonics group for us parents to attend, the purpose of the lesson was so that us parents could help prepare our children for their upcoming phonics screening.

The phonics screening is for children in Year 1 and it is done so that the teachers and us parents can see how the kids are getting on and if they need any extra support. The screening consists of two parts and there are 40 words. Each child will read some words on each page to their teacher who can will then do the check, it takes around 5-10 minutes. The teacher is checking the child can sound out and blend the graphemes in order to read simple words, read phonically decodable one-syllable and two-syllable words such as dog and August, read a selection of nonsense words which are called pseudo words. The pseudo words are just made up words that can be decoded by their sound such as hild and tord. The nonsense words are shown and there will be a monster/alien picture and they will be asked what the name of the monster/alien will be called. If you have a Twinkl account you can download the flash cards (you can also make an account if you don't have one). Although it isn't a test about passing and failings the children need to have reached a certain level and that they are progressing. If they do not reach the required standard then plans will be made that will help the child and offer them additional support, parents would be spoken to about this, they will then re-sit the check the following summer term. Parents will be informed of the results, for our school we are told via our child's school report but you can ask the school how you will be informed if you are unsure.

There are some really good website that can help your child practice and for you to better understand.

As well as many helpful website there are also plenty of apps that children can use to help them with their phonics such as Jolly Phonics, ABC spelling, Phonics fun for kids and English and Phonics games. As previously mentioned if you speak to your child's teacher they should be able to give you more information and maybe even a resource pack.

Friday, 11 May 2018

5 Time's We Needed A Solution

I think everyone has at some point found themselves a little strap for cash. For most people they have a little money saved or family who can lend a hand. For those who don't it can be very stressful when that extra cash is needed. At time's in my life I have needed to use all our savings and also short term loans. The past few years has been a difficult one for us as we have had to put wedding plans on hold, I want to share with you 5 times when we have needed some extra cash.

1. Car troubles: when it comes to car's I have no luck at all. Things for us went really bad this year when on our way back from celebrating New Year's our car broke-down. I rang my mum who had added my car to her breakdown cover, to find out that she had forgot to add it. This meant that we had to find money to get home and fix our car. We had only had the car for 6 months when this happened I was devastated but luckily it was fixable, but such bad luck that both driveshafts had broke. We had to pay upfront for a full breakdown package but when it comes to renewing I will be looking on this breakdown comparison site.

2. Christmas: I'm normally prepared when it comes to Christmas as I shop all year round scouting the sales for potential gifts. However the Christmas just gone both our families wanted to come to us this lead to us needing to buy more cutlery and a lot of food. Our families chipped in a little but as we had been bouncing from Liam's family to mine for the past 6 years it was only fair we bought the most. Our solution to this was to up our overdraft limit.

3. Birthday's: With Jared now being in school we have partie's to attend and partie's to pay for and I now understand the stress of kids birthday parties. I like for Jared to choose what he wants to do for his party, last year he wanted Batman so we hired a hall, made food, party bags and hired Batman it was not as cheap as I had hoped. This year we set a limit and he chose a budget friendly party, but I have to make the party bags and cake. The day we went to pay we had a flat tyre which resulted in needing a new one (no car luck at all I told you) so we needed a solution. Short term loan was the best option for us.  Lender such as I find are great for situations like this especially when your in-between paydays.

4. Work: Who would think that working would make money issue's worse. When I changed job's I knew my wage would go down but it wasn't anything major so we thought it would be ok. Well we thought wrong, I don't know how both parents can work and juggle kids. I had to change from full time to part time, not to just spend more time with my kids but because I needed to find 4 different child care settings, I needed a childminder for my daughter to then take her to nursery and then a childminder to take my son to school then he would attend after school club. After pricing it all up we were looking at around £800 a month altogether. There isn't much flexibility in working hours nor much help for working parents. So I've left work but now we need to re-budget everything. We have been using CAB budgeting help.

5. The Unexpected: By this I mean everything and anything. As we currently have no savings we can't afford to just replace item's. This month my hoover broke on me, just in time for my dog to start malting everywhere. As we can't afford to go out and buy a new one we have been using our local freecycle website in the hopes that we will find a generous person gifting one, in the mean time we are lending my mum's when she isn't using it. Freecycle groups are great and we try to give as much as we can as we understand the struggles of life, if you search Facebook you should be able to find one for your area.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Birthday Party Drama's

This month Jared-David turns 6, ahh it's going too quick. We had been talking since his last birthday about what he wanted to do this year (apparently kids like to plan parties from the minute there last one ends). We had talked about a few affordable options and how many friends he could invite etc etc.

I had a voucher for a trampoline party and he seemed very keen on this idea, we then visited the place and it's was too far of a drive for anyone who would be coming. So we put a line through that one and looked at option 2.

Option 2 was a soft play party bus that would sit out the front of our house. Soft play and kids parties go hand in hand and it was a reasonable price too, £145 for 2 hours with food for 16 kids. I tried calling I sent emails and I was just ignored so they lost a customer because I needed to book something and I'd been chasing them for at least a month.

Option 3 was a simple at home party, bouncy castle in the garden with hot dogs chips and burgers. He could invite his whole class if he wanted but then the bouncy castle's were booked and I don't think I'd have enough cups for tea for the parents. Apprently that is a thing now too parents stay at parties?! Does this happen at yours or is it just my son's school's parents?

So what have we gone for? Bowling. Yep he wants a bowling party which is in just over 2 weeks, we booked it and paid for a set number of kids and handed the invites out. So far only 3 can come as my son's birthday clashes with the second bank holiday everyone has plan's. We couldn't have any other dates as it was booked up the week before. As a mum I feel awful not because we will lose money but because my son has already got upset that his cousin and 2 best friends can't come. It's like his 3rd birthday all over again. I just don't know what else to do but keep my fingers crossed that the others can come. I hate seeing my kids upset but apart from inviting random kids from the park to the party I feel I'm fighting a losing battle.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Cancer Research UK: Flowers

Wouldn't it be great if you could buy flowers for someone and give money to charity at the same time?!
Well you can actually and I'm not sure why this isn't something that hasn't already become a thing. I really love this idea and I think from now on when I buy flowers for friends and family my first stop will be Here.

We received a beautiful bouquet from cruk flowers. When the bouquet arrived it came with a vase and a teddy bear, not all bouquet's come with this so if ordering just have a read as it will state if it comes with anything. The flowers arrived via royal mail in a large box and packaged very securely. As you can see in the picture not all the flower's had opened which I was really happy with as some online flower companies send you flowers that don't have much life left in them. To ensure that we get the maximum amount of life from the bouquet we have followed the care guide that was included.

There are many different bouquet's and gifts to choose from on the website, whatever your budget you will be sure to find something. I think it's easier to justify spending that little extra as well as you know that a proportion of what your spending is going to Cancer Research UK. So if your going to give a gift please do look at there website first as even the smallest donation means a lot.