Thursday, 28 February 2013

Worlds worst Sea-Saw!!

We haven't been to the park in a while....With all the bad weather we've not been able to....So after school yesterday we decided to go for half an hour....It's on the way home so why not!

Walking in we saw there was a new Sea-Saw...Yay!!


Only problem was that it must of been built for children of giants or children with really long legs....lol


When they were sat on it (Becky could get on Ellie needed to be lifted on) Becky's feet were at least a foot from the ground....My children are not small for their age....5 & 10!! Stu and I got on and it was the perfect size for us...I'm 5ft 6....lol

So I ask you what is the point of a sea-saw that tall??
Especially when the rest of the playground is meant for smaller children.... 

I've emailed the local council asking them basically what were they thinking....I shall await their reply... 
 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Boredom Busters...

Here are a few ideas for activities for bad weather days as we seem to be having a lot of them lately!!

Masking tape play
Grab a roll or two of masking tape and you can create play areas....Make roads and tracks for toy cars or make a Hopscotch path on the carpet for an indoor game...The possibilities are endless.

Pizza party
Get the kids into the kitchen and make their own pizza...You could even make paper chef hats to wear...Either make your own pizza bases or buy a mix from the supermarket...Then let the kids go to town adding tomato sauce and their own mix of toppings. Everyone will have great fun designing their pizzas and what's more you've also then got tea sorted and the fun of eating them afterwards..

Puppet show


Find an old shoe box or cereal box and make it into your very own puppet theatre .....Cut out doors to open and then a hole or slit for children to hold up their puppets. You can use any finger puppets you already have or make some using drawings on card, glued to a lollipop stick or straw. 
Make different backdrops to set the scenes and then let the kids make up their very own puppet show....

Fashion passion
Find and revamp some old clothes to give them a colourful new lease of life.....Try tie dying old t-shirts, sewing on new buttons, ribbons or trims to clothes or making designs on them with fabric paints or pens.

Party games


Who says good old fashioned games have to be reserved for parties? Throw a 'Just Because Party' and play some old favourites such as musical statues, musical bumps, follow my leader or even pass the parcel!!

Room tidying competition
We love this one! This involves you setting a challenge for each child to see who can tidy their room in the fastest time. You can set a timer or simply count loudly until they have finished their tidying and the winner can choose what activity you do next. Genius!

Create a film



Let your children take charge of the video camera for an afternoon and create their own little film. Whether they star in it themselves or use their teddies/dollies/Lego men as characters - it's a great way to entice creative role-play and fill a few rainy hours at home. 

Games afternoon
Use a rainy afternoon to dust off those old board games and enjoy a big games fest. Hungry hippos, junior scrabble, connect 4, rummy...there's lots of fun games that can be enjoyed by all the family. If however, your games offering is a little thin on the ground, why not make up your own? Get the kids to design their own concept - you can even create your own characters and rules by putting it all down on paper.

Design a robot


Grab any old cereal boxes, loo rolls and tin foil and let your child make their own robot model. If you have lots of spare craft materials, let them loose with the buttons, ribbon, sequins and string to create something truly unique. Once they're done you can take a quick snap of them with their robot and let them spend the afternoon online finding out more about their robotic friends and how they'll develop in the future. You can also expand the robot theme further by letting them watch old Star Wars films or something more contemporary like Wall-E.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Yankee Doodle Candy!!


Last week when we were at Newcastle for Ellie's hearing appointment we had a look around the shops in Eldon Square. We found a fantastic shop!! Yankee Doodle Candy!! They sell all the American sweets and drinks!! Wonka Nerds, Mountain Dew, Hershey's, Reeses, Lucky Charms, Root Beer, Twinkies and much more!!

I was like a child in a sweet shop!! I spent about 10 minutes just drooling over the huge selection of Reeses products!!



Believe it or not I didn't buy one of everything....I would of but money was tight...lol I made do with buying some Mini Reeses peanut butter cups and a can of Root Beer....Mmmmm!!

Becky did notice the Lucky Charms cereal on the shelves....She said 'look they do sell it in shops does that mean I can have it now?'.....lol I always get a box at christmas and usually get it delivered off the internet and I've told the kids they didn't see it in the shops and it's special so it's mine...Always hidden on the top shelf out of the reach of the kids...Becky thinks now it's available in shops she can have it.....NO!!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Meal Plan Monday!! #mealplanningmonday


Meal Planning Monday

Last weeks meal plan was a huge success!! The kids and Stu & I all enjoyed trying the new recipes I made...I think from now on I will try at least one new recipe a week....It makes such a nice change eating something new and different!! This week I'm trying Sloppy Joes! Simple I know but I'm not the best cook and tend to stick to what I know so this is adventurous for me...lol 

Sunday we had a roast dinner instead of the planned Mince & dumplings so I'm also using the left over chicken from the Sunday dinner to make the Curry & rice on Monday....I'm getting so organised....Usually the chicken would of sat in the fridge for a couple of days then be thrown out....

This week on the menu we have....

Monday - Chicken curry & Rice...
Tuesday - Fish & chips....Out the freezer...Not from the chip shop :(
Wednesday - Mince & dumplings...
Thursday - Yummy sloppy Joes and a side of potato wedges...
 Friday - Jacket potatoes with various toppings... Cheese, tuna, beans...
 Saturday - Pizza...
Sunday - Pork stir fry with noodles....

As always I've joined in with the wonderful At Home With Mrs M's #mealplanningmonday linky 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

10 Foods For Better Sleep!!

Some people have trouble falling asleep. Others can’t stay asleep. And then there are the people who have trouble turning life off and tucking into bed at a reasonable hour. 


Add these simple ingredients to your shopping list and see your sleep improve a lot helping produce melatonin....A sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness...

Nuts
Most nuts contain a hormone called melatonin which is crucial for good sleep. Melatonin both regulates your sleep cycle and causes drowsiness - the perfect combination!

Add nuts to your dessert or snack on walnuts in the evening for a melatonin boost your body will be able to absorb....

Beans
Beans and other vegetables contain bumper amounts of Vitamin B, which helps your body regulate the sleep cycle and produce serotonin - an important 'ingredient' to produce melatonin.

Salmon
We all know that salmon is a great source of omega-3, but did you know that super-healthy fat also helps create melatonin?

Sweet potatoes
Eating complex carbs can make you sleepy and healthy sweet potatoes contain muscle-relaxing potassium as well.

Wholegrains
For a slow release of the energy from complex carbs, add whole grains like bulgur wheat and pearl barley to your dinner plate

Turkey
Turkey contains tryptophan, which boosts serotonin production. What's more, tryptophan can't be created by the body - which makes including it in your diet even more important.

Honey
Honey has been a natural sleep aid for thousands of years. Try this quick hit of carbohydrates in chamomile tea just before bed and enjoy the feeling of drifting off.

Milk
Milk has always been a great source of melatonin and tryptophan, but recently some German farmers realised that milking their cows at night resulted in milk with up to a hundred times more melatonin than normal milk!

Cherries
As well as being delicious, cherries are packed with melatonin!

Bananas
Bananas are a good source of Vitamin B6, another 'ingredient' needed to help your body make melatonin.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Vanish Oxi Action - Review!

I am constantly trying to get stains out of clothes....Which is no surprise with a 5 year old and 10 year old who seem to have loads of fun wearing their food instead of eating it and stains on underwear from Ellie who still has not got the hang of wiping her bum after a number two!!

I was sent some Vanish Oxi Extra Action to try..


I was sent two 200g pouches to try each of them had a handy scoop in them so I knew exactly how much of the powder to use...

There are easy to follow diagrams and instructions on the back of the packet which clearly explains how to use the product.......

How to use!!

Washing Machine:
 
For tough and dried stains: Add one scoop of Vanish to your laundry detergent in the washing machine drawer and wash as usual.....For normal stains add 1/2 a scoop....Wash as usual. Get great results also at 30 degrees.

Soaking:

For tough and dried stains: Fully dissolve 1 scoop of the Vanish Oxi Action Powder into 4 litres of warm water (max 40 °C) and leave it to soak. For lighter stains, you can use 1/2 a scoop. After soaking, wash as usual or rinse thoroughly.

I tend to just add it to the washing powder and so far it has cleared the stains....

I would post a picture but as the stains are mostly from Ellie and are in her underwear I don't think it's appropriate...

With Vanish I don't have to spend ages scrubbing or hand washing as it is part of the washing machine load so it's easy to do...It saves so much time...I don't mes about pre-soaking and treating!

I would urge anyone using this product to carefully read the detailed instructions re usage. Used incorrectly on the wrong fabrics and you can ruin expensive items...

I will be going out and buying a full size tub when I've finished with these which were sent to me....

The Facts!

Removes all kinds of stains, even dried in ones...
Can be used on whites or coloureds...
Available at all major retailers...
RRP £4.59 for a 500g tub...


I was sent two packs on Vanish Oxi Action free of charge to review.
 

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Yet another hearing test....

It's was a long day yesterday....
Ellie had a check up at the hospital on her ears...

 Two hours on the bus for a hearing test & to see her consultant!! We were supposed to go a few weeks ago but with the snow and ice we didn't fancy the journey....

  
Shortly after Ellie was born she had the normal hearing tests they do on newborns...They tried and tried with her but couldn't get a clear result.

This started the first of many visits to the hospital for hearing tests... 

We went through all the baby tests where they have the probe things put in their ears....Then the toddler ones where Ellie had to wear headphones and they would play a noise in them and the Audiology people would note down if she responded....Then we moved on a bit when she was 3 or 4 years old to the test where they played a sound and Ellie would put a ring on a stand every time she heard a sound....

It took until she was about 4 years old to agree on a name for her hearing loss....

They decided on Auditory Neuropathy...Sounds complicated but it really isn't it is a type of hearing loss where the cochlea seems to work...But there is something wrong with how the auditory nerve works....Basically all the ear works, the nerves going to the brain work there is just a loose connection somewhere in the middle!!

If you met Ellie you would never guess she is 95% deaf in one ear....She copes so well with it....She has known no different....She has always heard like that....

The only time she does struggle is at school sometimes when there is a lot of noise going on....She struggles to make out where sounds are coming from and who's talking to her...But it hasn't stopped her she's a bright child and keeps up with all the other kids....

There is no cure....They could try her with hearing aids but that may cause her more problems with getting used to them... She is coping without them why add something which potentially could cause her problems...

She has started playing on the fact she has hearing loss....She just ignores things she does not want to hear....but if she's upstairs and I open a sweet wrapper or packet of crisps downstairs she hears that....lol

So the results of today....Nothing...Nothing has changed!! No better, no worse.....She's still partially deaf...

But today we've had some good news....We don't have to go back for 12 months....This will be the longest in Ellie's life she's gone without a appointment at the hospital for her ears....They are sending a lovely lady out to Ellie's school every 6 weeks to do hearing tests to keep an eye on her....

It's fantastic!! The next hospital appointment we have is in September.....This will be the longest we've gone with no appointments in 5 years....If it's not been Ellie's ears, it was her eyes or both of the girls for there for their hearts....
 

Monday, 18 February 2013

Meal Plan Monday!! #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan was a disaster....That's putting it nicely....lol Both the girls were poorly with flu so really didn't feel like eating so I scrapped most of the meals planned....All they were wanting to eat was toasties, sandwiches & soup....Easy week for me....They didn't even want pancakes!!! I had six!! Ohh dear!! For Valentines day we ended up getting a pizza delivered as neither of us felt like cooking!! 

So this week the kids are on Half Term from school....Lots of lie ins and lazy days I hope....I can dream...lol...Also I'm being brave and trying a couple of new recipes I've seen and fancied but never tried before....

Monday -  Becky is at a sleepover and so just Stu, Ellie & me for tea...We're out most of today so something quick and easy when we get in...Maybe a takeaway!..... 
Tuesday - Spicy southern prawns in tortilla wraps....
Wednesday - Chicken & coconut Curry with rice....Trying this one again as we didn't manage to have it last week...
 Thursday - Sweet potato & Chicken hotpot...
 Friday - Baked Tuna Burgers.... I don't know what we're having with them though?
 Saturday - Home made pizza's...The kids will be making these!!
Sunday - Mince and dumplings with mash & veg.... 

As always I've joined in with the wonderful At Home With Mrs M's #mealplanningmonday linky

Saturday, 16 February 2013

It's been a funny old week....

Monday started with Ellie home from school with a temperature and a snotty nose, sore throat, & a headache...She had been coming down with it all weekend.....Becky came home from school Monday and said she was poorly...


The same as Ellie!....She had no tea and slept on and off for the rest of the day....Tuesday they were both off school....Calpol was my best friend....I have watched so much kids tv....Ohh and did end up watching High School Musical two for the first time....Not as good as the first one...lol 

Ellie was slightly better and by Wednesday was back at school....Yay!! Thursday came and Becky was back at school....Didn't think they were both going to make it back to school at all this week....They are fine now!!

They did manage some pancakes on Tuesday....Not quite as many as me though....I made a complete pig of myself and had 6! Eeek!


Valentines day.....Stu and I were not doing gifts and cards and wished I hadn't suggested it.....I was feeling rather down in the dumps seeing all the messages on Facebook and Twitter but the comping fairy scattered her lucky dust and I won 3 different competitions....Some Lush massage bars, a body lotion set & a mystery prize off a beauty blogging site which I cannot wait to get!! Then the Postman came and brought me a £20 gift card for Superdrug I'd won off Cheeky Bingo on Twitter....Some lipstick and some Vanish vanish Oxi Action to review for BzzAgent which so far I'm very impressed with.....All of that certainly cheered me up!! Hope my luck can continue....

Friday came along and it was the school disco which I volunteered to help with....I was set the job of selling the crisps....OMG!! My head was aching when I came out of school.....I heard Gangnam Style several times and put that with a hundred odd screaming shouting kids no wonder I had a bad head!! The kids in the school were so funny though.....Coming asking how much the crisps were I said '20 pence' and they kept going to walk away saying they only had fifty pence....lol We do have change....Bless them!! My two looked like they were having a great time....Ellie dancing with 'her boys' and Becky stuffing her face with sweets and crisps....

It's been a strange old week....Next week will be busy too...Ellie has an hospital appointment on Monday in Newcastle which will end in a trip to McDonalds, Primark & a new shop I've heard of Yankee Doodle Candy which sells sweets from America!! & Becky has a sleepover....Then we have the rest of half term to deal with....Ohh the joys!!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Things My Mother Taught Me!


 My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE - "If you're going kill each other, do it outside - I just finished cleaning the house!"

My mother taught me RELIGION - "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL - "If you don't sort yourself out, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week"

My mother taught me LOGIC - "Because I said so, that's why."

My mother taught me FORESIGHT - "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

My mother taught me IRONY - "Keep crying and I'll give you something to cry about."

My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS - "Shut your mouth and eat your dinner!"

My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM - "Will you "look" at the dirt on the back of your neck!"

My mother taught me about STAMINA - "You'll sit there 'till all that spinach is finished."

My mother taught me about WEATHER - "It looks as if a tornado swept through your room."

My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY - "If I've told you once, I've told you a million times - Don't Exaggerate!!!"

My mother taught me THE CIRCLE OF LIFE - "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

My mother taught me about ENVY - "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do!"

My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION -  "Just wait until we get home."

My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE - "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to stick that way

My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD - "If you don't pass your spelling test, you'll never get a good job."

My Mother taught me ESP - "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you're cold?"

My Mother taught me HUMOR - "When that lawnmower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT - "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

My Mother taught me about GENETICS - "You're just like your father."

My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE - "When you get to be my age, you will understand."

And my all time favorite... JUSTICE - "One day you'll have kids ...and I hope they turn out just like you!"

Thursday, 14 February 2013

A Video!! #CHD


 In case you haven't realised from the posts on here from the 7th till the 14th of February this past week has been Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week!! Go back and read about it if you haven't please....

I hope over the last week I have raised some awareness and maybe someone now knows what a Congenital Heart Defect is that didn't before....


Today is the last day so thought I would finish the week with a video to raise awareness of Congenital Heart Defect's and the Children's Heart Unit Fund at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne where both my girls were treated in 2009. 

Just a warning this video does show babies/children after surgery and some people may find it upsetting but just think how upsetting it is when it's your own child or for the children themselves!!




Sign up and let your family know your wishes!!

No doubt some of you may have watched the tv shows on last night on ITV called From The Heart!! Raising awareness of organ donation!!


I have a few friends on Facebook 'heart mums' who raise awareness about organ donation...Many have children who have had heart transplants and there children would not be here without those transplants...There is also some who have lost their children because they just didn't get the organ in time....

Nine thousand people in the UK need an organ transplant but unfortunately only 3,000 people a year receive one!!

Please sign up and let your family know your wishes!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A Charity Close To My Heart! #CHUF #CHD



The history of the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) dates back  to 1979 when an inspirational lady, Ann Scott, founded the Lesley Scott Memorial Fund in memory of her 2 year old daughter who died of a congenital heart anomaly. Single handed, Ann Raised sufficient money to buy a new two dimensional echo machine for the unit. Ann was then joined by other parents who wished to help raise more funds. In the early 1980’s Ann decided it was time to change the charities name and the Children’s Heart Unit Fund became the units registered charity. 

Around 300 small babies and children are operated on each year by the children’s heart surgeons at the Freeman Hospital. Out of 33,000 babies born in the Northern region each year, around 300 will require surgery and many more will require medical or outpatient treatment in the Children’s Heart Unit (Ward 23).

The aim of the charity is to raise money to buy equipment, facilities, aftercare and research for the Children's Heart Unit and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Freeman Hospital. Small pieces of equipment help the nurses on the wards and larger items help doctors and surgeons undertake complex operations. Sometimes funds are used to help pay for medical and support staff, essential to the running of the unit and also for specialist resources to help children and their families. 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Somewhere…someplace… today… #CHD #CongenitalHeartDefects #AwarenessWeek



Wanted to share this poem. It really hits home for anyone that has walked this difficult road...

Somewhere…someplace… today…
A family is waiting to hear…
Is something wrong with their baby?
The answers aren’t quite clear…

This family has entered an unwanted world…
And they just don’t know what to expect…
Somewhere…someplace… today
They first heard the words: heart defect.

And how they hoped this was not true…
And thought… this cannot be…
I too… know just how this feels…
For one day…this was me.

Somewhere…someplace…today…
A man and a woman embrace…
Their baby is in surgery…
They long to see her face…

They haven’t got to hold her yet…
Without…a cord or line…
They pace the room awaiting news…
And hope she’ll be just fine.

Prayers fill this busy waiting room…
And mom and dad are scared…
Somewhere…someplace..today…
The tiniest hearts are repaired.

Somewhere…someplace…today…
A child’s growing fast…
Smiling,laughing,thriving…
His mom thinks…can this last?

It’s almost easy…to forget…
That anything is wrong…
Somewhere…someplace..today…
Her child seems so strong.

Somewhere…someplace… today…
A little boy fights…just to live
A father holds his tiny hand…
His love…all he can give…

The doctor’s are all baffled…
They fear that he might die…
Somewhere…someplace…today…
A family says goodbye…

Somewhere…someplace…each year..
More than 40,000 families will see…
What it means…when something’s wrong…
They’ll face a CHD.

Today…for just a moment…
Stop…remember…reflect…
Make time to tell someone you know…
“I’ve been changed by a heart defect.”

Author - Stephanie Husted


Monday, 11 February 2013

Meal Plan Monday!! #mealplanningmonday

Meal Planning Monday


Last week our meal plan went ok until Wednesday...We were at the dentist's (just a check up) so Spaghetti Bolognese was off the menu.....We ended up getting stuff out the freezer the kids had Fish & chips and me chicken and pasta covered in sweet & sour sauce....I came in from the dentists and put the food in the oven.....Went to get it out after about half and hour and I hadn't switched it on....Epic Fail!! So it was nearly 6.30pm by the time we had tea which is late for us!! We ended up having Spaghetti Bolognese on the Friday which wasn't too bad :)

This week seems a funny week with it been Pancake day & Valentines day....


Monday -  Fish fingers, chips & peas....
Tuesday - PANCAKES!!!
Wednesday - Chicken & coconut Curry with rice....
 Thursday - No idea as yet...It's valentines day & me & Stu usually kick the kids to bed early and have a fancy meal with candles, wine & yummy food....
 Friday - Pork Meatballs with spaghetti....
 Saturday - Burgers in buns with fries....
Sunday - Roast Chicken, mashed potato, carrots, peas, swede, parsnips & yorkshire Puddings....

As always I've joined in with the wonderful At Home With Mrs M's #mealplanningmonday linky HERE!