Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Date Night With The Mr

Alana having a morning dance with dada
Morning Selfie
It's been a while now since me and Brandon went out in the evening without the children on a 'date night'.

Yesterday after we got back from town I suggested to go Mecca bingo once we got the kid's settled in bed and a babysitter round. 
It felt good just the two of us being out and not having to deal with a toddler going through the terrible twos stage. 

We got a drink and ordered some food, we were both really pleased with how low the price of the food and drink was and also how great the food tasted, just like fresh home made cooking.

Unfortunately none of us won, we were both one away but sadly we didn't go home with the green winners envelope haha!

Brandon enjoyed it that much he sent me a text message a few minutes ago at work saying "Do you fancy going bingo and have a meal and then out for a few drinks afterwards next week"? Well aye, I wasn't saying no to another 'date night'!

Were going to take Alesha ice skating after school next Wednesday and get someone to babysit Alana at home as we have been feeling bad on Alesha as we don't get to do much with her anymore as we have a small toddler to deal with aswel so we though tice skating would be a lovely treat for her to enjoy quality with mummy & daddy.

Friday, 26 September 2014


#FlashBackFriday this week is a photo of me and my older sister Jennifer and younger sister Amy. It was taken 6 years ago on the beach in Blackpool, a place were we spent many childhood summer days out.

Amy, Jennifer & Me

Mountain Warehouse Review

About a forthnight ago I was contacted to see if me and the family would like to review some items from the well known outdoor retail company called Mountain Warehouse.

I agreed because firstly, I have never purchased from them before and secondly after having a good look through their website I seen some ideal stuff to review which would come in handy seen as winter is fast approaching.

The lovely PR gave me the opportunity to choose an item for us all, here is what we choose.

Gelid Mens Kniited Deer Stalker Hat is what Brandon choose. It's currently on sale for £12.49.
Brandon was like a big kid at Christmas time when he seen the hat, there was no stopping him putting it straight on. He didn't want to take it off because" it was very cosy and soft ". 
It wasn't very cold outside just abit of a breeze but that didn't stop Brandon from wearing this hat in the car whilst going to pick Alesha up from school. 
He agrees that this hat is definitely worth £12.49 or more. 
The hat insultes your face and ears with the fur lining. With a buckle to keep the hat secure, this is an ideal hat if your going on a ski or snowboard holiday.

I decided to go for a Kittiwake Womens Hoodie because my body temperature is a nightmare, I find it hard to keep warm throughout the day around the house unless I have the heating or fire on.
This is currently priced at £19.99 over on their website. When I first took it out of the packaging I thought the fabric looked quite think and I was therefore unsure if it was going to keep me warm. 
As soon as I put it on my opinion changed as the hoody was really snug and warm, not as I expected it to be. 
I therefore also wore this hoody today doing the school run, it went perfect with my blue jeans. 
The inside of this hoodie is lined with combined cotton for improved insulation.

   I choose a Kids Owl Hat for Alana because it's an item we was needing to buy within the next few weeks. 
Thankfully I choose this item because it's very stylish, the colours and design attracts both Alesha and Alana to liking it. 
With it being rainy and windy here this afternoon we put the hat on her whilst in town. Quite a few people were walking past looking at her smiling because she looked cute and snuggly with the hat on. 
This is currently priced at £7.49 and once again it's an item I'm very pleased with and I would definitely pay that sort of money for it.
The fleec lining inside the hat kept Alana's head warm whilst the ear flaps kep the cold and wind out.

Alesha opened a package which contained a beautiful thick Yeti Kids Stripe Fleece.
She tried it on but has yet to wear it properly due to her being at school and then it's home for tea and PJ's on. 
She is looking forward to wearing it at the weekend when we go out on a bike ride. 
At the moment this is on sale for £9.99 a brilliant bargain that is worth snapping up.

Mountain Warehouse also generously sent us a High 50 Litre Rucksack to review. As soon as Brandon seen it right away he said "bingo that will do me when I go fishing, just what I needed"!
The rucksack is currently priced at £29.99 which I think is very reasonable.
With extra pockets on the belt straps, there's no need for stopping to get something out of the main bag.
A large 50 lite capacity is spread across two main compartments.
Highly recommended if your going hiking, fishing or even just general travelling.

If your off on an adventure this winter or just want to stock up on clothes etc then I'd highly recommend visiting a Mountain Warehouse store or even shopping online via their website.
There currently having a big sale, so grab a bargain while it lasts!

I was sent these clothes for the purpose of this review.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Which Baby Changing Room Would YOU Award?


We all know what a huge difference good changing facilities make when shopping with a baby. 

Sudocrem Care & Protect wants to know which facilities parents think are worthy to win a Baby Changing Room Award. They might be the most spacious, smell the freshest or have the comfiest chairs, but whatever their attributes we want to praise the best of the best and hope to encourage other retailers, restaurants, etc to follow suit. 

For this campaign, backed by TV presenter Katy Hill, parents are invited to nominate their favourite baby changing room - where it is and why. Everyone who nominates will be entered in a prize draw to win one of several prizes, including a short break at Knoll House (Britain's original family friendly hotel!). 

The website is now live (http://www.sudocrem.co.uk/social-hub) - It's all pretty exciting!

Is Your Child’s Digital Diet Harming Their Eyesight?

More children can manoeuvre around a tablet than swim, tie their shoe laces or tell the time

A recent study carried out on behalf of optical specialists Lenstore, has revealed that children are losing touch with vital life skills due to digital device overuse.

 More than half of children aged between two and ten feel more confident using a tablet than learning to swim, telling the time and tying their shoe laces.

According to the new research which surveyed 2,000 UK parents of children aged 2-16 years, the average UK child is more likely to confidently use a mobile phone before being able to read or ride a bike.

In an age where tablets, smartphones and laptops are an integral part of our daily lives and aid our children’s ongoing learning and development, the research reveals that our tech-savvy children are actually growing up lacking key life skills.

 With the average child spending almost 8 hours a day on technology, our children’s digital diets are further fuelling the debate in the rise of childhood obesity. Worryingly, the majority of parents identified ‘online gaming’ as the main function of their child’s digital habits with the even more shocking confession that over half of the parents surveyed never actually monitor their child’s online activity.

When comparing children’s digital overuse across regions in the UK, children in London were found to spend on average over 10 hours a day on digital devices - the highest in the country.

During the study, it was found that 1 in 3 children aged 2-4 own a tablet and spend on average more than 5 hours using digital devices per day.

Dr Rob Hogan, a registered optometrist and council member of the general optical council (GOC) explains that “at the age of two, although a child’s eyesight is in fact developed enough to use the devices, sessions must be short and supervised to avoid long term damage.” He also states the importance of “limiting access just before bedtime, as research has found that the ‘blue-ish’ light emitted from these devices may disrupt normal sleep patterns and can be damaging to eyesight, potentially causing vision to deteriorate over time.”

In the digital age, children are almost encouraged to use technology in every area of their schooling and home lives for additional learning, entertainment and socialising. Because of this, we can’t help but question, are digital devices helping our children as a means for learning or are they preventing us from making the most out of those all-important developing years?

Is Your Child’s Digital Diet Harming Their Eyesight?

My eldest daughter Alesha who is 4 used to own a tablet, I bought it for her last Christmas sadly a few months after it broke by getting dropped that many times.
I was gutted to say the least, to think I spend quite alot of money on it for her and it was broke not long after.

On a school night I used to let Alesha go on her tablet for an hour in the evening either before or after tea. On a weekend the maximum time she was allowed on it was for 2 hours in total.

I do personally think that too much technology can be harming children's eyesight.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Alana's 2nd Birthday Party

Me & Alana
Me and Brandon decided it would be best to celebrate Alana's 2nd birthday party on the Saturday as her birthday was 2 days later on the Monday. If we done it on the Monday not many people would of been able to attend it nor stay over the night.
Cousins (Alana,Unique,Alesha)
Alana & Alesha

Brandon booked a bouncy castle and I was looking forward to it as much as the girls because normally I can't do anything like that with Alesha's birthday being 19th December so it's always cold.
Alana with her Nana
Alana with her Auntie Amy
Alana with her Auntie Jen
It was great to have my family, Brandon's family and a few of our friends over for the day and then later on when the kids went bed and the others were relaxing on the couch all the adults let there hair down and had a really good drink. It was a lovely atmosphere, everyone was happy and so was me and Brandon as the day and night went perfect. In total there was 19 adults and 11 children.

Her cake didn't look perfect but it was special as me and her dad made it, everyone said it was delicious though. It must of been ad there was none left to enjoy the following day. 

Natalie holding Alana blowing out candle
with me and Brandon.
Alana & Alesha
Alana looked beautiful in her dress, luckily we got a few photos before she got covered in chocolate. Our little madam got well and truly spoilt rotten from both sides of the family.

Just woke up, ready to open presents with her DaDa

Yesterday me and Brandon took her to Toys R Us with her birthday money and she bought a drum set (drive the neighbours mad) and a sketch pad. 
Playing her drums this morning.
Birthday Cake

Suffered An Early Miscarriage

After my previous post about me being discharged from hospital after my operation and the doctor said I should still carry the baby like normal within my womb. Sadly his words were wrong!

2 days after being discharged I had to go back into hospital for a blood test to check on my hormone levels. It took just over 35 minutes to get to North Tees hospital, the journey seemed forever because I was still really sore after the operation so Brandon was trying his best to drive really slow over the speedbumps on the road.

In total it took 2 nursers and 2 doctors to try and try again to get some blood from me. My wrists were bruised and so were my hands. The first doctor couldn't get blood after 3 attemps so she decided to go and call for another doctor to try but on the way out she pricked herself in the hand with the needle that she just put into me. So when the next doctor came along to try get some blood, she asked if I would mind doing a HIV test also because of the doctor pricking herself with my needle. 
I was fuming as by this time it was over an hour I was sat there letting them take turns in sticking needles into me. 

Finally, there was light at the end of the tunnel because the doctor managed to get a half of a tube full. Then she asked if she could try get some more blood to do the HIV, my reply was "O no, I've been sat here over an hour already, I am not willing to sit here longer, you will have to make an appointment for me to come back in once the bruises have gone down a little". 
She made another appointment for me and also decided to ask in front of Brandon, "have you ever been tested for HIV"? "Do you sleep about with different men"? My mouth opened wide as I replied "NO I do not sleep about with different men"! She apoligised and said she had to ask those questions over the other member of staff pricking herself with the needle.

An appointment got made for me 4 days later and I was really nervous on the way there as I didn't want to be sat there for a long time again with them trying to get blood.
But thankfully it was a different nurse and she was lovely, she managed to get the blood she needed the first try. Me and Brandon was over the moon with that. 
Then sadly she informed us that I had a miscarriage as my hormone levels were dropping down, so the hemorrhage within my stomach (when they done the op for the cyst on ovary) was an actual miscarriage! I looked at Brandon as his eyes just rolled to the floor then looked at me and said it will be ok.

I was booked in for another blood test which will be taking place in the morning to see if my hormone levels have dropped, hopefully they have so we can then start trying for another baby. 

Now I just need these antibiotics to work to clear the infection within my left scar and I'll be happy.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Discharged After Operation For Ovarian Cyst & Hemorrhage In Stomach

On Wednesday I was having cramping pains in my lower stomach so I decided to do a pregnancy test even though it would mean I was only 2 weeks pregnant if it came back positive. So Brandon went and bought me 2 ClearBlue pregnancy tests and they both came back with strong positive lines.

Me and Brandon were both over the moon and couldn't stop smiling as our family would definitely be complete if we have a child of our own together (even though he classes Alesha & Alana as his own). 
But sadly the following day on Thursday the cramping pains were getting worse so Brandon took me straight to A&E whilst looking after me he was trying to deal with our little miss moo Alana aswel. In the meantime he had asked our friend Elly to pick our eldest up from school for us as he wouldn't make it back on time. 
The nurse took some bloods and done a urine sample which also came back positive for pregnancy. After a few hours I was transferred upto Ward 30 and was giving painkillers to ease the pain away. The doctor then came to talk to me and informed me that later that night I would need to have an operation as they think I was having an Ectopic pregnancy. Hearing the doctor say those words I felt like crying because back in October 2011 I suffered an Ectopic and had my right tube removed therefore if this was another one then it would mean my left tube being removed and I wouldn't be able to conceive children after that.
 I then suggested it would be a good idea if Brandon went home and got kid's fed and ready for bed. Then at 6.00pm Brandon brought Alesha in to visit me whilst his mam and step dad babysat Alana in our house. It was hard to say goodbye to them both when they were leaving as I knew shortly after I would be took downstairs to theatre to have an operation for suspected Ectopic pregnancy. 

After signing all the consent forms I was brought down for surgery, upon waking up and recovering my throat was sore but I was more in agony with my left side of my stomach. But, as soon as I was able to open my eyes and see a consultant I spurted out "did you leave my left tube in"? To which he replied "yes we did"! That was enough for me, I was happy with that answer so I closed my eyes until I felt abit more awake. 
The following morning the doctor came around to see me and told me that it wasn't an Ectopic pregnancy that he had to deal with that I had a cyst on my left ovary and hemorrhaged quite heavily within my stoach which was the cause for the bad cramps. So luckily enough Brandon took me into hospital on Thursday. Later that day on Friday I was discharged and allowed home, it was agony trying to get out of bed, the walking part wasn't too bad, thankfully Brandon had parked his car close by the hospital so I didn't have far to walk.

I'm now at home recovering, still in alot of pain with my left hand side scar. I can't lie down in bed as it is agony to try and get up the burning, stinging sensation rips through the left hand side of my stomach. So I've been taking Codine and sleeping upright on the couch. 
It was lovely to have Brandon's parents and my friend visit me with gifts when I got home, and for the help of my step dad for being their to mind the kids for us esp when I had to go back into hospital on Saturday for another blood test to see if I am still pregnant. I will find out the answer to that later today when I ring the hospital up for the results.
On Saturday I had to go back into hospital at 5pm for a blood test to check my hormone levels to see if I'm pregnant. It took 1 hour 35 minutes and 2 nursers and 2 doctors to get a bit of blood from me not even enough to fill one off the tubes. Both my arms and my hands are black and blue with bruises when them trying to get blood.The first doctor accidentally pricked herself with the needle after it had been in me so she then started saying she will have to go for a medical because she doesn't know if I have anything that she could catch. When the next doctor came in to try she started asking me if I ever had HIV and when was the last time I done a test for it and if I sleep about with different men, Brandon was sat in the room listening to all this and he was fuming especially because it's normally a 5 minute job and then they start asking me these question's because a member of their staff pricked themsleves. It was that last doctor that managed to get some blood from me and just when she did she asked "would it be ok if I tried to get some more to do a HIV test". Right away I said NO! I'd been sat there long enough letting them poke and prod me, I felt wek, dizzy and hungry let alone still in pain. So I suggested a follow up appointment once my bruising goes down.

With Brandon working last night and tonight and then back on days Thursday & Friday my mother suggested that we took the children through to her until Friday as it gives me time to try relax and recover..
I'm very thankful for my mother for doing that for me, she even keeps me updated throughout the day by sending me pictures of the kids and what they are upto. It made me morning this morning waking up to a photo of my beautiful daughters happily playing together in my mum's living room.
Think It's time I logged off this now and go take my painkiller's and try relax, even if it's boring being sat on my ass all day.

Mark's Welcome Home Party From The Navy

Mark, Brandon, Kayleigh
My cousin Mark is in the Navy, just over a month ago he came home for a few weeks so his parents decided to throw a welcome home party/ birthday party as it was his 30th when he was away with the Navy.
Mam, Me, Paul
It was a brilliant idea as it has been year's since I last saw Mark I must of been only around 11. I seen the rest of the family a few weeks back when we all meet up down in Kent for my uncle Jim's funeral.
The party was being held in Mark's parents my uncle Martin and his wife Julie's house just on the outskirt's of Manchester a place called New Mills. 

My older sister Jennifer was working that day so she didn't set off till about 5.00pm. My mother, uncle Mike and Jennifer's  eldest daughter Paige went in her car. They arrived at Martin's house just going off 8.00pm. I went down with Brandon but we didn't set off til 7.30pm as Brandon didn't finish work till 7.00pm. We arrived just going off 9.15pm.
Me & Paul
It was the first time for my family in New Mills to have met Brandon and everyone loved him, he got on like a house on fire with them all. Even after we left the following day my lovely uncle Martin text me to say I have found a lovely guy and he wishes us all the best. We are in the process of arranging another family get together as it was brilliant.
Martin, Mark, Paul

I even got up singing on karoke with my older sister Jennifer and my cousin's which I never thought would happen as I'm normally not one for doing it but it just felt so good and I was enjoying myself being around people I love.

Julie, Paul

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

First Day In Reception (Big School)

As I'm typing this I'm still finding it hard to believe that my eldest Alesha 

had her first day in big school (reception class). 
I was really happy as I had no tears to wipe from her face this morning, she was over the moon lining up in the yard with all the older children. Then I waved her off as she followed the line of children into the school.
Sadly Brandon couldn't be there to wave her off as he was working, as much as he would of liking to take a day off work it wasn't worth losing out on the money as it's a long 12 hour shift and he earns more than £11ph. But Alesha is happy as he said he is off work Thursday and Friday so he will drive her to school and stand there waving her off as she enters the school.

Alana was lost without her sister around the house, but after about 2 hours she got used of toddling about by herself and enjoyed one on one time with me. 

Alesha will most definitely sleep good tonight as she is well and truly worn out after her first full day in school.