Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Lactose Intolerance In Children

I had half expected at least one of my children to be lactose intolerant as I am but when Isabelle was a new born it never crossed my mind. Until however she started showing symptoms.

For the first few weeks Isabelle was just such an amazing baby she was so happy and chilled. Then it was like a button had been pressed, she changed over night. After the first five days I had to stop breast feeding as Isabelle wasn't latching on correctly. I will do another blog post on this as I want to share what happened at the time. We switched to formula and everything was fine for the first week and a half. 

Her cry then changed to one which we had never heard before, she was in pain. We did the classic bicycle legs but she became constipated and was projectile vomiting a few times after every feed to the point were we started to worry if she was actually putting on weight. We took her to the doctors and they advised it was probably just reflux (my friends who have babies with actually reflux would not appreciate it being called 'just reflux' but anyway) and Isabelle was prescribed infant gaviscon to try.
She was on it for 10 days and it made no difference and if anything things were getting worse she now had lose stools too.

We went back to the doctors and you know when you see a GP who just gets you and your child and it's just an instant relief? Well that's what happened. The GP prescribed lactose free formula and over night Isabelle was like a different baby. No more crying in pain, no loose stools, no violent vomiting and she was suddenly sleeping much better too.

Fast forward six months later and we had begun thinking about the weaning stage and not knowing how to do this with Isabelle being lactose intolerant. It may sound simple but when you look on packets the amount of products that have lactose in is pretty shocking. We were put in touch with a dietitian who we saw once a month and we basically had to slowly introduce lactose in to Isabelle's diet and note any reactions. This was definitely the best way of doing it because by the time she turned 18 months she was eating the same nearly all of the things we were with no real issues.

Myself and Isabelle symptom wise now are very similar. As long as we don't eat too much food containing lactose we are fine. For example I cannot eat an adult size yogurt or 2 slices of cheese on toast. Isabelle cannot eat too much cheese either. Isabelle is five in June and we find it a lot easier to buy lactose free items now than when we were weaning. It is the same with almond milk and the other milk substitutes that weren't so popular in 2012. We were recommended not to cut it completely out of her diet though, as long as she's not ill she's fine to carry on as normal. 

Since starting school though she is suddenly suffering from constipation and all though this is not a common symptom of lactose intolerance it is possible. 

Charlie has never shown any symptoms but it did not concern us when he was born as we would have known what to do second time round. Do you or anyone you know have lactose intolerance?

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Place That Makes My Heart Happy

Devon Cliffs is a Haven site near Exmouth and it's become our go to UK holiday destination. I can't put my finger on what it is but there's just something about this place that draws us back every year. It's the one place where I can just completely let go, relax and with no phone signal on site, switch off from the world.

The beach is pretty much private to the Haven site so it's never too busy that you can't find any where to sit. We have even been at the end of September and it's still just as nice. I think I'm just drawn to being near the sea. The kids love playing on the beach and going in the sea and we take a cheeky drink down from the beach side restaurant. Heaven.

I'm dying for a holiday some time soon but financially I just don't see it happening at the moment unfortunately. If we do have any spare money though this is where we will be heading. The kids love the evening entertainment, there's an on site Starbucks, swimming pools, basically there's no reason to leave the site and we never feel like we need to. I love the fact though that all the kids want to do is sit on the 2p machines until Mummy and Daddy run out of money. I did exactly the same at their age. 

Anyone with anxiety will tell you that it's really hard to find a place where you feel completely at peace with yourself. This is it for me maybe that's why I'm so eager to go back because I just need some time to switch off from everything at the moment. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Ditching the dummy

On new years day, with no previous thought, we decided that it was time to try and get Charlie to ditch the dummy. I don't quite no why we choose this day maybe because it was the start of a new year. Charlie turned two last September and we gave him a dummy a few weeks after his first injections. Those said injections turned our happy baby boy into a non-sleeping and just generally miserable little boy. With Isabelle we never offered a dummy and she took to sucking her thumb which she still does now in the evenings before she goes to bed. This definitely shows for me that even if you don't offer a dummy they may well go down the other option of thumb sucking, you just don't know!


I appreciate that not everyone agrees with dummies and I totally understand why. With Charlie it was purely for some comfort, for him and for us and it worked pretty much immediately. 

Now back to trying to take his dummy away. On the day we decided to go for it we made sure that we were going to be busy and that we were tiring him out. Mainly so that if he did get upset that he didn't have it he would be so tired he wouldn't be able to fight going to sleep for long.

The first night was pretty bad he cried for nearly an hour. We kept going back in to comfort him and eventually he fell asleep. It was so hard knowing what he was crying for and not giving in. This lasted for a week and it was the same at nap time. 

We are now just over three weeks later and we haven't looked back since. Getting him to sleep at night is no longer an issue as he still has his favourite two teddies which have been a great comfort during this time for him. Nap time is still very hit and miss. Some days he just won't settle and I don't force him to nap. Isabelle didn't drop naps until just after she turned three but I think Charlie will be a lot sooner than that.

Overall I'm really glad we did it when we did and it was a lot easier than I thought as I was dreading it! Last night he actually found the last dummy we had in the house (we had missed one!) in one of the toy boxes and he ran straight over to me and gave it to me, just like that. Proud Mummy.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Cervical Cancer Prevention week

From the 22nd-28th January it is cervical cancer prevention week in the UK. This week aims to raise awareness of just how important it to to attend a smear test as well as giving woman more knowledge on the subject.

I have now had two smear tests and I want to touch a little on this subject. Like most people before my first one I was nervous but not embarrassed as when you have had kids you are pretty much used to people looking down there! I had nothing to be nervous about it took only a few minutes, was pain free and I felt happy that I had attended my appointment and that I was making sure all was well.

The number of people not attending their smear tests is rising every year especially in the 25-29 age group. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in woman under 35 but 75% of cervical cancers are prevented by smear tests. These figure show just how important it is to attend your smear test. 

I completely understand if you are embarrassed or scared by the very thought of having a smear test but I promise you there is nothing to be worried about. 

Jo's cervical trust are using the hashtag #smearforsmear to raise awareness all this week. Simply apply some lippy, smear it, take a picture and upload it to your social media accounts using the hashtag. Make sure you tag you friends to take part so that the awareness spreads.

You can find out more about Jo's cervical trust here. You will find lots more information and support.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Squabbling Siblings

The brother sister squabbling has been in full swing since the beginning of this month and I am totally pulling my hair out. The second we pick Isabelle up from school it starts. 'Mummy Charlie's in my way!' and sure enough Charlie then tries to push her off her scooter. When we get through the front door its arguing over who is going to get given the snack first. Even if I give it to them at the same time its then a competition to see who has the biggest one. Isabelle very much uses the fact Charlie cant talk properly yet to her advantage. Charlie spends the majority of the time grunting at her if he's not happy with something she's doing.

Isabelle has taken to bossing Charlie around or acting like his second mum. Helpful I hear you ask? Well no, not when she is telling him he will go to bed if he doesn't stop doing whatever it is that's bothering her (something along the lines of looking at her for too long, when she is over tired everything and anything sets her off). This then results in Charlie having a full on the floor meltdown. This goes on and on until bedtime. I have a younger brother and I cannot remember the bickering starting this early.

Then there are the moments when they forget there not supposed to not like each other. When they hold hands when we're out or when they choose to cuddle on the sofa on the weekends. The first person Charlie shouts for in the morning is 'Belle'. They are unbelievably close and if they didn't squabble then I would be worried. I really do hope that they remain close and I know for sure that Isabelle will always have her little brother's back. 

Monday, 16 January 2017

10 Things I have learnt since becoming a mum

1. I will be able to survive on no sleep. When you've only had two hours sleep you find your self thinking how will I go on?! But some how you just do, because you have to. A new tiny person depends on you and as much as you want to resent them for the whole no sleep thing, you just can't. This funny thing called love kicked in the moment they came into the world and I have come to terms with the fact that I will probably never get a full nights sleep again. And you know what, I'm ok with that.

2. One look from my children can control me just like that. Puppy eyes, how do they do it. As much as I try to stay strong some times I am weak to their powers of persuasion. An easy life and all that.

3. I will on occasion serve up the children's tea and it will be all one colour, beige. As much as I want to cook from scratch everyday sometimes tiredness kicks in and I have to fall back on the option of a freezer tea. Fish fingers and potato stars for the win.

4. I will always have baby wipes and snacks on me. Well most of the time anyway. These items will make me a supermum, almost. 

5. Caffeine based products are my go to. Before having my kids I would have the occasional cup of tea, nothing major. Now you ask? Well my first thought upon waking in the morning is normally show me the tea/coffee and caffeine packed coca cola. 

6. You can buy every single toy that exists, don't bother. Your iPhone will do. I remember both myself and my husband swearing that we would never let the kids on our phones. This lasted about a week. Youtube and the Cbeebies app are my best friends especially when we're out. 

7.I find myself saying things that my parents said to me. You know along the lines of 'If you don't stop I will pull this car over' or ' I have eyes in the back of my head, I can see everything your doing'. 

8. I will never be able to use the bathroom on my own again. Well at least until the kids more out. The false sense of security they give you. Your in the shower on your own,peace and quiet you think to yourself, well no. 'Mummy can I come in?' or you haven't heard them creep in and their just sat on the floor waiting for you to notice them, scares the crap out of me every time!

9. That I would need bucket loads of patience. This was a big one for me. The older they get the more patience you need. We are currently in the stages of the bickering siblings. Oh how I can't wait for them to be teenagers, said no parent EVER.

10. I have been able to act like a kid again. Wether it be watching classic Disney movies, playing with play doh or playing policemen and robbers, I truly love it.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Feeling lost

(Picture from google images)

The days just pass by and I feel like I am floating while everyone else is getting on with there day. Before I know it the kids have gone to bed and I don't no where the day has gone. I sit and think if I actually achieved anything that day and most of the time the answer is no.

Being a mum will always be my number one priority, that is a given and the kids are my biggest achievement. But what I refer to is what have I personally achieved. At the moment I feel like I am just making it through life with no real meaning. Before you start to worry that this post is sounding very down, I am not depressed but at the same time I feel like things could be improved.

My husband works two jobs to support our family and this is taking an increasing toll on all of us. The children don't get to see him apart from first thing in the morning and on the weekends which just isn't fair on them. Childcare is such a huge issue for us and its a subject that makes me so angry and frustrated. 

When I sit down at night when the kids have gone to bed and my husband isn't there to share the evening with, well it's horrible. Other people are in much worse situations than us but it's still so hard. 

I feel drained. Drained from financially struggling to make ends meet, from trying to balance everything and from feeling like I am failing constantly.

I feel like a change has to happen, it's all just too much. I can't bear to see my husband run into the ground or the fact he doesn't get to see the kids enough. But how do I make things better, I wish I had an answer to that. I really do.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Back to school blues

And just like that it was back to school time. I officially have the after Christmas blues. The house is so quiet without her and as much as she can drive me crazy I would have given anything for half term to have lasted that little bit longer.

Back to the army like drill of the school run and oh my goodness getting out of bed just before 7am on Tuesday was hard after two weeks of slow mornings with no rushing around to get out the door. We normally end up either ridiculously early or late there is no in between.

Isabelle loves school so getting her to go is never an issue but she tries so hard that it shows when I pick her up. She can get very upset over how tired she feels and I have not missed seeing her like that during half term, it takes a massive toll on her. It's very easy to forget just how little she is.

The hardest thing though is seeing her brother's reaction when we walked away from school on Tuesday morning. He was so upset that his best friend was gone again. Isabelle however could not have got to her friends quick enough and we were a distant memory.

During the Christmas break, like most families, is when we are all together the longest out of the whole year and I think this is why it feels so strange to all be separated again. Something to look forward to is the next half term which is really not that long away and Phill is off too which is going to be so good.

But for now it's back to me and this cheeky little one until we pick his sister up from school. I need to break out of this sad little bubble asap, I mean look at that face!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Do something amazing!

A subject very close to my heart, giving blood. If the people who I received blood from after having Isabelle hadn't donated, well I'm not sure what would have happened. At the time I didn't think about it, it was just there but it was all because someone I had never met had given blood. All I can say to that person/people is thank you.

While I unfortunately cannot donate due to an ongoing problem with anaemia since having Isabelle I can still raise awareness of how important it is to donate.

I don't think a lot of people realise how much giving blood can truly do. It can save someones life or more if it is separated into red cells, platelets and plasma.

A blood transfusion can save someones life or dramatically improve someones health after child birth, from severe anaemia, after a road traffic accident, cancer and so many other procedures or medical issues.

The reason blood is so constantly needed is because it can only be stored for a certain amount of time before it is used. 6000 donations are needed a day, A DAY. Could you be one of them? If your 17 or over, fit and healthy and you weigh over 7 stone 12 pounds then the chances are you could donate.

O Rh negative is rare but it is also the most essential as it is the only blood type than can be given to anyone. 

You could do something that only takes one hour out of your day a few times a year but that could save someones life! 

For more information or to find your nearest venue click here, why not make it your New Years resolution?

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Back to reality

This is my favourite type of video to watch on YouTube so I just had to join in! I received some lovely girly bits which I have loved trying out so far. Well apart from the mistletoe bath bomb which after making the video I tried and it stained the bath pink. Bleach, bathroom cleaner and a magic eraser later and there is still a hit of pink. Can you imagine my husbands face, yeah not impressed to say the least!

Our Christmas was just what we needed, quiet, relaxed and totally chilled. We stayed here for Christmas this year just the four of us as we desperately wanted some family time together after the past few months. We had home made sausage and egg muffins for breakfast, watched the kids unwrap there presents and it was so magical, both of them are that much more aware of what is going on now and what Christmas is all about.

I cooked an amazing roast (even if I do say so myself) and we spent the rest of the day playing with presents and watching Christmas TV. The kids were shattered by 6pm and as much as we had been trying to keep them awake they ended up going to bed at their usual time. 

The rest of Christmas day evening is some what of a blur now. We had been sat eating rubbish and had a glass of something each when Phill became doubled over in pain and an ambulance was called. Not exactly how I had seen our Christmas going! It was terrifying to see him in so much pain and he's now waiting to be called for an urgent scan. 

By boxing day he was feeling a little better and we managed to get out the house for a few hours but it was going round and round in my head what had happened the previous evening. When we got home we skyped all of the family which was so nice as they all love the kids to pieces and it was nice to see them too of course.

Then like a lot of people I started getting that feeling in the pit of my stomach that Christmas was nearly over and it was going to be back to reality any minute. I'm very thankful that it was basically a double bank holiday this year as this meant it lasted that little bit longer. These days (god that sounded old) it's all about the kids anyway. Number one priority is making sure they have had the best time possible and if they have then everyone's a winner!

Christmas, I'll see you next year! 

P.S Don't forget to head over to my Youtube channel to see what I got for Christmas and maybe you could even click the subscribe button and join the family!