The MAD Blog Awards 2013

MAD Blog Awards

Nominations have just opened for this years MAD (mum and dad) blog awards. Last year I just stumbled upon them after someone nominated my old blog. I filled in the form missing out quite a few places because I’d not given it enough though before hand. This year I’ve done my research and hand picked nominations for every category. I had to rethink a couple (the baby one had me stumped, I had two but couldn’t use either because the baby birth dates were just before the allowed date in Feb)

So who are you nominating? Ah, no need to answer, but what a lovely way to show appreciation for all the lovely blogs out there, so do please nominate your favourites.

The first week of nomination results are starting to come in and I’m so thrilled to have been nominated in six categories,  Schooldays, Family Life, Family fun, Cooking, Best Writer and Blog of the Year. Thank you so much to whoever nominated me xxx There are still two more weeks to get your votes in and remember the blogs with the most nominations will go through to the finals.

I know I’m shameless but if you do have a nomination to spare I’d be so grateful to receive it. I really want to get through to the next round so I can go to London to the posh awards ceremony with posh frocks galore and copious amounts of alcohol. (click the badge above to make nominations) 

Take a peak here:

Time to Share and Japanese Food

Now as you probably already know, I have five children (it’s up there at the top of the page in my ‘blurb’) Two of these are adults and still live at home. If I’m really honest they are just as much hard work as the little ones, who says it gets easier? (not me!) I do enjoy getting the opportunity to spend some time alone with them though.
Last Friday it was no1 son’s birthday (he was 25!! No, I can’t believe it either) and I went out for lunch with him and Eldest Daughter. We also managed to fit in a little shopping and browsing and it brought back lots of memories of the times we used to spend together walking around town for hours. It’s not easy once you have little ones tagging along, not impossible, but certainly not the same. However, now that the girls are at school and the Little Man has his pre-school twice a week, I’m beginning to find more time for such outings.

This week Eldest Daughter decided she wanted to treat me to lunch. The thing with ED is that she has a love/hate relationship with food, the chance to get her to fill up on her favourite nosh is something I rarely turn down. So what food does she love? Japanese! We love to go to Wagamamas, Yo Sushi or Mount Fuji. Each is a different experience so it depends on what mood we are in. Wagamamas is fine if you don’t mind eating with strangers. They have huge tables which are shared by all customers. The food is delicious though, our favourite dish from there is Chicken Katsu Curry. Also a very social experience is Yo Sushi, where you sit around a huge conveyor belt taking off the dishes going by that you like the look of. My favourite here is the Kappa Maki (or cucumber sushi rolls) but I do try lots of other dishes. I tend to grab anything with prawns in. For some reason I always drink far to much sparkling water (it’s on tap) at Yo Sushi.
This week we were in a Bento kind of mood so it had to be Mount Fuji. the restaurant we go to is pretty small and most of the tables have a window view which is great for people watching. We both had Chicken Karage Bento which was gorgeous. If you are not familiar with Bento, it’s a meal in a box with all the different parts of the meal in different sections. Here’s one I had before, this is Sweet and Sour Chicken bento:

I also had a cup of Hojicha latte, which is green tea with hot milk. Hojicha is different because it’s roasted rather than steamed and looks brown rather than green. It’s incredibly yummy.

For dessert we had Matcha Tiramisu;

Matcha Tiramisu
Do I need to say more? Well, ok, matcha fine ground powdered green tea and is often used in desserts. This Tiramisu had a matcha flavoured sponge with a cream and matcha tea on top. It’s one of our favourite of the Japanese desserts. 
Do you have older children? Do you make time to spend with them, does parenting stop when they get to adulthood? 
Maybe things will be different when they have families of their own? That will be a new experience for me. 
(one more question: Am I strange in longing to become a grandma, even though my youngest is only 2 years old?)

Princess Poops

This is a revised post from my other blog which I wrote for a Special Saturday theme about toileting.

We started training Star when she was two years old, which I guess is about average in our part of the world. We tried a potty but she wouldn’t sit on it, we tried a toddler toilet seat but she wouldn’t use it. She hated not having a nappy on and despite trying every toilet training trick in the book we just couldn’t get her to go.
We gave up and left it for six months before trying again. Again we were not successful. We tried several different types of potties, one lovely one looked just like a throne, she liked it, but wouldn’t use it. We tried a Disney Princess toddler seat on the toilet with a special step. We even painted the littlest room in pretty pink so she would like it more in there. Every time we sat her down she would just scream the house down.
At three she started full time nursery. They suspended her a few weeks later and told us we could take her back when she was toilet trained. We’d tried to get away with it by using pull-ups  but as Star was just not using the toilet at all she was soon found out.
So we just persevered and although it was a nightmare time we finally got her to pee on the toilet. She still screamed but at least she was peeing as well. After a while she got better and would stop the screaming and just go. We rarely had any accidents and pretty soon she was dry throughout the night too. Success.
But as we all know it’s not all about the pees. The poops are still an ongoing problem. Star suffered terribly with constipation for many years, eventually we got it under control with diet and sugar water and once they were softer she would go more often and get less constipated. But where she goes is in her pants. The past year she has got better, but she still starts to poo in her pants and then goes to the toilet. At school she just never goes, she waits until she gets home. Unfortunately just the other day was the first time she pooped herself at school and because of her age I had to go and clean her up. It was just before home time so I took her straight home afterwards and hopefully her classmates do not know what had happened as children can be so cruel.
We have talked about this problem with her psychologist who has promised to get her investigated as she may have a problem where she does not actually feel the need to go until it’s actually on it’s way out. It does seem that way but Star doesn’t understand. We have tried taking her to the toilet at the same time every day, about an hour after school, which is when the accidents tend to happen but even if we make her sit on the toilet she doesn’t do anything. Then she will poop her pants afterwards.
Going out is awkward but we just take a pair of pants and some wipes and just hope that we can get her to the toilet as soon as possible when it happens.  We don’t know if this will problem will ever get any better, at the moment we don’t have much hope.

Update: This post was written in May last year and I don’t really have much else to report. Star continues to start going to the toilet in her pants and then goes to the little girl’s room. She can’t tell us why she doesn’t go any sooner. At least now she’s not completely soiling herself, although she will need changing each time she goes. We have had little success with the GP and are still waiting for her next psychologist appointment.

Snow Business

You are probably sick of hearing about snow now. I know I am. Why is it such a big deal in this country, a big snow fall and everything falls to pieces, public transport dies, the roads are treacherous and all anyone is talking about is snow! You go online and your Facebook and Twitter feeds are filled with pictures and tales of woe about the snow. Even the tv is full of it, they even encourage you to send in your snow photos so they can show them on the news. I know that we don’t really get that much snow here in the UK, but surely we should have it sussed by now.  I’m peeved because I was expecting my new bed to be delivered today and now the earliest I will get it is next Wednesday.
When we got up this morning we mocked the weather report that said we’d be waking up to a thick blanket of snow, there was barely a covering on the pavement and nothing on the road. The school texted to say it was open…but it was snowing. By the time we left for school the snow had become quite thick and it was welly time. The Little Man had not walked in snow before and was so excited. I figured letting him walk would be easier than trying to push his buggy. It was still snowing. When we reached the school we were told they would be closing at lunch time and it was up to us whether the children stayed or not. Boo and the Little Man wanted to stay, Star didn’t and came home with me. It was still snowing.
Back home I did some housework and helped Star work on her homework (weighing and measuring) Then I got a call from the Little Man’s teacher asking me to pick him up, so I picked up Boo too. It was still snowing and really thick underfoot by now.
We had a lovely afternoon playing in the snow all wrapped up.
Sorry if I’ve added to the deluge of snow stories, but now I’m going to punish you even more with our snow photos. (evil laugh)

The Little Man
Star and Daddy

Collage, click to enlarge

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallLinked to Coombe Mill’s Country Kids, click on button for other posts in the linky.

Stars Knees

Star has had problems with her knees for as long as I can remember. Even as a baby the only way we could calm her sometimes was by massaging her legs, or moving them in a bicycle motion. We thought it was to ease colic, no I think maybe it was leg pain all along. I took her to the GP several times and eventually she was sent to hospital for an x-ray. Nothing showed up but they did say she was hypermobile or double jointed. It was suggested she may have juvenile arthritis but on mentioning this to the GP I was told I would just be following up an unnecessary diagnosis as there wouldn’t be anything they could do for her. Dismayed by the GP I went home, got Star a bottle of calpol and a couple of wheat bags. This helped for a while.

When Star was referred to a psychologist for a diagnosis into her autism she was sent for a physiotherapy check. Here her hypermobility was picked up again and it was suggested that this was what was causing the pain in her legs. So she was given regular physiotherapy which took place at school so it didn’t interrupt her school life so much. She was also referred to a podiatrist who prescribed inserts for her shoes. I have noticed a difference, but she still gets pain. Recently I bought her a new game for her Wii. She loves dancing, so I bought Just Dance3. She has really enjoyed playing/dancing and it’s giving her loads of exercise. Just like mum she lacks rhythm but I am already seeing an improvement. Maybe learning to dance this way will give her more poise and stop her looking so clumsy all the time? 
Looking more into Hypermobility Syndrome I have realised that Star has inherited this from me. I have always known that I was double jointed, but never really associated it with the pain I get. From a very young age I can remember screaming with pain in my knees and my mum massaging me. She always said it was cramp or growing pains, she had no reason to think otherwise. I still get the pain now, and in my ankles and fingers. Some times it’s not so bad, sometimes it’s inscrutable, but it’s something I’ve had for such a long time I just get on with it now. The only thing I can liken the pain to is the the cramp you get during pregnancy, the sort that has you jumping out of bed in the middle of the night and will only go away by massage or walking it off. Sometimes my fingers seize up dead straight, this is painful too and I look like someone with arthritis. I can remember my nan’s fingers like this, to the point when she was very old that a couple of her fingers where ‘stuck’ like it. Was it arthritis or did she have hypermobility syndrome too?
I have also learnt recently that bruising easily, sensitive skin and drooping eyelids are all symptoms that can be associated with Hypermobility Syndrome, both Star and myself have these too. Maybe they will be able to find the right medication in the future, in the meantime the wheat bags are our best friend.

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.