Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Chicken Pox - Easier in Younger Children?

I kept hearing that it would be much easier for us to cope if our children got chicken pox whilst they were young. Apparently the younger they get it, the better it is for them.

But what about for us?

So Wee Z, aged 5, got chicken pox 2 weeks ago now. I was actually dreading the day he got chicken pox. This was because a) he is older and probably would end up getting them quite badly and b) he is male and they don't generally do well with any sort of illness.

The spots appeared on Wee Z and yes he felt under the weather but did my boy complain once? No he did not. Not a moan, not a whinge...nothing. OK, I did have to tell him to try and not itch and he did really well not to pick his scabs. Overall, he was the model patient with chicken pox. He also didn't have that many chicken pox, from what I've seen, and they crusted over within 3 days.

There I was thinking, ha, if they are supposed to be worse with chicken pox the older they are, Miss C is going to be a doddle.

How wrong was I?

Miss C isn't covered in chicken pox, she is beyond the meaning of the word covered. I can't see her skin for chicken pox. Her face looks like a really bad teenage acne breakout.

She is picking and itching and making her skin bleed. Her nails are cut right down and yet she still manages to break the skin. We tell her not to pick or scratch but she doesn't understand properly.

And she is a terrible patient. She doesn't want medicine or cream or anything to make her feel better. She is moaning and whinging and throwing herself about the place. She keeps asking when her chicken pox will go away and declaring she doesn't like her chicken pox. She wants to sleep in my bed and then sleep in her bed and then my bed again...

Perhaps it seems worse because I'm feeling under the weather too and lack of sleep catches up on me fast. Mummy N said I looked like a zombie yesterday morning. I definitely feel like one...least that's my Halloween costume sorted!

Needless to say, I'm not convinced on the whole "get it whilst they are young" theory. It may be better for their immune system or some other health related matter, but it ain't a walk in the park for us parents.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Harry Potter Kinect - Review

We received Harry Potter to review for the Kinect for Xbox 360. I love the Kinect as it adds a whole new way of playing video games and it's really good fun for all the family.

Harry Potter Kinect is suitable for 1-2 players and has a 12 rating as there are some violent scenes in the game. Not that this bothered Wee Z or Miss C who watched in fascination at the story scenes.

You can choose to play the game in "movie mode" so you play as Harry Potter or you can play in "custom mode" so you play as your Xbox 360 avatar. We decided to play as Harry.

The game works through the Harry Potter book series, so you start year 1 as a newly discovered wizard and work your way through each level. In each level there are different games or tasks to complete. All of these games are completed with the Kinect - you don't use your controller at all.

The different types of tasks are casting spells, making potions, battles, duels and even a Quidditch match that Wee Z loved playing. He got to practise some of his karate punches on the opposition and he was really getting into the game. It did last a bit long, but I think that was down to Wee Z not staying on the trail and not the length of the match itself. The more games you play, the more levels and specials matches you unlock. After each game, you are awarded points and stars to create a personal best. You can replay the levels if you want to try and beat your personal best.

The Kinect uses voice recognition to pick up any spells you cast. You learn these in lessons during the game. It also picks up your body movement for when you use your wand or a sword in battles or duels. You interact by jumping, ducking and dodging too. Husband and Wee Z were out of breath after a few games.

The story scenes are fantastic. I've never seen the Harry Potter films but I was captivated and may have to watch them now. Game play was great and the graphics were really very good!

This is a great family game, especially if you love Harry Potter. You do need a Kinect to play it but that's the whole point of the interactive aspect of this game. I don't think it would be as good as a controller-based game.

We received Harry Potter for the Kinect for Xbox 360 for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Chicken Pox - Round Two

Wee Z recovered fairly quickly from his chicken pox and was back at school 6 days after his spots appeared. He must be a quick healer or the bicarbonate of soda bath really helped!

People kept asking if Miss C had shown any signs of chicken pox appearing. She had been a bit of a grump, but I was putting that down to her jags. Otherwise, she wasn't feeling unwell.

My friend told me it would probably be about 10 days after Wee Z's spots had appeared that Miss C would get her chicken pox, if she was going to get them.

Low and behold, this morning, Miss C has woken up covered in chicken pox. It has been about 12 days since Wee Z got chicken pox so that seems about right from what my friend told me.

So as the last of Wee Z's spots disappear, I have the pleasure of calamine lotion, antihistamines and bicarb baths for another week with Miss C.

At least it gets it all over and done with before Christmas.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekFortyThree

Last Sunday, I spent the morning doing my cleaning, ironing and making dinner. I was getting it all out of the way so I could spend the afternoon Christmas shopping. Husband took the kids to the park and they had a picnic in a secret garden because it was such a lovely warm day. My Christmas shopping trip wasn't as sunny; I spent an hour walking around Tesco, browsing their toy sale and I got...nothing! We came home and had dinner together and we watched Xfactor once the kids were in bed.

On Monday, it was the last day of half term for us. Although Wee Z's chicken pox had all crusted over, we still stayed indoors and had a house day. We spent the morning playing and making our dinner of sausage casserole. After lunch the kids did some drawing and colouring. We made a beautiful glitter picture of a flower.

On Tuesday, Wee Z went back to school. He was excited to go back and see his friends. Miss C and I spent the morning making spaghetti bolognaise which I had for lunch. It was yummy! In the afternoon, we went for a bike ride. Well, Miss C went for a bike ride; I just walked alongside her.

On Wednesday, Miss C and I spent the morning tidying up and playing with her animal toys. We had lunch and then went for a short scooter ride. The ride ended up being more of a pull along scooter ride as Miss C decided to sit on her scooter and I pulled her along. I'm definitely going to get a sleigh for the school run whenever it starts snowing.

On Thursday, Miss C went back to nursery. When I picked her up she had some beautiful artwork for me. We walked home and had lunch. I had a proud Mummy moment when Miss C wrote her first word all by herself! In the afternoon, we walked to the shop to get some milk. It was freezing and almost cold enough for snow when we left the house however, by the time we got to school to pick up Wee Z, it was roasting hot and the sun was splitting the sky!

On Friday, I went for run. I was attempting 2 miles but after 5 minutes I was fed up just jogging so I decided to try some max interval training. I already do max interval training on one of my DVDs however my friend, who runs around 8 miles on a session, told me to try jogging and then tapping a lamppost and sprinting to the next lamppost. I did this for 1 mile and a half and I was knackered and sweating. But it was good! We picked Wee Z up from school and decided to go to soft play since ballet was off.

On Saturday, I took Wee Z to karate and Miss C and I went to the park to feed the ducks. It was a beautiful sunny day, which was lucky for Husband, who was off to the town of St Andrews to take part in a charity sky dive. Rather him than me! In the evening, Cupcake Neighbour and her partner came down for a night in. We ordered some Indian food and watched Xfactor. It was a great night.

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Great British Bake Off - Learn to Bake

I was sent the Great British Bake Off: Learn to Bake book to review. Maybe you want to learn how to bake or you're a bit of a novice, like me, and want some tips or ideas? This is a great book to get you started and features some yummy recipes to make with the kids too.

The book is easy to follow, filled with tips and pointers. There are 80 recipes in the book featuring bread, pastry, cakes and savoury dishes all designed to make for the family to enjoy.

We decided to make the Choc Toffee cupcakes, which are a perfect treat for Halloween or Bonfire night. As I followed the recipe, I can't share it with you however if you have your own recipe for chocolate cupcakes, use it and add a toffee chocolate (like a Rolo) into the centre of the cupcake before baking.

The cakes tasted nice and the toffee centre added a little surprise gooey middle. This recipe used milk for making the cupcakes, which I don't ever add to my own recipe. I thought this made the cupcakes taste like they were made for children to eat and made them quite wet. The kids loved them though!

On top of the Choc Toffee cupcakes, I made the chocolate fudge frosting recipe from the book. It was really easy to make but didn't really turn out like I thought it would. Sometimes that happens with a recipe though and whilst it didn't taste bad, I won't be using it again.

This book has plenty of ideas for Christmas, Easter, gifts, treats and savoury snacks. If you are a fan of the Great British Bake Off but aren't too sure about how to bake or want to start with the basics, then this is a great book for you. It's also great for baking with children. If you are more of an expert baker, then you might like to have a nosy of my review of the Great British Bake Off book, How to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers.

Learn to Bake is available to buy now. Published by BBC Books at a price of £18.99 in hardback.

We received a copy of this book for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Flashback Friday - The First Scan

For Flashback Friday this week, I decided to write about our first scan.

Before getting pregnant with Wee Z, I had a miscarriage. Finding out I was pregnant again was exciting but also nerve-wrecking too. We wanted to be happy but we were also scared. What if we lost the baby again?

At around 5 weeks in to my pregnancy, I had terrible cramps. I went to the early pregnancy unit at the maternity unit for a scan to make sure I wasn't having an ectopic pregnancy. The scan showed the tiniest of sacs and a little dot which was the making of Wee Z. They arranged another appointment for me when I was 8 weeks to re-scan me to make sure everything was still fine and they could check for a heartbeat.

At my 8 week scan appointment, they told me to drink lots. I took it so literally that I was drinking cup after cup of water. My appointment time turned into my waiting time and I was in pain because I needed the toilet so badly. When I was finally seen, the sonographer had to ask me to go to the toilet as all they could see was my bladder.

What always amazed me about my scans were how much the baby had grown in between the scans. In 3 weeks, Wee Z had gone from a full stop in a sac to a tiny little baby-shaped thing with a heartbeat. It was surreal.

I didn't have a scan again until my routine 12 week scan. Again the difference was amazing. Wee Z now had legs and arms and was dancing and waving to us.

When I miscarried I had to have a scan to confirm I was losing a baby. I saw what the sonographer saw. It was horrible. So seeing our Wee Z dancing around, healthy and growing...well it was reassuring and it was magical.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Family Day Out at AMF Bowling

A few weekends ago, we were invited to visit an AMF Bowling centre to have a few games of bowling and a family meal. We met up with fellow blogger Susan and her husband and 2 boys which was great fun as we hadn't seen each other in long time.

Bowling is such a fun family activity and when we first went bowling with the kids, they had a great time. It can be quite expensive to go which is why we don't go often but AMF Bowling seem to have quite a few good deals that might make it a bit easier on the purse strings.

We pre-booked our lanes but arrived a bit early for us to get on so the kids enjoyed exploring the arcade area. There were plenty of video games, coin slots and air hockey tables. This is the danger zone of going to a place like a bowling alley! Most of the games cost £1 and they don't last long so, if you are not careful, you could spend quite a bit in a few minutes.

Our lanes were ready for us at 3pm. We collected our bowling shoes. Miss C is an infant size 6 but the bowling shoes were a bit big on her so I asked if they had an infant size 5. Unfortunately the smallest size they did was an infant size 6. Other than that, we got our shoes quite quickly and they had sizes for all of us.

The lights on the bowling lanes were quite dim but there were lots of colourful fairy lights along the sides of the lanes that lit up. The computer was easy to set up to record our scores and I loved the feature that allowed you to choose whether each individual player needed bumpers. Halfway through our first game, I decided I wanted bumpers so we pressed the service button on our computer keypad and someone came and changed it for me.

The kids had lots of fun bowling. We had to share one of the bowling assistance things that the kids use which was fine for us but if you were going yourself as family, you may want to pre-book one as it looked like there was only one available per 2 lanes.

After 2 games of bowling, we headed over to the cafe area to have dinner. You can have your food and drinks brought over to you whilst you are playing but we decided to go and sit down at a table to eat. We were treated to a family meal deal which is 4 burgers or hot dogs with chips and juice for approx £10. I thought that was a good deal and worked out about the same as going to McDonalds and ordering Happy Meals.

The food took ages to come out. I wish we'd thought to order ahead but as it had the appearance of a fast food cafe, we thought the food would be just that. However, the fact it took ages made me happy that it was all being made to order.

When the food arrived, the portions were a good size for the kids but on the small side for myself and on the even smaller side for Husband. The chips weren't the warmest but thankfully weren't covered in salt. The burgers were OK for what you would pay but again, they weren't very warm and the cheese on Husband's burger wasn't at all generous. We also ordered a platter of starters to share which consisted of garlic mushrooms, chicken wings, garlic bread, onion rings and extra chips. Again they weren't the warmest but they tasted fine.

Would I go back to AMF bowling? Yes I would, if there was one a bit more local to me. It was a really fun day out and the staff were always on hand to help and very pleasant. There seemed to be quite a few deals for people to pick and choose from which is always appealing, especially if you can save some pennies. The only drawback was the length of time the food took, but I'll put that down to experience and know to order ahead in future. The food wasn't too bad and you can't turn your nose up at a family meal for under £10.

We were invited to review an AMF bowling centre near us. We were provided with 2 games of bowling and a family meal deal in return for a review. The opinions expressed are my own. 

My Winter Wardrobe from Next

It is sad to clear away all the summer clothes but, this year, it felt like the winter clothes weren't far behind the summer clothes because it was so cold.

I love Next, especially for Wee Z and Miss C. This competition, hosted by beauty and fashion blogger Amy Antoinette, to win a £500 giftcard to spend at Next would make my year! All I need to do is come up with three Winter Wonderland looks for myself.

I don't usually shop at Next for myself as the local store only has a kids' department (so dangerous to my bank card!) and a home department. Browsing their website though, I would easily buy loads. Especially their shoes. I do love shoes.

Anyway, here are the looks I've gone for:

Black faux fur boots, swirly cable hat and scarf, skinny rinse jeans and lace sweat top

This is my everyday casual winter look. I love skinny jeans because they look so pretty with pumps but tuck into boots easily and are great for defining your legs. They also go with everything! I love the colour of the jumper; it's very wintry and adds that splash of colour to the outfit. I like a flat heel boot, purely because they are much more practical for walking to and from school with the kids. I've added in a hat and scarf to keep me cosy! I love the little bobble on the top of the hat.

Black lace bolero, embellished pleat dress with patent ankle strap shoes

I've also chosen a Christmas party look. My favourite thing about Winter is the festive period. Everyone is in a good mood and in the mood to celebrate. I love the colour of the pleated dress and it's a good length. It also comes in white. I love the embellished details on the chest; they look a bit like snowflakes. The black ribbon on the side adds another pretty little detail and adds shape to the dress. I would team it with the lace bolero to keep me warm and these gorgeous black patent open toe shoes.

Black long coat, heatseal ballerina shoes, animal mono print longline shirt and black leggings

This is my smart work winter look. Another essential in my wardrobe are black leggings. Again, they go with everything and can be dressed up for the evening or work or dressed down with the lace sweat top for relaxing at home with the kids. I love animal print, especially leopard and I love the silver/grey colour in this pretty shirt dress. I've chosen sparkly ballerina pumps and a beautiful, stylish winter coat to finish off the look. A long black coat is another wardrobe essential and the fitted look flatters any shape. It also goes with my casual look and my party look. Versatile!

Of course, I couldn't look at Next without looking at Winter outfits for Miss C!

This isn't part of my competition entry however it is on my list of things to buy if I'm lucky enough to win the voucher. Miss C was admiring the pink sparkly boots in Next the other day and I love the frilly skirt on the girl on the jumper. The little sparkly stars on the jeans help bring the outfit together and of course, the jeans are skinny fit so the bottoms tuck in to her boots.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Books #TheGallery

We love books in our house. I love getting caught up in a story to the point it becomes almost impossible to put a book down. The last book I did that with was Bared To You by Sylvia Day. Before that it was the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy.

My children share our love of books too. Wee Z and I used to read at least 4 books before bedtime from pretty much the day he was born. Maybe this is why he learnt to read so early on. He loves to read and is working his way through the Secret Seven books.

Books glorious books

Miss C loves books about animals. However, one of her favourite books is called Dudley and it's a book with a monster puppet that you make talk and do naughty things as you read the book. She loves when Dudley tries to nibble her fingers.

Books are great for any age and you really can't go wrong with a cuddle on the couch and a book to read. My children will never have too many books.

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is Books.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Funny Things My Kids Say #17

On a Monday I make a sausage casserole for dinner. I use the slow cooker for this recipe as the sausages taste lovely and the carrot, swede and potatoes soak in all the flavour of the sauce. It is really yummy and the kids love it! It's a great way to get them to eat their vegetables too.

As I work in the evenings, I have my dinner before I go to work. Last night I dished up a bowl of sausage casserole and was about to tuck in when Wee Z walked passed and stared at my dinner.

"Those sausages look like big poos Mummy!" 

And with that, he walked off and I was almost put off my dinner.


Peppa Pig Fairground Game - Review

Miss C was sent the Peppa Pig Fairground game from Jumbo to review. This game is suitable for ages 3+ and for 2-4 players.

The Peppa Pig Fairground game is a fun, family game that is easy for young children to play with little adult help. It doesn't need batteries to work so as soon as it is assembled out of the box, (which the kids managed to do themselves!) it is ready to play.

Each player chooses a Peppa Pig to play. Peppa wears a different coloured dress so players can choose which colour they want to be. This confused Peppa Pig enthusiast Miss C; there is a yellow Peppa which Miss C said was cousin Chloe and then a blue Peppa which she said was George. I think it would have been better to have the characters from Peppa's family as playing pieces.

Each player sits their Peppa Pig on a swing on the fairground ride. Play starts with the  youngest player who pushes down on the big red plunger. This makes the fairground ride spin round. When the fairground ride stops, if your Peppa Pig's seat is on top of a "hop off" square then you take your Peppa Pig off the ride. You then need to place your Peppa wherever you think an empty seat will stop on the next spin. The winner is the Peppa who is the last one sitting on the fairground ride.

We had fun playing this game as it really is quite easy to follow. I also love how the fairground could become a playset for Miss C's Peppa Pig play sets. The kids loved playing the game but they also had lots of fun trying to make the Peppa Pigs fly off the fairground ride, which they will do if they are not pushed down on their seats properly.

We gave this a big 9/10 - We would have preferred if the playing pieces could have been Peppa's family and not just Peppa Pigs. 

Stockists include Amazon, ELC, the Entertainer, Boots,, Tesco and WHSmith. RRP is £14.99 - check individual stockists for their prices.

We received the Peppa Pig Fairground game for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekFortyTwo

Last Sunday, I had a long lie after going to bed quite late. My head was a bit sore after having a few drinks. I could have happily spent the full day in bed but I don't think I would have gotten away with it. I spent the day cleaning up, ironing and sorting Wee Z's clothes. That boy has more clothes than myself and Husband put together. Seriously, he must have a pair of jeans and a t-shirt for every day of the month! Husband took the kids for a bike ride and chestnut hunting again.

On Monday, I managed another long lie as the kids are off school this week for half term. We had breakfast, made a sausage casserole and watched some TV. After lunch, we took a walk into town to get some magazines. Miss C chose a lovely animal magazine whilst Wee Z decided on a Kriss Kross puzzle book. He is definitely missing school. It was back to work for Husband and I. We work around each other so we don't need to take time off during the school holidays, thankfully! It was nice to get back to work.

On Tuesday, we spent the day playing some Orchard Toys games that we are reviewing for the upcoming Izziwizzi Kids playfest party (it's on Tuesday 30th October on twitter at 8.30pm and Thursday 1st November on facebook at 8.30pm if you want to join in!) We enjoy playing games together and as it was pouring with rain, it was a great way to spend the afternoon. In the evening, Wee Z went to a disco at his kids' club. It was fancy dress so he went as Spiderman.

On Wednesday, Wee Z woke up and he had chicken pox. We stayed indoors and cuddled up on the couch to watch cartoons.

On Thursday, more chicken pox had appeared on Wee Z. He was fed up sitting in the house as was Miss C, who doesn't have chicken pox. I took them for a short bike ride around the block where I knew we wouldn't bump into anyone as Wee Z was still in his contagious stage - according to NHS direct anyway. We did one of our favourite Orchard Toys puzzle, Giant World Map. It's fab for learning about the world and once we pieced it together, we searched for all the countries and their landmarks. My mother-in-law came to visit and brought chocolate goodies and gifts for the kids.

On Friday, I wrapped Wee Z up and took him and Miss C to get our food shopping. We also went winter boot shopping to Next, but they didn't have their sizes so I'll have to order them online. In the afternoon we did some baking. We made chocolate toffee cupcakes with a chocolate fudge frosting. They were yummy!

On Saturday morning I had to go to work. Husband dismantled the trampoline to save it from being ruined through the winter months. We need a new trampoline net for next year as it has taken a beating from rigorous jumping this summer! The kids were excited to have a huge space to ride their bikes, which is what they spent the afternoon doing. This gave me a chance to tidy up and get my washing done! After dinner, we went for a walk to the nearby forest and the kids and Husband played on a tree swing whilst I took some pictures.

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Chicken Pox - Day 4

This morning Wee Z woke up and immediately said he felt hungry. It has been a few days since he woke up like that!

No new spots have appeared and it seems that all the little ones that we thought might come to something...well they never did. The spots look a bit redder than yesterday but they have all crusted over now.

Wee Z has been a lot more "himself" today. He was playing outside, encouraging Miss C to get up to mischief.

He ate a bit more than he has done the last few days and seems to have a lot more energy. We went for a big walk after dinner and the kids took their bikes. Wee Z was riding fast and enjoyed playing on the tree swing in the forest.

He went to bed feeling sleepy but nowhere near as exhausted as he has been feeling.

I think he is well on the road to recovery from the nasty chicken pox!

Funny Things My Kids Say #16

We were having breakfast yesterday morning when Miss C turned to Wee Z and asked, "why were you crying last night?"

Wee Z replied, "I had a really sore throat, it was so sore and I felt like I couldn't even breathe!"

Miss C, ever so sympathetic towards her brother, looked straight at Wee Z and said, "well me getting fed up with your crying!"

I nearly choked on my crunchy nut cornflakes.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Chicken Pox - Day 3

This morning Wee Z woke up screaming in pain. He had a very sore throat and because he'd gotten himself in such a state, he said he felt like he couldn't breathe. I got him some water and some infant paracetamol and brought him into bed with me. He went back to sleep for 2 hours.

No new spots have appeared, thankfully, and the spots he has have started to crust over. Some look like they may have burst and these ones are purple and angry-looking.

The bicarb of soda seems to have done a really good job with the itching and crusting the spots up. I'm still giving him his antihistamine but only when he asks for it. He hasn't been very itchy at all.

I do notice he seems more tired and has been asking to go to bed early. His appetite isn't what it normally is - he's only asking for 2 bowls of cereal in the morning instead of his usual 3 and 2 yogurts. He is drinking a lot more water, which is good for him and keeps him hydrated. His lips are quite dry and sore looking.

Another bicarb of soda bath tonight and more cream before bed.

Miss C is back to her cheery self. I hope this isn't the calm before the storm!

Flashback Friday - A Photo

For Flashback Friday this week, I've decided to go with a photo. Not such an old photo as my one last week, but still a good 6 years ago.

This photo is of Husband and I at a friend's wedding. I can't get over how young we look here...we didn't have kids then.

However, we were "with child" in this photo. Literally 2 days before this picture was taken, I found out I was pregnant with Wee Z.

Trying to explain to a room full of Scots why you can't drink at a wedding without telling them you are pregnant...that's a hard one. I think we got away with it though!

Although, perhaps our smiles would have given us away instead.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Chicken Pox - Day 2

Last night Wee Z woke up screaming. He was burning up and had been having a really bad dream. I thought he might have been hallucinating. Apparently this is one of the symptoms of chicken pox: a temperature.

We managed to settle him back to sleep after a dose of infant paracetamol and he slept through the rest of the night. I told him he could come and sleep in my bed but he said he was fine in his own bed.

In the morning, he woke up and went straight downstairs for a drink. He was really thirsty. When I got him dressed, I couldn't get over how many more spots had appeared. He maybe only had a few yesterday but today he had at least a hundred!

And they are everywhere!

His arms and legs haven't gotten them too badly but his tummy, back and neck are covered in spots.

We've been using Aqueous cream and an antihistamine to help with the itchiness. I also got some advice to put bicarbonate of soda in his bath as this helps them crust over quicker and eases the itch.

He hasn't complained once about feeling itchy and is doing a great job of not touching his spots. His Gran, who came to visit today, brought him a chocolate lolly from M&S and that really perked him up.

Hopefully tomorrow will see no extra spots and a bit more crust!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

We've Got Chicken Pox

Friends told me I'd know when my kids had chicken pox. It would be hard not to know given what the spots look like. And they would be EVERYWHERE. I wasn't convinced...Wee Z's eczema could easily have hidden any chicken pox spots because it gets very red, very blister-like and very itchy.

I was also told they'd feel miserable and grumpy for about 10 days before the spots appeared.

This morning, I woke up and went to the toilet. Wee Z decided to walk in, (as they do) to talk to me and I noticed a little spot on his neck. Upon closer inspection, it was a red spot, blister-like and filled with a clear liquid. I then spotted another spot...and another...and another.

"You've got chicken pox!"

Wee Z looked at me and shrugged his shoulders. It wasn't a big deal to him. He's too cool for that now, apparently. I got him to lift his top and his back was covered in spots. Some had burst and were purple and looked sore. Some were just appearing. The spots are in the most bizarre his ears, in his hair and even on his bum!

But there was no clue. None. None whatsoever that he would be getting chicken pox. Although, yesterday he'd been feeling a bit peaky and looked pale but he wasn't unwell. No 10 days of illness. I guess it affects everyone differently though!

Thankfully he is on half term just now so we can get the spots bit over with before he goes back to school on Tuesday. He hasn't complained about the spots...yet.

However, Miss C has been a grump the last 3 weeks...I hope she isn't holding out for them too.

Old #TheGallery

When Husband decided to have a clear out of the loft, I asked him to bring down my photo box. I keep it in the loft because it's the safest place for it I guess. And I have a lot of photos, so it's a pretty big box.

I remember buying spools of film to put in my camera and I'd take it everywhere with me. This was long before the days of digital. I'd take my camera to school, to the park, to the town...everywhere. I have literally thousands of photos and I love looking through them.

Some of my favourite photos are of myself and my Sister when we were younger. I'm talking baby days. I was lucky enough to grow up abroad so most of my childhood pictures feature sun, sea, sand and shorts.

This picture is of my Mum and I. I think we are in Spain (mainly because I can't see it being THAT warm in Scotland!) and I must be almost a year old here. This makes this photo an OLD photo.

I never thought I looked like my Mum. I don't really look like my Dad either so it's a bit of a running joke (between Husband and I) that I must look like the milkman. If Gran's milkman was THE Sean Connery! I uploaded this photo on to Facebook and one of my friend's said, "No way, Wee Z is your double, I thought that was you!" I laughed when I read it and replied, "I wish it was me, my Mum has huge boobs compared to my bee-stings!"

But I thought it was nice that someone saw a photo of my Mum and thought it was me.

This post is for the Gallery. The theme this week is Old.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Is Anywhere Safe Anymore?

I read something this morning that really made my blood curdle. It was about a woman and her baby at a park, doing normal mum and baby things, in the middle of the day. A man approached her to ask the time and then went on to grab this woman and undress himself. Thankfully for her, a dog walker disturbed this vile creature and he ran off.

It made me think though; is anywhere safe anymore?

We've had a number of reported attempts at child abduction in our area over the last 2 months. I'm not sure how much of it is factual...I read these things over Facebook and I do often wonder how much of this is a rumour to scaremonger people.

But if it's true? Well that's just even more scary. We've seen it happen most recently with April Jones, who went missing a few weeks ago. And we can't forget Madeline McCann.

I remember growing up being able to ride my bike up and down the street where my Gran lived. We used to cycle to the top of the road where the shops were and back down again. We'd ride around the block and back again. We knew our boundaries and stuck to them. It was the best part of my childhood, out enjoying the fresh air, playing with my friends and having fun.

I don't want my children to miss out on that but these creeps out there are making it harder and harder for me to think about letting my children out to play with their friends.

My children love being outdoors, splashing in puddles in their wellies, hunting for chestnuts and playing in the park. It's what growing up is all about. Most of the time, I take them to the park and Husband comes at the weekends. Do I risk going myself with Miss C? Sadly it looks like that isn't even safe for us to do anymore.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekFortyOne

Last Sunday I didn't go for a run. I was still in pain from the kettlebells class I went to. My legs were aching and muscles I didn't even know existed were throbbing. Instead, I spent the day ironing and tidying whilst Husband took the kids chestnut hunting. They didn't get many as I don't think the summer (or rather the lack of) gave the chestnuts the chance to grow! They did find a tree swing though and spent ages playing on it. I made some hot chocolate and broke out the biscuits for when they got home.

On Monday, I took Wee Z to school and then went for a run. Husband and I are on holiday this week. Slightly crazy that we took the week before half term off but we thought we'd enjoy the peace and quiet ourselves for a change. In the afternoon, Miss C and I walked to the park before picking Wee Z up from school. It was a lovely sunny day but we still had to wrap up in warm jackets and scarves.

On Tuesday, Miss C and I went swimming and met Mummy N and Wee L in the pool. We went up and down the slide a lot and Miss C was practising her backward swim. She is doing really well but isn't confident enough to have her armbands off yet. In the afternoon, we picked Wee Z up from school and went to soft play. The kids get a meal deal by going after school so they were able to play for 2 hours and have their dinner aswell. They had a great time and were ready for bed when we got home.

On Wednesday, Miss C and I walked to the toddler group with Mummy N and Wee L. It was a good walk and it was sunny and fresh so it really woke us up. The kids had fun playing on the trikes and the bouncy castle. We had some yummy vegetable soup for snack and then we walked back home. Husband came with us to pick Wee Z up from school and Miss C decided she wanted to ride her bike to school and back. Once we got back home, Papa was there to look after the kids whilst Husband and I went to parents evening. As a treat for doing so well, we took Wee Z to Burger King for dinner.

On Thursday I went for a run whilst Husband got the kids ready for school and nursery. I downloaded an app on to my phone to track my run as I wasn't really sure how far I was running. I went for a 15 minute run and covered 1.57 miles. I didn't think I was covering that much ground! After my run, I got showered and changed and went shopping with my birthday money. I got some new boots, new shoes, a few jumpers and a few pairs of leggings. I got Miss C some gorgeous pink slippers from Next but couldn't see any I liked for Wee Z so I got him a t-shirt. In the evening I went to the kettlebells class again.

On Friday, Miss C and I had a lazy day on the couch reading books and watching TV. We even had a nap. It was a nice way to spend the last day of my holiday before going back to work on Monday. I took Miss C to ballet but I didn't join in this week. She was crying at first and I stayed in the room awhile but I think this was doing more harm  than good, so I waited outside and kept peeking in. She settled after a few minutes when one of the little girls stepped in to look after her. Wee Z went to his Friday club in the evening and had a good time seeing his friends from his class.

On Saturday morning, Wee Z had his karate class. He came home with his second tab on his yellow belt. I'm so proud of him! In the afternoon, we met up with Susan and her boys for a few games of bowling. The kids hadn't seen each other in awhile but they had lots of fun playing together. In the evening, we had friends over for drinks and Xfactor. We stayed up way too late but it was great to catch up.

Silent Sunday

Friday, 12 October 2012

Flashback Friday - My Grandad

I've been meaning to join in with Flashback Friday for ages and just kept forgetting. It was looking through old photos this week that made me remember to link up.

This photo is of my Gran, Grandad and I when I turned one. It wasn't a Friday, it was a Wednesday. I've talked about my Gran before on my blog as I was very close to her but I haven't talked about my Grandad. That's not been deliberate; I just don't know much about him.

My earliest memory of my Grandad is him sitting in his chair in the living room in his house, eating a bowl of cereal. My Grandad died a year before my Sister was born so I must have only been 2 and a half at the time.

Sadly, my Grandad died about 6 months after he gave up smoking. I think he did have some sort of cancer but in those days, no one really knew the ill-effects smoking can have on a person.

My Gran always talked about my Grandad and how much she missed him. They had been together for years...I'd say at least 40 years, maybe more. She spent 13 years missing him...she always, always said 13 was her lucky number and she passed away 13 years after losing him on Friday the 13th.

I wish I knew more about the man in this picture. I'd say he looks strict but fair. Someone you wouldn't want to mess with. I remember a story involving my Mum and his car and, although I don't know the ins and out of the story, I know he was mad! I'd also say he looks kind, friendly and like he was a great, great husband, dad and Grandad.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Our First Parents Evening

Last night we attended our first ever parents evening at school. We've had the parents evening at nursery of course, but a parents evening at school, well it's a whole other story.

My Father-in-Law came to sit with the kids whilst Husband and I went to school to meet Wee Z's teacher. We hadn't spoken to her before, so we were excited to hear how Wee Z was getting on.

We were able to look around his classroom whilst waiting to speak with the teacher and we were able to look through his folders and jotters. We laughed a lot reading a story he had written about his Gran.

We looked at all his artwork which the teacher had stuck around the classroom. There was a beautiful drawing of a rainbow that I wanted to take a picture of but I wasn't sure if I'd be allowed, so I'll wait until he brings it home.

Our meeting with his teacher went well and everything said was very positive and encouraging. Wee Z sits with the Primary 2 group in his class and learns their curriculum, which was something the deputy head teacher and his teacher decided to do. He is coping very well with the Primary 2 work and just needs to work on his handwriting. His teacher isn't too worried about that though as the Primary 2 children have had a year on him.

On the way out we spoke with the deputy head teacher. They had arranged for Wee Z to do some assessments to work out his reading level, language level and he also did a maths test. They still want to do a reading comprehension test with him but they were pleasantly shocked as was I with the results of his tests. Wee Z is bright, but having an actual indication of how bright he is will keep him challenged at school.

All in all, we were very happy parents and took Wee Z out for dinner as a treat for having worked so very hard in his first term at school.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Yellow #TheGallery

Yellow is the epitome of summer in my eyes. I love yellow. It's bright, it's cheery and it's sunshine. Here are some of my favourite yellow photos:




Karate belts

Gorgeous hair and jacket


This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is Yellow.

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