Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Miss C, Fashion is Sequins...

Whilst I don't enjoy glitter as a form of artwork, (it just doesn't come off a lino floor!) I absolutely love anything that sparkles and shines in terms of clothes, shoes, jewellery...mobile phones...

Miss C has also taken on board my glitter and sequins fetish, like magpie like mini-magpie, and adores anything that blings or shimmers.

Next have a gorgeous range of girls clothes that are just perfect for the glitter-holics in us. These are some of my favourite pieces front their Spring/Summer collection:

This strawberry appliqué top is really sweet and Miss C loves strawberries so I know she'd love this top. Perfect for those cooler spring days and a bargain at £5.50 - £6.50 depending on the size.

Could these Union Jack lace-up boots be anymore sequined up? I love them! Unfortunately they aren't available in Miss C's size but I'm totally tempted to get them for me! Prices start from £17 and from kid size 9.

You can mix and match colours with their coloured skinny jeans and coloured heart crews. The colours are really vibrant and summery! Be gone winter!! Prices start from £10 for the skinny jeans and £11 for the crew tops. I love the glitter heart motifs on the crew tops. One in every colour please!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekFour

The end of the month is nigh; it's almost February, the month of love and pancakes. I love pancakes, yum!

Last Sunday we spent a quiet day indoors playing, reading and watching films. It wasn't nice enough to go out anywhere, although we did manage to pop over to my friend's house to see her and her little girl for an hour. We were dropping in her birthday present as she turned 4 during the week. When we arrived, the little girl was wearing a Sleeping Beauty costume and had told her mummy she was going to lie on the couch until Wee Z arrived so he could kiss her to wake her up because he was her Prince. Kids are so cute!

On Monday when I got home from work we played in the living room whilst Got to Dance was on in the background. I love Got to Dance and whilst I'd like to say it is because of all the amazingly talented dancers, (which I guess in parts it is) it isn't all I watch it for: I have a huge crush on Adam Garcia. If anyone watches Got to Dance and saw when Adam got up and did a rendition of Night Fever, well I nearly fell of my couch! I have it marked to keep on Sky+ for whenever I'm feeling down.

On Tuesday we went swimming again with Mama N and Wee J and one of the mums from nursery and her 2 little girls. It was lots of fun and the kids' swimming is really coming on. Wee Z braved the water with no armbands and was trying to swim himself. I wanted to put him into swimming lessons as I definitely think being able to swim is a life-skill you should have but both Husband and I are confident swimmers and we decided one of us would teach him and Miss C. Cheaper than swimming lessons anyways!

On Wednesday we had to stay in all day and wait for the (much anticipated) "big girl" bed for Miss C. I ordered it just after Christmas and I've heard about it everyday since I told Miss C she was getting her "big girl" bed. My advice after this experience is - tell your kids nothing! They don't need to have things to look forward to as they don't deal with waiting well...but that's just my experience. Unfortunately, whilst the bed arrived, they had brought a double mattress instead of a single mattress and having dismantled Miss C's toddler bed, she had to have a sleepover with Wee Z that night. She wasn't bothered though and was quite happy to sleep on her old mattress beside her brother. I think she got in his bed though at some point during the night as her hair bauble was in his bed in the morning.

On Thursday it was my day off and Husband, being the fantastic Husband that he is, let me have a lie-in. Woooo! I slept til 9am and got up feeling refreshed and raring to go. Then it started to snow. I hate snow. After my car experience in the snow 2 years ago, I refuse to drive anywhere in the snow, so I do feel terribly inconvenienced when it does snow. Husband had arranged a play date for Wee Z with one of the girls at nursery who he gets on with really well so he drove over to their house, with me a nervous passenger, whilst the snow continued to fall. Wee Z had great fun with his friend and Miss C played with the little girl's sister whilst us parents drank tea and ate cake...my kind of play date!

On Friday we decided to make white chocolate cookies. It's a recipe in Lorraine Pascale's new cook book and by golly they were tasty. They didn't take long to make either which is always a bonus! Miss C had ballet so I took her there and Husband took Wee Z and his friend from next door swimming. It was pizza night for dinner which I always love forward to as I love pizza. I'm a spicy chicken, red onion, peppers and mozzarella slices gal.

On Saturday, after work, Husband went to watch the football with some of his friends whilst I took the kids to the library. Our library has a small museum so we decided to take a wander round it before choosing some new books and then picking up a happy Daddy as his team won. I'm still working my way through my books from 3 weeks ago so I renewed them but I'm almost finished my Trisha Ashley one and it's been a really good read. After the kids were in bed, Husband and I watched a TV series we recorded awhile ago called Happy Endings. It's been really funny and is kind of like a more adult version of Friends.

Here is my favourite photo from this week:

This is our cat Casper. He'll be a year old soon! This picture came as a total fluke but it really did make me laugh!

So that was our week! I need to start writing down what I do everyday because I've really struggled to remember some of the things we did. Thank goodness for Facebook and Twitter to jog my memory.

What's For Dinner Today Mummy? #3

Italian food has to be one of my absolute favourite cuisines. I could eat pasta everyday but I know it wouldn't do my waistline any favours so we only have it 2-3 times a week.

Tonight we had lasagna!

Lasagna is definitely one of those dishes that always tastes better on the second day but I always forget to take my mince out of the freezer until the night before we're going to eat it. Usually I'll get up and make it whilst I'm eating my breakfast so it has time to sit before we eat it at tea time.

I don't always make it homemade to be honest as sometimes it is just easier to buy the jars of red lasagna and white lasagna sauce and just cook my mince and Bob's your uncle, it's done! That's what I did this morning but the kids love it and it doesn't do them any harm to have the "out the jar" stuff!

One lasagna dish I do make from scratch (apart from the pasta) is veggie lasagna. It's really tasty and instead of a béchamel sauce, I make a cheese sauce to put in between the layers of tomato, carrot, courgette, peppers and onions. I made this for Miss C's 2nd birthday party and it was generally well received.

For the tomato sauce: -

Olive oil for cooking
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red pepper, chopped or sliced whichever you prefer
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 courgette, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp caster sugar (the tomato makes it quite acidic otherwise)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
150ml vegetable stock

For the cheese sauce: -

110g cheddar cheese (a medium or mature strength)
600ml semi-skimmed milk
50g butter
1 tbsp plain flour

You also need 6 lasagna sheets

Heat the oil in a pan and then sauté the onion and leek for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the red pepper, carrot and courgette and fry for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato purée and the sugar, stirring, and cook for about 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and stock and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. If the veggies are still slightly hard don't worry because they'll cook in the oven.

To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a pan on a low heat. Add the flour and stir until the butter looks thick but not so much that it starts to lump. Gradually add your milk, continually stirring. Once all the milk is added, continue to stir until thick which takes about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add your cheese. 110g is about enough for me but add it to your own tastes.

This recipe fills a square ceramic dish. Start with a layer of the tomato and veggie sauce and then place 3 lasagna sheets on top. Pour some of the cheese sauce over the top and spread until the sheets are covered. Repeat the layering until the dish is full. I usually only get 2 layers because of the depth of my dish.

Cook in a 180°C oven for about 30 - 40 minutes.

The kids love lasagna because it has some of their favourite things in it: pasta and cheese! Wee Z wasn't so keen on it at first but now he eats his up in about 5 minutes! Miss C, as usual, can't see a good plate of food go passed her.

For dessert we had homemade carrot cake which, again, tastes better on the second day. I made it last night and managed to recover it from a baking disaster involving silicone cookie cake moulds and it not being cool enough to take out of the moulds.

Wee Z clearly enjoyed his carrot cake with fudge pieces on top as he devoured his in about 30 seconds!

Silent Sunday

Friday, 27 January 2012

Books That Make Us Giggle

I love how something so silly can get my children into fits of giggles. It can be the most random thing and off they go. For example, the word poo can get Miss C into uncontrollable bouts of giggling to the point where she is red in the face which then sets Wee Z off, who continues to say the word to get Miss C to giggle even more.

As well as silliness and loving to laugh, Wee Z and Miss C LOVE to read. We've been reading 2 books recently that combine silliness and laughter into easy to read picture books; Socks by Nick Sharratt and co-author Elizabeth Lindsay and Dance Together Dinosaurs by Jane Clarke and illustrated by Lee Wildish. Two books that definitely make us giggle!

Dance Together Dinosaurs takes the Strictly Come Dancing show to something funny and original for kids to enjoy. The book is colourful, combining sparkles and spangles to make the dinosaur characters really stand out; they almost dance right off the page. The story incorporates various dance styles like the tango and disco which sees the dinosaurs dance across the glitzy floor. The words were easy to read so Wee Z was able to read this book himself and laughed out loud when there was a mention of a dinosaur poo! Beware of those sneaky dinosaurs though, as they are up to something with those dance judges!

"That is so silly Mummy!"

Sockywockydoodah! If you thought socks were just for keeping your toes warm then you have to read Socks. Who knew you could do so much with your socks?! There are sock animals, sock people and even sock instruments. What we loved about this book was the illustrations; everything is in back and white except for the socks! There are multi-coloured socks, patterned socks and stripy socks. We loved reading about Goldisocks and the three cross bears and the search for the Sock Ness Monster. There are lots of silly sock-related words but that just added to the fun of the book which is what reading is all about in our eyes; having fun!

"Look Mummy, it's a Sock Casper!" (Casper is our cat.)

We received Socks and Dance Together Dinosaurs for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Gallery - My Photography Resolution

One of my lists of things to do this year was to take more photographs. Of me! With the kids! Like Tara says herself, I always end up being the taker and not the taken in photos. I don't mind if my hair is a mess or if I don't have make-up on in photos. Nor do I mind if I have a huge spot on my chin (although to have a photographic reminder of it usually persuades me to stay behind the lens!)

After buying a new camera at Christmas, I also vowed to be more adventurous with my camera...in that I'd try different settings...nothing kinky here!

We are now into week 4 of January and I've managed to get 2 shots of me with the kids...

I was also slightly adventurous by taking the auto-shoot off and using the manual mode on my camera...I think it turned out well!

Note to self...I must try harder!

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is My Photography Resolutions.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Conception and Pregnancy - One Born Every Minute

In April 2006 I threw my mini pill contraception in the bin and that was when we decided to start trying for a baby. We weren't going to start immediately as we had a wedding to prepare for in July however I thought it would be good planning to get an idea of my cycles over a few months so that when I did fall pregnant I'd be able to give my DR exact dates.

My surprise at finding out I was pregnant a week before our wedding was quite shocking. I hadn't had a period since coming off my pill although I thought this was perfectly normal as I'd been on the pill for 3 years. Sadly we lost the baby whilst on honeymoon only hours after the pregnancy was officially confirmed by my DR.

After having an operation in Portugal in an unknown hospital to remove the remains of the pregnancy, I was worried. What if they'd damaged something? What if I could never get pregnant again? I was bleeding heavily after my miscarriage the week my period was due but I kept thinking that that could be down to the miscarriage itself and not my actual period.

We never officially decided to start trying again but we never did anything to stop the chance of a pregnancy happening. We continued with our every day lives whilst trying to get over what had happened whilst we were supposed to be enjoying our first holiday together.

On September 21st 2006, the day my period was due, I waited all day for it to show up. I came home from work and decided to go to the shops to get a test to see if I was pregnant.

I was shaking as I unwrapped the test but managed to do the deed and waited the 2 minutes for my results...not that I needed to wait because as soon as I peed on the stick the 2 lines showed up almost fluorescent in colour. I was pregnant!

My pregnancy went well. I never had any scares or complications but I was definitely on edge for the first 12 weeks. Every day I woke with nausea I was thankful. As my tummy grew I felt more secure in my ability to bring this baby into the world.

Forty weeks and 1 day after finding out I was pregnant, Wee Z was born. The best day of my life.

This post is for the Netmums and Channel 4's One Born Every Minute birth story prompt. You can read more stories on the Netmums Birth Story board or the Netmums Parent Bloggers Network.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Spring Fashion For Wee Z From Next

Last night at dinner Wee Z asked me for something he has never asked me for...a second portion! Clearly my boy is going to hit a growth spurt so now I need to start hunting for new clothes for him.

Wee Z is at the age where some days he'll decide what HE wants to wear. I think I'm quite good at picking out clothes for my children, always making sure the colours aren't clashing and that the clothes are weather appropriate but I have come to notice that Wee Z has developed his own style.

Wee Z prefers a short sleeve to a long sleeve top. Anytime he wears a long sleeve top, he HAS to roll the sleeves up. Next have some gorgeous t-shirts in their Spring/Summer collection that I know Wee Z would love. Handy for your purse, you can buy them in 2 packs, like these Breton Strip tops costing £10-£12 depending on the size you need. For cooler days, t-shirts can be teamed with this gorgeous stripe hoody ranging from £10-£11.

Wee Z also loves his jeans and having already bought Next jeans in the past, I wouldn't hesitate on buying them again. They are good quality and come in a range of different styles and fit.

For something a bit smarter a pair of Next chinos and a gingham shirt make a perfect combination for those parties or family days out.

If Wee Z could put together his own outfit for the day then I think he'd definitely go for this look: jeans, a t-shirt and the plum-baseball jacket.

A very trendy boy indeed!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

What's For Dinner Today Mummy? #2

Last night we went out for dinner so I decided I wasn't going to cook anything too fancy for dinner today. I like the theme of low maintance cooking to run through the weekend if I can!

Tonight we had one of my favourite quick fix meals - Fajitas!

Eating and enjoying Mexican food has to be one of my favourite memories from growing up in Mexico. Every so often my Mum and Step Dad would take my Sister and I to a restaurant in the city centre called Don Taco. We used to have pretty much the same thing everytime we went but the food was so delicious, it was hard not to. My favourite was steak filled tortilla wraps with plenty of lime. Yum! One of my other favourite snacks was cucumber slices with chilli, salt and lemon.

For our fajitas I buy chicken breasts, prawns, onions and peppers as well as a fajita seasoning mix although you can easily make your own seasoning with cajun, paprika, chilli powder and any other spice you have lying in your cupboard. You also need tortilla wraps. I don't like things like salsa or guacamole so I just have mine plain, but Husband likes his with cheese and mayonaise. The great thing about buying tortilla wraps is you can fill them with just about anything you like.

Certainly not like they make them in Mexico but definitely just as tasty!

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekThree

It's been a bit of an emotional week this one. On Sunday mornings, Husband goes to the gym whilst the kids and I have a lazy morning in our jammies, watching a film. Last Sunday, we watched Alice in Wonderland which is one of my favourite Disney films. We're going through a phase of watching Disney Classics and so far, Beauty and the Beast (or Juicy and the Beast as Miss C calls it) has been the biggest hit.

On Monday, after work, we had the scary task of going to register Wee Z for school. It is hard to believe that he is almost 5 and starting school after the summer holidays but he is looking forward to going. Maybe that will change when he starts going but I'm hopeful it won't!

On Tuesday we brought the bikes out of the hut and went for a bike ride round the block. Casper decided he was going to follow us, like he usually does, and ended up almost 10 foot up a tree when a German Shepherd decided to chase him. I wasn't impressed with the owner of this dog as they thought it was appropriate to allow a dog of it's size to be off a lead in a public place, only a few yards from a primary school. It took about 20 minutes to rescue Casper from the tree and at one point there were fears I would have to phone the fire brigade...which would have been tempting if the firemen in films actually existed in real life.

On Wednesday it was Husband's birthday. He awoke to cards, a few presents and lots of hugs but otherwise we had a quiet day. Whilst I did my housework, the kids and Husband played a new Orchard Toys game that Wee Z got for Christmas called Pop to the Shops. Wee Z even let Husband win!

We went swimming on Thursday with a few friends. Wee Z and Miss C haven't been swimming since our holiday in Fuertaventura and whilst Miss C took to the water straight away, Wee Z was little unsure at first. Eventually he got into it and they had a lot fun splashing and jumping in the pool. Miss C had her Daddy up and down the slide a few times. I only took her once as there was a bit of a boob flashing incident...

On Friday I spent the day baking a giant cupcake for Husband. He bought me the silicone moulds for Christmas so I thought I'd use his birthday as an excuse to try them out. My first attempt ended in disaster as I took the top half out the mould as soon as it came out the oven thus resulting in it collapsing. Once I had redone the top half, I got to decorating it with buttercream icing and a strawberry jam filling. We made the letters out of sugar paste and I think it turned out rather well for my first attempt! Miss C also had her first ballet lesson and she was so cute practising her naughty feet, good feet.

On Saturday we celebrated Husband's birthday with a night out to a restaurant with out Street Clan aka Cupcake neighbour and her partner, God Father and his partner and God Father's daughter. Husband and I had never been to this restaurant before but we'd heard good things about it. The food was really delicious and we had a fantastic night out. I think Husband felt a little better about turning 3...

I can't believe we're almost into the fourth week of January! However, I am so skint I wish it would hurry up and end!

Silent Sunday

Thursday, 19 January 2012

I Have A Baker's Dream

It was Husband's birthday yesterday but because we were both working, we didn't make too much of a fuss on the day. We'll be making it up to him though by attempting a giant cupcake birthday cake for him on Friday and enjoying a meal out with friends on Saturday.

I am really nervous about making this giant cupcake but I have my silicone moulds and instructions so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it turns out well.

I love baking and trying new things but I am always nervous about people trying my cakes in case I poison them (though I am REALLY careful) or they taste disgusting. So it was a really nice feeling to be asked by Cupcake Neighbour to make some 1st birthday cupcakes for her God Daughter.

We decided to go for 10 vanilla cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream and 10 chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream. Cupcake Neighbour provided me with the ingredients and cases and I did the rest with help from Miss C and Husband. I think they turned out well and Cupcake Neighbour assures me they went down a treat at the party.

I've been seriously thinking about starting up a small business from home making cupcakes to order. I do work part-time so it really would just be a small business with me accepting 2 or 3 orders a week. I love the idea of making cupcakes and other goodies to sell and have recently been even more inspired by Kelly at The Cupcake Queen who has just opened a shop selling her cupcakes. That is my dream!

For now though, as I'm completely self-taught, I'll have to keep practising and perfecting my recipes and designs and who knows; one day you could be visiting me in my own shop?!

First things first - tackling the giant cupcake birthday cake! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Gallery - Eyes

Mrs Tara doesn't make it easy for us when it comes to The Gallery themes. I know eyes is a fairly obvious theme but how was I going to get a photo of my children's eyes without blinding them with the camera flash?

I took a few test shots but nothing seemed to come out right and the kids eventually got fed up. Even the cats didn't want to help me out. I resounded myself to not taking part this week and instead nosing at what everyone else came up with and kicking myself for not being more creative.

And then I came across this photo...

I knew I had taken this photo, or at least before I found it, I was pretty sure I had taken a photo of the peacock at the country park. I literally whooped when I found it!

I love peacocks. They are so elegant and regal and their feathers are simply beautiful. I've always thought the circular markings looked like eyes. What a handsome chap!

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

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Registering My Baby Boy For School

I thought yesterday was going to be a bit of an emotional roller-coaster for us. See, yesterday was the day when, like many other parents, we had to register Wee Z for school. Eeeek!

Wee Z starts school in August and he is really rather excited about starting school. Wee Z LOVES to learn and he can't wait to go to school so he can practise his reading and writing and his sums.

I was worried about enrolling him at the school of our choice as it is a Catholic school and we are not Catholic, so we wouldn't get priority even if we are in the catchment for the school. The school is attached to his nursery, which is non-denominational, and it's brand new with state of the art equipment. They have a huge outdoor area, a huge gym and playing fields too. It's definitely one of the best in our area and they are keen to keep class sizes small which I know will be a huge benefit to Wee Z and maintaining his love of learning.

We turned up early because experience has taught me that for these things being a first come, first served usually goes in your favour. I think we were the second parents in and we were taken into the Primary 1 open plan area. It looked amazing. Lots of space for arts and crafts, a reading corner and really colourful with art work covering the walls. Wee Z looked around in amazement and although he was sitting patiently on his chair I could see he was itching to get up and explore.

Filling in the forms was pretty straightforward but it really hit me then that I was filling in forms to enrol my son in an education. I knew I was in the right school for him, I just had to hope he got a place. The Deputy Head took us into his office to go over Wee Z's forms and I cringed a bit when he wrote N/A in the Baptism Certificate seen box. What was lovely is that he recognised Wee Z from passing through nursery and chatted away to him about his teachers and I kept thinking, I really want Wee Z to come to this school.

The meeting took about 15 minutes with the DH going over the school handbook and giving us the opportunity to ask any questions. As we were finishing up, the DH hadn't given any indication as to when we might hear if Wee Z would be accepted into the school so I decided to just ask. At least if I had a date as to when to expect to hear it would take my mind off it for awhile.

"So when will we found out if Z has got a place?" asks a nervous me.

"When will you find out if he has a place? You find out now...he's got one!" says DH, slightly bemused.

Yippee! He's in! I'm delighted, we're delighted but most importantly, Wee Z is delighted. Apparently because the school is our local school he is automatically entitled to a place there. What a relief!

Now I just have to wait for Miss C's nursery letter to say if she has a place at the nursery beside the school as it is a ballot decision system for the nursery! Fingers crossed!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Win Yourself A Special Treat

Apparently today is referred to as "Blue Monday" because it's the most depressing day of the year. People are feeling the tug of the purse strings and wishing the sunshine would hurry up and arrive. I can't say I'm feeling particularly blue today...unless my fingers count cause it is freezing!

I have a £50 Experience Days UK voucher up for grabs for one of you lovely readers. Experience days are great; you simply choose an activity you would like to do, for example, driving an Aston Martin a la James Bond, choose your location and date and then off you go. The site has reduced some of their prices so you can put the £50 voucher towards something really special and have a well deserved day out.

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning the voucher is leave me a comment below telling me what experience you'd go for. I've always fancied having a helicopter ride but you can't beat a day of pampering to make you feel refreshed and looking lovely!

For an extra entry you can tweet the following: -

I'm entering the £50 Experience Day #giveaway on @LauraCYMFT blog http://bit.ly/A9hQOy

This competition is now closed!

I have used random.org to pick a winner from the 63 entries received.

Comment number 9 was a twitter entry from @ericahughes - Well done!

Here's what Erica would like to do with her voucher:

I have not received anything for hosting this competition.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

What's For Dinner Today Mummy?

This is a question I get asked everyday by Wee Z, even though we have a meal planner on our fridge which tells him exactly what we're having each day. Whilst a meal planner is great and helps you keep on top of your food budgets, it can get repetitive unless you change it up regularly.

I decided to do that this weekend. As Husband works a Sunday night shift, we have our roast dinner on a Saturday and I cook something light for the kids and I on a Sunday. Miss C is a lot more adventurous with her food than Wee Z, however he is coming round to the idea of trying new things although not until he is 5 he says. So far on the day he turns 5 he is trying Brussel sprouts and broccoli!

Here's what we had for dinner tonight:

Rice cooked in chicken stock with veggies and smoked sausage
Garlic and coriander naans a la Asda
Strawberries with meringues dipped in chocolate with cream

I love rice and pasta dishes as they are so easy to throw together and take no time at all to cook. Wee Z loves breads so I thought he might like to use the naan bread to eat his rice with and they both LOVE smoked sausage so I added that, along with some lea & perrins (no soy sauce left!) to make it more appealing to them. Wee Z isn't keen on veg at all and picked the sweetcorn out of his rice but did manage to eat the tiny pieces of carrot without knowing it. Miss C had finished hers within about 2 minutes...she likes something different every now and again!

We have a dessert at the weekends too instead of yogurt or custard. Miss C could eat a full punnet of strawberries herself and these ones were really sweet. Wee Z tried a strawberry for the first time since he was a baby and managed to eat half of one before deciding he didn't like it. I commended him on doing a great job trying it! He had bananas with his meringue instead which he polished off in no time.

The Sunday dinner verdict - Yummy!

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekTwo

The second week of January has definitely been a lot more tiring than the first week although with less hangover symptoms. Last Sunday we spent the afternoon at the country park with a friend and her little girl. We took a long walk along the river, passed the stables and we caught sight of some of the horses huddled together, shivering, in the fields. Wee Z wasn't too fussed about going to see the ones that were right up at the gates but Miss C followed my friend and her little girl through the muddy puddles. Puddles so deep that her wellie boot got stuck and she fell face first into the mud. That pretty much cut our park visit short but Miss C was a good sport about it and decided she would walk all the way back to the car instead of crying for me to carry her...though that would never have happened anyway!

The kids had an early night on Sunday as on Monday morning it was back to nursery for Wee Z. To say he was excited about going back was an understatement; he was REALLY excited to go back and see his teachers and his friends. I don't take Wee Z to nursery because of my shifts at work but Husband told me that Wee Z and one of his friends ran to each other and hugged for ages when he walked in! When I finished work we went for a walk around the block to get some fresh air and to drop a birthday card into Miss C's God Father's wife. I've been trying to get Miss C to walk more to build up her stamina for when she starts walking to nursery in August and she did really well, keeping up with us and running alongside her brother.

On Tuesday when I got in from work, I got changed into my "park" clothes (old jeans and wellies or trainers) and we met up with my friend Mama N and Wee J at the country park. The country park is starting to become my favourite place to go for walks as there are lots of trails you can go on and lots of pretty sights to see and knooks and cranies to discover. The boys ran up and down hills together, pretending to be explorers on a mission to get baddies (boys will be boys) whilst Miss C did her best to keep up with them. We didn't stay long as Husband needed the car for work and it was starting to rain. We came home, got out of our dirty clothes and enjoyed some hot chocolate!

Wednesday was fairly quiet and as it wasn't particuarly dry outside we stayed indoors and did some colouring in. Wednesday is cleaning day in our house and although I HATE starting the cleaning, I love when it is all finished and the house is spick and span again...not that it lasts long!

On Thursday it was my day off so Husband let me have a long lie. Not that it was very long but I did take my time getting ready and enjoying a shower with the door closed and no children running in and out. Cupcake Neighbour had asked me to make some cupcakes for her for her God Daughter's first birthday. Cupcake Neighbour is her nickname because she brought me some packet made cupcakes one time as a surprise and it just kind of stuck from then. Miss C and I got started making her 10 vanilla cupcakes and 10 chocolate cupcakes. Miss C was very keen to crack the eggs and we did lose a few but I think they turned out well in the end! After lunch we met up with Mama N and Wee J again for a walk in the country park. This time we went to see the animals and whilst I ran from the 3 llamas, (I'm always scared they spit!) Miss C and Wee Z made friends with the rabbits. They now want one!

On Friday we had our appointment with Wee Z's Doctor to try and get to the bottom of his eczema. I'd just like to say thank you for all the lovely comments of support and advice I received after I posted about his eczema. I was in 2 minds about whether to post it but I'm glad I did as everyone was really helpful. As the Doctor we've been seeing is on placement at our surgery, she called in a senior Doctor, my own Doctor it turned out, just to check his skin and to agree what steps we needed to take. I came away feeling pretty positive that they are ready to help him get over this and manage his eczema properly. There is a whole other post here, so I won't go on much more! Once the kids were in bed, Husband and I enjoyed a night in watching our new favourite TV show Rizzolli and Isles. The show is based on the characters in the Tess Gerritsen books, mainly The Surgeon and The Apprentice. The new series starts soon and if you like CSI then it's worth a watch!

On Saturday, whilst I was at work, Wee Z went to his first karate class. It's at the school attached to his nursery and is taught by the same man that taught Husband and is co-taught by his son who started karate at the same time Husband did. Wee Z said he really enjoyed himself and is keen to go back next week. We're keen for him to get involved in a sport; it keeps him fit, active and gives him something to look forward to. What will be lovely is if he continues his karate, he will be following in the footsteps of his Daddy, Papa, Bella and (black belt) Pops.

This week seems to have absolutely flown in again!

Silent Sunday

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Can Eczema Be This Bad?

I'm feeling really frustrated and sad for Wee Z because of this...

This is his skin at the moment which is caused by eczema. When I think of eczema I picture dry skin that perhaps flakes a bit. Never, ever have I seen a skin condition referred to as eczema look like this. It looks sore so I can't begin to imagine how Wee Z must feel having to live with his skin in this condition.

It looks so bad I think you might be thinking that I'm doing nothing to help his skin. Where's the cream for this boy? Change your washing powder! Check his diet isn't causing this! I promise you though, I have done everything I know and have been told to do and yet nothing seems to work.

The most frustrating things about this is his skin only started to look this way in August last year, and by last year I mean 2011. Only 5 months ago. Wee Z did have a slight case of baby eczema but it cleared up before he was 1 and I've never had any problems with his skin since. I have no idea what has triggered his skin to flare up like this other than he started to drink full fat milk at nursery. We don't drink milk, through choice and they only have semi-skimmed milk in their cereal. Nothing else in his diet or our lifestyle had changed.

As soon as I noticed his skin flaring up I started using diprobase which is the cream Miss C uses for her eczema and the cream Wee Z used as a baby. It didn't make his skin any worse but it wasn't getting any better. Whilst we were on holiday, the sun helped his skin improve and it looked a lot better when we got home. I still took him to the Doctors as I was concerned about how quickly his skin flared up. The Doctor seemed to think it was more of a heat rash but to continue using his cream to keep the skin from being dry.

A month later and his skin was not improving, infact it was getting worse. The backs of his knees were raw from him scratching and even though I kept his nails as short as I could, he still managed to open the skin. The sides of his legs were covered in the material from his trousers, literally sticking to the wounded skin.

I went back to the Doctor and saw a different Doctor who, sad to say, was a lot more helpful than the previous Doctor we saw. She swabbed his skin as she thought he probably had an infection because the wounds weren't healing. Wee Z had a 7 day course of penicillin to take and she prescribed us with a 2% steroid cream and more moisturisers.

His skin much improved

I was told to use the steroid cream once a day for 2 weeks and his skin looked amazing after using it for only a few days. I was to continue using diprobase although we did try dermol cream which didn't help and I also had to use oilatum in the bath. After the 2 weeks he went back to the Doctor and she prescribed a 0.5% steroid cream and an oil based moisturiser. We were told to use the steroid cream for 4 days and then stop completely and only use his oil based moisturiser and the oilatum in the bath. After about a week of using the oil based moisturiser, Wee Z's skin started to get bad again and the oilatum didn't seem to be helping either. Infact I have used oilatum before and it only seemed to flare both Wee Z and Miss C's skin up.

We are going to the Doctor again to have his skin rechecked and I'm fairly certain it is infected again. He's not allergic to anything, nothing in terms of diet or washing powder has changed and we've asked nursery to stop letting him have milk so I really am clueless as to what is causing his skin to look like this. I really hope we can get him help with this sooner rather than later as I'd hate for him to have to live with this for much longer. And bless him, he doesn't complain once.

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