Category: General

I’ve been a Gone Girl!

It’s been a while since my post. Actually 5 months and 26 days ago to be precise. Wow, that is embarrassing. I hadn’t actually realised it was that long. I have been gone far too long!

 life was throwing me Lemons too right, but I was drowning in lemonade!

I would like to take this opportunity to explain myself for my rather abrupt hiatus. Having left, with no explanation why I abanded a blog I had so much enjoyed building.

I’m an anxiety sufferer and that’s the reason. Life just got a bit too much, I buried my head in the sand (I should have been an ostritch!). It started with a few little things, christmas was coming, our team was understaffed at work, my fur baby was poorly (which financially was crippling), I was pregnant, the icing on the cake was being diagnosed with Gestational Diabeties. You know they say if life throws you lemons, make lemonade? Well, life was throwing me Lemons too right, but I was drowning in lemonade!

I only thought about what I needed to think about. If I dwelled too much, my mind filled with negativity, especially regarding the diabeties. I couldn’t think much about anything, so writing a blog post was impossible, I had no thoughts, no ideas. I couldn’t even add to my unfinished drafts. Then the longer I hadn’t posted the more of an issue it became, so I ignored the blog too! To be honest I wasn’t finding enjoyment in many things. I was just plodding along.

I know this probDoing Nothing - Goneably seems like a poor way to deal with things, but for me it works. As pooh states ‘don’t under estimate the value of doing nothing’, nothing for me is definitely a healer. Although I would never advocate ignoring things to anyone. I would say if your mind and body says you need a break, listen to it!

I’m sure if anyone I know reads this, it may come as a surprise how anxious I am and how much it affects me. I have learned nearly every trick in the book to look and act like there’s nothing wrong. I smile, I laugh, I do my hair and make-up (well that can be questionable to some, I try haha). Hiding my anxiety and insecurities from everyone, even Chris most of the time. Why? I do it to fit in, it’s easier, it’s better to act normal than to have to explain something that is so hard for someone else to understand unless they have been through it themselves. The days I can’t act, I hide.To be honest I stopped venturing out, meeting people, staying inside the security and familiarity of my four walls.

I’m happy to say that right now, I’m feeling positive! Things have got better. I am forcing myself back into life. There will be ups and there will be downs, and unknowns, but I know one thing for sure, anxiety will not beat me.  2016 for me, decided to be extra cruel but I’m hoping 2017 will be a lot nicer. I have decided (to try very hard) not to dwell on the things I cannot control and just try to enjoy what I have. I am back now, revamped and ready to kick some blogging butt!

(singing Kelly Clarksons: Since you’ve been gone!)

Mudpie Fridays

 

ERF – Rear Facing beyond Group 0+

ERF - Extended Rear Facing

ERF – Extended Rear Facing

I’m not a parent who pushes their views onto other people, but I do like to provide people with information so they can make their own informed decisions when it comes to their children. Extended Rear Facing (ERF) is one of those subjects I feel very strongly about. Mainly because the UK has a culture of turning their babies forward facing as soon as they hit 9kg (or 15kg from the new i-Size regulation). This culture, combined with a lack of resource available on ERF, a market full of forward facing car seats and a lack of ERF seats, it is no surprise that most parents choose to turn their babies forward facing when they start outgrowing the first stage seat.

Did you know that ERF is 5x safer than forward facing? Many countries have a requirement by law that children remain Rearward facing until they are 5 years old!

For me when I first started researching about Finlay’s next stage car seat when he was a baby, there was no question about choosing an ERF seat. However speaking to friends, most agreed that forward facing was the best for their babies, with some facing forwards as soon as they hit 9kg. The general consensus was:

  • My baby is bored facing rearward
  • My babies legs are too long to keep them rear facing
  • My baby wants to see where we are going
  • My baby is uncomfortable Rear Facing

I have also had conversations with Family who argue the hell about, it not being safer because you can also be hit from behind! Although they support our choice, there is always little digs and comments about it being time to turn Finlay around over the past three years. As we come to a point at 3.8 years, Finlay has been forward facing for the last two months in my car which I just drive around town in. We feel ready now to turn him forward facing in the family car. But as we do, I just wanted to share some facts about the reasons and arguments for why we chose to keep Finlay in and ERF. So perhaps somewhere along the way we can help you decide whether the time is right to turn your little forward facing.

  • Why shouldn’t I turn my baby at 9kg? Babies are not mini adults. Proportionately a babies head is massive and heavy in comparison to its body. The spine and neck have yet to harden and the forces applied in a frontal collision can cause the spine to stretch and snap, called internal decapitation. If sitting rearward, the head is cradled by the car seat. The impact is distributed through the whole back area. Please watch this video which demonstrates this.
  • What about my Babies Legs? ERF Car seats sit higher up and further back than 0+ car seats. This allows for plenty of leg room. There have also been no reported incidents of ERF children hurting there legs, but there are many reported injuries of children with neck injuries in forward facing seats. I also would rather a broken leg, than a broken neck – it’s a lot easier to mend!
  • But my baby wants to see where we are going. A child unless sitting in the middle seat will not be able to see out the front window. ERF seats sit higher up allowing children to see out of the side and back window. Remember also that a young Childs vision is not great and would not be able to focus on everything rushing towards them. They can actually see more rear facing.
  • Wont my child be uncomfortable? The car seats are just as comfy as forward facing ones. There is plenty of leg room as the positioning is different. They are higher up so they can see out of the side and rear windows. Also, a child that has always been rear facing will have nothing to compare it to. They will remain happy and content and you can use the usual toys and games to keep them entertained on journeys. You can get special mirrors so you can make eye contact also.
  • What if I was in a rear ended crash? More Forward facing crashes tend to happen at higher speeds with more severe injuries. Rear crashes are statistically at lower speeds and most damage is on the car, there are also less of them. So from statistics, you are more likely to be in forward facing crash. If however you are in a rear ended crash, drivers tend to press the brake before impact. This creates a brake force with a forward direction. The child is then pushed back into the seat and cradled by it. Also, think of it as two cars crashing into each other at 70mph will cause tremendous force. The car goes from high speed to standstill in a matter of seconds. With two cars travelling in the same direction, and one going into the back of the other. This creating a very small differentiating force and a less serious impact in comparison.

Not Convinced? The please have a look over Rear Facing: The way forward for many more facts, figures and information.

 

As I said I respect everyone’s individual wishes. However, I would say make sure your choice are made with the right reasons behind them. ERF is 5x more safer for a reason.

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#MySundayPhoto – The Journey Ends

The Journey Ends

#MySundayPhoto – The Journey Ends

This week I have been sharing our past experience having a baby with Plagiocephaly and his journey through corrective Helmet treatment. This is a topic that I hold close to my heart as it was a big part of our life during Finlay’s first year. Especially as there was and remains little advice and support from the NHS. Although many cases of the syndrome are only mild and self-correct, for the more severe cases this is often not true and help and advice is hard to come by. Often by the time you get the answers you need, it is too late to treat without the need of a corrective helmet. For some even this is too late.

Finlay was five and half months before I took matters into my own hands and contacted a private clinic. At this point, I didn’t even know what his condition was called. We were lucky, although he was diagnosed with severe Plagiocephaly he was still young. He shouldn’t need to be in a helmet for long and we should see good results.

testing testing testing

Finlay’s Helmet treatment lasted about 101 days. It was tough. It would cost over £2000 with regular visits to the treatment centre which was an 86 Mile round trip. We did regular fundraising events and press releases. There was lots of questions and lots of stares. It was the height of summer, it was sweaty and stinky, but the end result was worth it.

The day the helmet came off was a significant moment for Finlay. Although it was only 101 days that was over a third of his little life. Taking the helmet off for the last time was a surreal moment and we felt a little lost. We did not want to put the helmet away in the back of the cupboard, so we placed it on a teddy and sat it on Finlay’s top shelf and snapped this picture to mark the end of Finlay’s Helmet Journey.

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Photalife

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#wickedwednesdays – Sudocrem Monster

#wickedwednesdays

Farewell #wickedwednesdays!

Today I am joining up with Emma from BrummyMummyof2, for her #wickedWednesdays Linky. Today I found out that this will be the last linky at least for the foreseeable future *SadFace*. What a great Linky, we often see the perfect shots of parenthood and not ‘reality’!! This Linky has been great,and although I haven’t always posted, I have had some great laughs.

I have decided to send of #WickedWedenedays with my first ever #WickedWednesdays shot and possibly one of my favourites of Finlay.

I don’t have much to say about this shot other than, Sitting quietly behind you is not always a good thing as I found out one summer’s day, preparing tea!!! ARGH!!! Sudocrem!!! I’m sure at somepoint, every parent gets a good Sudocrem shot!

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brummymummyof2

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#MySundayPhoto – Fireworks Night

fireworks#MySundayPhoto – Fireworks Night

Rememeber, Remember. This weeks photo is linked to Bonfire/fireworks night, the day we good old Brits remember when the traitor Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the houses of parliment in 1605. I loved bonfire night when I was a kid. I grew up fireworks spoilt I have decided, having lived in Lewes, East sussex throughout my childhood. Lewes is notorius for putting on one of the biggest and best Bonfire night celebrations in the country with people flocking miles to experience it. Although, safety is top priority, the night is not tame by any means and certainly not suitable for little toddlers. As Chris grew up in Seaford, his family still pop out for the towns annual fireworks celebrations and for the past few years its been our display of choice. Yesterday was that night, Finlay loves it. A great little prossesion through the town followed by a great little display on the fields. Autum is well and truley here!

The Fifth of November

    Remember, remember!
    The fifth of November,
    The Gunpowder treason and plot;
    I know of no reason
    Why the Gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot!
    Guy Fawkes and his companions
    Did the scheme contrive,
    To blow the King and Parliament
    All up alive.
    Threescore barrels, laid below,
    To prove old England’s overthrow.
    But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
    With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
    A stick and a stake
    For King James’s sake!
    If you won’t give me one,
    I’ll take two,
    The better for me,
    And the worse for you.
    A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
    A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
    A pint of beer to wash it down,
    And a jolly good fire to burn him.
    Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
    Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
    Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

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Photalife

#MySundayPhoto – Bathtime Fun

Bathtime Fun#MySundayPhoto – Bathtime Fun

Bathtime will always guarantee smiles in this house. I was scrolling from some of my pictures over the last few months and this one made my heart smile. I won’t lie, parenting Finlay over the last few months has been such a struggle. He is so headstrong and independent and has really started pushing the boundaries. Every day is a power struggle filled with tantrums, screaming, hitting and spitting. The slightest thing will set him off most of the time, but I know I need to remain strong and consistent, and hopefully this phase will pass sooner rather than later. Still, it doesn’t stop me questioning if I am a bad parent!

The smiles, laughter and love are what get us through, and in between the monster that erupts, we have the sweetest,funniest little boy. Finlay loves bathtime and it will always guarantee half hour of fun and laughter. I captured this photo a little while back unexpectedly. I think sometimes the unexpected pictures make the best ones. Finlay loves to smile for the camera, but his smile pose is very cheesy. I love how this picture is so natural, his smile, his eyes. This picture is pure happiness and fun. It makes my heart smile and reminds me, the hard moments are just that, moments.

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Photalife

#WickedWednesday – The Biggest Mess Ever!

#wickedwednesday

#WICKEDWEDNESDAY

today gave me an opportunity to link up with brummymummyof2 for #Wickedwednesday! Apologies for the bad quality picture, I wasn’t trying to take a picture of a master piece. Although in the grand scheme of mess, I think this could be classed as one! I think this picture does justice to just how naughty and Mischevious Finlay has become recently!

So on Wednesdays I look after Finlay’s little friend while her Mummy works. They went running up stairs to play in Finlay’s room as I shouted up after them “be good while I sort the bags and coats”. I was gone no longer than it takes to put lunch in the fridge,hang coast on the pegs, put shoes in cupboard and collect the snacks. Up I walked the two flights of stairs to be met with 7 empty toy trays and a closed door. The door opened about an inch before it got stuck,an inch was all I needed. There was mess everywhere.

The meticulously sorted toys were everywhere. Not just the toys trays, but the bookshelf, the car trug, the wooden kitchen, the fluffy animals. It was like the pair had turned into stealth Ninjas. In minutes there was no floor, just a scattering of toys and books. The picture does not do the mess justice, Finlay’s room is huge, so imagine another 5 photos like this – that just about does it. It took an hour and a half to clean – Oh that little rascal!!!

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#MySundayPhoto – The Masters Apprentice

#Mysundayphoto

#MySundayPhoto – The Masters Apprentice.

Thomas Smith established The Royal Sussex Trug way back in 1819, just before Queen Victoria ascended the British Throne. Thomas Smith invented the Sussex Trug by reinventing  the historic ‘Trog’ an idea dating back from Anglo Saxo times. In doing so, Thomas Smith had a profound effect on Sussex and the English Garden Scene as we Know it.

Finlay’s Grandad, Robin Purchased the company in 1989. Since then the company has had its fair share of ups and downs. The company was hit particularly hard by the recent recession, as were many small independent businesses. However, with passion a perseverance  the company has come out fighting. Today it continues to go from strength to strength, selling Trugs all over the world. Some of its famous customers include HRM the Queen and Alan Titchmarsh!

For many years, Chris was the Master Trug Maker for the company, producing thousands upon thousands of handcrafted Trugs. Each Trug is personally signed, a stamp of quality approval. If you own a Trug, check the bottom, it may be personally signed by Chris! Although Chris has now left the company, he is still actively involved with the business. He regularly helps train the new apprentices and runs the twice yearly ‘Trug courses’ at Singleton Open Air Museum. He also pops in every now and then just to help out. Once a Masters Craftsman, Always a Master Craftsman.

Finlay loves nothing more than to visit his Grandad at the Trug workshop in Herstmonceux. Fin was super excited to find out he was going on a visit while I was tucked up Ill in bed. He was even more excited to help his daddy out ever so proud to help his daddy at work!! #MySundayPhoto

 

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Photalife

#MySundayPhoto- Budding Rockstar

My sunday Photo

This is my first time taking part in a linky and I have chosen #mysundayphoto as I like the simplicity. I am still trying to get into the swing of things having only had my blog up and running about a month, so here goes, hope its right!

#MySundayPhoto this week is actually my favourite photo I have taken in a long time. We have had such a hard time the last few weeks with this little man. At three and a half he has really begun to push the boundaries, testing and pushing us at every turn. I feel I have spent the last month in a constant battle of wills (god knows what the neighbours must think!). Finlay is so stubborn and headstrong that every little thing is an assertion of his growing Independence. We decided to try something new with him today, to try and distract and occupy him. So we dug out the old xbox guitar hero. All I can say is that for  ten minutes we had total and utter concentration, A Budding Rockstar in the Making!!

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Photalife

Back to Blogging – Reviving Southern Mummy!

Back To Blogging

Blogging History

I wanted to write a post about why I decided to get back into blogging. I  first started in early 2013. My Son was born with Plagiocephaly, I  wanted to raise awareness about his condition, and help with fundraising towards his treatment. I had never blogged before, to be honest I never thought I was great at writing due to having dyslexia.

To my surprise, I loved it and writing about him and our experiences came naturally. I ended up collaborating with quite a few well know brands in the parenting circles. I even ended up as a brand ambassador and was sponsored to attend Britmums. Unfortunatley I had less and less time to put into the blog, juggling work (a senior promotion) and first time parenthood. The blog took a back seat and eventually with a sad heart, I abandoned it.

Creating Southern Mummy

I decided to try again last year and created southern mummy. I missed blogging, and all the friends and opportunities that came with it. After using Blogger, I decided I wanted the freedom of self hosting and taught myself all I could about wordpress. I set my site up, but I struggled to find topics, I felt lost in a sea parenting blogs. I struggled to find my voice.

I know now this was the my anxiety developing. I began withdrawing from friends, activities, social events and once again my blog. I had lost my confidence and my voice. Whereas before I had a topic, a health condition, I found it easier to tell our story, our journey. As my anxieties took hold, I questioned myself as a parent and my parenting abilities. Everyone seemed to be a perfect parent and I felt I couldn’t compete. One day I just stopped blogging (stopped being me altogether) and southern mummy drifted off.

Gaining my Confidence back

Not too long ago, I sought the courage to speak to my GP. I worried they would brush me off, but they were so kind and understanding. Although my confidence remains low and my anxiety is still very much present, I found my self more determined to move forward. I am not happy in my work and the cost of childcare is a struggle. I decided to look into ways to increase my earnings from home. I hope  that maybe once day I can leave work and support myself. What better way to document my journey, than blogging it?

Southern Mummy Returns

I decided that with this new gained confidence I would try and resurrect my blog. Blogging was a hobby I loved. As I overcome my anxiety, I want my blog to grow and flourish. I want it to follow my journey, my families journey. I want Southern Mummy to be a true reflection of our life.

Sometimes I shout at Finlay, yes even in public. Sometimes I swear in his presence (yes he then repeats this at the most inappropriate times). No he doesn’t eat organic all day.  Yes he eats chips and beans, even sometimes those ready meals. Sometimes he doesn’t have a story before bed. Sometimes I pull my hair out. Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes, BUT sometimes we play all day. I cook us lovely wholesome meals. We go days without raising our voices. Together we have wonderful adventures.  Most of all and more importantly he is loved every single moment of every single day.

What I am trying to say is we all have bad days and that’s ok.  I want this reflected in my Southern Mummy and to banish the mum guilt. Sometimes we achieve and sometimes we fail. We all have ups and downs and this will be the story of ours every step of the way.

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