It’s A Snow Day

The Beast from the East has arrived and today has been a Snow Day!  I cannot tell you how happy this has made me (not just because there’s no school run) but because for years all Felix has wished for is snow.  He asks for it for his birthday and it’s always on his Christmas list.  I had even considered getting a snow blower just so I could make his wish come true!

Every time there was “talk” of snow he would get excited and then nothing appeared.  The last time we had enough snow to actually make a snowman he was a small baby, so he’d never actually seen proper snow.  I bought a sledge two years ago, just in case, and it’s sat in the shed waiting to be used.

The squeals this morning were brilliant, and he was out in the garden with the others early (the early when 9 o’clock feels like tea time!).  He spent hours outside and all I could see was happy smiley faces.  It was absolutely freezing, -4 in fact, and they all just kept playing.

I bailed quite quickly because I have to be honest I’m not a big fan of the white stuff.  I hate being cold and the glare from the snow plays havoc with my eyes.  I end up with pink vision and a blinding headache so in fact I am the Snow Grinch!  Thank goodness that Mr H is a complete child and he was up, dressed (with his Christmas socks on!) and out before the children.  I’m sure if I told him it was Christmas dinner for tea his life would have been complete!

The best things about a Snow Day.

  • Everyone/Everything Stop – you can’t go out, you have to stay at home and relax.
  • The Novelty Factor – The fact we probably won’t get snow for another 5 years makes it even more exciting.
  • Children At Home (not ill) – It’s the weekend, but on a weekday and no one is ill.  The downside is, for the rest of the week you’ll have no idea what day it is!
  • Hot Chocolate tastes so much better when you come in from the snow – snuggling in a blanket, by the fire, watching a film eating popcorn (picture perfect!).  The reality is probably lots of moaning about feeling cold and wet.
  • Doesn’t it look pretty – you suddenly have a new appreciation for the view.

The Worst Bits

  • Spending 20  minutes getting children ready to go outside (waterproofs, wellies, coats, scarf, gloves, hats) for them to go outside for 30 seconds and come back in wet and cold.  Repeated every hour all day.
  • The mess – the numerous amount of wet clothes and hats left all over the place and puddles of wet snow which no matter how many times you clear up, you still stand in.
  • It’s so cold – Obvious, but actually surprising when you go outside.
  • It’s exhausting – once you’ve played in the snow, got wet and come in again, what do you do next?
  • Suddenly you have no food – You realise that you can’t actually get to the supermarket and that you have no food.  Unless of course, you were prepared!!!!

Wherever you are, I hope you’ve had some of the white stuff and been able to get outside and embrace your inner child.  Tomorrow we will probably all be moaning about it, but for today, it’s great!

 

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Not That Fancy

Whilst I like to think of myself as quite trendy (does anyone even say trendy anymore!?) I like shopping and try to keep up to date with fashion, just lately I’ve just not been feeling it.  On a recent school run the children were singing and chatting (arguing and pushing) and they started singing ‘who am I’ (apparently it’s a real song!) and my daughter started to say who I was.

She’s 37, she has her hair tied up, she doesn’t wear make-up ( I do, but not regularly or enough for anyone to really notice) and then she said, and she’s not that fancy – WHAT? What on earth does that mean???? I asked her, and she just said the same, you’re not that fancy.

I’d be lying if I said that this didn’t bother me a bit.  I love the way children can be very black and white about things, and always think they say it as it is.  Well, that means that I’m not that fancy!  What does it mean to be fancy, is it the clothes? shoes? make-up? jewellery? car? Is it all about appearance?

I’m quite a ‘lazy’ person when it comes to make-up, if I have time or can be bothered then I’ll put some on but some days I don’t.  I wear clothes that are comfy, but I like to think not frumpy and quite on trend and if I’m going to be chasing after children then heels aren’t really my first choice!  When I do get dressed up and put on make-up, it makes me feel really lovely and is always noticed, but realistically, I couldn’t do that every day.

Today  I met a dear friend for a long overdue cuppa and catch up.  I’ve know her since my pre-children days and we have children similar ages.  She always looks lovely and today was no different.  She had make-up on -but not loads, clothes right on trend – but not too young, and even though she has 4 children, looks well rested and fresh faced and is always cheery.  If she wasn’t so nice and my friend, I’m pretty sure I’d want to poke her eyes out.

It’s become a bit of a running joke between us, I’ve NEVER seen her in trainers or even flat shoes.  We are completely different people and on any other day, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid but today I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a little meltdown.   I know my body grew a PERSON just over 12 months ago (and 5 previous to that) and that’s amazing BUT you know I think it’s ok to be a bit body stress after having children, because sometimes that the actual reality.

When I left my friend, obviously I went a bought a new jumper, because that’s going to make everything better, and phoned Mr H.  God love him, he is marvellous and did try to say the right things but it doesn’t really matter if you don’t feel it.

So I now have the motivation (after a mini meltdown in Lidl) to completely cull my wardrobe, which is long overdue anyway as I do have an obscene amount of clothes (half of which I’m sure don’t even fit).  I’m going to fall in love all over again with my new mamma body.  I don’t want to be fancy, just happy with what I’ve got!

 

Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) – Don’t Ignore Itching!

I’ve been very luck with all my pregnancies, they’ve all been text book with no major issues and although I don’t especially enjoy being pregnant, I’ve never really had anything to complain about.

My last pregnancy was probably the most enjoyable of them all.   I had an anterior placenta (when the placenta is attached to the front wall of the uterus, or womb, rather than the more usual position on the back wall nearest the spine) which meant that I didn’t feel as much movement from the baby, and would often go all day without feeling one movement.  but I soon realised what was ‘normal’ movement for this baby.   I didn’t crave sweet things (which I had with the other pregnancies) and was eating a lot less than pre-pregnancy.

I’d just reached 32 weeks when I had the most unbearable itching, during the night, mainly on my legs and hands and I couldn’t sleep.  It felt like my skin was alive, I was literally scratching myself silly.   It would become more bearable during the day and I began to question whether or not I was in fact going mad (that’s not unusual during pregnancy!)  It became so bad that I had taken some Piraton to try and ease it and the next morning when I called to check with my Midwife that it was safe.  The Midwife wanted to take some bloods and also monitor the baby’s movement as it had decreased.  By the end of the day I had been diagnosed with Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy –   which until then, I’d never heard of.

ICP is a liver disorder unique to pregnancy and is also known as Obstetric Cholestasis (OC).  Normally bile acids flow from  your liver to your gut to help you digest your food.  In ICP bile acids don’t flow properly and build up in your body instead.  There is no cure, but should disappear once your baby is born.   It affects 1 in 140 pregnant women in the UK,  I’m not lucky enough to win anything but apparently I am lucky enough to get this!

Although the symptoms of ICP were frustrating for me, especially the itching, they were essentially harmless.  However for the baby the main complication with ICP is stillbirth.  It’s not actually known why but is thought to be because of the increased bile acids.  I had blood tests twice a week to test my liver function and measure bile acids, scans to check the baby and monitoring of the movements.  I was given Vitamin K supplements (because ICP can affect your absorbtion of Vitamin K which is important for blood clotting) medication to reduce the bile acids and aqueous cream with menthol to ease the itching.

I had completely lost my appetite and had actually started to lose weight instead of putting it on (I would’ve seen this as a plus, if I wasn’t growing a baby!) I wasn’t ill as such, I just felt a bit unwell but more than that, there was the worry of whether I would actually get this baby here safely.  At every scan or appointment I would just think “the baby is ok right now, let’s deliver now, just in case”.

As soon as I reached 37 weeks  (the baby would be considered full term) I was induced as this was the safest option for the baby.  I had to be in hospital with an IV and constantly monitored.  I had a liver scan to check that no permanent damage had been done, which it hadn’t and would need no further treatment once I’d had the baby.

The birth was fast and uncomplicated but afterwards my mini man was taken to the NICU because of breathing complications, which was to be expected as he was premature.  I haemorrhaged and needed surgery.

The itching did continue for a few weeks, but nothing like what I had experienced when pregnant.  Six weeks after birth I had my bloods rechecked and my liver function was back up and rolling.

Once you’ve had ICP there’s a high chance of getting it again in subsequent pregnancies (between 60-90%) although it’s thought not to be so severe as the first time.  Research has shown that with medication, monitoring, blood tests and induction pregnancy with ICP carries no higher risk than a non-ICP pregnancy.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has more information about obstetric cholestasis, including what it means for you and your baby, and the treatment that’s available. You can also get information from the British Liver Trust.

The charity ICP Support provides information about ICP. You can also watch their video about ICP (OC) featuring mums and clinical experts.

Do Not Ignore The Itching!

 

 

Valentines Stick Arrangement

February is the month of love and with almost no cost you can make a lovely wrapped stick arrangement.  This activity is a great excuse to explore the woods to collect sticks.

This is a really easy activity to do and the beauty of it is that because the sticks are all different shapes and sizes it looks really effective

You’ll need:-

  • sticks (at least as thick as your finger);
  • red & pink wool;
  • scissors;
  • cardboard.

Start by tying the wool at the end of the stick then begin winding the wool around the stick until you’re happy with the section (about 1″-2″).  Tie and cut off and repeat with the next colour.

Add some cardboard hearts to the sticks and them put them in a vase or jar.

The children really enjoyed winding the wool around the sticks.  Some were wound more carefully than others, but that didn’t matter because they all looked great.

Happy Valentines!

Is There Such A Thing As The Perfect Fit?

I am a pear shape and always have been.  Finding jeans to fit my small waist and big hips has never been easy.  My waist and hips are different sizes meaning that I have to either wear a belt to pull the excess waist in or go down a size making them skin tight on my legs, neither of which are comfortable or very flattering.

With every pregnancy the shape of my body has changed even more and I haven’t actually worn a pair of jeans that fit properly since before having my first child.  My hips have always been my stumbling block when it comes to trousers.

Buying jeans isn’t the easiest thing to do either with lots of different cuts, washes and sizes.  High waist, low rise, high rise, midi fit, boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, slouch and then there’s jeggings, it’s exhausting!  I’ve bought a ridiculous amount of jeans ranging from expensive designer brands right through to cheap and cheerful ones and have over 15 pairs in my wardrobe, but not one pair that ‘fit’.

Whenever I’m out and about I always have a ‘quick’ look (is there such a thing!?!) to see if I can find the perfect pair.  Apparently, I’m not alone, 40% of woman struggle to find the perfect jeans and research has shown that there is a tried and tested, fail safe to find the elusive jeans – it’s all about what body shape you are.  So here it is, according to the experts:-

Boyish 

If you have a boyish shape you can wear most styles and can add some shape and interest with zips and details on back pockets.

 

Apple-Shaped

Women with apple body shapes, which are larger across their mid-section, typically with slimmer legs, should look for plenty of stretch in a straight leg in a dark wash as they complement every curve.  You should also opt for elasticated waistbands.

Pear -Shaped

Pear-shaped women have a smaller top half than bottom and boast fuller hips and a shapely lower half, should opt for high-waisted jeans.  Skinny jeans in a high waisted style – it elongates the leg and slims down the hip.

 

Long Legs/Petite

Ladies with long legs look best in a mid to low rise to keep the waist at the right height, whereas petite girls look great in a high rise that accentuates the waist and elongates the legs.

Also if jeans go on easily, go down a size.  The waistband should be snug, if you can fit two fingers down the back that’s good, a whole hand is not.  Does that not make a muffin top though?!

So there you have it, we should all have the perfect jeans if we follow those simple rules!  The only problem with that is unfortunately I’m not the “perfect” pear shape, which creates another bunch of issues – seriously!?!  The search will continue……

Do you have a style of jeans that suit your shape? or are you like me and make do with ones that are too big or too small?