Get your baps out!

It’s that time of year again where everyone is going pink… yes it’s breast cancer awareness month!

It’s all about getting the word out there, raising money and educating people about this horrid disease.  So ladies get your  baps out and check them out!  How do you do it… well there’s no right or wrong way to do it.  Look and feel your breasts regularly -check all parts of your breast, your armpits and up to your collarbone. Check for changes that are different for you.

Changes to look and feel for

(Pictures from site)

So ladies I don’t care how big or small your boobies are but get checking… it can save a life, your life, and you’re worth it, so am I incidentally so I’m preaching to the choir, the registered nurse choir if the truth be told!

Lord Poxalot

So after a year of waiting for the Chicken Pox to arrive in our house with 27 children in Jenna’s class having it last year and her seemingly missing it every time; eventually it has arrived on poor little Carter.

And boy did it choose a doozy of a week to do it… firstly it’s my long week at work and secondly the hubby has the man flu.  Add to that me coming down with a sore throat that seems to be morphing into something more.

The poor little fella started off mildly but over night they turned into nasty looking big red and swollen bumps.  They’re everywhere – hair, ear, eyelids and bum.  He’s even got one under his foot. Thankfully his eczema seems to be under control at the moment or I think we’d have issues.

He’s been great about not scratching which is good because he is not a fan of creams so thank goodness of Eurax cream that lasts up to 10 hours. Oat baths have helped soothe him too and together with some Piriton syrup he seems to have been coping pretty well and sleeping pretty well at night too.

But he does look like such a sad sack, boys are good at feeling sorry for themselves aren’t they… man flu sufferers in training… but he is cute.

Do you have any tips for surviving the pox?? We might be going through this again in a couple of weeks … oi vey!

Stop stealing him.


There are so many nasty diseases and illnesses out there, being a nurse I’ve come across quite a few. But when it affects you and your family it’s always different.

We’ve been having a pretty tough time in our family lately.

A few weeks ago my uncle died from cancer, he hadn’t been well for a while and lived to a good old age but losing someone is never easy.  He was such a lovely, kind and generous man who always had a smile and laugh for those around him.  He loved his life and family and will be greatly missed.

Add to that my dad hasn’t been well. He recently needed to have surgery to remove more malignant melanoma’s; which is no fun for a nearly 82 year old. He also has Alzheimer’s which makes everything more difficult. On top of that it was his brother who died which made everything a lot to deal with.

His memory is really deteriorating and he is unable to focus for long periods of time.  It makes me really sad that he doesn’t know that my children are mine and he has no memory of Tamsin. He doesn’t always remember where I live and when we last saw each other.

One of the saddest things is him losing himself.  He’s not the man I remember.  Old age has stolen some of his vibrancy and personality. It replaced it with paranoia and confusion.

I’m finding it incredibly difficult at the moment to be far away and not be able to help or just visit.  Even calling feels difficult as we can’t have a real conversation and I come away feeling worse than before.  But it’s not just about me feeling better for the calls it’s about him feeling better after the call! Sometimes I don’t see that in my selfishness.

Sometimes I just want to shout at God to stop stealing my dad away from me, I don’t want to see him like this. He is such an independent and stubborn man and losing that is hard on him. It’s hard on us too seeing his frustration.

I have the most incredible sister-in-law who looks after him and loves him and cares for him. She might not be blood but she’s as good as, even better than most of us! We’re so lucky to have her in our family.

Saying all that our family has been so blessed this year!  With things that we needed, money and camping trips. And recently a trip to South Africa to spend some precious time with my dad before things get to the point  where he is unable to remember who we are. To introduce our youngest treasure to the oldest man in our lives. To build memories for the kids of their grandpa when he able to get out and about and play with them. To catch up with other family members and build on those relationships set to last a life time.

It times like this where I need to focus on the good things and blessings in life, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by it all and everything that is going on and how much stuff needs to be done to prepare for the trip which is only 24 hours after arriving back from our camping holiday.  But through it all God is good, He has blessed us with family and friends who have blessed us to spend time with loved ones when it matters most.  He has also cleared the way with work who have told me to “do what I need to do and we’ll figure it out”.

I love my family and love that we get to see more of them now when the time is just right, now we just need to get through a 12 hour flight with 3 loud monsters!

A tale of 2 smears

Now before I start if you’re male or a family member or someone who just doesn’t want to know then leave now… or read on at your own risk of too much information overload!

The time had finally arrived, that time most ladies dread.  The post man arrives with a little letter telling you it’s time for that smear test thing. Now I know the importance of them but it doesn’t make we want to  have one!!

I last had one in South Africa before moving to the UK almost 6 years ago now.  Yes, before anyone shouts at me I know I was overdue! When my test time came around I was pregnant, or pregnant or yes you guessed it pregnant.  And now I’ve put it off for a couple of months because to find childcare during the day when I’m not working has been tough!

But I did it, I booked it and turned up!

I had some fears, I knew it would be different to my first one 6 years ago in South Africa what I didn’t realise was how different.

Lets go back 6 years ago shall we:

I phoned the receptionist and booked myself in for an hour appointment with my choosen gynaecologist.  On arriving I took a seat on a lovely leather sofa, picked up a magazine and sat back to the sound of the panpipes playing “candle in the wind”.  I receptionist apologised that the gynae was running late to due a “delivery emergency” and offered me some coffee with a biscuit – I accepted gratefully! 5 minutes later I was escorted through to his office – with my coffee.  We had a little chat and he then showed me through to the examination room and left me along to gown up for a few minutes.

After a physical examination (include breast) he whipped out the speculum (plastic and warmed) and a quick and painless smear was performed.  He then did an internal ultrasound to check out the ovaries etc.

We then retired back to his desk (after dressing) where he explained the next process and what he had seen on the ultrasound – nothing thankfully! Besides the fact that I was apparently “very fertile” – which was later proved true!

We shook hands and in 45 minutes after walking in I was escorted out of his office with the promise of a call and letter with the results.

How civilised I hear you say, and it was!

Fast forward to this week…

I walk into the surgery and enter my details into new electronic system.  I take a seat and wait to be called.  5 minutes later my name pops on the screen with a ding ding.  I walk to the room shown… and there is no one there… I wait a couple of minutes… and ding ding my name pops up on the screen again! I head on over to the receptionist, there is a long queque and try to get her attention to see where I am supposed to go.  She sends me back to the end of the line, I decline and ask her which room the nurse is in as the board is wrong! “Oh yes she says, I forgot to change that! Go to room blah blah blah…”.

Enter room and chat to a lovely nurse who asks what I’m actually there for??? Really??? I tell her and she tells me to go through to the other room.

In the other room she asks me to drop my pants and climb onto the bed.  At this point she has not prepared any instuments or given me a gown or even a blanket to cover my bits when on the bed, so I procrastinate until she looks a little more prepared.

She reiterates her request and I slowly start the process and lie down.  If I hadn’t had 3 kids in the last 3 years I would have felt incredibly exposed and vulnerable but giving birth kind of gets rid of some of that, but no woman should be made to feel like that (personal nursing opinion here). 

The smear test didn’t take too long although I was a little concerned that she didn’t use gloves…

Back to the little office where she reminded me to check my breasts… I explained that it can be a little difficult when they are super plus sized and lumpy but she didn’t seem to care or offer to help and out I went.

Now I wouldn’t exactly say it was traumatic but it could have been so much better! And yes I know it’s not private health care like in South Africa but just a little bit of common courtesy and care could have been shown. Just a few moments where some individuality in care could have been given, and a blanket or something.

Now to wait for the results, and hopefully another 3 years until I have to go through it all again!! I know if I had to choose where I’d go through it again!

What has your experience been??? Do you agree??


Talking or not as the case may be!

My son’s not talking. He’ll be 2 in just under 2 months and he’s still not talking.  He says a few words; mama, dada, no, ya, Jenna, door and a couple of others.  He can do some animal sounds – his favorite is Baaa! Even elephants say Baa apparently!

But he refuses to copy us when we prompt him. He refuses to try. He can mumble the tune to songs but won’t sing any of the words.

Yes I know he’s still little, yes I know he developed very early physically (crawling at 4 months) and is still ahead of the graph in what he is able to do physically and yes I know all children are different. I know boys can take longer to talk. I know his sister talks for him alot! She was talking in sentences by his age; yes I know I shouldn’t compare before you say it.

But I’m still worried. I still think about what else I can do to help him when I lie in bed at night.

He loves books and we read loads to him, I get him to look at my mouth and try to copy the moves and sounds I made (looking like a right arse!) and I’ve been trying really hard to narrate the day to him (now looking like a right arse talking to myself). But it hasn’t really helped.

Maybe he’s just not ready, sometimes I think he’s playing with us – sometimes I hear him say things and then he refuses to repeat them again.

I just wish there was a normal, but I know there isn’t. Maybe he doesn’t think he needs to talk, he’s able to communicate so well with hand signs and pointing to get what he wants maybe there’s no motivation?!?!

Anyone else had issues… am I just being paranoid (hubs thinks I am a bit) or is this just the mom’s curse – constantly worrying about everything!

Saying all of this, I’ve had the post scheduled for today for a week and just this weekend he’s said 2 more words…. maybe I am just being a worry wart!

What I didn’t know when having children PART 2!

I wrote about what I didn’t know when having children last year, well here’s part 2!

I always knew my body would change… I just never knew how much!

I knew my boobs would change, no one told me how low they’d fall or that the size, shape and feel of them would change too!

I knew my belly would get looser but not that thanks for a c-section and 2 pregnancies in 2 years I would develop a gorgeously disgusting little apron! And that I’d develop a hernia because of them too!

That carrying them around for the last nearly 4 years would give me tendonitis in both my right elbow and shoulder.

That your bladder is never quite the same.  That laughing loudly and heartily with abandonment is only done with the possibility of catastrophic flooding effects!

Your brain… it never recovers, the hormones they mess it up… and then you have so many things on my mind at any one time that they just seem to flow into one and out the door.

That my skin that was once so clear and unblemished now contains pigmentation marks… yes they’re fading but not fast enough… more toothpaste is obviously needed!

And hair… the hair loss from your head with the hair gain everywhere else… it’s just gross and unfair! And the texture of my hair, it’s just not the same.

And lastly down at the bottom of the list my feet, yes even they have been ruined, no they didn’t leave one part of me untouched! My feet have grown a half-size with each pregnancy to a size 8 – add to that my high inset and fat, flat feet shoe buying is now a nightmare.

I think I’ll leave it there then, can’t be scaring too many mom’s to be out there!

Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t change my kids for anything but really couldn’t they just have ruined one part of me and left it at that?!?!

Push that snap slap!

I’ve been inspired by this weeks One Born Every Minute on Channel 4 to have a look at some old baby photies… Here is my precious little girl only a few minutes old!

And here is my played with version – I LOVE PICNIK! And look at that little squished up nose!

Now over you go to find some more talented bloggers trying their hand at some editing at fivegoblogging

A mare, a total nightmare!

Why on earth did I publish that post about a good day!  Stupid stupid, lesson learnt – don’t tempt fate!!

Today has been a crappy day!

2:20 am:  I was awoken by a very cute but VERY wide awake little boy. We managed to convince him to lie down quietly and go to sleep between us.  And was quite, for quite a long time. That however doesn’t mean he was still. What a wriggler, scratcher and peek a boo under the coverer he was!

4am:  I’d had enough and took him back downstairs and chucked tucked him back under the covers.

Amazingly, he went straight off to sleep! Little bugger!

4:40 am:  Lovely little sister starts moaning which then progresses to full-blown hysteria! I hate teeth, hate hate hate them. Well not the actual teeth but just the process, the actual teeth are pretty useful really!

5am:  1 bottle downed.

5:35 am:   Baby dozed off, with her face against mine breathing stinky milky formula breath into mine. And of course every time I moved her she woke up…

6am: Look at clock, groan, move baby regardless of consequences and finally fall asleep!

6:30 am:  Daddy moves and bumps baby. Baby screams.

6:35 am: Bed piled onto by stinky wide awake boy and big girl!

7:15 am: Can’t handle the moaning anymore, downstairs for breakfast.

7:25 am:  Carter turns his full cup upside down on the table.

Let skip to a few moaning, screaming and fighting hours later after a nap that lasted less than 1 and half hours for the kids and 15 minutes for me.

4 pm:  Into kitchen to check on curry in the slow cooker. Baby moaning and whining, paracetamol given and lugged around on hip.

4:05pm:  Arrive back in lounge to see 4 puzzles, 1 box of dominoes and the box full of crayons and pencils all emptied out on the floor. Topped by a healthy amount of sofa cushions and pillows!

4:30 pm:  Lounge tidy, after some naughty step sitting for attitude and disobedience. Children sent upstairs to play quietly in their rooms.

4:40 pm:  A scream, a bump and some crying. Run up stairs to find the Jenna and Carter had an argument half way up the stairs to our loft room and Carter had gone over backwards down the stairs. Check for damage, he’s OK. Tell Jenna off for fighting on stairs, Carter says yes and hits her. She pinches him back. 2 screaming children left sitting on the step upstairs, together.

4:55pm:  Text from hubby “I’m not going to be home at 5 but I’ll be back more at 6”. Crap…

5:10pm:  Hussle them upstairs, a bath should cheer them up. Think this was the only thing that went according to plan today!

5:45 pm:  Settle kids at the table for dinner. Hand out drinks. 1x drink all over the table and floor.

5:55 pm: Hand out food. 1x I don’t like this food. Hubby home! Hurrah!!

6:05 pm:  Dinner done. Snatching of a reading book ensues! Shouting ensues, followed by some more naughty step sitting.

6:15 pm: Head to lounge to relax – bugger! Dominoes all over floor again and 100 odd Disney cards scattered around.

6:18 pm: Carter kicks dominoes and throws them all over the floor.  More time spent on the step – hmm think there might be a dent after today!

6:30 pm:  Some fun with the Elefun game. Not long lasted, decided time to put them all to bed for some quiet.

7:05 pm: 3 children in bed and quiet!

8 pm: a moan, a shout and then a scream growing in crescendo.

8:05 pm:  Nurofen given, a little rocking and it’s now going quiet.

Let’s hope that’s the end of it. And that was just a little bit of it!!  Lesson learnt – don’t get complacent!

At least I have the easier day tomorrow, I’m at work!