A sports day without tears?

July 25, 2014 in Childhood, Fitness, Health, Parenting, School, Sport, Uncategorized by Emma Day

Sports Day July 2014 (7)Bunny has just finished year two of primary school and as per school tradition, sports day came near to the end of term. We are not a particularly sporty family. Wait, what am I saying? We do NO SPORT AT ALL!

I played rugby back in my school days, until I broke my left wrist in a rather spectacular fashion… which pretty much put me off all sport, except cycling. Then I broke my right arm cycling. I got detention for being so bad at TABLE tennis, that my teacher thought I was taking the mick. In badminton, I got pulled out of class and made to play by myself against a wall for six weeks because I just couldn’t hit the darn thing! In all other sports involving balls, I did the typically girly thing of putting my hands in front of my face, shutting my eyes and whimpering. I was ALWAYS last to be picked for any team. Once it came to leaving school… that was pretty much the end of sport for me.

Hubs decided to get sporty a couple of years ago. He joined a football team and went off for his first session. He was discharged from hospital several hours later, with a broken collarbone which required surgery. His version of sport now involves a large tv screen and a pint.

Bunny has not miraculously inherited a love of sport from further up the gene pool. She doesn’t get it. She’s not a competitive child and sports day usually includes tears.

At sports day, when Bunny was in reception class, she saw me across the field and BAM… tears and sobbing because she wanted a cuddle from mummy!

In year one, Bunny just did NOT want to do any sports. She stropped through most of her races and cried because her friend was mean to her, and because she “HATES sports day”.

So as you can imagine, I approached year two sports day with caution. I dreaded seeing my little beauty cry again. I gave her all the usual reassuring parent advice, including that the most important thing, was to try her best and have fun. I was apprehensive, but she went in with her usual headstrong confidence (which doesn’t normally falter until the nerves kick in).

And I’m pleased to say… that this year, she did not cry once! She almost even enjoyed it. And at one point (until she fell over) she was even winning the sack race! Sports Day July 2014 (54)

So this year’s sports day was a proud mummy moment for me.
Sports Day July 2014 (6)

She did however, cry at the schools Race For Life, because her sign had fallen off her back. Her sign said “I race for… My Mummy”, in her own writing. A kind teacher put it back on for her and she ran her race, whilst talking the hind legs off a donkey to her headmaster. That made me even prouder. She raised £40 for Cancer Research and told me how important that was to her, because of my having Cancer last year.

She’s every bit my mini-me.

Getting your children to brush their teeth

July 22, 2014 in Health by Emma Day

This is a post aimed at getting your children into a good toothcare regime and was not written by this blog’s author.

Getting Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth

 

Children’s teeth can decay more quickly than adults’ do, so it’s very important to get your children used to brushing their teeth as early as possible. However, some children can be reluctant tooth-brushers!

 

Baby teeth

It’s a good idea to begin brushing babies’ teeth as soon as the first tooth appears at about six months. Use a soft babies’ toothbrush and a pea-sized dab of toothpaste: one that contains fluoride and is designed for children aged up to three years. If your child is reluctant at first, persevere: it may help you to reach the back teeth if you gently cradle your child’s head from behind while brushing.

 

All about routine

Let your child brush for themselves as early as possible. Just brush again once they have finished, checking that the back teeth are cleaned properly. An electric toothbrush can speed up this brushing routine. Children should brush their teeth twice a day, in the morning, either before or after breakfast, and last thing before bedtime. Repeat this daily to get them into a good habit.

 

Top tooth brushing tips

1. If your child is reluctant, try and be as enthusiastic about tooth brushing yourself as you can – let your kids watch you cleaning your teeth, and make lots of noise while you’re doing it. If your child sees teeth cleaning as a fun activity, he or she will be keen to join in.

2. Give your child some warning that it’s nearly time to brush their teeth, so that they are prepared for the activity, and use clear but firm language. For example, say “It’s time to clean your teeth now”, rather than ask the question: “Would you like to clean your teeth now?”

3. Go shopping with your child and allow them to choose their own toothbrush. Children’s toothbrushes are made in a range of colourful, character themed designs, such as pirates, mermaids and so on. An electric toothbrush is an excellent idea to help young children clean their teeth properly and is recommended by dentists.  Re-chargeable or battery operated, some have flashing lights, and play a tune, which helps the child to brush their teeth for the recommended length of time.

4. Make tooth brushing as much fun as possible. Try singing a song while your child brushes – it will make the routine activity more like a game.

 

It is vital to create routine for kids brushing their teeth, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.

I’m going to The Godney Gathering in Glastonbury

July 19, 2014 in Days out, Entertainment, Family, Holidays, Travel, Uncategorized by Emma Day

Today I’m going to The Godney Gathering in Glastonbury and I’m SO EXCITED. Not am I only going to this awesome music festival, but I’m also going to be one of the stage managers.

The legendary “Reef” are headlining the main stage and there will be over 40 acts spread over the five stages.

Even more exciting for me, is that the winner of my battle of the bands event in Cheltenham last year, Emi McDade, is also performing at The Godney Gathering. She’ll be on the Acoustic stage early this evening. Emi has just released her second single, “Just Begun” to itunes last week. Take a listen, her voice is incredible.

To any of you who have no plans today – The Godney Gathering is a family friendly music festival. So family friendly, that under 16′s get in free with a paying adult. There are a few tickets left on the website for £20 or you can get in for £25 on the door. Gates open at 2:30pm this afternoon and the action plays through til just after midnight tonight.

The Godney Gathering is sponsored by Brothers Cider, which will be available at £2.50 from the Brothers Bar. There is also a normal bar and a Farmhouse cider bar too. I shall be staying sober until I’ve finished my duties and Reef take to the main stage!

I’ll blog a post full of pictures after the event. I’m off to don my sexy blue Godney Gathering T-shirt now and grab a Maccy D’s before I head off to the farm!

Godney Gathering 2014 poster

Romeo and Juliet by The National Ballet: Seatwave Review

July 14, 2014 in Days out, Entertainment, Reviews, Travel, Uncategorized by Emma Day

Straight after this year’s Britmums Live conference finished in London, I shot off to the The Royal Albert Hall for the first time in my life, to watch a ballet performance (also a first for me).

Watching a famous ballet, has been on my 30 before 30 list for quite some time. Thanks to two tickets from online ticket booking company, Seatwave , I got to tick that off my list.

I arrived in awe of how beautiful The Royal Albert Hall is; both the exterior and the interiors! What a stunning building. 

Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall

Our tickets were for seats in the upper circle – which is rather high up. The view was phenomenal. We were near to the orchestra too, so we could see every single musician playing and the conductor leading them.

Royal Albert Hall interior

I chose to watch Romeo and Juliet, because I know (and love) the story so well. I was worried that if I watched a ballet to which I didn’t know the story, the interpretation may be lost on me. 

The music was incredible. 

Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall

The dancers were also extremely talented, particularly the dancer playing the part of Juliet. She fit the part so well. She was adorable, talented, believable and expressive. The part of the nurse, was also played terrifically. If I’m honest, I do feel that Romeo lacked emotion. Whilst a brilliant dancer, his part was just not convincing for me as Romeo. 

There were two parts in the performance which I felt were dragged on a little too long (but surprisingly NOT the death scene!). One of these was the part where Romeo says goodbye to Juliet, as he is banished to Mantua. This is where the performance lost a little of it’s clarity for me. I know from studying the story during my GCSE’s that Romeo was banished, yet in the performance, it looked as though he had left out of choice.Royal Albert Hall

I didn’t feel moved or emotional at the end of the performance, even though I was expecting to. I cannot help but wonder if this was due to sitting so high up, that the dancers facial expressions weren’t very clear. Despite this, I did thoroughly enjoy watching the show and the whole experience in general. I would go back and watch another ballet. I like that the atmosphere was both sophisticated and relaxed at the same time. 

I’d definitely recommend the theatre, ballet and also Seatwave, for a great grown-up night out.

Royal Albert Hall

 

My Sunday Photo

July 13, 2014 in Blog Hops / Memes / Linkies, Family, Photography, Silent Sunday, Twins, Uncategorized by Emma Day

Siblings

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I am a failure

July 2, 2014 in Charity / Awareness, Health, Medical, Radioactive mum, Uncategorized by Emma Day

This post is depressing. It’s about depression. Depression that came out of nowhere and seized my life. It took my soul away and I sit here writing this, feeling just a shadow of my former self. It’s a jumbled collection of bad luck and bad feeling. I apologise to all my readers who enjoy my usual happy upbeat posts. I just have to let it out somewhere.

Since I went to Britmums Live, I feel like a total failure. I feel like there is nothing at all, that I’m good at. I feel like my life is slipping out of my hands and I have no control over anything.

Someone I thought was a close friend, recently decided to question and criticise every single aspect of my life, even parts of my life they’ve never seen or have any understanding of. They made me feel like scum. Lower than scum. It cut me like a knife and I still get upset thinking about it.

Another friend regularly makes snide remarks about how I look. I’m not even sure if she knows she is doing it half the time.

I am a good mum. I’m a really good mum. But I’m pretty sure it is the only thing I am good at. And it is so hard to be a good mum, when all I want to do is curl up into a ball and cry. The kids routines and cuddles are what gets me through each day. They are my beautiful blessings and my saviours.

I am a rubbish housewife. I hate housework. And I think often I’m probably a rubbish wife too. I lose friends as quickly as I make them. I snap at people and push them away, without realising I’m doing it. It’s as though I constantly feel like I’m hurting and I want to pass that pain off onto others. I know that’s wrong. It’s been a long time, since I had a “best friend”, but the one I am closest to, doesn’t seem to want to know me any more.

I’ve not been able to work much lately due to my health problems and I’m still struggling with the grief from my ectopic pregnancy, even though I’m told by many, that I should be over it by now. I have no idea how I managed to listen to the moving keynote speech about miscarriage, by Grenglish, without breaking down. I’ve certainly made up for that lack of tears since I left London.

I’ve been skipping hospital appointments. One with my consultant, to check my Thyroid Cancer hasn’t returned and another for a procedure I have to have, to remove cells (possibly cancerous) after an abnormal smear. I’ve missed six appointments now in total. I’m too scared of the C word, to go to either appointment. I’ve convinced myself that I have cervical cancer, but I can’t face finding out for sure. What if I don’t survive the third time around? I’m no longer the strong fighter I used to be.

Hubs and I are having to downsize on our home (which is only rented anyway), due to the debts we accumulated when I had Cancer. It seems there are 101 obstacles preventing us from moving. We are sitting in a black hole.

At Britmums, I was overwhelmed by how many people came to talk me. And especially when one or two said they felt “starstruck” or that they had “always wanted to meet me”. I’m no star. I’m even a failure at blogging now. I’ve not managed many posts since my Ectopic Pregnancy. I have so much to write, but so little time and when I find the time… I just seem to be tired.

Many people asked me how my #EmmasArmy campaign is going and how the walk went. I am happy to talk about the walk – It was hugely challenging, I did it with a fabulous and inspiring group of people and I’m proud we all achieved it. But on the whole… I feel like my whole idea was a failure. I wanted lots more people involved. I set out to raise £20,000. We aren’t yet up to £3000. I haven’t even made my own personal target of £1000 yet. I feel like I’ve let Cancer Research UK down and that I’ve let many other people down by not achieving anything like my goals. So when people ask me about my fundraising, I just get this sinking feeling in my chest.

I have so many goals, that seem so far into the future that they are unobtainable.

Every day this week, I have driven the school run, late, with tears streaming down my face, trying not to let Bunny see.

I feel completely and utterly alone. Nobody seems to know how to help me.

It’s shocking how much depression can affect your physical well-being. I can’t eat anymore. I feel sick all the time and if I try to eat, I feel worse. I have palpitations and feel like my ordinarily low blood pressure is through the roof. I constantly switch between shivering and sweating, I’m dizzy, I’m weak and I cry all the time.

I’m known for my uplifting views on life, always looking on the bright side and finding the good in everything. I’ve always been a fighter. People call me inspiring. But now, I’m uninspiring. I’m a self-pitying wreck and I hate myself for it.

Making a sensory garden #GetKidsGardening

June 25, 2014 in Home and Garden, Photography, Reviews, Uncategorized by Emma Day

With Spring suddenly lurching into Summer, it was time to do something about the garden. Our garden is small, ruined by two big ugly manholes and the lawn is 60% moss and 40% weeds. Not exactly a tranquil, relaxing haven to sit in and soak up the rays whilst the children play!

We have been challenged by Plant Me Now to turn our garden into a haven of sight, touch, smell and sound – a sensory garden. A challenge for the whole family as part of a campaign to #GetKidsGardening.

Plant Me Now (23)
To me, the most important thing is flowers. The happiness can be put into a garden with bright pretty flowers. So we ordered the following summer bedding plants:

Ipomea in Bright Ideas Green
Osteospermum in Voltage Yellow
Dahlia Marissa
Geranium Divas Raspberry Ripple
Begonia Majestic Pink Picotee
Impatien Mystic Mix
Verbena Aztec Burgandy Wink
Verbena Violet Wink
Fuchsia Dollar Princess
Lobelia Crystal Palace
Bacopa Abunda Collossal Blue
Nemesia Lagoon Blue
Calibrachoa Caberet Deep Blue

Flowers not only look pretty and uplift the spirits, but most of them smell beautiful too.

Plant Me Now (20) Plant Me Now (17) Plant Me Now (10) Plant Me Now (12) Plant Me Now (14) Plant Me Now (15)Plant Me Now (39) Plant Me Now (16)
The plants arrived quickly, well packaged and in tip top condition. The total cost was just shy of £80 and there were LOADS of them. I think I may have gotten click-happy and ordered too many!

Bunny did all the planting, with a little help from Daddy and in no time, the garden went from being dull and ugly to pretty and fragrant.
 
Plant Me Now (52) Plant Me Now (32) Plant Me Now (25) Plant Me Now (4) Plant Me Now (7)

 

Bunny really enjoyed getting involved in the gardening, especially as she has her own trowel, fork and rake. 

 

Plant Me Now (1) Plant Me Now (5)

 

My input was to stand there and take photos of course!

Plant Me Now (37)Plant Me Now (35)
Tiny and Fluffy got involved too, although their input was more along the lines of chaotic, than helpful – stealing the tools, digging up the plants, throwing dirt and picking flowers! It was very cute to watch, but we decided it was bedtime for the twinningtons, so Bunny and Daddy could get on with the task at hand.

 

Plant Me Now (28)
Once all the plants were in, we moved some boulders to sit around the large plant pot, to add texture and attempt to cover part of the unsightly manhole.

 

Plant Me Now (50)
Plant Me Now (43)Plant Me Now (44)Plant Me Now (45)
The next task was to add more sensory items. After a quick trip to the local supermarket, we bought colourful windmills (£1 each), solar powered lights (£1 each) and windchimes (£2 each).

 

sensory garden sensory garden garden windchimesolar lights solar light

If our garden had been bigger, we would have added mirrors, a sand pit and a water feature, to complete the sensory aspect. However, with a small garden, there’s only so much you can do! We think we made a good start anyway, we can always add to it later.

 

It’s important to also think about keeping the garden going all year round, so I’ve been doing some research into winter bedding plants too. I like a mix of small and large flowers and I think the Ornamental Cabbages are stunning for winter and I especially love the Northern Lights White colourway. Also to keep with a heavy-on-the-purple theme in my garden (it’s my favourite colour), I would add some Blue Blotch Pansies.

Photo Credit: Plant Me Now

Photo Credit: Plant Me Now

Photo Credit: Plant Me Now

Photo Credit: Plant Me Now

 

 

 

 

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Preventing head lice – Once a week, take a peek

June 19, 2014 in Childhood, Health, Parenting by Emma Day

I’m hugely lucky that I have never had head lice and neither have any of my children, but it’s extremely unlikely that that trend is going to last them all the way through school. One day, the inevitable will happen.

Many many children suffer with head lice and because children of school age are often of the cuddly variety and play with each others hair, head lice find it easy to spread.

Hedrin have launched a new campaign called “Once a week, take a peek”, encouraging parents to check their children’s heads for lice with a nit comb, once a week. Catching them early, will slow the spread of lice and be easier to treat.

They’ve launched an awesome new video in the style of a storybook, for children and adults alike, to learn about the importance of checking for lice (and nits). It’s about one louse, getting set for world (head) domination. You can see it here:

It’s certainly something I intend to start doing now, especially having three girls, because if one gets them – the whole family will!

So remember… Once a week, take a peek!

This video was made by Hedrin, who also make treatments for head lice – should you (or your children) be unlucky enough to get them.

 

 

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My Sunday Photo

June 15, 2014 in Blog Hops / Memes / Linkies, Fitness, Holidays, Photography, Sport by Emma Day

Devon Cliffs June 2014 (225)

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Day 2 of #EmmasArmy walking the Cotswold Way: Stanton to Cleeve Hill

June 13, 2014 in #EmmasArmy, Cancer, Charity / Awareness, Days out, Fitness, Health, Radioactive mum, Travel, Uncategorized by Emma Day

Day 2 of the #EmmasArmy against Cancer walk, was TOUGH! Due to a slight miscalculation in the beginning, the route ended up being just over 13 miles… but due to talking too much, instead of reading the guide book, and getting lost – we ended up doing over 14 miles!

Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (1) The weather was scorching hot sunshine with virtually no wind (apart from the wind being manufactured by Julie every now and then!). Walking in that heat, is really tiring and the route took on pretty much every kind of terrain imaginable, including many many hills. When I say hills (and this goes for the whole of the Cotswold Way), we are talking hills elevating up to as high as 300 metres. Some steep and some just utterly relentless. Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (3) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (4) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (6) We met creatures of many kinds, including everything from interesting looking snails, to bulls and lambs and a vast array of plants, crops and flowers. Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (7) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (11) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (20) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (26) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (29) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (31) During day two, we walked from the stunning, picturesque (and tiny) village of Stanton, to the equally stunning, but totally different, Cotswold village of Winchcombe. On arriving at Winchcombe, we all hit the wall. We didn’t want to take another step. Our legs hurt, we felt dehydrated (despite drinking litres of fluids), we were soaked with sweat and it felt like we had been walking for hours. We stopped for ice cream, more drinks, a knee support for Julie and our trail pass stamps from tourist information. It seemed impossible to believe we still had another 6 miles to go. Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (32) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (33) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (34) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (37) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (44) But we did… we trudged on, past Sudeley Castle and on through the fields and up the hills. There was something really rewarding about seeing Sudeley castle get smaller and smaller in the distance. At the top of the hill (that felt like a mountain and induced swear words from all of us), we came to Belas Knap, a long barrow with a false entrance and a fascinating history. I think it was here that we smashed down that proverbial wall and restored our faith that we could really do this.


Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (52) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (53) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (56) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (58) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (59) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (64) Day 2 was one hell of a challenge and there were so many times that it felt neverending. It’s really disheartening when you’ve been walking for hours and find out you have covered only a small distance. That was something we had to get used to, because the rough terrain and the immense and continuous hills slows you down a lot more than you realise.

I can’t tell you the relief we felt, on finishing day two. Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (65) Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (72)It’s not to late to sponsor us for this challenge. We have completed it, and I will be blogging the photos from all ten days, but every single pound goes to Cancer Research UK and helps save lives like mine and Julie’s.

Please click here to go to the teams sponsor page, and choose who you’d like to sponsor.
The walkers from day 2, were myself (Emma Day), Katie Larsen and Julie Saliba.

Day 2 - Stanton to Cleeve Hill (77)

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