It's my life, but not as I knew it!

Posts tagged ‘toddler’

Gluten-Free Biscuit

I love Christmas, I love food and I love baking and, although this blog is not primarily about me, these are things I have spent more than an ordinate amount of time thinking about in recent weeks.

The Christmas ads are out; cosy, happy ads showing us all the delicious family foods we could spend our holidays tucking in to. Normally I watch these salivating and planning which foods to buy and which foods I would want to try making. This year I am watching them with different eyes; eyes which are starting to understand the magnitude of someone not being able to eat what most other people can. 

As of October this year, Biscuit was diagnosed as having Coeliac Disease. This was after years of being convinced that she wasn’t absorbing her food properly, months of toileting troubles (leading to embarrassment and a dip in her confidence) and goodness knows how long of discomfort, cramps and tummy pain for my beautiful little red-haired girl. 


For those of you who are not ‘in the know’ about Coeliac, here is my little run-down; Coeliac disease is an auto-immune condition, meaning that the immune system mistakenly see substances inside of gluten (the protein in wheat, barley and rye) as a threat and attacks them. This leads to damage of the villi (finger like projections in the small intestine) which affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food ingested. It is not an allergy or an intolerance. 
When Biscuit eats gluten she gets very constipated, with a bloated and uncomfortable tummy. She also feels very tired a lot. There are lots of symptoms (it’s worth checking out Coeliac U.K. for a list of symptoms) to watch out for, as some of them can seem quite non-specific. That’s why it can sometimes take a long time for a diagnosis to be made. It is important that a diagnosis is made as potential long-term complications of untreated Coeliac disease include osteoporosis, anaemia, vitamin deficiencies and it can lead to certain types of cancer.

The treatment of Coeliac disease is the following of a strict gluten-free diet. This is done with the supervision, support and advice of a dietician. 

So this is where we currently are. We have decontaminated the entire kitchen (cleaned it for top to bottom, sterilised the chopping boards and got a new toaster), got rid of all food containing gluten and refilled the cupboards after visiting all the free-from sections in our local shops. I have spent time with the school inclusion officer (and provided her the Coeliac U.K. school pack) to help the catering company support Biscuit to eat gluten-free school lunches). I have become militant at checking labels! 

It has been a tricky year for us, and I have neglected this blog but we are back and we will be showing you all the gluten-free goodness (and not-so-goodness) we have managed to find during our Coeliac journey. 

Thank you for listening 

The Inconvenience of Ill Health

2016 so far has not been kind to us. In the past 5 weeks we have visited 2 hospitals and 2 GP practices on 7 separate occasions; my mum has broken her femur (thigh bone), Cracker has had 2 anaphylactic reactions (to, as yet, an unknown cause) and is currently battling a 40oc fever (again of unknown origin) and Biscuit has been struggling with more viral-induced wheeze. 

The majority of these illnesses, and the subsequent doctor visits, have taken place in the evening or at the weekend. As parents we know that our children are more likely to need a medical assessment on a Friday evening, after a full 45 hour week at work, or on a Sunday of a Bank Holiday weekend. NB: if Jeremy Hunt doesn’t believe that doctors work at these unsocial times, let me tell you that they do. I have yet to walk in to an A&E department and been unable to see staff there. These unsocial visits have an impact on who looks after the other twinkle, work, family get-togethers, catching-up with uni friends (sorry girls) and, trust me on this one, family weddings. I know if you’re not living it, it is hard to believe how many things get cancelled or missed due to your little ones being unwell. I know where I’d rather be just as much as  I know where I’ve got to be.

Then there’s the stress of it. I have been nursing for 10 years now, but nothing prepares you for when it’s your baby sick and needing help. Rob always says that, in fact, it is worse for me as I have knowledge of the worst-case scenarios. I’m sure that the stress alone is enough to make parents sick, but you have to keep going for the child who is poorly (as well as the children who aren’t, but still need you). It doesn’t make you want to do anything bar relaxing at home (obviously whilst listening intently to the monitor for the slightest cough or sniffle)

I wish I could make Biscuit and Cracker 100% healthy, but until they get a bit bigger and hopefully a lot stronger we are going to have to deal with just how inconvenient ill health is. I only hope that our friends and family are patient enough to still be around when that happens….! 

  

Our Nightmare Weekend 

As you all start preparing for your weekends, please let me tell you our story. 
This time last Friday my beautiful little man suffered his first anaphylactic reaction of the weekend. He was first assessed and treated by amazing paramedics (including one who managed to get a cannula in to a 3 year old’s veins whilst in the back of an ambulance speeding down Tottenham Court Road), then taken straight through to resuscitation before going to paediatric A&E and then spending the night on the paediatric ward. The same thing happened to us again after discharge on the Saturday. 

Our nightmare weekend started on Friday evening and ended on Sunday lunchtime; trust me when I tell you how unsocial these hours felt to me, let alone to the people working their shifts. During this time we were treated (because, yes, they looked after me just as much as him) by paramedics, consultants, registrars, junior doctors, nurses and student nurses, not to mention the porters, domestics and countless other people involved in hospital care. We experienced expert care, amazing treatment, and outstanding compassion. 

I have worked for the NHS for the last ten years (as well as 3 years previous as a student) and I know how hard we work. I know what is it like to be there at someone’s first breath and to hold someone’s hand at their last. I know what it is like to miss Christmases and birthdays (and countless family dinners). I have done 12 1/2 hour shifts with no time to eat, drink or pee. 

So Jeremy Hunt, I dare you to look at the story of how the NHS saved my son’s life (at a weekend) and the story of my working life and say that the doctors are “greedy”, that the paramedics are “ambulance drivers” and the student nurses don’t deserve a bursary. In fact, I challenge you to look me in the eye and tell me that the NHS is not worth fighting for.

#JuniorContract #NotFair #NotSafe #BursaryOrBust 

  

Trendy Tot Thursday (29/10/2015)

Hi everyone! How are you all?

Having come from a huge rugby-loving household I have got really stuck in to the Rugby 2015 World Cup and have enjoyed watching it (even though we went out far too early for my liking!). 

Before the half-term holiday, Biscuit and Cracker had their very first non-school uniform day at school with the Rugby World Cup as the theme. 

  
Honestly, how cute do they look?! Biscuit and Cracker are both wearing England rugby tops, bought by Mammy and Mamps for the occasion. Obviously these are very hard-wearing and tough tops. As they are also half-Italian, they are wearing Italian tops from the 2014 Football World Cup underneath! We couldn’t say fairer than that! 

We teamed Biscuit’s top with her pink leggings from Boots. She was more than a little excited to be able to wear her Frozen Crocs to school as she still loves them. 

Cracker is wearing a pair of denim jeans from Primark with his top, as well as the Cars Crocs I struggle to get off his feet at any time other than school. 

Thank you for reading our #TT_Thursday. For more information, and for other posts please check The Mother Geek and Clearly Bex and look at their wonderful websites! 

We hope to see you very soon. X 

Trendy Tot Thursday 08/10/2015

Hello! Remember us?! We’ve missed three weeks of #TT_Thursday, which is unheard of for us. I apologise; Biscuit and Cracker have started at pre-school full-time and so wear uniform all day and then get home and it’s straight in the bath and then in their pyjamas as they’re so tired. This current routine is not great for showcasing lovely clothes. 

Luckily, we finally managed to get out and about last weekend and here are the results. 

  
  
Biscuit’s gorgeous dress is from a brand called ‘Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve’, which I found at T K Maxx a little while ago. It is short-sleeved (worn here with a long-sleeved t-shirt from M&Co for warmth), beautiful embroidered front and a delicate blue flower pattern on the skirt. It also washes surprisingly well (I’ve even managed to wash chorizo sauce out of it) and Biscuit thinks she’s a princess in it. Her flower headband is from Next Children, it was bought for my brother’s wedding and I wanted her to wear it more than once!! Obviously she has on her Frozen Crocs; she has missed these having to swap them for school shoes most of the time! Goodness knows what we’ll do in winter. 

  
Cracker makes no secrets of his absolute love for Disney Pixar’s Cars, so when we recently popped in to Primark for harvest festival clothes and he saw this short-sleeved Cars t-shirt he really wanted it! I teamed it with a long-sleeves grey t-shirt from Mini Club at Boots for warmth and he picked his new grey shorts from Blue Zoo at Debenhams to wear with it. You can’t see them, but I think you can guess what shoes he has on- yep, his Cars Crocs

Thank you for bearing with us through this huge period of change. I hope to be more organised on our weekend and be able to show you when Biscuit and Cracker wear when we aren’t totally exhausted in the evenings!!!! 

For more Trendy Tot Thursday you know what to do; pop on over to The MotherGeek and Clearly Bex and see what other Trendy Tots are out there (there are a lot of them). 

Thanks again Cx 

A Poem To My Twins on The Night Before They Start School

To my sleeping Twinkles,

Tucked up warm in bed,

Tonight is the historical night

Mammas like me dread.

Tonight you’re still my babies,

Tomorrow you’ll be grown,

You’re starting your first day at school,

(I shouldn’t really moan).

But I remember your first breaths,

Your first words and your first steps,

Watching you grow up in three short years,

It’s left me feeling blessed.

Now you’ll meet new friends,

And I’ll hear names that I don’t know,

I can only hope they treat you well,

I’m not sure I want to let you go.

Your new teacher will be guiding you,

She’ll teach you all the time,

Please don’t forget that up ’til now,

All your lessons have been mine.

When I see you dressed in the morning,

In your blazers, ties and shoes,

It’s going to serve as a reminder,

Of the tiny outfits I used to choose.

I can’t believe this day is here,

It’s seemed to come so fast,

As we’re preparing for your future,

I can’t help thinking of the past.

You guys used to be so tiny,

You still are in my eyes,

But look at you all ready to go,

Your morning kisses are my greatest surprise.

Good night my baby Twinkles,

I made you both from scratch,

I hope you sleep better than I probably will,

You need energy to help you run and catch.

Good luck in your first day at school,

I know you’ll do just fine,

Just please remember to give me one last kiss,

And whisper “love you Mamma of mine”.

Trendy Tot Thursday (03/09/2015)

Hello and welcome to September! How scary is that. When you were a kid the holidays seem to stretch on forever, but as a Mama who twinks start school next week let me tell you how quickly this September has come! 

  
This week Biscuit and Cracker did not really want to pose! They are pretty tired in the afternoons as they have dropped their naps before they start at pre-school (boy do I miss those naps) and tired toddlers generally equals grumpy toddlers! As you can see, they wouldn’t even walk around the supermarket! 

  
Biscuit is wearing a brilliant blue denim pinafore dress from Gap Kids; she loves the pockets on the front and I love how hard-wearing it is. She is wearing it with a red and white striped t-shirt from Boots‘ Mini Club, it is a little small for her now but works well for an under-layer. We are definitely noticing it is more chilly in the late afternoon now so Biscuit has brought her Slugs and Snails out of summer hibernation and is wearing these. This was the first time since the potty training that she has had tights on and I was initially nervous, but the Slugs are so well made that she has no problems pulling them up and down by herself. Plus they are super easy to keep in your bag for any accidents that may happen when you’re out and about. Biscuit is, obviously, wearing them with her Frozen Crocs. I blogged about their school shoes a couple of weeks ago, we are definitely going to struggle getting their Crocs off to wear them!

  
Cracker let me take one photo of him whilst he looked at the camera and that was it! His amazing t-shirt with dancing monkeys was a birthday pressies from Auntie Carrie (thanks again) and it is from Swedish brand Polarn O Pyret. It is lovely soft cotton and he loves it. I layered this with a plain grey t-shirt from Boots which is now a little short in the body but works well with a longer tee over it. His jeans were bought at T K Maxx and were chosen due to their elasticated waist, which makes going to the toilet much easier for him. He has also teamed his outfit with his Lightning Crocs (I swear that they do have different shoes to chose from but that they always go for the Crocs). 

So there is our tired Trendy Tot Thursday post. For more on the linky please visit The MotherGeek and Clearly Bex for more bloggers’ posts. 

See you next time!