Privacy, Disclosure and GDPR 

By | May 24, 2018

I’m sure you’ve been inundated with emails regarding the GDPR policy that comes into effect tomorrow, here’s mine!

The GDPR law has come into effect to ensure that your data isn’t being used for anything unethical, or without your consent. 

I’ve updated my Privacy and Disclosure policy here to incorporate the changes.

This is just a friendly reminder that you’ve signed up to receive my blogs via email and please be reassured that I never pass on your information, or email address to third parties and it’s not used it for any alternative reasons.  On any occasion that I may need to contact anyone, it would be undertaken via social media avenues.

If you’d like to continue to receive my blogs via email, then no action is needed on your part, if not then an “unsubscribe” click is all that is needed, but I’d love you to stay! 

  

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D’s birthday and the purple Koala 

By | May 21, 2018

Our D was 14 yesterday, can you believe it?! 

It was a day in which plans which had been made were changed and, although the morning had started early and angst-filled, ended happily, thanks in part to this little Koala (or Violet as D has named her):

  

We had planned to go to the cinema, D had chosen to see “The Greatest Showman” as her birthday treat but – after a time in which she got very, very upset and anxious at the thought of the cinema being busy and the fact she said her brain felt “messed up after hard school work” – we opted for this instead:

  
    
  
A visit to “Pets At Home” as, once her main birthday present of a hutch has been built, D will be the proud owner of two little bunnies.

  
Bunnies – the real-life variety – are something she’s wanted for absolutely ages and we’ve resisted, partly because we wanted to wait until she understood that having bunnies would mean a bit of helping out but mostly because the last two years have been taken up with getting my feet sorted! 

We’d wrapped up a rabbit feeding bowl and a pack of rabbit treats, which I’d thought she’d guess instantly meant bunnies, but it took an explanation for her to understand that yes, once the (rather brill) hutch has arrived, we’ll be getting them! 

As much of the work she’s found so challenging at her SN school has involved budgeting, we had a little game in the pet shop where she’d have to mentally subtract from an amount the cost of the bunnies, hay, sawdust, food, toys etc.  She did very well and, I guess because it was a non-classroom environment, felt less pressured.

The rest of the day was taken up with D chilling after being so over-wrought earlier, birthday cake (yummy!) and her choice of tea.

But….

Her stand-out favourite from the day has been her little Koala.  A little purple rubber, free with the latest Girl Talk Art, something I picked up and wrapped up as an extra as she does like looking through the magazine and occasionally trying out the crafts inside.

Well done Violet! Like I’ve said before, expect the unexpected, eh? 

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InstaLinkLove – Week 86 and 87 #instalinklove 

By | May 13, 2018

A belated welcome to Weeks 86 and 87 of InstaLinkLove!

   
After feeling very positive about my post-op foot last week, pain has set in big time and it’s affected sleep/concentration and any positivity around it!  Next week’s linky will be on time and happier, promise!

Back to business…If you haven’t joined us before in this linky before, then this is the easy-to-use linky which helps you get your Instagram posts a bit more interaction and interest.  The linky is a double-up and is open until Sunday 20th May at 9.30pm this week.

Thank you to everyone who linked up last time and welcome to those who are back for more and those who are first-timers.

This is a really straightforward, no stress (none of us need that in our lives!), easy to use linky.

All you need to do is link up the URL from up to four of your most recent Instagram posts. We suggest most recent because this is better for interaction.

It’s just a case of finding your Instagram account on-line, clicking on the photo that you want to link up, clicking on “share post” and then copying and pasting the link into the Linky below.

The only condition is that you go over and “like” everyone else’s pictures who’ve linked up.

Here’s my favourites from last week’s linky:

  
  
  
  
Please remember our (very easy) rules:

*You can link up to 4 images per Instagram Account per week.

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up, prior to next week’s Linky opening.

It would also be great if you could share your post with the linky on Instagram using the hashtag #instalinklove to help grow the community.

Thanks and really looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to on Instagram this week x


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InstaLinkLove- Week 85 #instalinklove 

By | May 5, 2018

Welcome to Week 85 of InstaLinkLove! 

  
If I could, I’d be doing a little happy dance right now as everything looked wonderful albeit a little bit Frankenstein-ish under here at my check-up on Tuesday:

  
The ribbon was a bit of fun as it’s been a long time getting to this point.  All meaning  – hopefully – no more foot ops – another yay!

If you haven’t joined us before in this linky before, then this is the easy-to-use linky which helps you get your Instagram posts a bit more interaction and interest.

Thank you to everyone who linked up last time and welcome to those who are back for more and those who are first-timers.

This is a really straightforward, no stress (none of us need that in our lives!), easy to use linky.

All you need to do is link up the URL from up to four of your most recent Instagram posts. We suggest most recent because this is better for interaction.

It’s just a case of finding your Instagram account on-line, clicking on the photo that you want to link up, clicking on “share post” and then copying and pasting the link into the Linky below.

The only condition is that you go over and “like” everyone else’s pictures who’ve linked up.

Here’s my favourites from Week 84’s linky:

  
  
  
  

Please remember our (very easy) rules:

*You can link up to 4 images per Instagram Account per week.

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up, prior to next week’s Linky opening.

It would also be great if you could share your post with the linky on Instagram using the hashtag #instalinklove to help grow the community.

Thanks and really looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to on Instagram this week x


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Bubbles – Fri 4th May 2018

By | May 4, 2018

It’s been a long week for D, she’s normally extremely tired by Friday but today she was even more so.

She was in tears as she left for school and according to her Home-school diary got very upset at school,  with more tears at home.

She doesn’t like to say “no” to joining in with teachers’ suggestions at school – apart from today – and, as a consequence, absolutely wears herself out, trying to please people.

Which does concern me for the future, we all have something inside that makes us want to please but she will agree because she doesn’t want to appear rude by refusing.  That self-confidence rearing its head again.

How to make our wrung-out girl smile?

  
Bubbles! 

I’m so glad we had a little pot at home.

She made tiny bubbles that swirled upwards in the light breeze, big bubbles that reflected the colours in the garden and ones that made her laugh as they popped as quickly as they appeared from the wand.

Hurrah for bubbles and for the weekend, more bubbles and cuddles me’thinks.

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A two-way Motivation #TheMMLinky 

By | April 30, 2018

I’m putting my hand up and apologising because I haven’t felt motivated to join in with this linky for a little while, my lovely co-hosts have kept it going whilst I’ve stepped back, worried a lot and frantically ticked things off a long list.

But, two weeks ago today, that all changed and this happened:

  

My (hopefully) last foot operation to rectify the wonky feet I was left with after my both-feet-at-once operation in October 2016 and then the wish that I now get a matching one to my super-duper right foot after that was rectified in August 2017.

Three operations and three general anaesthetics in 18 months have been tough to deal with, not just for me with the emotional and physical challenges but also for my lovely family, who – in the run-up to this latest one – saw me get more and more anxious, convinced that this one would go wrong, that I wouldn’t wake up from the GA and hence my desperate need to tick items off a list, things that I flatly refused help with because as well as being over-wrought, I was also very stubborn!

Thankfully – albeit after a dodgy dropping blood pressure episode immediately after and in the following hours post-op – all seems to be going well and I simply cannot wait to see what is under the bandages when I head back to the hospital on Tuesday. 

 I know that there will be another six weeks or so with a VERY long pin still in my second toe but – hopefully – to see a non-wonky foot will be fantastic! I’m thinking of popping a little ribbon around the dressings for it to be cut through, silly eh? But it will be a bit of a moment for me! 

I have an advantage over last August’s operation in that my other foot is a happy one, I don’t have the severe nerve damage that was present in my left foot, whilst my right foot was healing, if that makes sense? The (happy, straight) right foot does have a moan occasionally but nowhere near as bad as it was.

So, what is my motivation and why is it two-way? 
 

Simply because my main lesson I’ve learnt from the whole wonky feet saga is don’t give up. I could have done, could have accepted what the (rather horrible) consultant told me, that I “should have been grateful for what they’ve done” even though now, looking back through photos it was blatantly obvious that the both-foot procedure hadn’t work and sure enough, both feet reverted back and in fact got worse before the first remedial op took place.

I waited a long time to initially seek advice about my “plates of meat”, wanting to be sure that T and D could understand the implications of an operation and that their mum would need help with the simplest of things in those first few post-op days and that, more importantly for them, there would inevitably be routine changes.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing and I was very very close to phoning the hospital the Friday before my latest operation and saying I couldn’t go through with it, but I’m glad I didn’t, for me and for my family.

I went out for a walk today with D, a slow, stick-assisted walk whilst she skipped ahead and it was flipping painful – both at the time and afterwards – but it was a hurdle that needed to be beaten, to prove to myself that yes, I might be slow today but every day will bring a bit more healing.

My ask of you? 

If there is something that you’ve been putting off for you – a smear, a mammogram, a check-up – book it! It will not only be a weight off your mind but it all helps to ensure that you are healthy and can better cope with the challenges that life brings.

And also, unless it’s raining, I really do need to get out walking every day, to increase the strength and help circulation. Remind me please x 

Now to the Linky, thank you to those who linked up last time, it’s lovely how the motivation keeps coming, in very individual ways.

I loved reading about Tink gaining a little bit more independence in Kelly’s post and Kitt’s very inspirational story via Kate.

Really looking forward to reading your posts, please join in and link up below and let’s share some motivational moments! 


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InstaLinkLove – Week 84 #instalinklove 

By | April 28, 2018

Welcome to Week 84 of InstaLinkLove!

  

Apologies that there wasn’t a post/linky last week, my foot operation happened on Monday 16th and I needed a bit more time than envisaged with getting over the general anaesthetic and getting pain relief sorted. 

  

The dressings get changed/removed next week and I can’t wait to see how its all doing under there! 

Anyway, back to the Linky!   If you haven’t joined us before, then this is the easy-to-use linky which helps you get your Instagram posts a bit more interaction and interest.

Thank you to everyone who linked up last time and welcome to those who are back for more and those who are first-timers.

This is a really straightforward, no stress (none of us need that in our lives!), easy to use linky.

All you need to do is link up the URL from up to four of your most recent Instagram posts. We suggest most recent because this is better for interaction.

It’s just a case of finding your Instagram account on-line, clicking on the photo that you want to link up, clicking on “share post” and then copying and pasting the link into the Linky below.

The only condition is that you go over and “like” everyone else’s pictures who’ve linked up.

Here’s my favourites from last times’ link-up:

  

  

  

  

Please remember our (very easy) rules:

*You can link up to 4 images per Instagram Account per week.

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up, prior to next week’s Linky opening.

It would also be great if you could share your post with the linky on Instagram using the hashtag #instalinklove to help grow the community.

Thanks and really looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to on Instagram this week x


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National Citizen Service for Year 11 teens for Summer 2018 

By | April 24, 2018

Being a parent to two teenagers (a son of 15 and a daughter of 13, both with autism), I cannot help but worry about the world that they are growing up in, not just from an additional needs viewpoint but also with regard to the multiple stabbings in London so far this year.

We live in an ever-increasingly multi-cultural society and, growing up, I had a need to “belong” with a group of like-minded friends, we all do, to find our “tribe”, people who understand us for who we are, irrespective of skin colour, race, religion or additional needs.  

It might seem easier in the age of social media to find new potential friendships, but social media has its pluses and minuses, as we all know.

So, when an email popped into my inbox from the National Citizen Service inviting me to help spread the word about the government-backed programme they are running during the summer holidays to promote inclusion, to get Year 11, 16-17 year olds from all backgrounds together in a fun environment whilst at the same time teaching valuable life skills, it sounded like something I’d most certainly want to share.

  
The programme costs just £50 for a 2-4 week programme during the summer holidays (bursaries are available) and 1 in 6 of 16-17 year olds have already signed up for the programme, that’s over 100,000 teenagers of differing backgrounds who will be making new friendships, have fun working together and helping their local community, with a graduation evening at the end of the programme. That’s really quite impressive already! 

  
There is scope for many, many more teens to attend, at dates that suit holidays and family commitments, please click here to register your interest to receive more details.

I’m also reassured by the fact that additional needs will be catered for. D’s SN school works extremely hard on respecting the individuality of each pupil, whilst very much a school community and it would be positive to think that a little bit more awareness of additional needs could be generated by bringing together teens in an environment which may not have previously been available or accessible.

Both T and D are too young to attend this year but I can see how the NCS programme would benefit them both.

For T, he lives and breathes football, it is his passion and has been from as soon as he could pull himself up whilst watching a match. His knowledge of match stats and facts is amazing and all-consuming, for him to attend would benefit him so much, especially from a team-working, sense of achievement perspective.

  
For D, it would be an opportunity to build on her confidence in an accepting environment, she suffers from a multitude of anxieties so the fact that additional needs can be accommodated (as it should be) is re-assuring.

Here’s some information about the NCS:

“NCS is a government backed programme established in 2011 to help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society. By bringing together young people from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience, NCS helps them to become better individuals, and in turn better citizens. 

 

NCS is open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. The two to four week programme, which takes place in school holidays, includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’, a community-based social action project and an end of programme celebration event.

 

At a time of huge political uncertainty, where division is more evident than togetherness, NCS is a powerful tool to ensure the next generation see more in their similarities than differences.

 

In a nutshell, the programme:

● Puts young people through a series of challenging activities to take them out of their comfort zones and develop their strength of character

● Provides a progressive journey that hands over more responsibility to young people as the programme progresses and develops leadership skills necessary to succeed in the workplace

● Enables young people to connect with their communities through social action. 

 

To date: 

● Almost 400,000 young people have taken part

● More than seven million hours of community action have been completed

● For every £1 spent, NCS’ 2016 summer programme delivered between £1.15 and £2.42 of benefits back to society

 

NCS is amazing value for money. The whole experience including food, accommodation and travel costs just £50 and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is also provided for young people with additional needs.”

It all sounds so beneficial for our teens, doesn’t it? I’m looking forward to tracking via the NCS website how this year’s programmes have gone and raising the possibility of my two attending in upcoming years.

As mentioned before, there are places available and interest can be registered here.

*This is a collaborative post 

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Safety Tips When Using A Moses Basket For Your Baby 

By | April 16, 2018

 Parents-to-be will inevitably face this question when choosing a bed for their new born baby: should they get a crib, carrycot, baby cot, bassinet, or a Moses basket? Many decide to go for a Moses basket because they offer a cosy alternative to the large cot, helping create a reassuring and enveloping space for their little one.

Why are Moses baskets a great bedding choice for new-borns?

The first and most important reason why parents should get a Moses basket for their baby is because a new born baby should never sleep alone, owing to risks such as:

• Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

• Fatal accidents (choking, falling, etc.)

• Psychological issues (primarily sense of abandonment)

Since new born babies sleep up to 20 hours a day, Moses baskets allow parents to easily move their baby around the house and keep a watchful eye on them.

Although carrycots offer a similar functionality, they are primarily designed for temporary transit. In addition, carrycots do not offer the same level of comfort and ventilation for babies.

Moses baskets, on the other hand, are designed to provide a snug and comfortable sleeping experience to babies for an extended period of time. Moreover, they can be placed on any surface, even on the floor. Detachable stands can also be used to keep Moses baskets at a specific height (usually level with the parents’ bed).

 However, they are not a permanent bedding solution, and parents must gradually transition their baby to a cot or crib by the age of six months.

Important: Babies should be taken out before the Moses basket is moved. The handles of the Moses basket are not designed to safely carry the load of a baby while moving. There have been instances of babies falling out of the basket when carried in such a manner.


Moses basket accessories:

Moses baskets typically come with a complete set of bedding, including a waterproof foam mattress and a fabric hood. However, designer Moses baskets sometimes exclude either or both bedding and mattresses. However, parents who order designer or customised designs usually already have the bedding and mattress sorted out in advance.

Also, as tempting as it might be, don’t buy tiny baby bolsters or pillows for the basket. There isn’t enough room, and the products might become choking hazards.


Safety Tips:

• When buying plastic baskets, absolutely insist on products made from either polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA) or ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). Other compounds may degrade over time and the seepage could be harmful to babies.

• Don’t stuff your baby inside the coverlet that comes with the basket. It is heavy and restrictive. If it gets cold, use a light blanket to cover your baby. But keep an eye on the room temperature – your baby has no way to communicate with you if they are feeling too warm.

• Never place the Moses basket near a heat source like a radiator. Neither should you place the basket under a shelf- just in case!

  

*This is a collaborative post 

 

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InstaLinkLove – Week 83 #instalinklove

By | April 14, 2018

Welcome to Week 83 of InstaLinkLove!
   

 If you haven’t joined us before, then this is the easy-to-use linky which helps you get your Instagram posts a bit more interaction and interest.

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week and welcome to those who are back for more and those who are first-timers.

This is a really straightforward, no stress (none of us need that in our lives!), easy to use linky.

All you need to do is link up the URL from up to four of your most recent Instagram posts. We suggest most recent because this is better for interaction.

It’s just a case of finding your Instagram account on-line, clicking on the photo that you want to link up, clicking on “share post” and then copying and pasting the link into the Linky below.

The only condition is that you go over and “like” everyone else’s pictures who’ve linked up.

Here’s my favourites from last week’s link-up:

 
    
    

  
   

 

Please remember our (very easy) rules:
*You can link up to 4 images per Instagram Account per week.

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up, prior to next week’s Linky opening.

It would also be great if you could share your post with the linky on Instagram using the hashtag #instalinklove to help grow the community.

Thanks and really looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to on Instagram this week x


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