Showing newest 11 of 19 posts from January 2011. Show older posts
Showing newest 11 of 19 posts from January 2011. Show older posts

Monday, 24 January 2011

Paracetamol - something else that's not safe in pregnancy?

Yes, yet another thing to worry about. 

Should we just toss it on the 'yet-another-study' pile now, before we start?

When I was pregnant my daily diet consisted of paracetamol and 'Rennie Dual Action'. What with the back ache, the sore thighs, aching ribs and all of the other aches and pains you find yourself victim to during pregnancy, surely we need something? I had to abandon, cold turkey style, my best little red friends 'Nurofen Express' (which is brufen and simply not safe) and, let's be honest, sometimes the edge just needs taking away from the pain that is pregnant life.

If you felt at any point that you did 'glow' during pregnancy, then glory be, go and suck your rosy apples and we'll meet you following the terrible twos. I'm STILL waiting for my glow, my rose-tinted cheeks are due to broken capillaries rather than any type of pleasant hormonal experience.

And yet another study bursts our little 'safe haven in pregnancy' bubble. The little relief we had, has now been attacked. Taking 'over the counter' pain killers, including paracetamol (not only ibuprofen and aspirin) during pregnancy has been linked to cryptorchidism in boys. 

In English?

Cryptorchidism is a condition in which either one or sometimes both testes do not descend into the scrotum. This can lead to infertility problems and testicular cancer later in life, as well as the risk of psychological issues. A new study has shown that there is a link between taking mild pain killers during pregnancy (particularly during the second trimester) and development of this condition.

You can read the original article here: REPRODUCTIVE EPIDEMIOLOGY 

Despite this study hitting the news before Christmas, the condition itself isn't a new story. Cryptorchidism has always been a problem for some newborn boys.
A small number of full term baby boys (3%) are born with cryptorchidism, however it is also a problematic condition for prem babies, with  early bairns being ten times more likely (30%) to be born with the condition.*

So what will you be doing? What can you do? It's a far cry from the midwives constantly telling you to tip some paracetamol down your neck every time you report anything as small as an itch in your left toe. Despite this advice that so many of you will have heard, apparently we're meant to avoid taking any medication at all during pregnancy. 

Will I avoid it in future? It's such a rare condition that I'd probably just hope for the best. I stopped drinking, ate healthily and quit smoking when I was pregnant with Kidder. That alone, requires some relief. 

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Sunday, 23 January 2011

Silent Sunday - Williamson Park



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Silent Sunday

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Thursday, 20 January 2011

Should all children under 5 receive the swine flu jab?

It's none stop at the moment, I'm almost sick of the sight of it but yet I feel compelled to try and swallow up every and any piece of information I can about it. The flu is hitting the country hard, and whilst in Autumn the death rate was rising (as you would expect most years) it was pretty restricted to those with existing medical conditions who had sadly caught a strain of flu which their body simply couldn't cope with.

The shocker, however, was last week was last week when it was announced that Lana Ameen died at Liverpool Hospital from Swine Flu at just three years old. An otherwise healthy child, she didn't fit the criteria for a NHS Flu jab. 

I've always kept Kidders immunisations up to date. I, personally, don't question that children should have them; for me it's a no brainer. It is frightening, however, that Lana appeared to have over the Christmas period what so many of our children will have had this Winter - the common cold. You know the usual, a bit of a fever, wanting cuddles, seeming run down, tired, running nose, sneezes, cough... it's simply what we see every year. 

Lana Ameen, Intensive Care: The Guardian
The very same day that Lana's death was announced, Kidder was sent home with a dangerously high temperature. I couldn't control it and I was having flash backs to when he was taken into hospital to be tested for meningitis at just 14 months old. 

Lana's story is so, so sad and what's more, it's so real. Every single mother can relate to the sorrowful story. It's harrowing and shockingly scary that at a time when we dose our children with calpol, endure the sleepless nights and wish to the heavens that their illness will pass, we could actually be facing something much more serious.

And Lana's mother is right, when children under 5 are already identified as 'at risk' when swine flu hits why aren't they all entitled to the jab that can possibly prevent some strains of this terrible illness? 

You can see what Gemma Ameen, Lana's mother, has to say HERE.

The Department of Health are sticking by their guns, stating that it is not recommended that children under six who do not have any 'high-risk' medical factors have the swine flu jab.* 

Of course colds, fevers and other general 'kiddy' illnesses will always be and as shocking and upsetting as Lana's story is, it isn't going to happen to all of our children. Can we be any more vigilant? Are the NHS too quick to turn away children with a temperature and flu like symptoms? Is it all being blown out of proportion?

Our thoughts are most certainly with Lana's family at this sad, sad time. I cannot begin to imagine the pain they are experiencing.

How has this news affected you? How protected do you feel your children are against swine flu? 

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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Plate Monsters

I recently bought the plate monster mask craft pack from Early Learning Centre. Kidder's not one for abstract art. He needs some direction, purpose, he needs to see the finishing line. Hand him a pot of paints, a tub of glue and a load of bits and he'd be great at sticking his fingers to his armpits, and painting the dog a stunning shade of  'once-was-purple' brown. Creating a masterpiece (and I mean through the eyes of me, the parent) is not, without guidance, one of his strong points. He also has a bit of a temper, so throwing sequins, glitter and wobbly eyes all over the house is also a speciality of his.

If you buy the pack from ELC, which is great value for money in my opinion, it comes with 'instructions' on how to make four different plate monsters. Kidder and myself didn't follow these monsters as he was feeling artistic and wanted to great an individual piece (or that's how we're playing it, anyway).

We used a coloured plate as a monster face and first of all stuck some feathers around the top for the monster's hair. We then folded a circle of card in half and placed it at the bottom of the plate as the monster's mouth. Using a fluffy bobbly ball, we created a nose with just a dab of glue to the top of the mouth area.

I try, but I'm no genius, and using children's PVA glue to stick a large lollipop to the back of a paper plate was proving problematic. So, after decorating our large lolly stick with some colourful sequins we sellotaped it to the back of the plate.

*Break here whilst child has tantrum and throws sequins around room in an artistic rage, followed by kicking the floor and insisting that continuing with the craft session is NOT what they want to be doing*

Once he'd composed himself (two days later) we continued to make our plate monster. His mood was a lot brighter and in his defence he was previously brewing a fever, so I will allow the tantrum and let it pass on this one occasion.

I then cut out three large white paper circles and three smaller black paper circles. I cut a quarter away from each of the black circles. These were to be our monster's eyes. I didn't think that it mattered too much that the circles weren't perfect and were a bit jagged in places - it all adds to the character.

I also cut a cylinder shape out of white paper and then cut it in half, as well as another half semi-circle, all of which were to be the monster's teeth.

Kidder, being too young to do all of the cutting, then stuck all of the eyes to the coloured plate to make our monster come to life and glued the teeth into the monsters mouth to give him some bite.

For the finishing touches we sellotaped two coloured small, slim lollipop sticks to the top of the monster face, on the back. To add some more character, Kidder glued to smaller fluffy pom-pom balls the top of these sticks.

There are so many more variations of our monster mask, just let your imagination be your guide. We'd love to see yours too!

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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The Gallery: Week 42 - Mother Nature

Without showing you naked photographs from my teen years, I'm struggling a bit. And let's be honest, who wants to see those?! I always think that the Gallery themes are going to be pips-squeak and then I look through my photographs and reaaaally find it difficult.

Mother Nature? Well, I have tons of photographs of animals, walks in woods and bits and pieces like that, but nothing that really captures 'mother nature'. I felt I needed something almost feminine; a duck with it's chicks or suchlike. I don't have these things.

But recently we did visit the Butterfly House at Williamson Park in Lancaster. There Kidder saw with his Auntie Sarah and me his first ever cocoon and he had the opportunity to get up close and personal with some butterflies. 




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Monday, 17 January 2011

So, what now? I shouldn't have exclusively breastfed for six months?

Shoot me. Shoot me now.

Six whooole months I breastfed exclusively, doing what I thought was best for my child. Following NCT guidelines and let me tell you 'on demand' feeding, is what it says on the tin, pretty damn demanding indeed.

I stand by how I fed Kidder (you can read the whole story here) but I always have said that I am truly appalled at the guidance that is out there for new mothers and more generally, parents.

Oi, Dad, we're good to go!
Mums, typically, do the best that they can do for their children, often following guidance from baby/child health authorities and sometimes putting their own health and needs to one side to do the recommended 'best'.  It is absolutely no wonder at all that some Mums are confused senseless when it comes to making decisions surrounding how is best to raise their children.

The BMA, last week announced that the guidance new Mums have been given for the last ten years could just be a load of codswallop. Despite being advised both that babies cannot digest food efficiently before six months and that breast milk contains everything and all a baby needs up to the six month mark, we are now being told that we could have been doing our babies more harm than good. Are the babies we nursed exclusively for six months, under NHS guidance, really at risk of iron deficiency and food allergies. Am I honestly hearing this, reading this, right?

And how does that weigh up against all of the other positives that breast feeding is known for; aiding development of a baby's immune system, decreasing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, providing your baby with the correct proportions of nutritional elements as and when their body needs it?

I, like many other mothers right now, just don't understand. 

Breast feeding was due a knock. It's been put on a pedestal for so, so long - somewhere where it simply shouldn't be. It shouldn't be seen as the 'best' or 'perfection' because sometimes it simply isn't; it's dependant on circumstance. Too much time and effort has been dedicated to making breast milk not just the natural, ideal food supply for your baby but an icon of perfect parenting; building women right up, so they can tear them down, watch them fall and leave them feeling inadequate. 

I still believe that all being well, breast should be the first feeding choice for mothers - this new 'study' is a response to the Breastfeeding Media Mafia. And you know what? They've asked for it.

My conclusion, we were right all along. You can follow guidance, guidelines and guide books, but deep down in your stomach you'll have a feeling, mother's intuition and it's not a myth. Follow it, let THAT guide you, because that is what's right for you and your baby. Let it be your way of telling the studies to swivel, you have an innate mothering manual inside of you that will almost always lead you to your own version of perfect parenting.
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Sunday, 16 January 2011

Silent Sunday - Poorly Kidder



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Silent Sunday

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Saturday, 15 January 2011

Tagadas - Win a Lulu Australia Lunch Box

Have you found Tagadas yet? If not you are seriously missing out. Free membership to this designer outlet for children's brands site gets you into some of the most exclusive sales on the net.

I was lucky enough to be invited to browse and pick some prizes for you lovely folks, of course, sponsored by the folks over at Tagadas

There isn't huge amounts on the site but new sales are introduced all of the time, meaning you can grab a bargain on items you wouldn't normally afford and can't really find on the high street. Some recent offers have been 80% off Present Time Accessories and Gifts, up to 70% off Little Duckling children's clothing and a mah-oooooo-sive 91% off some fabby Ed Hardy lines. 

It's so nice to be able to afford pieces like these for your kids because of Tagadas's reasonable prices. What's more, even if you're not a parent, it's great for gifts for little ones; nephews, nieces and your best mate's bundle. Tagadas also offers discounts on toys and gifts too so it's not all about kitting out your kids in trendy gear. 

It's definitely worth a look. If you fancy it, you can sign in here to take a look at the sales that are running at the moment. 

Lulu Australia Pink Cowgirls Lunchbox
I didn't want to pick anything too restrictive as a blog prize. I wanted to be able to offer it to most of my readers and so instead of choosing an item of clothing in a particular size, I opted for a couple of Lulu Australia Picnic Style Lunch Boxes. A pink cowgirl one, and a blue cowboy version. 

I don't know if you've seen these around, but they usually retail at around £20 and were available on Tagadas with up to 35% off.

To enter to win one of these designer lunch boxes for yourself or your child just answer the following question:

Tell me any one of the four good reasons to join Tagadas, as stated on their home page HERE
Please also state whether you would like to win the cowgirl or cowboy lunchbox.

Gorgeous Cowboy Material
Once you've checked out their home page, you can nip back here and add your answer to the comments section below. And you're done!

For extra entries, although, none of the following are compulsory, you can do any of the following:

One extra entry each:

Two extra entries each:


Good luck everyone! The competition closes at 11:59pm on 31st January 2011. I hope you all manage to sign up to Tagadas and grab some great finds for some little ones in your life.


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Competition prizes, up to the value of £20 sponsored by Tagadas. Please see my disclosure for further information regarding sponsored posts/reviews.

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Friday, 14 January 2011

Fitness Friday/Fitness Tuesday - Week 3


I'm so late posting, silly blog-internet-techie-wotsit-malarkey.

I wanted to let everyone know that I am dedicated to Fitness Friday and Fitness Tuesday but with my life being turned upside down in the last week, I've really struggled. Basically, I've eaten whatever I've found, and have not had the luxury of plugging in a PS3 to so some exercise.

I think it's so easy to forget how 'diet food' is sometimes a luxury; how expensive is fruit, really?! Kidder eats it like it's going out of fashion, and consuming berries at the rate of a bear costs.

On the upside, my fitness this week has been more than exercise. 

Until this week I'd not left the house, on my own, for almost 18 months. Because of issues I have surrounding psychosis, it has become near impossible to be out alone. Relying on other people means getting in more cars, being ferried about and not really going out unless you have 'asked' in advance. Hence, I spend most of my days inside, working, sat down. 

This week I've achieved many things; I've been to the shops, alone; I've caught the bus, alone and I've walked through a town centre, alone. Feeling pretty on edge, experiencing lots of shocking feelings and winding up absolutely worn out mentally and physically. 

But, I did it.

That can't be taken away from me now. And the next time someone asks, I did it only last week, last month, not two years ago. 

It's slightly chipped away at my general health and I feel a bit frail, weary and low but most of all I feel like I succeeded. 

So, although I've eaten potatoes, gravy and other such naughty bits - I've been out everyday. Being healthy isn't just about your weight, it's about your state of mind and I feel like I've made real progress this week. My wellbeing has been ever so slightly improved. 

So weight loss or not, I'm proud and I've had a week that despite it's definite strains and struggles (for our whole family, not just myself) I've definitely made health improvements.

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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

I didn't need it THAT bad

It never fails to amaze me how difficult it can be to go to the toilet.

Surely you know where I'm coming from?

If you're lucky enough to be able to leave you offspring with your other half, a friend, or a random stranger (if you feel so inclined, some days do try us) then going to the toilet alone should be a treat for mothers. Not a mid-lunch sentence.

Firstly, finding the toilets in the middle of the restaurant is a nightmare. The once eating establishment becomes a maze of tables, room dividers and highchairs as you attempt to dodge the twelve-year-old waitresses that are merely over hip height.

Congratulations on meeting your destination. Now get into the cubicle. Go on. I like to think that I eat in reasonable places, but I've either put on a lot more than three stone or the bog-booths are shrinking somewhat. Hitching one leg over the seat and pivoting to enable your body to lie parallel with the cubicle wall allows you to shut the door and then flop onto the toilet seat, sweating and feeling like you've just had one of those 'stuck-in-a-dressing-room-with-a-too-tight-dress-round-your-head' moments. 

Finally, the release. Finally, you're all done and dusted, finally. Finally, you think your struggles are over and then you meet smartone. Yes, 'smart' one. In case you've not met said article, it's a loo roll dispenser which only allows one piece of the thinnest ever single ply loo roll to be extracted. I don't know about you, but how tidy do you never regions have to be to be able to dry yourself with one square of loo roll? Am I missing something? Or are my lady bits a more intricate design than everyone else's?

I do frantically pull at the paper and take almost double than I would normal. Not so f'ing smart now, are you?!

Following removal of oneself from cubicle, there is, of course, no handwash. You rub your hands together with the single sud of soap you've obtained in the hope it will foam up like every other type of soap you've ever encountered. In your life. Ever.

No such luck.

That's OK. Let's just dry our hands and get out of here. And if you're lucky enough to not have to bash the living daylights out the bottom of the hand-dryer; you will be meeting the new fangled 'stick-your-hands-in-straight-whilst-I-dry-you' dryers. The ones that rip all the meat from around your fingers and wobble it on the other side of your hand. I say meat, but I mean flab. Yes, they are the confirmation that flabby hands DO exist.

And, you know what? I could of just waited.

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Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Win a Love Suzie Necklace

I don't know if you have come across the wonderful fashion jewellery website, Love Suzie, yet. If you haven't you're missing out big time!

Skully £5.99
I was lucky enough to win one of their wonderful Pocket Watch Pendants last Autumn and have since bought a few bits and pieces for myself and other family members. I loved my Pumpkin Earrings for Halloween that I bought from the site and wore throughout the whole of October and my sister, Graceickles, loves her Skully Necklace that Kidder gave to her for her birthday in November. She's a bit of a teenie-bopper-trying-too-hard-to-be-cool-and-emo and so it suited her fantastically.

I love Love Suzie because it brings you the latest fashions at fantastic prices, it's brilliantly stocked with a huge range of earrings, necklaces, pendants and rings and the products are brilliant, brilliant quality and excellent value for money. I say this hand on heart, it's simply one of my favourites.

So much so that I am so pleased to confirm that Love Suzie will be one of the online venders who will be embarking on the Brew Drinking Thinkings website venture with myself and my other team members. It's all very exciting and what not but until then, Love Suzie have decided to give you a taster of the products and have offered BECKICKLESIE one of their best sellers as a giveaway for our blog readers. How lurvely!

Errol Necklace
One lucky winner will walk away with a gorgeous Errol Necklace. This cute little owl hangs on an 18 inch necklace and is an antique-gold effect charm - too cute!

To be in with a chance of winning, just answer the following question...

Which Lewis Carrol novel does Love Suzie feature as a jewellery category on their Online Shop?

To find your answer, just visit the Love Suzie Website and add your answer to the comments section of this below.

For extra entries, although, none of the following are compulsory, you can do any of the following:

One extra entry each:

Two extra entries each:


Good luck everyone! The competition closes at 11:59pm on 31st January 2011. I hope you enjoy exploring the Love Suzie site and find some brilliant bargains!

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