Friday, 19 December 2014

Weekend Blog Hop - 19/12/14


 
Happy Weekend, fellow bloggers!

First of all a big thank you to Vicky, for keeping this blog hop going whilst I am dealing with germs in this house. As soon as Cameron was better, Lucas came down with a bad cough, which is making him be sick... a lot. So I have spent most of the week, washing, cleaning and disinfecting, whilst making sure that Lucas has plenty of fluids in him so he doesn't dehydrate. 

Welcome to a slightly smaller Weekend Blog Hop, as we hurtle towards Christmas. This week there will only be a blog hop, with no second linky - because I'm sure we all have a gazillion other things to do this weekend!

If you're reading this on a Saturday please do come and join in with #ArchiveDay on Twitter; it works best when there are lots of us all tweeting links and RT-ing each other, and it’s a great way to find new blogs to read and get old content out there.

Also don’t forget to follow @WeekendBlogHop on Twitter – if you tag us in your tweets about the blog hop, we’ll RT you! If you run a linky or Twitter party through the week, tweet us @WeekendBlogHop, and we will RT your links.

Vicky chose the Bloggers Showcase this week:

"The Bloggers' Showcase this week is this post from The Pink Noam... just because it's funny and it made me chuckle. And because I sort of wish I was that barista."

Single Mother Ahoy

And now, on with the Weekend Blog Hop!

First up, please just take a moment to pay attention to the point of this blog hop - it is for you to add a link to your blog's home page - not a specific post, and not another linky post. 

The idea is to bring people to see your blog as a whole, not a specific page. If links are added to specific posts, they may well be deleted from the linky, and the hosts will not comment on them.
I don't like to harp on, but the only way linkys work is if everyone takes part. 

Please don't just link and run - hang around and check out some of the other participants too, as I'm sure you would hope they would do with yours. Please visit the two blogs ahead of you 

And don't forget, if you tweet your entry tagging @WeekendBlogHop, we will RT you.


All that remains now is for Vicky and I to wish you a very Merry Christmas! 

The blog hop will be back next week, though probably with only one linky as Vicky and I will be busy enjoying the festive season - as no doubt you will be too!

Single Mother Ahoy


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Scots first to the bar for alcohol-free drinking

Once upon a time alcohol-free beer was considered far from cool.

But new statistics indicate a change in perception and it seems Scotland knows where it's at – with 48% of Scottish adults having tried the stuff, way above the national average of 43%.

And it's not just a one-off thing. Scots are not only embracing the trend, they are also buying it by the crate.

New statistics show that the shame-free bevvy is flying off the shelves, with supermarkets and off-licenses over the past year seeing a 10% rise in sales for alcohol-free beers.

And the rest of Britain is not far behind.

This survey has shown that almost half of British adults think alcohol-free drinking is way more socially accepted than it was in 2011, having now been sipped by 54% of British men.

Given that a massive 59% of men said they'd be happy ordering alcohol-free beer at a bar in front of mates, it's not surprising that 39% of men surveyed said they tried it because they were curious.

Brewers AB InBev has a lot to boast about as the makers of Beck's Blue - the super popular alcohol-free beer.

This sharp rise in the reputation of alcohol-free beer drinking in Scotland has been recognised by AB InBev UK. Marketing Manager Jennifer Anton said:

It is encouraging to see so many Scottish customers choosing 
to try alcohol-free beer. Offering consumers choice is an important 
part of our commitment to responsible drinking 
and we are proud to brew Beck’s Blue.”

For too long alcohol-free beer has been a wallflower at the party. Perhaps the Prohibition era left a little bitterness surrounding booze-free bitter, who knows?

But what can be said is that this Dark Age is over, alcohol-free beer is coming out of the shadows and into the bar.










Note: I was compensated for this post 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Financial Emergencies

Money can be tight at the best of times, but with Christmas literally just around the corner, finding money for emergency situations that suddenly pop up, can be really difficult.

For these emergencies, we rely heavily on our credit card to see us through.

Our credit card is used for what we class as emergencies only, such as:
  • Food - If we were desperately short 
  • Car issues - We seem to have a lot of these
  • Replacement of kitchen appliances if they break:
    • Fridge
    • Freezer
    • Cooker
    • Washing Machine 
  • Replacement of anything else we deem a necessity. 

If you have spoken to me recently, you will know we have had a lot of problems this year with our cars.

We bought a green Vauxhall Astra back in May. It worked brilliantly for a month and then the Crank Shaft Oil Seal went, meaning the car was leaking oil all over the place. If you know anything about cars, replacing the Crank Shaft Oil Seal is not cheap because you have to remove the Cambelt to get to the seal and then it is recommended that you replace the Cambelt at the same time.

As the cost of fixing the problem was so high, we decided that our best option at the time, would to be to buy a new car and keep the other one off road at my Mums (Thank you Mum), until we could afford to fix it. We didn't want to sell the car as we had spent over £1000 adding a new exhaust, induction kit, new lights and various bits and bobs for the interior. I would like to blame this on Matt and say 'Boys and their toys' but I have to admit I love modified cars!

To us, a broken car is an emergency. Matt uses the car for work and without it he wouldn't be able to do his job.

No work equals no money and no money equals a very bad situation.

The new Silver Vauxhall Astra was purchased on our credit card back in August.

Putting it on the credit card was the best option for us. The APR is far lower than that of any 'Payday Loans' and I wasn't eligible for a normal generic loan at the time. We are very lucky to have a very high credit limit and a very low APR on our credit card.

We had to turn to the Credit Card again back in October to get the Silver Vauxhall Astra through the MOT after it failed on the Catalytic Converter and Back Springs.

Two weeks ago, once again the credit card came to our rescue. The Silver Vauxhall Astra was starting to 'play up'. We used the credit card to fix the Green Vauxhall Astra, put it through the MOT and finally get it back on the road.

Fingers crossed as I write this, the car and everything else is working fine and finally the credit card can go back in my purse for a while.

Whilst we both have family members who would have lent us the money without question, we do not like to ask them for help.

What do you rely on in financial emergencies? Do you have family members to bail you out or do you prefer not to ask?



Friday, 12 December 2014

Weekend Blog Hop - 12/12/14




Happy Weekend!

Advent is here, and Christmas is just around the corner! Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?

First of all, sorry for my absence the last few weeks. It's been an absolute nightmare here. First of all Lucas had an ear infection, the following week he had Bronchiolitis and then this week Cameron has been off school most of this week because of a temperature, a cold and his chest is also not sounding good. Fingers crossed we won't end up in hospital! So as you can imagine I am behind on everything at the moment!

Secondly, Vicky has begun a new project called #DayInTheLife where different people write a guest post about how their day goes – a day in their life. If you’d like to contribute, do please fill in the contact form on the post here and Vicky will be in touch soon. 

Dont forget #ArchiveDay over on Twitter on Saturday! It's a brilliant way of getting old content noticed. Simply tweet your post link using #ArchiveDay and don't forget to RT others! 

Have you followed @WeekendBlogHop on Twitter yet? - We use this account to RT your links.  

The Bloggers' Showcase this week was chosen by Vicky. Vicky chose this post from Larabee

".....because it's Christmas, and the perfect time to do a 
bit of simple crafting with the kids. 
I love how simple this idea is and that it can be adapted for use with older children too."



My Life As A Mummy



Please note the above badge is for the Showcase only. If you want the #WeekendBlogHop badge, you can find it at the bottom of this post. 

And now, on with the Weekend Blog Hop!

This week we're having an Instagram linky.

Please follow my Instagram profile, as well as Laura's Instagram before joining in with the blog hop.

Also please just take a moment to pay attention to the point of this blog hop - it is for you to add a link to your blog's home page - not a specific post, and not another linky post. 

The idea is to bring people to see your blog as a whole, not a specific page. If links are added to specific posts, they may well be deleted from the linky, and the hosts will not comment on them.

I don't like to harp on, but the only way linkys work is if everyone takes part. 

Please don't just link and run - hang around and check out some of the other participants too, as I'm sure you would hope they would do with yours. 

Please visit the two blogs ahead of you, and the two Facebook pages ahead of you at the very least.

And don't forget, if you tweet your entry tagging @WeekendBlogHop, we will RT you.

Link up your BLOG here
An InLinkz Link-up

Link up your INSTAGRAM here

My Life As A Mummy

Monday, 8 December 2014

Anxiety - An Update



It is no secret that I suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorder.

It is no secret either, that I had a breakdown in August 

It's been a bit of a roller coaster of highs and lows since then.

I was due to go to see my consultant for my final meeting before my sterilisation operation, but because I was not in a good place, nor was I thinking clearly about anything, I had no choice but to cancel.

I came off of the tablets, too early, convinced I was better and didn't need them anymore. But a few incidences, such as bumping into a person who was part of the reason I had a breakdown in the first place made me realise that I shouldn't have just stopped taking them. I am still off of them at the moment, I am seeing how it goes.

I still have fears about cars, ours in particular! Especially with it's tyres. I am convinced they are flat and need more air. I have lost count of how many times I have made Matt go to the petrol station to check them and unsurprisingly they have been fine every time. It's got to the point now where Matt jokes and tells me I am not allowed to look at them anymore. Secretly I think I am driving him a bit mad with it.

But now it has become a habit. In my crazy way of thinking, if I didn't check the tyres one day and they were flat and something went wrong, then it would be my fault that I didn't check. Logical thinking, if not a bit insane!

Every person will have a trigger, which will cause them a lot of stress and anxiety, for me that is my children getting ill. Lucas has been really ill lately, first he had an ear infection and then he caught bronchiolitis and ended up in hospital. Seeing him ill like that and the fact there was nothing I could do, did make my anxiety come back, but touch wood, it's mellowed out as quick as it came. 

On the plus side, the anxiety attacks have gone. They will not be missed.

My anxiety will never go, I know that, I've accepted it and no doubt one day in the future I will have yet another breakdown. But on the positive side, I have got through them so far and will continue to do so.



Sunday, 7 December 2014

Bronchiolitis



One of the reasons I have been away from the blog the last couple of weeks is because Lucas developed Bronchiolitis. 

I wrote quite an angry post last year when Cameron caught it off another child at the Pre School he was attending at the time. After the hell of a year we had with Cameron with multiple hospital admissions, countless medications and the need for an inhaler for most likely the rest of his life, it didn't even occur to me that poor Lucas may get it. 

Lucas went down for a nap perfectly fine one day, but when he woke up, he had a nasty cough and sounded very chesty. Bronchiolitis did cross my mind but I told myself I was being paranoid after Cameron's history. 

Lucas had only been in bed for about ten minutes that night before he had a coughing fit and started projectile vomiting everywhere. The thing with Lucas is that he has a hyper sensitive gag reflex so coughing a lot will lead to him being sick. We have grown to know the difference between when it is a bug making him sick and when it is his gag reflex. 

Matt got Lucas in the bath whilst I changed his bedding. 

We noticed that Lucas was breathing faster than usual, not struggling, but definitely a lot faster. Matt said he would stay up that night and monitor him, as we knew that from past history, that things could change very quickly. 

Lucas had a bad night with coughing so much, and he couldn't keep much milk down, his nappies were basically dry, so I booked him an appointment the following morning. 

Whilst waiting to see the Dr, I noticed that Lucas's breathing was getting slightly worse, he was tugging in under his ribs and his neck. It was then that I knew he had Bronchiolitis. He was also projectile vomiting in the waiting room. When he was called in, I told the Dr exactly what I thought he had, thinking back now she didn't agree with me and she didn't disagree with me. She checked his oxygen levels, his heart rate, and his breathing rate (which was about 40 breaths per minute by this point) She said he was breathing fast but he wasn't struggling to breathe at that point and to bring him back if he deteriorates or his breathing goes over 60 breaths per minute. 

Babies up to the age of one have a normal breathing range of up to 60 breaths, for Cameron I have to be careful of anything over 30 when resting. 

The Dr, knowing about his hypersensitive gag reflex said that keeping him hydrated was going to be the big problem. So offering him little and often was the way forward as well as giving him water. Despite what it says on the NHS guidelines about not giving too much water, it's actually good as it gets absorbed quickly into the body. 

When we got home, I tried Lucas on a 4oz bottle (He usually has 9oz) but he brought that up quicker than what he drank it. So I had to take drastic measures and start syringe feeding him fluids, 15 ml of either water or milk every 10 minutes. I did this for two days solid! To ensure he was getting enough fluid in him. He usually drinks 36oz of milk a day so it was a challenge to get the same amount via a syringe. His nappies were still not as wet as they usually were but at least he was keeping the majority of it down. 

Lucas was constantly sounding chesty and like he had a lot of mucus that needed clearing, so I spent a lot of time sat in the bathroom with the shower going, hoping that the steam would help him clear it. It did help, but the change from a hot steamy room to a normal room would send Lucas into a coughing fit meaning he would them vomit everywhere. We couldn't win. 

Wednesday afternoon Lucas took a turn for the worse, he was crying all the time, but a high pitch cry, he had a temperature and his breathing was getting worse, it was around 55 breaths per minute. I booked him an emergency appointment at the Dr's for 17:20. by 16:30 he was just not right, so we headed up the Dr's. I was really worried about him by this point, I was crying when I walked into the surgery. I couldn't get my words out to the receptionist (who is a friend) and just mouthed, he needs to be seen now.

We were seen straight away and after a quick examination, we were told that Lucas needed to be admitted to hospital. They were worried about his breathing.

We made our way to the hospital and checked Lucas into the Children's ward. We were taken to the examination room, the same waiting room we had spent so much time in with Cameron. A nurse came over and took all Lucas's details and did his obs. His oxygen levels were 95%, I thought that was low but apparently it was ok. They did his heart rate, but couldn't do his breathing as he was by this time very annoyed and was shouting at everyone and everything. They checked his ears and throat which were all very red. The red throat was no doubt due to the obscene amount of coughing and vomiting. 

Their main concern about Lucas was the fact that he couldn't keep his bottles down and by 18:00 he had only managed to have just under 400ml of fluid (just over 14oz) They wanted him to have a few more feeds before they would even consider letting him home. Luckily Lucas was starving at this point, so downed 170ml of milk, I knew it wouldn't stay in him long, as soon as he would cough, he would bring that all back up. But the hospital were happy and discharged him, giving us a free pass back to the Children's ward for the next 24 hours and a phone number to ring if we needed advice. 

We were not given any inhalers, because apparently they are ineffective under babies 18 months. Lucas also did not need steroids. 

We were told that Bronchiolitis is usually at it's worse between days 4-5, we were on day 4, so hopefully he should improve within the next couple of days. 

I continued to syringe feed Lucas for the next couple of days. He spent these two days in his cot, sleeping for most of it. He was too weak to sit up and he didn't even want to watch the TV. Lucas hadn't really babbled or smiled for 5 days and it was heartbreaking. 

When I noticed a reduction in his coughing I started introducing bottles back, with 6 oz, to see how he would get on, 99% of them he kept down. The ones he brought back up were the ones he would have as soon as he got up. He had mucus on his chest from being led down all night, so coughing to bring that up in the morning would also mean the milk would come up too. 

By Saturday I started introducing Solids back into his diet as he was now drinking a reasonable amount of fluids.

The Wednesday after that, Lucas stopped coughing altogether and his appetite came back with a vengeance. 

The smiles returned as did the babbling and laughter. I had missed him shouting Da Da Da and MuMa down the monitor when he woke up in the morning. 

Fingers crossed, he is over it now and won't get it again. 

I suppose the one positive that has come out of this is Lucas is now willing to drink water, before I had struggled for months to get him to drink anything bar formula. 

Bronchiolitis is caused by the RSV Virus, it is a nasty virus, spreads very easily and can be dangerous for a baby who was born prematurely. You can also get Bronchiolitis more than once in the same season. You can read more information about it here: