Tuesday, 1 April 2014

We all need strong, confident women in our life

Being a parent is tough, being a single parent is even tougher! This is why it is so important that we surround ourselves with a good support network.

I recently posted about my group of girlfriends and the need to let my hair down and just be Laura and it seems a lot of you have similar views. I'm very lucky to have such a great group of friends, each in their own stage of life whether that be single, married, engaged or in a serious relationship, we each bring our own aspect which makes for a wide range of conversations.

Outside of my group of friends, I also have many strong, confident female role models:

My mum is my biggest supporter, we may not always see eye to eye and we clash far too many times for me to list them, but she made me the person (and parent) I am today, she raised myself and my brother as a single parent and she did it with the same fierce pride and independence that I have for my own children.

There are not enough words to describe my Gran, she's the head of our family, the one who raised my Mum to be who she is. I love my Gran very much, she's a fighter and will fight to the very end. One thing's for sure, she wont go to her grave quietly!

Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of my Step Mum, but she also deserves a huge mention. Alongside my Mum, my Step Mum also made me the person I am today. I go to her for the in depth conversations that I can't have with my Mum. I vividly remember her telling me as a child that I should never settle for second best, I should always go for what I want and this has become a personal motto, if something isn't going right then change it, if a relationship isn't working out then walk away, life is far too short.

Now how lucky am I to have all these strong, confident female role models in my life and to be able to call them family!! Who knows how I would have turned out otherwise!


Monday, 31 March 2014

Review: Colour In Paper Boxes for Easter from Hobbycraft

We were very lucky to be given the fantastic opportunity of reviewing some of Hobbycrafts Easter goodies.

We selected the following and it arrived through the post last week.

Included were 2 bunny boxes, 2 chick boxes, 4 felt tips and some double-sided sticky tape.

For the purpose of the review, Erin picked a chick box to complete.

First she coloured it on.

She done a good job but the perfectionist in me was screaming to fill it in for her, as hard as it was for me to leave her to it, we arranged the box, stuck it together using the double-sided sticky tape and Erin filled it with some of her sweeties.

Damian had been away camping and because she had missed him so much, Erin wanted to give the box of sweets to him as a welcome home gift!! She's so thoughtful!!

Erin really enjoyed this craft and was very proud of the finished product, it was well suited for her age and only needed a little help folding the box, the rest she completed herself. She is planning on using the remaining boxes to give some Easter treats to her friends.

My opinion is that it is a fantastic craft for children to complete on their own with minimal adult input, the product was good quality as was expected from the UK's best Arts and Crafts retailer.

Erin and myself would recommend this product to others.

If you would like to see what other Easter goodies Hobbycraft have on offer, you can view them using the link below:

Note - We received the colour in paper boxes for review purposes but the words are my own.


Thursday, 27 March 2014

When I think of Spring

It certainly didn't feel like Spring today, with heavy rain showers, hail and thunder storms, but according to the weather forecast, it shall be more Spring like at the weekend.

When I think of Spring, I think of sunshine, flowers, freshly cut grass and bird song, I think of lighter mornings and lighter evenings, we're finally awakening from our Winter induced coma.

It's time for new life, rabbits and squirrels appearing, ducklings, goslings and lambs. Spring brings life to a country battered with bad weather, torrential rain fall resulting in an epic scale flooding situation, Spring will bring relief to those affected by these floodings, the sunshine will release inner endorphins and we start to feel happier and more alive.

As a family, we love to put bird feeders out to welcome them into our garden, to hear them sing on a beautiful sunny, Spring day, we make little dens for hedgehogs looking for a safe place to rest for the night. We take a trip to the boating lake to feed the ducklings and goslings to give them a good chance of survival.

Spring is a breath of fresh air after the long drawn out months of Winter.


Heading towards an ASD diagnosis


This is my son, his name is Damian and he is 10 years old.

Since he was 3 years old, I had a nagging feeling that he could be an ASD child.

He thrived on routine
He would become distressed if we didn't follow this routine
He would obsessively line up his toys
He found social activites hard work

But due to his age and not wanting to put a label on my son, I didn't push for an assessment referral. I voiced my concerns to his teachers but as it wasn't affecting him day to day, I left it in their hands as to whether they wanted to push for a referral through the SENCO.

But as he got older, it was becoming a problem!!

He has sensory issues with food textures, noise and touch. He will discount food on how it feels in his mouth and not how it tastes, if he doesn't like the texture, he will gag. So he tends to eat the same food over and over again. With regards to noise, if it is a repetitive, non-background noise, it will distract and irritate him (think along the lines of someone clearing their throat or a dog barking). He has little awareness of personal space and without knowing will stand right in front of you while talking, but if he isn't expecting it or is unwilling to accept it, he doesn't like to be touched, sometimes even rebuffing cuddles from loved ones. Though if he wants to give a cuddle he will.

He prefers his own company to that of children his own age and will often isolate himself from others, if he wishes to be sociable, it's on his terms and he will initiate it and terminate it when he feels it's finished regardless of if the other person wants to ask more questions or play another game. He becomes very agitated if another person encroaches on his alone time or refuses to play his games his way.

He doesn't understand social cues: how to join in with a group of people and how to have a reciprocal conversation and this impedes greatly on his ability to make and sustain friendships.

He also has great difficulty on guessing how people will react or what they are thinking or what the outcome of a given situation will be, he doesn't have that flexibility of thinking. He finds it hard to understand why people might be sad or hurt by something he has done or something he has said, but when I talk to him about it and explain it to him, he can become quite upset at the thought that he has upset another person.

He talks in a somewhat adult manner, but his voice doesn't lilt even when talking about something that he loves, his facial expressions rarely change either. He prefers to talk to adults than children, he can become quite irritated when talking to younger children and having to explain things. When talking to adults, he doesn't grasp the concept that they might not understand or have knowledge of the subject and will carry on the conversation whether they are listening or not.

He also needs extra help with his personal care along with cooking food, this is one of my main concerns as he gets older and approaches adulthood.

Approximately a year ago, I went to my GP with 2 sides of an A4 piece of paper full of my concerns about Damian and we talked about it, along with my worries and the GP referred him immediately, in this time we have met with the Lead Paediatrician in his case and he has had a visit from the Educational Psychologist. The report from this assessment was a huge eye opener, reading the same thoughts and worries I had myself in writing that his teacher and the Psychologist also had. For all these years, I've doubted myself and many times I've talked myself into believing I've been exaggerating matters.

After talking to his teacher at Parents Evening this week, her thoughts are on an ASD diagnosis, from all my research and experience with Damian, I think he will have a diagnosis. but until it comes from a professional, we can only do what we can to make Damian more comfortable in his abilities and implement structure and routine.

I felt the time was right to finally talk about this as before, I just couldn't find the correct words to explain what was going on. Regardless of whether we get a diagnosis or not, I would never change my son for the world, he is and always will be my baby boy, my first-born, my little buddy and my pride and joy and I love him with all my heart.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Girly Night's Out

As a Mother, I love spending time with my children more than anybody else in this world. We love shopping, walks, picnics, movie nights, games nights, just as long as we are together and spending that quality time with each other.

But once a month, for one night only, I get to be Laura!

And boy, do I enjoy being Laura. 

Myself and my girlfriends arrange a girly night once a month, now this could be a full blown frocks-on-dancing-til-your-feet-are-sore night out or it could be a comfies-on-with-snacks-juice-nibbles-and-plenty-of-gossip-night-in. Whatever we decide, it always turns out to be the best nights and we really look forward to it all month.

This weekend just gone was our monthly night out and it was a full blown frocks-on night out. As soon as the children are picked up by babysitting grandparents, the doors are locked, the music is turned up and the beautifying process comes into play.

Outfits are selected.
Make-up is chosen.
Shoes are matched.
Hair is styled.

Then the night begins!!

I really do enjoy and need my girly nights with my girlfriends.

I didn't take any picture that night, which is unheard of, but I'll leave you with photos from previous nights out.


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Silent Sunday


I love snuggles

There's nothing better than snuggling on the couch with your children.

Erin thinks my house coat is super soft and loves to snuggle up when I'm wearing it.

This afternoon, we were snuggled up together watching Cinderella and I couldn't have thought of a more perfect way to while away a few hours.

Even if it ended with a bit of funny face pulling!

Linking up with mummy daddy and me