Thursday, 20 October 2011

Hey guys.
This will be my last post here. I just can't make this place feel right.
I'm sorry to all those who will miss my posting here but i feel like too much has changed, away from here, to be able to continue.
It's not all bad news though, i've started afresh here and i really hope you will all join me xx

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Testing testing... can anybody hear me? 
Ok ok, down in front!

Yes, I know, I did it again. I did the thing where I do a post and you think "Oh God no, she's back Yay! She will start posting again!" and then I disappeared again. 
Sorry about that, things have been kind of tough around here and it's just been too much for me to get the pc on long enough to write a post out.

I *may* extend a little more on this at another point in time but for now I'm just going to say that GH (Grumpy Husband) has since become GE (Grumpy Ex) . 

I will be around more often (I know I said that before), I have a laptop now so once the children are asleep and I am warm in my bed on the sofa, I can turn to you lovely readers and waffle til your eyes bleed you die of boredom  you stab the screen you get bored of me!

Love to you all xx

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Big Day Out!

Today, im pretty sore and very tired but more than that, im proud of myself. Yesterday i pushed myself from the car park to the London Aquarium, 99% round the LA and back to the car park again. The most i have pushed myself in the wheelchair to date. My arms ache but its kind of a nice ache, a you-pushed-yourself-but-not-too-far ache. Its warm and reassuring. Im pretty sure its the belated endorphin high making me so happy but ill take it, thankyou very much!

I was desperate to take the children somewhere, even just on one proper day out this holiday. Im so sick of my pain levels (which have gotten worse, not better) preventing us from living our lives so much. I endeavored to do this trip come what may. Im guessing that tomorrow what may come is bucketloads of pain and self pity but ill deal with that bridge when i have to cross it.

The day in general was brilliant. GH had a few mini meltdowns at the lack of signs as we drove through London and the satnav kept telling us to drive off a bridge to get to the car-park (i kid you not) but we made it there ok. Tommy, Ellie and Father-in-law (from here on 'fil') met up with us under the London Eye as their route on our adventure involved taking the train. 

We got to skip the throng of queuing Sea life enthusiasts as id paid for our tickets in advance (after no small amount of saving and scraping on my part). Id strongly recommend doing so as you get a slight discount and dont have to stand in the rain with excited children. The Aquarium itself is pretty wheelchair friendly, with lifts and fairly wide corridors and big rooms. Its a shame the general public is, at times, not so wheelchair or family friendly! I didn't even try to count the number of times a group barged through ours, separating us. Luckily though, all the children are on board with day-trip behaviour and know to stay close and keep an eye on each other. Well, except Lottie but to give her credit, she did very well. 

One thing i am very proud of - i breastfed John in the Amazon-style part of the aquarium. Nursing in public is something i feel strongly about but can be a bit shy to do at times. Not a soul noticed though, as far as i know, so there was no nasty confrontation to deal with.

The only disappointments of the day were me not being able to see the penguins - they were too popular and despite me waiting for over ten minutes to get to the front of the crowd, people just kept pushing in front and wouldnt let me through, 
the lack of signage at the photograph collection point informing us that that was the place to hand in the childrens treasure hunt forms (they had all got the answers correct and had been assured a prize for doing so by the staff member who gave them to us) which meant they didn't get handed in and they missed out on the much-awaited prize
the fact that the wheelchair-accessibility ended in the gift shop. I was informed i would have to go a fair way back through the aquarium in order to get out. So GH ended up having to bump me down 5 steps, which was pretty rough on me as he was too tired by then to be able to be very gentle.

The very best bit of the day, aside from being able to see the seahorses, rays and the turtle was Lottie on the way back to the car. After we'd said goodbye to Tommy, Ellie and fil to go catch their train, we headed back towards the car, stopped briefly to buy the most expensive waffles known to mankind (seriously, ripped off - we got three and they came to almost £20! Had i known, or been able to see a price anywhere we would have walked right past!) and then Lottie tripped and fell, getting her jumper, dress and leggings muddy. 
I decided then that there was no point trying to save the leggings, which she had almost grown out of, and so we let her go to town on all the massive puddles the rain had created.

That small decision made her day and brought joy to so many others too. Every passer-by who saw her delightedly splooshing and sploshing and stomping through all the mini lakes along the way to the car, caught a bit of her happiness. Id not seen so many smiles and laughs from strangers in a long time. Tourists even stopped to take her picture, not that she noticed - she was having the time of her life!
We ended up having to completely strip her off to put her in the car but she didn't care, she had her blanket to keep her warm. I think that looking back, she may not even remember the fish, but i bet she'll remember those puddles :D 

Being in London was enough for me, i love that place, almost as much as i love Brighton. There is so much to see and do. Living in a village has its perks, but there is such little difference here, so little to do and see and experience. There was art at every turn, a funfair on the way back from the aquarium. I honestly didn't want to leave. I hope we can afford (somehow) to get back there again soon.

Hey guys,
I want to thank you all for your patience, sticking around while i had a break from blogging. It wasnt planned and i still dont really understand it but it did me some good because im back, feeling a lot less sorry for myself and eager to bore entertain you all.

So, in that vein, im going to tell you what ive been up to.

Life has been a bit of a mix here, as it is everywhere i guess. GH and i have struggled a lot, together and sometimes not so, to keep our relationship going. Its been a pretty rough patch but i am hoping we are getting through it now. 
John is properly crawling now and is fast approaching his first birthday, but he is still so much a baby to me. All the others were so much more independent and a lot less interested in me and my affection by this age, and im really enjoying getting a baby for a bit longer. Not that he'll stay this way for long, i know, he is already a climber and can cruise the furniture.
We have had birthdays too, Lottie and Ellie are now 3 and 6 respectively. Tommy is preparing for the fast approaching start of the new term at a new school as he is moving up to Secondary.
There has been some friction in the wider family too, some rather ill-thought-out comments and questions regarding my current health and the current 'state' of our relationship have lead to some ill feeling and that isnt easy to get past when your heart is already so full. We are trying though.

Mostly though, it is what it is and we are what we are. I try to keep us all positive, looking forward and working together, all the while supporting my twitter addiction.

Off to write new 'diary style' post now, love to you all xx

Friday, 6 May 2011

Questions and answers.

I was tagged by the lovely and brilliant Imperfect at Imperfect pages (one of my favourite blogs to read and her photos are stunning, give her a try) so as i have a very rare ten minutes alone with the keyboard i thought id give her questions a go!

Which living person do you most admire and why?
I cant think of anyone specific (im sure i will once i hit publish). I guess anyone who gets on with living, who values their children and makes the most of their lot in life.

When were you happiest?
Im pretty happy now, believe it or not, but i think the most simple time in my life was way back when it was just Tom and me, in our flat together. It was just the two of us, in a lovely sun filled flat, surrounded by friends and free to come and go as we pleased. Life was easy and fun.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Im sure there have been more than i can think of right now, im very clumsy and naive so i make a fool of myself on a regular basis. However the moment which springs to mind was way back when i was about 7 (i think) bursting for the toilet at a friends house i ran up the stairs and in to their bathroom and sat on the loo just in time.... and then realised the lid was down and i had pee'd everywhere (including all over my trousers).

Aside from property what was the most expensive thing you've bought?
It has to be the Phil and Teds Verve. It is also the object i most regret buying, it had problem after problem and they refused point blank to replace or exchange it. In the end they agreed to refurbish it after id spent several months suffering its faults and i sold it on to a lovely childminder on ebay.

What is your most treasured possession?
I dont think i have one really. No, actually the camera, and the computer - they both have lots of photos of the children stored on them.

Where would you like to live?
If i could live anywhere i think id stay in England, but id love to have land. If i ever came into the kind of money you'd need to have what im about to describe (after using some of it to help others and benefit charities) id get a great swathe of forest by the sea and just build us a house near the shore. I actually daydream about this quite a lot.

What is your favourite smell?
How long have you got? I love smelling Johns breath, its all milky. But i love the smell of home baking too, proper home cooked food cant be rivaled for sniff-ability. Also, i love the smell of my perfume which i only wear on special occasions and is the scent i wore on our wedding day. Oh, and Earth Mama Angel Baby's entire range, it all smells delish! And clean washing brought in from the line. 

Who would play you in the film of your life?
I have no idea. Really, who would even want to watch it?!

What is your favourite book?
I love reading, i always have. I have had some of the best times of my life in books and i really hope to pass the passion on to my children. For me though, my most treasured book has to be Desperation by Stephen King, it was the first book of his i ever read and it was terrifying! Im hooked on King now and there is very little of his fiction i havent read.

What is your most unappealing habit?
My honesty, i think - i refuse to lie. Id never be deliberately mean or hurtful to anyone else but i can be devastatingly honest with myself. Its often mistaken for putting myself down but it really isnt that, I just know me pretty well. I wont lie about you either :P

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
Erm... something slimming.

What is your earliest memory?
Sitting in a hospital (might have been Great Ormand Street) with my Mum and sister, there was someone trying to convince me to drink this awful, foul tasting drink they were trying to convince me was a milkshake. I think in the end the threat of a tube down my nose got me to drink it, but it was truly disgusting.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
My not-so-secret materialistic daydreams i think. I have rather extensive wish lists on amazon and Etsy and NOTHS, i even have an account with Rightmove so i can look at my house porn whenever i want. In fact *insert embarrassed face* in the past ive even downloaded software to design our perfect house.

What do you owe your parents?
My strength of conviction in my parenting and what is right for my babies. 

To whom would you most like to say sorry and why?
My sister. 
We could have had a different relationship had i been a bit more mature, patient and understanding.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
Without question, my children. Closely followed by Grumpy Husband.

What does love feel like?
i think love changes, and it changes you. Also different types of love feel different too, the love i have for my children is not the love i have for my husband. The love i have for my Mum is not the love i have for my best friend. I think love is near impossible to quantify, it teaches and gives and it takes away too. 

What was the best kiss of your life?
I dont think ive had it yet, but i have plans ;)

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
'I *just* said that!'

What is the worst job you've done?
Waitressing. It wasnt a bad job in itself and it was great exercise, but the people i worked with made the job hard. And, when i left they kept all my tips from the entire time i worked there!

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
Other than the relationship with my sister, id like to take back the parenting knowledge i have now, to when i was pregnant with Tom, and apply that knowledge and experience from the very beginning.

What is the closest you've come to death?
Having John actually brought me pretty close. When he was born the surgeon told us that my uterus was stretched to thin they could see John through it and if we had allowed the labour to progress naturally we would likely have both died.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The fact that i have five healthy, happy children. Im still not quite sure how that happened.*

When did you last cry, and why?
Oh crikey, i cry quite often at the moment, usually just because im exhausted and the pain is getting too much. I try my best not to cry in front of the children though, i dont want them to worry any more than they already do.

How do you relax?
I daydream. its a good way of pushing the pain away, and it helps me get off to sleep when im struggling.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Sadly id say money. Its awful to admit but i really believe that if we could afford two specific things our lives would be greatly improved.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Make the most of what you have and focus on the positive. Learn all you can and enjoy every second of your children.

Im not tagging anyone because i dont know who hasnt already done this one, so feel free to add on in the comments and ill edit this to include you later x

*Obviously i know the mechanics of it!

Meet the herd, take two.

Ive been umming and ahhing over this for a while but after asking the children's opinions we have decided to stop using nicknames. Well, except for Grumpy Husband, who is still grumpy.
So, I guess ill re-introduce us...

Im Becki, and my children are Tommy, Nathan, Ellie, Lottie and John. Ta daaaa!
This will make writing my blog and keeping on top of my facebook page so much easier, because i wont have to keep checking back to make sure im using the right nickname in reference to the right child!

Shocking, no?!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Ok, this may be a strange one to come back from my (un-planned) blog hiatus with but its what is in my head at the mo with all this lovely weather so here we go :D


Having recently seen that some suncreams contain ingredients that may, over a long period of time, actually cause damage to the skin we decided to make the change we had been considering and switch to all-natural versions. So here is my non-sponsored, un-solicited review of the two we tried.

The packaging claims water resistance, SPF 30 UVA and UVB protection and a light scent. It cost £13.17 from Amazon, plus £1.57 delivery.

The ingredients -
Extra virgin olive oil, Beeswax, Jojoba Oil, Cocoa butter, Shea Butter, Lavender essential oil, 'CO2 extracts' of Rosemary and Seabuckthorn berry. All the ingredients except the beeswax are Certified Organic. The packaging then adds (outside of the ingredients box) that it includes also a 'high quality, pharmaceutical grade zinc oxide'.

The packaging.
The packaging is cute i think, with a lovely badger basket-carrying a baby badger on its back along a tropical beach. The purple and yellow are eye-catching but not blinding and all the relevant information is clearly displayed.

The suncream itself.
When i first tried the cream on i wished i hadnt picked the toddler to use it on first. It comes out very thickly and is almost gritty with small lumps. The lavender smell is a little too strong to us, as a scent we dont tend to favour and it takes a fair amount of rubbing to spread it across the skin though the lumps do rub out.
 However, once thoroughly rubbed on to the skin it is almost invisible, and i was very impressed at how long it stayed on the childrens skin. Only the toddler needed a re-application later in the day, this pleased me greatly because it means that the value-for-money factor has significantly increased. When asked which they prefer both Princess and Manic chose this.

Points are out of five out of five -
Ease of use - 2
Effectiveness - 5
Value for money - 4
Overall impression - 4
Total 15 out of 20 - i would recommend it but for older, more patient/easily distracted children.

Burt's Bees.
Packaging claims chemical free sunscreen with hemp seed oil, 100% natural. SPF 30, UVA and UVB protection. It cost £16 from Amazon, plus £3.95 shipping.

The ingredients.
'Active ingredients' Titanium dioxide, 'Inactive ingredients' water, hemp seed oil, glycerin, stearic acid, fragrance, sunflower seed oil, hydrated silica, sucrose distearate, calendula flower extract, hawthorn stem extract, witch hazel extract, golden seal extract, comfrey extract, rosemary leaf extract, alginic acid, acacia senegal gum, xanthan gum, beta carotene, sucrose stearate, lecithin, aluminium hydroxide, sodium borate, glucose, sodium chloride, canola oil, glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase.

The packaging.
I really like the packaging, a lovely warm yellow with a bearded, sun-glass wearing fellow pursing his lips right in the middle. My children call this one the 'old man' sun cream! 

The sun cream itself. 
This cream spreads considerably easier than the other cream but unfortunately it dries very very quickly. The best way i can describe it is if you have ever bought a cheap foundation, which dries too fast for you to be able to blend it properly and instead just rubs off or leaves a tide line. Its the only negative point i have about this cream as the smell is very mild and it lasts quite well - only the high-friction areas of the children's skin needed reapplication. I do have to admit the long list of ingredients concerns me a little but it is cited as being '100% natural'. Chicken and Dreamer both prefer this one.

Scores then!
Ease of use - 4
Effectiveness -3
Value for money - 4
Overall impression - 4
Total 15 out of 20.

I have to say i strongly dislike the feel of sunscreen on my skin and prefer to just use a moisturiser with an spf for myself. Though the two creams scored the same and had two children each prefer it, my choice would be the Burts, the ease of spreading and the lack of strong scent win out for me. Hope this has been helpful :D
After reading Imogen's comment below i went to the cosmetic database and checked out the burts bee's sunscreen and the badger sunscreen. I have to say the results shocked me and im amazed that Burt's bees can get away with calling itself all natural!
 As i now have more information i am changing my original decision to one in favour of the Badger cream. It may be harder to use and smell worse but it is far far less damaging to my children's skin and health in general. Thankyou Immi, i shall be referring to that site often!

Sunday, 10 April 2011