Thursday, 31 March 2011

Funky Thursday - Love Shack

Funky Thursday is all about songs that get you up and dancing. 

The last few weeks I've been ill and quite down so I have chosen a song that is guaranteed to get me up and dancing. 

This song reminds me of one of my best friends at school, as soon as it would come on at a party she would drag me up to dance. It makes me smile.

I give you Love Shack by the B52's

Monday, 21 March 2011

In Limbo

I lay in bed at night unable to sleep and too tired to read or watch TV and wait very patiently for sleep to come. Sometimes it comes quickly, sometimes it comes in fits and starts and sometimes it feels like it doesn't come at all. 

I lay there in limbo listening to OH snore and sounds outside my window keeping me awake and wish I could fall into a deep sleep before its time to get up and start the day with a very energetic two year old.

I've spent years suffering from bouts of insomnia. I have learnt to recognise that it rears it ugly head when my depression is at its worse. 

I am so tired at them moment, all I want to do everyday is sleep. I fell like I slept most of the weekend but I still felt tired and of course I couldn't sleep at night.

I have tried all the usual remedies, hot milk, lavender oil, no caffeine after 3pm and nothing works. 

I'm back at the doctors tomorrow, time to look at different medication I think.

I wonder what time I will fall asleep tonight. 

Image: photostock /

Thursday, 17 March 2011

How Do You Perceive Me? One Word Meme

I haven't been very well this week hence the lack of posts so when I was tagged with this meme me being the lazy blogger I am thought what an easy post!

The lovely Mummy Musings has tagged me in the One Word Meme. Basically I don't have to do much (see lazy blogger) you have to tell me how you perceive me using just one word!

I do have to tag 5 bloggers and I'm being really lazy and using their twitter Id's (sorry still ill!)


Saturday, 12 March 2011

Sing along Saturday - I'm In the Mood......

Yesterday I was flicking through the music channels when this song came on. It made me smile and BG asked me, no  actually told me to dance. So we swung around dancing to this track.

So get up and sing & dance to I'm In The Mood for Dancing by the Nolans.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Guest Post - Don't Wait For The Rash - Can you spot Meningitis?

This is Nikki's story. We go to toddler group together and over the past year have become friends. Just after Christmas her son contracted Meningitis, this is what happened... 

We had a terrible start to the New Year when Noah, aged nearly 21 months, was rushed to hospital with Meningitis. It was so terrifying and I still find myself thinking about it every day with a pang of anxiety. Fortunately though he has bounced back to full health with remarkable speed.

The day he came home from hospital I made the mistake of googling Meningitis. I regretted it at first because even though he was better, it filled me with panic to realise just how easily it could have been different. But then I found the Meningitis Trust website and I'm glad I did. They are currently running a campaign called Don't Wait for the Rash and I just know I have to try and give something back, as some small way to repay the amazing good fortune that we have received. I honestly feel like it's a big debt that I must clear, in case it comes undone and we lose the luck! Silly I know, but there you go.

I guess usually people start supporting campaigns and groups after the worst has happened. I'm lucky that I can help raise awareness by sending out agood news story instead.

It's really alarming how easily the signs of Meningitis can be missed, or dismissed as something else like flu. In fact, I just read a recent story of a little girl who unfortunately was sent home from the doctors and later passed away within hours. Even getting to the doctors early can't guarantee you get the right help. That's scary because early treatment is generally vital for a positive outcome.

So tell me – Do you know the symptoms of Meningitis? Go on, have a think for a minute....

Of course, you all will have said The Rash. But did you know that it sometimes doesn't come at all, or that it is often one of the last symptoms? Noah's rash didn't properly appear until he was already at hospital in a very serious condition.

So what else?

Some of you may have said stiff neck and aversion to light. Hard things to detect in a young child. I doubt many of you got much past those three things. Don't feel bad though. I didn't know any more than that either. Which makes me extra lucky for still getting to hospital quickly!

Here is the story of what happened with Noah and how he did display symptoms right from the start, that I wasn't even aware of until afterwards. I've highlighted them in red.

He woke up at 10pm on the Monday night crying. I picked him up and he was breathing more rapidly and heavily than normal. I panicked at first and took his temperature immediately. He felt hot to me but the rubbish little forehead thermometer read that it was in normal range so I calmed down a bit (I've since invested in an expensive ear thermometer that gives an accurate reading in 1 second! I want to know for sure next time he's ill!).I decided maybe he'd had a bad dream, it seemed like he was frightened. Then I thought I heard him make a couple of grunting noises and decided maybe he had an upset tummy and was straining. He was very clingy and upset and would not settle back into bed at all.

We were pretty much up all night with him. We brought him into our bed but he wouldn't sleep. By this point I had changed my diagnosis again and thought it must be flu. Then again, on reflection, even when he has been really poorly with upset tummy and colds in the past, he rarely seems that poorly. Even when I know he must be feeling rough, he still carries on playing and at worst might be a bit clingy and grumpy. So in the back of my mind I was thinking it could be something worse. And that's been one of my biggest fears since he was born – something bad being wrong and not acting quickly enough. So I kept checking his temperature with that rubbish strip, which he wouldn't let me hold still for long, but it seemed to keep saying he was ok. I reassured myself that without a temperature it couldn't be anything too serious.

The next day he did eat his breakfast but then went back to just being seriously clingy and upset most of the day. I couldn't put him down for a second. We just sat and cuddled all day. By lunchtime he still hadn't slept. I tried to settle him in his sleeping bag but he wouldn't.

Something you need to know here – when he falls over and hurts himself he says “bosh” whilst touching the injured area, for instance his head. It's his way of telling us he has knocked himself.

As I took him out of his sleeping bag he said 'Bosh' and touched his leg. I asked him if his leg hurt and he said Yes, but I didn't understand why, so to be honest I didn't think much more about it. I now know that stiffness and pain in the legs as well as the neck are symptoms. Bless him – he told me too!

At this point I did also notice a faint rash on his legs. It wasn't what you would think of as a Meningitis rash (dark, purple/red, doesn't fade under pressure). It was just some very faint, brown splotchy patches. Even so, I called the doctors, and they told me to go in at 5pm for the sit and wait clinic.

This was around 1pm. We sat together on the sofa and he finally fell asleep on me, and so did I. We then woke up at 3pm when he vomited all over me. Thank goodness he did otherwise we may have carried on sleeping for another hour, which would have been bad. I was concerned that he immediately fell back to sleep afterwards, despite me moving him around and trying to clean up all the mess. He then went a really horrible pallid colour and even with me talking to him and moving him he was just unable to stay awake. His eyes were literally rolling in his head as he struggled to wake up but couldn't.

I got my mother-in-law round with her car and we drove him straight to the doctors. I must have known it was serious by this point because I remember sitting with him waiting for the car and telling him to 'hold on' and 'stay with me'. Yet at the same time it had never occurred to me that it could be something like Meningitis. You find other, less serious things to fill your mind with. I told myself the colour of his skin was because he had been sick and he couldn't open his eyes because he was just so tired. The thing that still haunts me and terrifies me is that I COULD have listened to that voice in my head and put him into bed thinking he needed to sleep it off. Just an hour later getting to the doctors and our story today would most likely be a tragic one. But I know I should not worry myself with these reflections, because the fact is I DID get him there, I did know it was more serious. (then a different thought creeps in – what if this 'can't wake up' phase had happened during the night and we didn't know until morning? Arghhhh! I must stop thinking of the What Ifs!)

So anyway, the doctor said he wasn't sure what was wrong, but luckily he was concerned enough to call an ambulance. By the time we got to hospital he had deteriorated so quickly. He was so unresponsive and his colour.... oh my goodness, it was awful. He was grey. Oh – and now that we were in the A&E room with an unstable heart rate and a very poorly little man, The Rash finally decided to make an appearance. This time, the 'proper' Meningitis rash that is often the only symptom we can think of for such a serious illness. The doctor immediately said “Meningococcal Septicaemia” and began treating for it. That was it. The words every parent fears. I couldn't believe it.

Noah was transferred to the High Dependency Unit and we spent the worst night ever sitting beside our little man with all the monitors and wires and tubes. Of course, his temperature was too high – I'll never know for sure if it was always high and my forehead thermometer was no good, or maybe it really wasn't high to start with, but I find that hard to believe.

The following day he woke up and was very disorientated and upset. He must have felt awful but they couldn't give him any pain relief for the risk of him becoming drowsy when they needed to monitor his vital signs every hour. He developed a real fear of nurses and if they so much as looked at him he would freak out. Even the cleaner coming in to change the bins would send him into a panic. It was so traumatic for all of us. It would feel like I had only just managed to calm him down from the last nurse visit when they would be there, upsetting him all over again. I know it's not their fault of course! They were all fantastic and we are so grateful for the care Noah received and how they looked after myself and Neil too. This is a good moment to say a huge thank you to those staff at Boston Pilgrim Hospital. They do such a hard, stressful job. I honestly don't know how they do it, they are wonderful.

That day he heard a siren outside and said “neeee naaaaw” which was music to my ears. He also had a period of about half an hour when he actually sat up and played and laughed. Then he fell asleep and didn't really wake up for around 36 hours. It felt like he'd gone backwards but I guess he just needed the sleep. It worked because when he woke up again he asked for juice. The first time he'd wanted anything. I thought he would just drink that day and that would be it, but then he saw me and Neil eating sausage baps and he said “oooooooh” and proceeded to scoff a load of sausage! That was the start of the sausage roll addiction which he still has!!

I am SO amazed by how quickly he bounced back. A few people have said to me that children don't feel sorry for themselves and so they recover quickly. It's true. As soon as he started feeling a bit better, that was it, he wanted to be on his feet and playing again like nothing had happened. They sent him home after 4 days in hospital, he continued on his IV antibiotics for another 5 days, and now he is completely back to normal.

I'll say it once more for good measure – thank goodness we got to the doctors when we did. I'm sorry to say that I am often frustrated after a visit to the doctors. I usually feel like I have wasted their time and they've had me in and out as quickly as possible. But I've always maintained that I would rather risk having a doctor send me home feeling bad for wasting their time than risk my child's life and spend my lifetime wishing I had gone. This time it was the right decision and I must also say a huge thank you to Dr Stone for calling the ambulance.

I am writing this post in the hopes of raising awareness of early symptoms and to remind you all that YOU know your child. Trust your instincts. If you have any concerns at all that your child may have Meningitis then please go to your GP or hospital immediately. Don't wait. Tell them you are worried about Meningitis and make them rule it out for you. 

I don't want to make you paranoid parents, ones who are expecting Meningitis around every corner and pestering their doctors with every slight upset. But I want you to have this information stored in the back of your mind for future use if necessary. Like I said before, you know your child. I know that Noah usually carries on through illness without much fuss, so this time, it had to be something more.

So here it is, in a concise format – the symptoms:

Fever with cold hands and feet
Refusing food & vomiting
Fretful, dislike of being handled (although Noah was initially the opposite and extra clingy)
Drowsy, floppy, unresponsive
Rapid breathing or grunting
Pale, blotchy skin
Unusual cry/moaning
Tense, bulging fontanelle
Neck & Leg stiffness
Dislike of bright lights
Spots/Rash (a red/purple one that doesn't fade under pressure – but also remember that Noah's started out as a brown, blotchy rash)

On a final note - I'm not a religious person, but I know that an awful lot of people were praying for Noah. So God – just in case you really are up there, I must thank you too!

Please Please share this link with your friends and family, share it on Facebook, on your Blog, tell everyone. Spread the word about early detection and ensure there are more good news stories like ours. Admittedly I didn't know all this stuff and Noah was still ok, but that's because we got very lucky. He actually had symptoms from the moment he woke up that Monday night. Hopefully you will recognise them if you need to in the future.

Please also check out the Meningitis Trust website for more information and their campaign.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Tuneful Tuesday - International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day and I couldn't think of a better song to celebrate the day.

Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox, Sisters are Doing it for Themselves!!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Taking Time To Read

Yesterday I read a whole book from start to finish, I can't remember the last time I did that. Actually I can't remember the last time I took time to sit down and just read. 

I used to read a lot, obviously having a child has restricted when I can read but its not a good excuse. I get so caught up with work and being online that I forget to take time to read and be inspired. 

I love how books can transport you to another time and place. I can forget about real life for a little while and immerse myself in someone else's life.

World Book Day and World Book Night this week inspired me to take some time out to read and yesterday instead on being online and instead of watching TV I read a book and boy it felt good.

BG and I also went to the library this week, again we hadn't been for ages. We were just in time for Story Time but BG really wasn't interested she just want to choose her books. I'm so glad she has my love of books, even when she makes me read the same story over and over again!

I'm going to try and make more time to read books, I know it won't happen every week but I am going to try and read a book a month.

How do you find time to read?

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Sing Along Saturday - Blame It On the Boogie

We went out to the cinema last night and on the way this song was playing on the radio.

It just made me smile and reminded me of dancing at dodgy discos to it.

So today I give you the Jackson Five and Blame it on the Boogie.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

British Mummy Blogger Carnival

This is the second time I have had to honour of hosting the BMB carnival. The first time was in September 2009 and I had 42 entries. 

This time I have a new blog and 58, yes 58 posts for you!!

So get a coffee and site back and enjoy!

Maggy at Red Ted Art Blog has been making Pretty 3D Felt Flowers.

Debbie at Motivating Mum wants to know How Do You Measure Growth?

Here is a great recipe for Babpatsa with Seeds from Jac at Tinned Tomatoes. If you are in a rush  then try Bangers and Mash for tired people  from Crumbs - Recipes to feed your family.

The NutureStore are showing us how to Audit Your Outdoor Space ready for the warmer weather. 

Homemade Mummy tell us What to Plant for 2011.  

Over at Tales from Windmill Fields we learn why she's never riding a bike again!

Tunbridge Wells Mums have been looking forward to their  Tunbridge Wells Mums in Business meeting.

Mummy Bean tells us about Becoming a Mumpreneur, the story so far..

While we are on the subject of Mumpreneurs have you met me over at Become a Mumpreneur. 

Ella at Notes from Home shares with us her Second Home

Emma a Mommy Has a Headache asks Is Modern Sex a Bed of Poses?

At In a Bun Dance, Ellen wants to know Is it time to send children out for a walk on the wild side?

Sandy at Baby Baby tells us about her feeling of fear and helplessness when The Earthquake in Christchurch hit.  Mymumdom tells us Why She's Crying Over Christchurch.

Rachel is Writing a film at Major Love of Film.

LLM Calling is a little concerned about her Dream Home

Liz at Me and My Shadow shares with us her strange love of Jelly Moulds!

Cass from The Diary of The Frugal Family, asks what's wrong with this picture?

Michelle from Mummy from the Heart wants to be a Firework!

Trying to Find the Brightside Today is Sara at Chocolate, Carbs and CMT. 

Its a Big Day for Kizzy at Mummy Needs. 

From Rat Racer to Homeworker tells us about Parenting and Homeworking and why its a good thing.

Simply Hayley is asking for advice on Mental Health and Pregnancy

A Bite at Nursery - How Would You React? Mellow Mummy tells us how she did.

Geekmummy Ruth tells us why high temperatures in babies should be taken seriously

Super Amazing Mum shares her Soundtrack of her life and tells about the time see met a Rolling Stone.

Poor Flea at Who's the Mummy is Sick, apparently she's delirious with fever. 

Karin at Cafe Bebe is having a Flashback Friday

Pippa at A Mothers Ramblings shares with us a video of BB Dancing On Bubblewrap. If you need cheering up, then this is the video for you!

See what's in Tiddlyompompom's Spam folder

I'm sure we can all relate with Young Mummy's Uniform on Young and Younger. 

Becky at Baby Budgeting has a video for all of those who stand by her

Book Reviews for mums tells us how we can help with Book Aid International.

At New Day New Lesson we learn how the Simplest of Gestures Can Have the Greatest Meaning

When I read Janis's from Mum Verses Kids story of the Wee Bead Room I laughed so hard I nearly had an accident!

Ebabee likes Turquoise Blue, 7 Cool Nursery Accessory and Furniture Idea 

Inspired Mum asks Who am I?

At Pants with Names they are questioning their decision to educate their boys through the state system

Rebecca at Two Become Four is saying Goodbye to the Garden.

Julie at Me, Him and Them tells us about the Boy and his Cat.

Very Bored in Catalunya has written Mummy Blogging for Dummies .

8 Letters, 3 words, 1 meaning ... or better left unsaid? asks Seasider in the City.

South Bristol Runner is Running the Race for Life with her daughter.

News Flash, Kirsty at Imperfect Pages agrees with the Daily Mail.

Teadrinking Mom tells us about pre-toddler tantrums and the challenge of achieving work/life balance in the USA 
Kate at the Five F's blog write an emotional post to her Brother.

Talking about my favourite subject Organising is Kerry at and Then All I Thought About Was You.

It's Memory Monday at Mummy's Shoes, Carly remembers her Nanny and Grandpa.

Susan K Mann asks Why is there boy and girls toys?

Amy at and 1 more means four...and one more shares with us her feelings about her daughter's severe speech delay.

Inspired by the Save the Children's Blogging Conference Karen at the Rubbish Diet at diet wonder if she was Born To Write Rubbish. Nova at Cherished by Me writes a moving post and  Jax at Making it Up has been left pondering Vaccinations.

Kelly at A Place of My Own is having a Rant and who can blame her.

Snaffles Mummy is playing I Spy.

Marilyn at Soft Thistle is saying Thank You for the help.

Its Birth Plan time for Carolin at Mummy Alarm.

Last but not least Liz at Living with Kids asks the age old question, How Can Rastamouse be  Racist?

That's your lot, I hope you enjoy them all as much as I did.

The next carnival is 15 March and will be held at Very Bored in Catalunya. Please email entries