My endometriosis #wombstories

My endometriosis #wombstories

I have endometriosis. If you’ve followed and read my blog posts over the year you will be more than aware of the fact that i have endometriosis and it rules my life at times. One day i can feel completely fine and go about my life as normal then the next moment my stomachs swollen like a balloon, i am in intense pain and i am crippled by it sometimes even hospitalised. But it’s a weird thing being a endometriosis sufferer, i used to feel so alone but now i know i am not alone. Since starting my blog i have made so many connections with so many beautiful people who also suffer with endo. We all know what it is like to be sick but not look sick. We know each others struggles and go through it together. Like some sort of badass period gang. There is a reason they call us endo warriors. It is because we get up and start the day despite at times feeling like we are dying. It’s that a lot of us are there to give support and talk about what we are going through in the hope that it helps someone else.

Did you know that 1 in ten woman can be suffering from endometriosis and that it can take around 8 years for a diagnosis?

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis or endo as many of us call it is when the material of your uterus grows elsewhere in your body. Causing internal bleeding, scaring and in many cases damage to organs. The only way to know how severe or diagnose is through surgery. It is barely ever picked up on ultrasounds and you have to be extraordinarily lucky to have it found in other ways. There is also no cure for endo. You can have patches of it burned of but it just grows back like weeds and sometimes it comes back worse.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain, intense pain on periods.
  • Heavy bleeding.
  • Nausea and sickness.
  • Constipation or diarrhoea when ovulating or on period
  • Pain when peeing or pooing on period or ovulating.
  • Difficulty getting pregnant.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Back pain and pelvic pain.
  • Pain during or after sex.
  • Lots more.

My story.

Growing up i found periods uncomfortable but it wasn’t until my twenties i started to have more intense periods. I would also get very frequent urine infections which would burn. I’d sometimes live on the toilet. Once i had elijah i found out i had endometriosis through my c section. Which in turn caused my endometriosis to get way worse and start presenting severe pain more than ever before. As I started to fuse back together my endo grew with it infesting my insides and destroying my life. Every month on the return of my periods i started to notice extreme stabbing pain in my side. Like i had a knife inside of me. I would also always describe it as having a burning hot ice cream scoop inside of me scooping away at my organs and pulling at the flesh. I would be exhausted, bed bound and in so much pain i would cry on the floor. If you’re a endo sufferer you also know that the pain your in is determined by how low to the floor you get. If you can stand it’s a okay day. If your laying on your stomach or back in pain on the middle of the bathroom or living room floor it’s pretty unbearable.

I also loose my appetite for days and feel sick the whole time. I bloat and look pregnant whilst also suffering intense bowel and urinating issues. I have hot sweats and cant do anything to soothe the pain. I spend the week of my period attached to a tens machine, cooling pads or in tropical temperatures with a hot water bottle resting on my stomach. The more severe the flare the more it causes me to feel so week I feel faint and unable to concentrate. The worse thing is when I feel shaky and unable to function .

I was one of the lucky ones who had a diagnosis. Only on a accidental find. But being told i had endometriosis wasn’t the end. Even though i had a diagnosis doctors would still make me believe it was in my head i would turn up to their surgery in so much pain i couldn’t stand up properly hunched over and i would be made to think it was all in my head. I’d be prodded over and over and cry in pain as touched where it hurt. Over and over i would attend a and e begging for help thinking i was going to die. Turned back to my gp after a day of sitting upright crying or writing in pain needing the floor or a bed. I would Rarely be Admitted to gynaecology where after having scans seeing cysts I’d be sent home later that day when i could barely stand and had been drugged up to the nines.

The medication never really helps sure it sometimes takes away some of the pain but a lot of the time it barely scratches the surfaces. I’ve often had the strongest medications you can have and still lay writing in pain on the floor crying pressing into my stomach in the hope of stopping the tsunami of cramps and pain. Many times i have had to give up going out because i am bleeding so heavy. I’ve leaked in public and been forced into adult nappies. I become anaemic every month because i loose so much blood and have massive clots. I run on empty feeling faint because there is no option when people can’t see your problem but to get up and carry on. The condition also messes with my hormones causing mood swings and extreme depression and lets not even go there with the beautiful spots i inherit from aunt flo visiting. I often feel like a failure as a mother and wife because sometimes i just don’t have the energy. Sometimes i struggle to get through the day and sometimes im laying on the floor crying like some crazy woman. I know often i should go to hospital when it gets overly bad but with the little understanding of doctors in the hospital i am treated terribly and would rather writhe in pain at home just praying that this isn’t it, that i’m not actually dying this time.

I also find that i am starting to get issues with ovulating more now. I cramp and hurt and have many of the same symptoms as when i bleed but without the blood. It wasn’t enough to take a week of my month but now it is two weeks.My doctors all push for me to have another surgery to look at how bad my endo is but i refuse as i cannot bring myself to go under again after my traumatic birth. I also think what would be the point? There is no cure. It will grow back. Whats the point in more scars and more pain. So I spend my days engulfed in the fire that burns its way through me.

However in our darkest hours there is unity. I have joined many endo support groups where we all give each other love, support and advice where i don’t feel like such a freak. I talk to fellow bloggers and people i follow or follow me about the struggles of our endo flares. It makes me not feel so alone. It has also enabled me to learn about more related symptoms and that i can relate other issues to my endo.

I talk about my endometriosis not because i want sympathy but because i want understanding. I want people to understand what i am going through. I want awareness for my people and i also want to be able to help others. i talk about endo in the hope that the girl sitting on the toilet in agony knows that it is not normal to have this much pain. I talk about it in the hope of more seeking help and also being there to help. I talk for everyone. Just because we do not look sick does not mean we are not sick. Chronic pain is real and it is hard and honestly every day i wish it would go away but it never will no matter how hard i wish or how many heat packs i put on my stomach and back,

If you or anyone else have similar symptoms then i have please speak to your gp. It may be that help you need. My messages are always open and you can always dm me on my instagram @lifewiththehazelwoods or email or comment here.

Thanks for reading! Charlie x

How having a traumatic birth and NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) baby affected how i bonded with my child.

How having a traumatic birth and NICU (neonatal intensive care unit)  baby affected how i bonded with my child.

When you get pregnant all you can do is imagine bringing your perfect little baby home the day you give birth. You can almost smell in your imagination that newborn baby smell and your heart aches for time to move that little bit quicker. Of course you wait patiently because well you have no choice and wait as the excitement begins to build. Nobody expects when you are pregnant that things can go wrong. Because well in honesty you can’t predict the future. As my pregnancy progressed i was so worried something would be wrong when the baby was born. I could sense it. I was called crazy for worrying and i was even prescribed anti anxiety tablets later in my pregnancy. When i was around 34 weeks pregnant i had reduced movements from Elijah, Basically i couldn’t feel him move all day for some reason. I was made to think it was all in my head and that i was crazy. Still i did as you’re supposed too i called the midwife switch board that always told me to go to hospital to be checked. I would sit in a busy or empty waiting room panicking. I was good at hiding my emotions but inside it was pure panic. What could be wrong with my baby?

Of course nothing was wrong that was seen from fetal monitors, but i could still not feel my baby. After the all clear was given i was sent home. Feelings returned the next day but then the same happened again and again and it got to the point i didn’t want to go to the hospital but i knew it shouldn’t be avoided. I went again and again and sat and sat until one day i was taken to the labour suite and kept a bit longer, deciding i wasn’t in active labour and no feelings they arranged me to have a scan the next morning. Despite the many, many people touching my stomach they did not pick up that my child was breach until the scan and this is why i didn’t feel him. After this it was decided by all that we would try and have him turned. After the most painful experience of my life and the little bugger not moving at all we gave up and booked in for a c-section.

When we booked the c section that was it for me. Anxiety through the roof and panic. I was convinced i would die or something would happen to the baby. For two weeks i didn’t sleep and pretended to be excited despite being so nerve wrecked i didn’t know how i could go through with it all. On the day i was booked in i felt strange, i was still convinced i was going to die or something drastic but i also felt like perhaps it was all in my head. That i was wrong, it would all be okay. I was right as i normally am when my anxiety is involved and things did go wrong. Firstly the medicine to paralyse me and stop feeling basically didn’t work and you can guess the rest in regards to feeling. I was put to sleep screaming and panicking and missed my sons birth. This is something that i will never, ever get over. Missing the birth of your own child is something i cant describe. When i think of it now my eyes swell up in tears, my stomach hurts where Elijah was and my throat goes hard. It is something i would not wish upon anyone.

Elijah was fine at birth and everyone was in love with him. James and my mum told me how beautiful he was but i was so gone from the drugs i thought i had imagined this whole thing and couldn’t really accept the baby was mine. I mean how could i? I hadn’t seen him be born. They could of stolen him for all i knew. It was weird to accept and everything still felt like a dream i barely remember this wet thing latching and trying to appear present when i was still so scared and didn’t know what was going on. As i said before i am very good at acting like everything is okay with me when it really isn’t. As I started to come round and after James parents had visited the baby he became unwell. Quickly. His blood sugars dropped dangerously low and as i had started to look at this new child and start to warm to him he was ripped away from me and taken downstairs to the NICU. I sent James with him because to be honest i didn’t know what would happen and didn’t want the baby to die alone if that was to happen. Obviously i couldn’t move. I was paralysed from the drugs. I sat in worry not knowing what was going on and nobody would tell me. Everyone had left, nobody came to tell me what had happened and those few hours where the hardest of my life.

Eventually James came back with basically no information and someone came in and said i could see Elijah in the morning but i explained if she wasn’t going to help me into a chair i would fall to the floor and drag myself there. I was helped into a chair and wheeled down to see him. Nothing will ever prepare you for seeing your newborn baby in a incubator. Nobody will ever be able to explain what it’s like watching your child’s chest rise and fall as machines and wires come out of every limb and bit of skin you can see connecting to medicine or monitors that alarm constantly causing a panic. I thought then and there he would die. Immediately i closed myself off to him because i didn’t want the hurt.

As the days went past Elijah would get better and then worse again. I had no hope past the third day. Seeing your child scream in pain as blood test after blood test and heel prick after heel prick is done. I struggled to breastfeed. I mean i couldn’t i was of course unsure of how and being in a busy ward with other people constantly looking at wires and alarms going off every time i tried put me off. I tried to get him to latch but he would barely ever. He would scream he couldn’t get enough from me and refuse to remain latched. I remember sobbing trying to pump and getting barely anything out. I would pump all day long to get as much as i could for him which was barely anything so i would have to top up with formula.I had never felt like more of a failure as a mother and as a person. Why didn’t my body work? Why could so many others do it and i couldn’t? Why where there people who refused to even try! I would frown when i would give a pathetic amount of my milk to my child and rely on something else to feed him. I wanted that bond of feeding him everything he needs but I had failed him.

My body was so exhausted from the surgery but i never rested i would sleep four hours a day and stand as much as i could possibly bare to change and feed Elijah. I wanted so hard to feel like his mum and not like another nurse on the ward to him. I felt he didn’t know who i was despite the fact i stood there feeling my stomach rip apart as i soothed him when he cried. I didn’t like being away from him i was terrified he would die so would barely go back to my bed to sleep or eat or drink only when doctors did there rounds.

Even when Elijah started to get better after a week i was sure he wouldn’t be. When they said we could go home we still had no answers as to why he was ill and i couldn’t accept no answers. My rational mind had nothing to hold onto. When we got home it wasn’t the glowy memory i once had it was panic. I sat watching him breath panicked that sids would happen. I was meticulous about him drinking enough and sanitising anything and anyone who entered my house. I was worried every time he made a sound or moved. I was so adamant he would die. I was worried we would be back to the hospital every time he didn’t finish a feed or had reflux down me.

When James returned to work and i was alone i had never been so scared. A part of me wanted so hard to love this tiny human but the other part of me was in panic and was controlling my feelings out of fear of being hurt. I was on auto pilot just doing everything for the baby and not being present in my mind to enjoy it. I don’t remember much from the early days except the pain of over exerting myself when i was recovering whilst also trying to keep everyone around me happy. I remember having many visitors and seeing family because i was worried i’d upset someone when inside i was so panicked someone would get him ill and he’d be back to square one. I remember needing to be alone but in so much company I was alone.

As time went on and Elijah grew i eventually learned to stop panicking as much. I realised Elijah wasn’t going to die any time soon and i calmed down. Slowly i became more attached to him. I accepted that he was my son and that i was his mum. I stopped trying to not feel hurt and accepted it and in time i became more and more of a mother. Then one day it just clicked and i suddenly knew that i loved this child with all of my heart and that i would die for him. I realised all that worry he would die was because i was being his mother and caring. I still doubt myself as a mother everyday and i think everyday how would my relationship of changed with Elijah if i was to see him be born and then to of took him home the same night healthy and happy. Would i of breastfed and bonded better? Would i be less worried even now almost three years on when he gets a cough or cold or goes to spend time in anyone else’s care but my own?

Who knows but all i know that is that the experience effected me to no bounds. That i wish that things had been normal and that i could be normal but they weren’t. I wish i has someone to talk too about it. Explanations and reasons why things happened. I wish i had understanding when i would have to tell my health visitor that i had to give formula as my body wouldn’t work. I think this post has been one of the most raw posts i have ever wrote. I may even show my counsellor this because i am having counselling for my traumatic birth!

I am as time goes on healing slowly and i hope one day that i can accept what happened to me. But i think there will always be parts of me that constantly worries about me as a mother, my son and the bond that we have. Whenever Elijah has been ill in the past my brain flips out i want to take him to a hospital straight away and when a hospital in past has confirmed he is ill and needs admitting my brain had shut off again taking me back to the newborn stage where i was present but not feeling and incredibly closed off. But for now i am so proud how far me and Elijah have come with bonding and he is not just my son he is my best friend who i love with all of my heart, something at the start i could never of imagined. Although I will perhaps never understand what happened to us both I will be forever thankful we are both here today and healthy.

Thanks, Charlie x

Online haul with cherryz

Online haul with cherryz

This is a advertisement of gifted products in exchange for this blog post review.

Cherryz gifted me a thirty pounds gift voucher in exchange for a review of their company so here is what i thought about cherryz, So first of all its really easy to use download the app and create a profile its that easy. Once you’ve done that its simple just scroll for what you want. With separated sections from everything from cupboard essentials, cleaning products to pets it sells basically everything you could need in your cupboards, I am a fan of doing many hinch hauls and going shopping and i end up spending way too much money. This enables me still to buy my favourites but from the safety of my own home. I also am able to monitor what i spend and not get distracted as easily. The app easy to use and is quick too. Everything i would normally buy cleaning wise was there as well as all the snacks i would often buy for Elijah.

They also sell some lovely garden and home bits and i had to stop myself from filling my house with even more things that need homes! I focused with my thirty pounds on getting the most for my money and also trying bits from each department. The pet range is really good and ill definitely be buying more dog bits in the future. I decided to get some treats for dog, poop bags and some pet cleaning supply which i definitely will be needing. I also got a microwave steam cleaner which i have since used and made a hard job easy! ill keep more on top of it now! I also ordered lots of snacks and treats as well as packed lunch basics for James and cereal. There where lots of cereals and crisps and whole range of cupboard food in stock too. Don’t shop when hungry. I ended up getting i think 26 items for 30 pounds which is amazing in my eyes. A lot of the products where cheaper then supermarkets. The checkout process was easy and theirs tracking and updates up to the day your parcel is due. The delivery only took two working days which was good. All products arrived well packaged and all where with good dates on too.

I can honestly say i will be using them again in the future to save my arms from the hauls i get myself into.

To check them out download app here https://cherryz.app.link/lifewiththehazelwoods and you can use my code LIFEWITHTHEHAZELWOODS10 for 10% OFF your first order on the app!

Thanks, charlie x

10 things you should know before you have a child.

10 things you should know before you have a child.

Disclaimer : I am writing this from a more comical side then serious side. I don’t hate my child by posting these facts. These are things I believe that everyone should know before planning a child. Why? Because having a child is not all sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it’s poo and tantrums galore.

So to kick this of I am Charlie-Jane. I’m 25 we planned and tried for a baby at 22 and Elijah was born whilst I was 22. Elijah is now 2 and a half and sometimes I think he might be slightly possessed with his temper at times. Clearly doesn’t have my temper because I’m of course a angel. Ok perhaps not a angel but not someone who thinks rolling on the floor will in fact allow me to have cake for breakfast. Anyway these are some of the things I wish I new before I had a child. So I could of mentally prepared.

Number one: There is less we time and me time. Your days become worshipping little evil spawn. Instead of having a zen bath or going for a date with your loved one your life revolves around being a snack bitch or cleaning the path of destruction that your child’s created. You find conversations normally revert back to your child and your so drained from parenting you really can’t be bothered to do anything. Enjoying peace and quiet is a thing of the past and conversations always interrupted.

Number two: You will only ever hear children’s tv show songs in your head. Inside my head is a collection of blippi, andys adventures, waffle doggy and mr tumbles greatest. You will get really into kids tv. You find yourself sticking a episode of hey duggee on and having a laugh and then realising your child’s having a nap. You start conversations with talking about the latest kids tv series you watched not the latest show on Netflix. You find yourself wondering how does Justin have so much time to dress up as all these characters and I haven’t even washed my face this morning???

Number three:You will never have a relaxing meal or drink again. Infact you’ll make a cup of tea and your child will distract you so much that your tea is ice cold and your full of disappointment. Eating your dinner peacefully? Forget about it! Your child wants to throw food at you, eat your food or get down. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had a drink hurdled into my meal or my child ran of with my last sausage or smushed his food into the walls and across the floor. Eating at a restaurant becomes stressfull keeping you child entertained and on their best behaviour and sometimes you’d rather not eat out with them atal!

Number four: You will never have privacy. Your child comes everywhere with you. Staring, watching, planning their next attack! If you need a poo? Well child is coming too and going to throw a giant stegosaurus at your face. Trying to talk on the phone? Child decides all of the sudden they want to sing at the top of their voice! Just minding your own business shopping when your child decides nows the time to lift your top down and show everyone your boobies! Note to self, always wear a bra after the Morrison’s incident.

Number five: Kids are expensive. Always growing like some hyped up sunflower! One minuite they’re tiny and the next they’re twenty feet giants that weigh 77 tons. You go through clothes quicker then you can buy them and that expensive toy you brought well it’s been five minuites and it’s trash to them now. There’s always some new thing they’re into and new toys to buy. You’ll be really glad when you spend loads of money on something and they don’t care about it atall.

Number six: You’re always tired. Of course the sleep steeler cry’s all night or apparently like my child sings Elton johns can you feel the love tonight at 3 am like that’s the norm. Of course I want to be awoken to Elton John mate thanks! Your days start before the sun and yeah that coffees going cold so there is no help with the fatigue. Your running round all day playing and cleaning and your so stressed you don’t know how to function. Your mind is tired, your body is tired, you don’t know what day it is anymore. 9 months was not enough time to catch up on rest like they tell you!

Number seven: Your child will have a meltdown over ANYTHING. They picked up the wrong toy, you don’t have doughnuts in the house, you won’t let them lick a trolley while out shopping. ANYTHING. There is no reasoning with them either, everything is a complete battle at times. Want to get your child to put their shoes on? Cue half hour screaming meltdown on the floor wiggling around like a worm that’s been cut in half. Oh and yes they’ll be plenty in public and yes it’s humiliating!

Number eight: Say goodbye to your freedom. Want to go to the shops? Better pack a suitcase and load the car and pram and pack snacks and three changes of clothes and my life’s ambitions. Want to go on a romantic date? CHILDCARE!!! There’s no more dates without someone to watch your child. Want to go for a walk alone to calm down? Well you can’t! Want to wake up when you want and go to sleep when you want? You can’t! Want to go to a fancy restaurant? Well I’m sure there is no baby change or high chair facilities! Trip to the cinema forget about it! long walk? Lug a baby or buggy around or just bin it off and forget about it!

Number nine: Your body will change. You will put on weight everywhere, your face will change shape, your hips, arms, feet, hands and everywhere else! Your stomach may sag and you’ll have horrid squiggly lines scatted over your tummy. Your hair will fall out in clumps and you’ll block your hoover and drain almost daily. Your skin will get spotty or dry and itchy. Illnesses you never knew you had will come out of the pipework. You will get tired more often and if you need to sneeze or want to laugh?There is gonna be A lot of wee accidents. Wrinkles and bags under your eyes will be your latest accessories in your beauty quest.

Number 10: Your life will become filled with poo and sick. Yes you will have poo explosions where the watery poo reaches their hair. You will have the potty training poo in the pants. Your child will take their poo out their nappy and smear it all over their bedding, walls and cot because why not? It’s clearly scented paint! your child will throw up in your mouth at least once and my god a sickness bug makes you want to leave the city. So prepare for being covered, your child being covered, your house being covered and you’ll contemplate whether it’s easier to burn the house down sometimes then clean a smeared poo explosion.

Of course I love my child and I love my life now he’s in it but boy is a bit of a prick at times. Hope you had a laugh! Charlie x

The perfect Father’s Day gift

The perfect Father’s Day gift

The people over at hooray heroes kindly gifted me a book for Father’s Day to show my followers and readers what I think about it. I’ve been eyeing up their books after seeing many ads so I was very excited to be gifted one!

So first of all you choose the book you want. Then you design your characters. This is the fun part! You can choose hair style, colour, freckles, skin tone, eye colour and more! You can put your names in as well so it makes it super personal to you. It’s really nice knowing that something your helping to create will be in a book. Especially if you have a hard to find name in a gift store this is the perfect personalised gift for you.

I love that you can also choose what stories go inside you can preview and select up to ten mini stories to go in the book too.

Once you’ve ordered it only takes a few days to come I think I waited five days and I was alerted when each step of the creation process was completed and a time my parcel would be delivered.

When it arrived it was in a nice cellophane wrapping to preven damage. The book is hardback and the quality is amazing. Each page is full of colour and keeps your child’s attention. This was a gift to the whole family really which was nice because we all get to share it.

It’s something that will last for years and we love all the stories, you can read as little or as much as you like!

We will defo keep them in mind for our next personalised book adventure!

With Father’s Day coming up now is the perfect time to get idea and this is the perfect book for lots of family’s!

You can shop here! https://hoorayheroes.co.uk/personalised-books/fathers-day

As always thanks for reading Charlie!

Why are there not more honest parents

Why are there not more honest parents

One thing I have really noticed since being a mother is how hard it can be. It’s not all sunshine’s and rainbows as people like to portray in their perfect little photos. Now more than ever I will scroll through my Facebook or Instagram and all I see is smiles and happiness when in fact I know full well behind the heavy filters and fake smiles is a kid who screams all day because he just feels like it and a parent at the end of her tether wondering what she ever did wrong to the kid.

I have always aimed to be an honest parent. Not only in my blog but on all social media platforms too. No matter if people judge me for my honesty i do it for the other mums. The mums who like me want to see the truth. Who want to see more photos of mums pouring them self a big glass of wine at the end of the day to try have some sort of happiness on those hard days. I want to see mums talking about their child’s tantrums, about how their child who drives them completely potty.

There is nothing more I hate then these parents who treat everything as a competition. Thinking their child is the best shiny trophy in their hall of fame and no other child will ever be as good. But have I got news for you. Your perfect child is perfect to you as my child is to me but I do not for a second believe my child is this angel because of my opinions or that I need to put my child above others. All children are equal and they all have tantrums at some point. If you’re lucky enough to have a mellow child look out because one day it will come. Until then don’t be an ass and only talk about how great your child is. Also don’t be that braggy and comparing mum.Nobody cares about your child reaching a milestone a day earlier then your friends child.

I want to hear about your sleepless nights, your child throwing their dinner against your white walls and carpet, I want to relate to you. I want to know that your just like me. Like I’m not alone in this world. I want to know that it’s normal to have a sob once a week because your child has relentlessly misbehaved because you perhaps didn’t let them have cake for breakfast or something equally as stupid as jump off a sofa face first.

I want you to know it’s okay to be honest. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to shout sometimes. It’s okay to feel stressed. You are not alone. Every other parent goes through this even if they don’t admit it. You’ve got this mama!

Hang in there because one day when they’ve moved out you might actually get to finish a hot drink or have a conversation that doesn’t relate back to your kids at some point!

Dms are always open for a moan about your kid I’m listening! I know you love your kid and accept that they’re little balls of anger. You are not a bad mum. What you see on the internet is not the whole picture. A second of the days does not compute someone’s whole day and what goes on behind that camera screen.

I’m always here, Charlie x

Finding out I have a neurological disorder:

Finding out I have a neurological disorder:

This is something I have been struggling to come to terms with and with my health anxiety at a high I tried as hard as I could not to research my disorder but I decided it was in my best interest to know what I’m battling. So basically, a few months ago I found out I have functional neurological disorder. It’s been quite upsetting to accept but I guess it’s a part of me now and something I just have to take in whether I want to or not.

How I found out I have functional neurological disorder:

To cut a long story short, I had INTENSE shoulder pain radiating from my arm to my chest. I put of going to the doctors due to trying to over come my health anxiety and i was sent to the doctors by counsellor who could see i was getting breathless from the pain. When i got there my arm had started to become numb and i thought it was just a seriously intense pulled muscle. They where worried and sent me immediately to the hospital. When i arrived i had numerous neurological work ups, bloods and x-rays and a ct scan. They believed i had a stroke but after the ct scan couldn’t pick up anything i was sent home with very strong painkillers and told to come back if it got no better. A few days later i lost function completely in the arm. I ignored it but then i got so much pain in my chest i had a asthma attack from struggling to breath. I called 111 where they where going to send a ambulance out again worrying i’d had a stroke. Instead we drove to a and e after waiting and cancelled the ambulance. After being in a and e again they did more extensive checks this time and after being poked and prodded by around 8 different people we came to a conclusion i needed more tests. The stroke team came down this time and could see i had lost function and worked out my reflexes are less down one side of body and on that side i couldn’t feel as much and was a lot weaker than my other side. I was sent for a MRI scan and sent to the stroke ward. They discovered after more testing that i have functional neurological disorder. I was discharged with not much information other then a website and a letter confirming to my doctor i have functional neurological disorder.

What is functional neurological disorder?

Basically suffers with functional neurological disorder have problems with their nervous systems functioning. It effects the signals by brain wants to send to my body parts. The body wants to communicate something and cannot. The messages get confused and this causes the body to be confused. The pain is real. The symptoms are real. The symptoms are very similar to those who are experiencing/have experienced a stroke and very similar to those suffering other neurological problems such as MS.

The symptoms of functional neurological disorder:

  • Non epileptic seizures.
  • numbness.
  • Inability to use a part of the body.
  • Conversion disorder.
  • Weak limbs.
  • Confusion.
  • Fatigue.
  • Paralysis.
  • Speech issues.
  • Numbness/ tingling feelings.
  • Pain.
  • Vision disturbance.
  • Tremors.
  • Spasms.
  • Irritable bowel and increased urination.

Causes of functional neurological disorder:

  • Childhood trauma.
  • Mental health issues.
  • Chronic pain (yay endometriosis).
  • Stress

Is there a cure?

In short no. Study’s have shown that Physiotherapy and counselling can help individuals but it is not completely effective. Pain relief can help but again does not cure and you could become addicted from taking pain killers to frequently.

Will I get worse?

At the moment I have no idea what will happen. Some days are better then others with the pain. I’m normally okay and then after some sort of stress or over working myself I’m in pain again. For now I try not to think of the future and think of today. I’m grateful for my family and friends and my health I have today. I won’t worry about the future until I’m firmly in it.

As always thanks for reading love Charlie x

Messy play in partnership with Hartley’s fruit !

Messy play in partnership with Hartley’s fruit !

Hi all as we reach day 2636526 in lock down we’ve been thinking of ways to keep our little one busy and thought why don’t we share those ideas with you. The lovely people at Hartley’s fruit gifted us lots of jelly to share with others what we get up to with jelly!

I know what your thinking jelly? That’s just for eating? Well yeah it’s for eating BUT you can also play with it. You can hide things in it and explore the texture as you try to fish bits out of it! SO if you’re looking for a cheep and easy activity then look no further!

All you need is jelly, you can buy Hartley’s jelly in most supermarkets and corner shops as well as online! Then you can get inventive. I like to set a theme today I used Elijahs little dinosaurs and we had a dinosaur theme. We have previously done jungle animals, the lion king theme and we’ve even used fruit too! If your child is still at age where everything is in the mouth I suggest bigger toys they can’t choke on or cut up fruit!

How to make: Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions and when it’s starting to cool out the fruit or toys in. Then when it is completely cool put in the fridge to set for a few hours I suggest a minimum of three hours!

Now the fun part! Get it out and put some old clothes on and get ready to get messy! Get some tools out if you wish, I got a spoon but we’ve previously used whisks, chopsticks and lots more to squish into the jelly.

While your child plays talk to them while they explore. Talk to them about the texture and ask them questions. Ask if it’s squishy? Ask if it’s cold. Ask how it feels in their hands. Talk about how it is cold and how it is wobbly. Talk about what your using to get the toys/fruit out. Count how many objects you remove from the jelly and talk about if they’re sticky or not.

We enjoy getting bigger toys and splashing them in the jelly also! It’s a great play idea which you don’t have to worry about them eating the product!

We find this a super fun idea we play with other children when they come round and can’t wait to do more play with others after lockdown!

To clean up, once all the toys have been removed allow them to eat some jelly. If you’ve made to much save for later in the fridge. To finish just simply wash up as normal and add the toys and utensils to the washing up pile. Remove dirty clothes and wash hands it’s that simple.

Have fun and enjoy yourself! Let’s play with our food that little bit more! Thanks again to Hartley’s for supporting our play today! (The jelly used was gifted).

For more play ideas be sure to check my Instagram play idea highlights where I’ll be adding more as we play! Follow: @lifewiththehazelwoods and tag me and Hartley’s in any jelly play you do!

Thanks Charlie!

Being a parent in a pandemic

Being a parent in a pandemic

Good afternoon, i hope everyone is well today and feeling a bit more positive today. I am coming to you today from a more positive mindset then i was in last week which was me at a very low point. I was at a point in life i was struggling with both my mental and physical health and the lockdown did not help things atall. On a normal day parenting can be hard, but throw in lockdown, terrible twos and potty training to the mix and we are really struggling.

First of all i’d like to say i cannot praise my son enough for how well he has done with all of this. To be told you can’t see your friends, family or even leave the house must be such a horrible thing for a child to endure let alone if they’re too old to understand why they are stuck in. It seems everyday he asks to see his family and friends, i think it’s quite sweet because it shows he thinks about others and how much he loves them. We had a pretty active social life by anyone’s standards, we would be out everyday seeing friends and family or going or just as mother and son (or the three of us). We’d do different things all the time such as meals out at different places, go swimming, soft play, bowling, the zoo and to different parks. I think he struggles most with understanding that he can’t go for play dates at peoples houses or they come to play here.So i do feel horrid when we have to stay inside each day, infact i have major mum guilt that just won’t shift. I try so hard to come up with play ideas and to keep him in contact with friends that it physically drained me last week so much so that i didn’t want to try to come up with anything new and wanted to give up my creative side for a few days.

Obviously we still have all the same cleaning responsibilities around the house, in fact more. For some reason being locked in makes me feel i need to be productive and clean and organise the whole house in every nook and cranny. The issue with being a parent is you struggle to have time to clean or perhaps do some diy like everyone else seems to be able to do such as painting the whole house or doing something from scratch. I can’t say to my son entertain yourself i’m off to redecorate or to deep clean a different room then he’s in. It gets you a bit down watching others enjoy this time to be productive. Of course my house is always very clean but i feel there is more i could do. I did a big clean the other day and brought elijah in each room i cleaned (except bathroom and kitchen) and let elijah watch his tablet too entertain him and i felt so guilty for taking time to clean the house. Some positives of this have however been that my son has took more interest in cleaning and likes to help sweep, dust and wipe the surfaces down with me. He’ll even try his hand at mopping, hoovering,tidying his toys away and he even has started to make his bed. It’s good to teach him that houses don’t stay clean and we all must work together to keep it clean. Aswell my house does look a bit more tidier as I’m not out all the time and don’t find cooking and cleaning as much of a chore then I did before. Its enabled me to slow down and really appreciate my house, how we’ve decorated and who and what is inside of it.

It’s quite hard being on my own with elijah by myself everyday with nobody to talk too till james is home at teatime and weekends. It must be so hard for single parents in this lockdown my heart really does bleed for them and i have the upmost respect. I really struggle with feeling lonely in this time and I kind of spiral from that. I feel so alone, when i am not alone because my son is here but he is two, he cannot hold a conversation and has much better things to get on with like playing with his dinosaurs. I also feel a pressure not to let him know i feel sad and be upbeat which feels so fake and horrid but i want to make my son feel happy and safe in this scary world. The positives of this is we get to spend more time together just the two of us and I’m able to construct more learning through play as I have the time. We spend a lot more on the floor playing and try to keep busy the best we can. It’s nice that Elijah seems to be learning well and hopefully he won’t become shy when he leaves the house again.

We’ve started looking after our neighbours a bit more. I regularly ask my older neighbours if they need anything as they are being shielded. we’ve gone to fill there gas and electricity cards for them and shared our food and brought them bits from the shop. We’ve also ordered them a box of fruit, veg and dairy products to arrive Monday. It’s been quite nice as we’ve started talking to them more and getting to know them more. Luckily we can see them as our fence fell down but obviously it’s not getting done for a while now! It’s quite nice because she said she was feeling lonely because of it all and we’ve been chatting because her family can’t help either! We made them a card from Elijah as Elijahs starting to call them grandma because they have white hair! So we joked he’s adopted a set of grandparents. They even made us some delicious cheese and onion scones and we had them for our lunch today! It’s nice to feel like a community and everyone seems so much more friendly. Maybe it’s the missing of everyone’s family and friends that brings us together .

We’ve however sorted the garden mostly and that means we get to play in the garden more. Elijah’s fabric toys where all ruined from the storms but I was able to salvage everything else. Looks like I’ll have to order a new tent and paddling pool if I can’t fix the old one up! It’s been nice watching Elijah enjoy the garden and getting some exercise in. We’ve done lots of sensory play in garden too so saves my living room from the mess. I feel for people who don’t have gardens so try to make my play ideas adaptable for people living in flats as well. T

his weather is pretty nice to so I’m making the most out of getting out alone. I know I should take my son when I can but I only get one form of exercise a day. When i’ve endured Elijahs grumpy behaviour all day I need that me time for my mental health. I do take him out some days but I really worry about him getting the virus to be honest. The way people still get too close really makes me anxious and I worry about him or me getting it. I also worry about him having a breakdown he wants to do something like swim in the lake or play on some play equipment in the park. I don’t want to feel like there’s more no’s o have to say to him and it makes me feel guilty enough. I try to take him out when James is off work so that we can enjoy family time as every weekend we would go out and I want to keep some element of reality even if that is just walking to the meadows by our house.

When home I like to open all my blinds and enjoy the sun beaming in now. I like to feel like I’m not in a prison but I’m safe at home and the weathers nice and warm so I can go in the garden and relax. I like to get dressed everyday so I remember it’s a different day and it makes us all feel a bit more positive. I’ve got really into taking time to enjoy food and experimenting in the kitchen a bit more. I don’t want to know how much weight I’m gaining from all the cakes and bits I’ve been baking or cooking. I’m finding more time for me to do my skincare at night and finding new hobbies all the time. Although all of this is great I do still miss leaving the house and having social interaction. I miss going out with my friends for dinner without the family too because it was my little bit of freedom to be again except for mummy.

The thing is being a parent really is hard. When a child is upset they fixate on it and have a meltdown to process those emotions the only way they know how. Although we understand they are trying to express those emotions and want to be supportive it’s hard to push our feelings down. For example being upset about a tantrum. After a whole day of dealing with tantrums it can really upset you. Physically and mentally. It is possible to accept their feelings and your own and you should not feel guilt about that. You are allowed to feel stressed when your child is being a terror and that is okay to feel emotions about it. So long as your not taking those emotions out on your child it is okay to have these feelings. Just because other people want to paint a perfect picture that they never have any negative feelings towards a child’s behaviour that doesn’t mean that what they say and post is true. We are human and we are going through a pandemic. Everyday we must try and adapt to new changes. We are afraid of others and the world around us. When it will go back to normal I do not know but I wish that we could start supporting others and say it’s okay to be struggling. This reality we live in is new and you have done damn well to adapt to it. You continue to support yourself and your children through every emotion and take on the role of superhero to get through this. You are staying in to save others, to save your family and friends. If you got up today and got on with the day you’ve done all you need to do! So well done! Continue to stay safe and be proud of what you’re doing everyday. You’re allowed to feel stressed and you’re allowed to feel down. My inbox is always open. Be safe and stay well.

Romantic date ideas for lockdown in the UK.

Romantic date ideas for lockdown in the UK.

So you and your other half are on lockdown together and bored thinking of things to do. Normally you would go out for a movie or a trip to your faviourite coffee place and find something fun to do. But now you’re stuck inside. Nothing is open and your stuck thinking….What can we do? Well here’s some ideas.

First of all try not to see being home together as such a bad thing for a few hours. In reality we are all getting a bit bored stuck in the house but try think for a few hours your in the present it is what it is and enjoy some time with your spouse. Once you have a more positive mindset you may feel a bit better about the day and be ready for a indoor date.

First of all, dress up. Yes i know the tracksuit bottoms you have had since your 15 because they were once the most comfortable things you ever owned but don’t want to admit they’re now a food stained scratch mess are a comfort clothing choice during the lock down but think would i go to a date wearing that? If the answers no, change! You want to feel like you’re on a date so that means washing your greasy hair and having a shower. It’s amazing how much a shower or bath will lift your spirits. A spritz of perfume too will make you feel super fab even if there is nowhere to go. It has become a luxury from a time long forgot.If you want to wear make up to feel like youre going out it is not a waste if it’s going to make you feel good for a few hours and if you don’t want to and want to give your skin a much needed break then as shia labeouf would say “just do it”!

Here’s some indoor activivities you could do.

First up a cocktail making night! Get all your alcoholic drinks and fruit juices and fizzys and experiment making cocktails. You can order a fun cocktail making kit offline if you wanted to be more professional in your cocktail making skills. You can make mocktails to so it doesn’t have to be alcoholic i.e if you don’t drink or pregnant or something like that! Google some recipes online and work together to make some cocktails together as a team and obviously after sample them. Play some music in the background and just enjoy being free for a little bit. You might even end up a bit tipsy after so there is that too. You could always face time another couple and do the same and double date!

Try and cook something new from scrtach together. Then enjoy a candlelit meal together. You could flick through a cook book looking at something new you both might like and pick one at random. Or you could raid the cupboards for things you have that might go and make your own recipe up together. You could also challenge each other too cook a dish each and have your own master chef at home. Brownie points if your other half can’t cook and learns too.

Obviously hand in hand with cooking something new you could bake a cake or some cookies together. Helping each other and helping to decorate together can be quite a nice bonding experience and something to be proud of when finished. Also if you have a sweet tooth like me it’s great for being able to eat something naughty afterwards too.

Have a movie night. Get your favourite snacks. Set it up nicely so it feels a bit better (not eating from packets) put the lighting down low and choose some films. Watch a favourite each or choose something random too! Turn your phones off cuddle on the couch and get a blanket out. If you’re not a movie watcher binge, binge, binge a series!

Have a gaming night. Get some terrible multiplayer games out and shove a game on. Get competitive and have fun. Play things you wouldn’t normally play and retro classics to fully enjoy the experience.

Have a indoor picnic. Pack a picnic blanket and make space in your livingroom. Push sofas out the way and put a blanket or picnic mat down. Sit down together and turn everything of and just chat and enjoy your food. Have some wine if you like, Treat yourself!

Play some board games. Get uno out, monopoly, a puzzle or any games you might like. Make a competition of it and stop a game if you get bored> if you don’t have games make your own or play charades. Anything that makes you laugh. Again you could invite friends to play charades or drawing games.

Try and do a fancy dress with what you have and make a competition of it. Dress up as a cat, a Disney character or whatever you can think of. You can use paper, clothes or anything and have a bit of fun.

Do some art and crafts together. Make something or paint something together play some calming music and just relax together. Start a new hobby together.

Learn how to dance together watch a video online and learn how to dance. Or just have a simple bad dance session together. It’s always good for stress release to dance it all out.

Write each other letters. It’s romantic as heck and a great moment to keep. You can even do as a paper anniversary gift.

Have a self care night, have facemasks, spa trearments and give eachother massages. No it doesn’t always have to be erotic as i’m sure you don’t find it erotic at a spa. It’s wuite nice to show someone you care by treating them to a relaxing treatment every now and then and if the spas aren’t open bring them to you. Light a load of candles and get the aromatherapy essential oils on the go and just relax.

These are just some ideas of things you could do together obviously it’s not the biggest list and you might just want to chill in pj’s with a takeaway too as its a age old date from when you first started dating no doubt. Also remember we are still able to exercise once a day.. So go for a romantic stroll in the countryside. Go somewhere new everyday and look at different things. You can try bike riding together if you both have one and having a race against each other. Take your phone or cameras and take some photography and enjoy taking photos of things you see and each other. If you are away from partners too a lot of these could adapted to face time.

Being afraid of the unknown

Being afraid of the unknown

Good morning everyone! I hope you’ve had a peaceful weekend and had lots of fun. I thought i would write this blog post because i’m feeling quite anxious at the moment and many others are too. I’m talking about the unknown which is the corona virus or covid-19 for short. As each day passes more and more scary articles and posts are being put up and the world is going mad i am afraid of the unknown.

I am not scared about getting the virus as i have been with other illnesses. Previously when around many illnesses as a healthcare worker i had all sorts of fluids all over me and never caught anything bad such as hiv, mrsa, hepatitis or any other nasty illnesses. This is because i have always practised good hand hygiene and followed policies which have been put in line for a reason. If i was to catch covid-19 i will hope for the best and practise self isolating and look after myself to the maximum i can still following exceptional personal hygiene standards. However i am afraid of my family and friends catching it and that scares me. The thought about someone around me catching it makes me very anxious indeed.

I am becoming increasingly more anxious about other humans and their behaviour. I have witnessed and experienced fear when shopping where we can’t find the basics we need in shops. Toilet roll, pasta, tins, meat, milk, nappies, wipes, children’s snacks, formula, bread, rice, cleaning products and soap nowhere to be found in many places. Others are panic buying and developing a me before you attitude which is so toxic. I’m now worrying every time i buy something if i am being judged or now if i have brought enough i am genuinely scared that one day we will go hungry. The weird thing is why are people stock piling at the moment there is no need so i am completely confused. I also don’t understand why people are taking away toilet paper and soap from shops because surely other people need to be able to exercise good personal hygiene to avoid the spreading instead of being unable to wash their hands or wipe their bottom while people have cupboards full of soap. Let’s remember to leave some things for those at risk and only buy what we need and maybe one extra not trolley loads. Also remember that not only the elderly are at risk and that there are many young, pregnant or immunocompromised people who rely on cleaning products to be able to keep well and healthy from all germs not just covid-19.

I am afraid of the unknown on what is happening. I live in the uk and our pm has basically just said some people will die and good luck essentially. I feel like we are in the hunger games at times like this. We have been told that schools will close and then they will not. Some events are being closed without notice. There is no communication to the people. There is limited information and people want and need information in order to process things calmly and rationally. I also feel the appropriate steps are not being taken. I personally do not agree with schools shutting unless everywhere is put on quarantine and bills freezed till everything is back to normal so that no income is lost. My reason behind this thought process is that children have TERRIBLE hygiene standards and i know full well parents will be going out with their children and not staying inside which means more people around and more risk of infection. Where as if they stayed at school they would be more contained to one place and somewhat safer. If only schools closed many parents would loose their jobs or incomeand not be able to recover from the time taken off too look after their children. This would be because there would not be a nationwide quarantine with bills frozen. If everything was quarantined and all bills stopped at once the world could continue as normal but there is no plan and they’ll wait till it’s too bad. I also feel for people who would still need to work such as the whole of the health and social care section. How would they be quarantined however with them going into work and then coming home after work? Would they count this as reduced quarantine. However if bills are frozen there should be good incentives for those staff to be going in full stop.

There is too much negativity in the press and social media and all it is doing is scare mongering. All that is being spoken about everywhere is the virus and i myself can’t help it now too. I tried my hardest to avoid it, to be calm about it but now it seems to of become so much worse.This is why i am writing this blog post now Every time i listen to the radio or pick up my phone it’s death toll this, quarantine that and everything is being reported like it is the end of the world and i am worried. I am starting to worry we wont be able to pay our bills and/or food will run out and things will go terribly wrong. All people can talk about is corona virus and it gets pretty heated at times out there. People shouting at one another. Negative storys constantly and none of the good about recovering people is reported on. Everyone is thriving on fear and it’s causing everyone to be in a state of panic and concern.

I am scared to be in public now because of my health anxiety and if someone sneezes near me i worry oh god am i going to get it or my son and then everyone here? People are being very angry and panicky in public and busy places are now empty. I am getting anxious about peoples behaviour to others and keep hearing about fights breaking out in the news. I’m scared someone might hurt me if i grab the last of something or someone will bite my head of if i suddenly cough due to my asthma. I am also growing increasingly worried about people who might struggle or go hungry. I want to donate to food banks as i usually would in cases of these terrible times but i now think what if i need that pasta at some point and i am giving to others and then we go hungry ourselves. We do however still and will continue to donate cash to homeless shelters and chairtys monthly through direct debit or donations when we can. I want to help everyone i can at times like these but i am now asking myself can i really help anyone with such uncertainty at the moment. If i place food in the food bank will it be stolen as so many are stealing things now? I am unsure about a lot of things and i think a lot of others are unsure too. Over the weekend while away (in the uk close to home just in case) i was scared to spend money and at times be out around others. I worried things where too much expense in case we couldn’t afford our bills at some point due to people loosing money and not needing my husbands custom or being in quarantine due to him being self employed. We actually cut our holiday short kind of because of this too because their was so many people at times in places we couldn’t keep much space at then end!

I am hoping a vaccine can be made or a cure found sometime soon and the infection spread rates drop and we can go back to normal. But at the moment i am scared. I am sorry if this has scared anyone else but i feel it is therapeutic to talk these things through instead of bottling up. My blog is my safe space. My e-journal if you will and it’s how i process my emotions now without annoying others as it doesn’t have to be read. I am trying to not scare monger and only using facts i know to be true when i speak about the virus but it’s all rather scary isn’t it. I am trying to stay in as much as i feel i can and trying to avoid soft play and teaching my child hand hygiene as much as we can. Not that i wasn’t already but i feel we need to do it more now with how quick this is spreading.

How are you dealing with the virus hysteria? Have you been effected by the news and everyone else reaction to what is happening? Are things running out near to you and are you able to buy a full weekly shop with your basics?

Well i i hope you are keeping as safe as can be and keep calm in times of uncertainty! Remember to be kind and safe at all times and check on others if you can but do not put yourself at risk before tacking care of yourself. Stay safe!

Things to do with toddlers in Suffolk- Bouldering/ climbing at clip n climb!

Things to do with toddlers in Suffolk- Bouldering/ climbing at clip n climb!

Disclaimer I was gifted this day out to promote on my Instagram.

So i love going out for days out and i am always up for trying something new. Having been to clip n climb myself before i knew it was a fun challenging experience for all the family. When i went i absolutely loved it. I loved how it was this new cool, hip place to go. Something that sort of belonged in big cities like London not like a small town like ours. I felt lucky our small town had been given the opportunity to have one. Let alone the biggest climbing centre in Europe with so many challenges to complete.I went a while back with my friend and w had a blast, she is a bit more fit then me so climbed up like a spider and me a bit like a slow sloth. I am a bit afraid of heights so it was daunting at first but when i had jumped out back to the floor the first time i felt safe and wasn’t so afraid to climb higher. Not only was it fun but it was also a work out. It felt like i had been at the gym all day. Every single one of muscles felt like they had been worked out and i felt good. Unfortunately i don’t quite climb with as much ease as Edward Cullen running up that tree in twilight.

The question remains is it kid friendly? Well the answer in short is HELL YES! Not only do kids have wayyyyy more energy then us they also are a little less afraid of their fears like we are. We booked onto a toddler session which was fully booked. Lots of little ones excited and ready to go. The place is also visually exciting and as soon as Elijah walked in he shouted wow. Followed by a tantrum as he wanted to climb the second we walked in. There is also a children’s soft play area for little ones who do not wish to climb so when that re opens it will be super fun!

Is it safe? This was my personal concern the first time i came. As i suffer with anxiety i sit there and list every last thing that can go wrong with the safety equipment before i had even seen it. I want to put your mind at ease it is safe. When i went we sat through a safety briefing and had harnesses fitted and tested so i felt secure knowing i wasn’t to fall out my harness. Elijah’s toddler size one was a bit more extreme in safety and went over his shoulders too this put me more at ease as we all know how kids like to wiggle. Again they safety checked his fit and we had a brief safety meeting before the kids climbed. The holes in each climb are soft and not rugged so you don’t have to worry about scratching yourself up. You connect your harness to a clip which is attached to a mat hanging of the floor (or do this for your child). When youre clipped in the mat falls to the ground a orange colour to say this climb is in use do not walk underneath while the climb is in session. When dropping down you simply sit into harness and you go down slowly. The first times a bit scary but when you know you’re safe it’s quite a nice experience. There are also lot’s of staff walking around watching at all times and offering help when needed. If you are worried about your belongings do not worry there are lockers available!

Is it expensive? Tickets are around 10 pounds for a hour for toddlers and 15 for all other ages over 4 which isn’t to bad. But there are frequent deals and discounts too. A hour also feels a really long time too and you really get your moneys worth. This would be a perfect kids party too and there normally are deals and the birthday child goes free.

Is there food and drink? There is a cafe upstairs with lots of choices. The hot chocolate is really nice and their cakes are insane. There is quite alot of choice so you can try something new too. They are also doing the the eat out to help out scheme so even if you don’t want to climb the food and drink is well worth the visit.

How are they protecting you from corona-virus during your visit? As you que up there are stickers implementing social distancing. The till has protective screening and you have to book in advance anyway. The staff all have shields or face masks when next too public. As you walk in there is a big banner telling you to sanitise and plenty of sanitising and hand washing stations around. There are even pumps next to some climbs you are told to sanitise before the climbing session and after. There is also a one way system around the building. The cafe is also table service now so you don’t have to move. The toilets also have signs which remind you how long to wash your hands for. I felt a lot more safer here then i have on a weekly supply trip to supermarkets. Climbers can wear a mask if they wish but you do not have to as it is exercise.

How did Elijah find it? Elijah had a absolute blast before we came i shew him photos and asked if he would like to go he said he wanted to go climb like spider man. When we pulled up he was excited to see the big frames through the windows. When we got in he was very excited. He was also excited by the animals mural where he put his harness on. He stood very nicely while his harness was put on and was very energetic about getting to the climbing area. We sanitised which he does with no issue and got ready to climb. He took a little bit to decide on a climb to try so we started on the ladder he was nervous at first but when he found that he could basically float when dropping down by the harness he loved it. The Disney soundtracks where playing so Elijah was having a boogie and singing along as he climbed too. Elijah enjoyed the climb that looked like a climbing frame at soft play which was bit like walking a tight rope for him. After he got the hang of it with a little bit of encouragement there was no stopping him. WE tried quite a few of the climbs so he could see what he liked the best. I think the hexagons and maze ones where his favourites. I felt safe with Elijah climbing and it felt so nice to see him exercising and enjoying himself. With soft play being closed for so long i was happy to see Elijah enjoying some sort of exercise whilst also working his mind. The sensory aspects of each climb where great too and it was nice to see him working those fine and gross motor skills as he learned how to navigate each climb. The session was more than long enough and tired Elijah out. We headed up to the cafe where Elijah enjoyed a milkshake and some of our cake. He has a lovely time and it was the prefect rainy day activity. Being in a heat wave the air con was fab as well.

We will be back and James is already planning to go with his friend as he was jealous of Elijah being able to climb. Being a window cleaner i imagine he will do quite well! There are lots of clip n climbs around the uk and this one is our most local in Ipswich. It’s hidden a way so in a nice quiet place. The natural lighting from the big windows is lovely too! We can’t wait to go again and i may even go as a date night with James or bring Elijah to another session again!

Check out their website herehttps://ipswich.clipnclimb.co.uk/

Thanks for reading, charlie x

Being a stay at home mum – one whole year on.

Being a stay at home mum – one whole year on.

It’s no secret that after I had Elijah when he was about ten months old I returned to work. I was full of guilt and anxiety and I was riddled with stress from work too. When I stopped working it took away a bit of my identity and slowly I’ve been working to get my identity back. I don’t want to be known as just Elijah’s mum but Charlie too. A year ago I had officially left work and I look back with no regrets. Whilst I miss doing a job that gave me purpose at times I don’t miss the long days and being away from my family.

Now that it’s been a year my thoughts on me working have changed. At the moment as it stands it is financially better for me to not work. We do not take benefits or have any help just to clarify to those who think I just gave up my job and expected the state to pay. My husband funds everything. This was also a decision we spoke about and decided before anything was done.

Through me stopping work he has been able to earn way more than we earned collectively before I had Elijah and he is only getting more successful because I am at home. With me at home this means James doesn’t have to do the school/nursery runs and loose out on hours of work everyday. This means he’s able to work as early or as late as he wishes and we don’t need to worry about Elijah. Whilst Elijah will be starting nursery in January I will not be returning to work for now. Because nobody else can drop him off and pick him up and childcare is a big issue for us. Also if I went back to work it just wouldn’t really be logical aswell because with my career path I’d only want to work in healthcare again and the hours are nowhere near flexible which I learned before I left work. The issue would still remain most healthcare jobs need you to work 8-8 and that would mean again James doing the childcare run and I’d be on a crappy wage and we’d be worse of.

My view on stay at home mums has changed too. I invisioned it to be easy and happy. That I’d be doing all these fancy crafts everyday and baking everyday. But that was not the case. It was in fact draining mentally and physically. When you don’t have plans often you sort of fade into the darkness’s where everything’s a repeat and you feel like you’re on auto drive. I expected to have this perfectly clean house all the time but then reality hit. Sure my house was clean when I worked because I was never in it! Days off normally spent going out as a family or seeing friends so when I tidied up it was a quick and easy job. Now the house often looks like a bomb has hit it when I spend my day trying to survive and entertain a toddler who loves to make mess wherever he goes.

I underestimated what stay at home mums do too. Planning days out all the time trying to find new things to do so it’s not repeated is exhausting. There is only so much you can go for coffee before being bored of the activity. Not just entertaining your child out and about but also in the house is so hard. I’ll set up a activity I’ve spent ages thinking of and Elijah picks it up puts it down and walks of demanding something else.

There’s also a limit to how much I can teach Elijah before it becomes a chore. I try to spend a lot of the day teaching Elijah so we do learning games and play but sometimes I get so sick of repeating myself I want to rip my hair out. Like this is everyday. How many times can I repeat the same sentance before I turn insane.

There’s also the no escape from your child. One thing that lockdown has done is open peoples eyes to what stay at home parents really do. People really got sick of their kids crap and it showed. People understood what it was like to have no me time and children wanting their attention 24/7. They understood that silence was a thing of the past and you never get a moment to yourself even when they’re asleep you still tidy their crap up. There’s no escape and nowhere to send them if you need a time out so you just keep going hoping your head doesn’t explode with the stress at times.

However I try not to moan about my child too much there are elements I love. I love that I get this time with him and that I don’t have to share his milestones with others. I love watching him learn and knowing that I’ve taught him that. I love playing with him and making up games.

I love seeing him grow and watching how his mind works and grows with him. I love days where we have good days and we sit and play games nicely or cuddle on the sofa. I love that I am always there to wake him up and cuddle him before bed every night. I love that I’m always there to hear his stories and when he’s seen family for the day I get to be the one he tells me all about his time.

I like being able to be at home too and when I do housework around the house I enjoy it a bit more it’s not just a quick scrub ready to return to work where I’m cleaning the house at 10pm after being out 12 hours working and knowing I have the same the next day.

I’ve noticed a change in James too. He is more happy and likes not having to drop Elijah and pick Elijah up working silly hours and working twice as hard to get work done. He no longer has to come home and cook every single night and clean up all the time. I do not cook every night or clean everyday as we both understand that it’s our house and nobody’s responsibility to do everything.

I love that I’m able to see friends more and make more time for my hobbies. I. E this blog post I write now. I also love that I don’t have to miss out on a lot of things I used to aswell.

I also love the positive effect it’s had on my anxiety. I’m not full of stress and busy working all day making myself ill. I am able to concentrate on myself more and take more time for me and my self care. I take more care in my appearance and also in the relationships I have. I don’t hold on to toxic people anymore because I now am able to see my worth.

Although life can be hard and stressful as a stay at home mum I will always be thankfull to my husband for the opportunity. I know that when I’m older and look back on these hard times with fond memories of how perfect life really was.

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

Having a covid-19 test.

Having a covid-19 test.

Hi all it’s me again. I’m currently laying in bed in heaps of pain after being discharged from hospital yesterday with a endometriosis flare and a unknown infection. I was in for three days so yay! I’ll do a blog post on that soon for full details but for now I wanted to do a quick post on the Covid -19 test as there’s a lot of stigma out there on how horrid it is. To clarify I do not have Covid but you are tested when admitted to a ward as to keep others safe.

So the coronavirus is pretty much still taking over our daily lives and consuming the world wherever it touches. However it is pretty simple advice now. If you show symptoms isolate and get a test. Which isn’t too complex. Although I have seen many people online scared to get a test but it is so important to get a test so we can track raises in infection rates.

So this is how it went down.

The test it’s self is done by a nurse in full Ppe. A visor, mask and apron and gloves. You’re instructed to take of your mask.

The swab is done with something that looks like a really long cotton bud. Nothing daunting. No needles, no tissue collecting just a simple swab.

First they do your mouth and ask you to open your mouth and stick out your toungue and say ahh. They then rub against the back of your throat. If you’ve ever had a swab for strep throat it is exactly like this. It will make you want to cough or gag but it’s not that bad it takes like five seconds.

After that is the slightly disgusting part. They then insert the cotton bud that was used in your throat and use again pushing to top of the nostrils. It’s not overly comfortable but it doesn’t hurt. They insert into both nostrils and it takes a few seconds again. Then it’s all done.

The good thing is atleast they don’t do the nostrils then the throat as that would be seriously rank!

No weird feelings after either! They simply just put it in a bag. You put your mask back on and that’s that.

The results are normally back by the next day.

Any other questions just ask! Thanks Charlie’s

Yoto player review

Yoto player review

Before i start this post i want to apologise for being so quiet recently. Ive had a bit of a rough patch with regards to my mental health which has in turn caused a bit of laxness on my blog posts. But anyway i’m back now and i’m going to kick off with a review of the YOTO player. DISCLAIMER: I WAS GIFTED THIS FOR A REVIEW.

So first of all i just want to say are all opinions are my own and have not been exaggerated. So with that being said this little player is one of the best items we have ever had for Elijah’s bedroom and sleep routine. So first of all i will explain what the yoto player is. Basically it is a speaker that also works as a night light, reads stories, plays sleep sounds/white noise and even has a radio station and clock. It really does a lot and it is something i would recommend to anyone.

First of all the player is so easy to work. It took little time to set up and after showing my two year old how to use it he can change the story, chapter/sleep sound and knows how to use the radio and turn the volume up or down. We where sent a variety of books to try which Elijah has thoroughly loved. Elijahs favourite story however has been the Gruffalo. Elijah loves choosing his story and getting into bed. He also loves the responsibility of doing it himself and having the choice what he hears. The cards come in holders with stickers to hang to wall damage free too!

I love that the speaker is portable, once it is charged you can take it around the house with you. This means Elijah can listen to stories downstairs without the need for a plug. My favourite feature is that the speaker has a clock on it with day time and nighttime to teach your child not only the time but when they should be in bed.

The best thing about this is that i am often tired after a long day and once we’ve read a story to get to sleep i cannot be bothered to read more. This means we are able to select a story and make it part of our routine. Normally its the Gruffallo or the dinosaur that pooped range. I like that the stories have music and also icons appear on the speaker to show the story or chapter.

Once it is time to sleep i put the sleepy sounds card in and he requests a white noise sound out of the many available. Before Elijah would chat to himself for half hour or more a night before falling to sleep but now he just relaxes and nods off within minutes. We also took it to a grandparents when he stayed and they where amazed at the difference in his sleep too. I have also noticed he sleeps longer when the sounds play too. In the morning we take out the card as part of the routine and start our day.

We are absolutely in love with our yoto player and we are so very thank full we got to review. When elijah allows me to choose a different book i am so ordering some more for him to try, Also the gruffalo plays in my head after i’ve left the room now!

You can order a yoto player here with 10 pounds off – https://yoto.referralcandy.com/TX2DF6Z/rewards

You can also checkout their instagram here- http://www.instagram.com/yotoplay

(if you order i may get some store credit for more books )

Thanks for reading! Charlie x

The government needs to help to support our eating habits encouraging healthy eating instead of restricting us.

The government needs to help to support our eating habits encouraging healthy eating instead of restricting us.

Me again and a subject I thought I would never be speaking about. Healthy eating. I’ve struggled for years with my weight. Being younger I always thought I was fat when I was skinny and now I see myself as fat because well I have finally became it from years of unhealthy eating.

Why have I eaten unhealthy? Well when I was a teenager at 18 I got a job as a carer. I had to take my own food in and it had to be made quickly so it would be takeaways and unhealthy snacks as and when I could. As a carer you don’t get time to prepare a nutritious meal and it became habit to have takeaways most nights. Some sort of canned meal or microwave meal became my life for ease and also because of exhaustion from my working patterns . My mental health made me not want to eat most days so ordered terrible food I enjoyed in a bid to cheer myself up. It never worked.

The issue was also that it’s normally cheeper on my pathetic pay packet I got to order a takeaway or get a frozen pizza then get all the bits to create nutritious and filling meals. When you basically live at work it’s hard to want to spend your personal time meal planning and batch cooking too.

It’s a shame because I can cook. I used to love to cook. I also took courses in nutrition and cooking for work but it’s sort of came to a point I’ve aqquired a taste for unhealthy meals. Why change what you love.

Frankly I eat my feelings and since having Elijah I’ve really struggled to loose weight. Although I mostly eat healthy I have quite a few treats which cause the struggle with weightloss. However hard I try I can’t stick to a diet. Why because I struggle with restrictions. I always want what I can’t have. If the general public can’t be told no in a pandemic I doubt they’ll eat healthier because of the governments and rebel against that too. I’ve also felt there’s no support. My husband would offer to diet with me. But my husband works of a lot of calories and eats healthy so I wouldn’t want him to be underweight at the cost of me.

Putting calories on a box is great but who actually reads these things? yes the calories may be high but you kind of guess that when ordering a pizza. This is also a negative because those with eating disorders may not eat treats as much or fixate even harder or calorie counting.

We need support in perhaps advise sheets advising how we can incorporate healthy food more and remove some of the junk from our diet in a way we can have full informed choice. We also need more support for gyms exetra. Why can’t we do a 10 pound of a month scheme from the government where they help fund gyms and perhaps swimming vouchers too. The cost of memberships and days out puts people off straight away. Whilst I’ve used some pretty expensive gyms in the past I’ve always thought they where a little on the pricey side and thought about whether I can afford it. Money of schemes would mean more money spent on gyms and more gyms opening up and more people loosing weight and being healthy which is only a mega plus for the government, economy and the nhs.

There needs to be more support for low income families too. it can be expensive to resource all of the items in a food shop which equates too a nutritious diet for a family. Especially now in uncertain times with the covid situation putting jobs at risk and people unable to provide and looking to the government for help. Could there not perhaps be a discounted price on healthy items instead of just unhealthy items.

The government needs to provide support and offer more advice to those who cannot access their resources. There needs to be more support and understanding of eating disorders too. Such as those who eat their feelings and those who connect feelings to food. We shouldn’t ban unhealthy foods because we deserve treats but we need the advice and resources on how to enjoy in moderation and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you dislike vegetables exetra. I know the foods I can pick to be healthy but I don’t enjoy them. And whilst I’m starting my diet on Monday I wish I knew how I could treat myself without getting addicted to going overboard. I wish I had the support to know why I eat my feelings and perhaps have that support from the government with not only my eating choices but the mental health issues that cause me to eat badly and he unable to substation a healthy life too.

I know I’m shouting to the wind but this is just my opinion. I feel shunning unhealthy living is not enough when shame never helps anyone. It is support that helps us through.

I will be starting my diet Monday and eating what I can which I enjoy to be healthy but I know I will never know when enough is enough, how much of a treat I can have without putting on more weight. Because believe me I’m not going to only eat 5 magic stars on a cinema trip and I’m also not going to munch on a banana.

Thanks for reading. Charlie x

A day out at roarr! dinosaur adventures!

A day out at roarr! dinosaur adventures!

So last week we took a trip to Roarr! Dinosaur adventures. After Elijah starting to show a mild obsession in dinosaurs I thought it was time we go. I was a bit anxious he would get scared of the dinosaurs so we’ve put it off for so long but we decided to give it a try.

We live a little drive away so decided we’d get lunch from them instead of having hot and sweaty sandwiches so checked before we went what was open due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions and we where surprised quite a lot was open. So after looking we booked our tickets and time slot. You have to book before you come so they can operate staggered opening times.

When we arrived it was almost like driving into Jurassic park spotting the odd dinosaur in the car park before we went to enter . Once we arrived we realised Elijah was slightly shorter then 90cm so they refunded Elijahs ticket which was really good of them to do! Once we’d sanitised and checked our selfs In it was time to enter.

There where lots of dinosaur foot prints to show social distancing and wear to go and lots of pumps scattered around although as few where empty we carried our own anyway.

Elijah was very excited and kept telling us all the names of the dinosaurs and jumping with excitement. We did come across one dinosaur that moved and roared and this made Elijah really scared as he thought it was real and he immediately asked to go home and back to the car and repeatedly said it was time to go after some encouragement and avoiding that dinosaur he became calmer. We then went on the trials and Elijah got excited again and pointed out all the dinosaurs he could see. He had a absolute blast.

It was a cold day so we didn’t do the splash water park but a few children seemed to not mind the cold and looked like they where having fun getting soaked. We had ago at the escivation dog where children can play in sand and find dinosaur fossils! We then went for a walk round the petting zoo and saw some farmyard friends and a few snakes and lizards. Elijah quite enjoyed seeing the animals but loved the dinosaurs so much he wanted to go see them again.

The dinosaurs all looked realistic and it was a fun day out. I was sceptical at just looking at statues but I guess it’s what you do in a Museum and we all used our imaginations. There where information boards at every display and you could climb for photos if you wanted. There was noise boxes with some of the dinosaurs too! We may return one day for the treetop climbing!

After we had finished walking we stoped by the takeaway snacks and got a large pizza and chips and drinks each to share and it wasn’t to expensive the food was really nice. There where lots of play equipment to play with and play park to play on so there was no shortage of ways to burn your kids energy off.

We where disappointed that the gift shop was shut till 1 so we didn’t want to wait half hour to go and Elijah was quite sad as we promised him a toy but we went to a toy shop on way home and he still got his dinosaur! We where lucky when we left as it rained so heavy as we got in the car it was like a monsoon. On the way out we grabbed a medal as there was no stamps to collect we picked up a medal instead.

We can’t wait to go again! Thanks Charlie x

We’re getting a puppy!

We’re getting a puppy!

Many of you who follow me on Instagram already know that we are adding a little addition to our family. Well the dogs out of the bag say to speak and we’ll be picking up our little guy next week. He’s a dachshund and will be 8 weeks on the Sunday we pick him up!

This isn’t something we suddenly decided it’s been a ongoing conversation for years and the time finally feels right. We’ve researched into training puppy’s, puppy needs and demands and everything you need to know about puppies.

Obviously puppy’s need a lot of care and attention which we have to give. I’m home a lot and not working means I can always be home more often then needed. James work patterns means he can take the dog for a short walk before work and I can do the evening walk when he’s home or take Elijah with me. Now that Elijahs potty trained I feel Now’s a great time to bring a puppy into the home so come when Elijah starts nursery in January I can leave the dog to do this and not worry about him being upset.

We own our house so there’s no worry about landlords and our house is already baby proofed so will be dog proofed too! We have a big garden and a park behind our house and we live next to many lovely places to walk.

We’ve looked into a lot of training and a lot of my family have or had dogs so I know how to basically train a dog. Obviously not every dog is easy to train and if I couldn’t get him to behave I’d take him to puppy training classes.

We’ve already signed up at a vets and also booked his first injection and everything that comes with it for the next year such as de fleeing and deworming treatments.

We did want a bigger dog like a Labrador. I’ve always had a soft spot for sausages but we wanted a bigger dog. After seeing a photo of Henry we had to go see him and that was when we knew he was our dog. Just the way he settled into us and looked into our eyes we knew.

We decided to get a puppy that wasn’t quite ready so we could prepare everything we need and prepare Elijah. We wanted to mentally prepare our selfs and experience a bit more excitement. It’s also been nice to see Henry grow from 2 weeks till when we can pick him up. We now have everything from a bed to toys and were so excited for him to come live with us every time we see his little bits and bobs.

We’re super excited to pick him up next weekend and I’m sure we’ll have tons of questions and worry’s like bringing home a newborn again but I’m so exited to see Elijah and Henry grow up together.

Bet you can’t wait for the puppy spam!

Charlie x