My Crazy Family Story

Monday, 11 December 2017

Gift Guide - For Children Under One


It is difficult sometimes when you have small children to find a gift that is suitable for them or something different I have put together a gift guide for little ones to hopefully help with some ideas for gifts this Christmas.



1) Baby Blooms Bertie Bear Christmas Bathrobe set. Beautifully presented in a gift box inside you will find the gift of your choice (there is a lot to choose from on their site) encased in soft tissue paper the perfect keepsake for any child this Christmas the name of the child of whom you are gifting is perfectly embroidered onto both the dressing gown and the teddy bear you can have any name of your choice up to ten letters. Both items compliment each other and the bear is so cute it is likely to become a cuddly best friend and companion for any child.





2) Find me a gift, Bear wall night light and height chart sticker. Brighten up a baby or toddler room with this amazing Teddy Bear Wall Night Light & Height Chart Sticker set. This fun vinyl height chart decal consists of a frog holding a bunch of animal balloons, at the top of which is actually a friendly happy yellow-faced teddy night light! The LED light is battery operated, which means it can be positioned wherever in the room you like. The perfect gift for any young child this Christmas its a fun and a great way to keep a record of any child's growth.





3) blade and rose children's leggings I wrote about these on Halloween a few years ago they are cute comfortable and affordable children and babies leggins I love these they are so practical for both boys and girls alike not to mention they come in lots of stylish designs there is something to suit all tastes they have also started to make a range of funky stunning children's socks ideal as gifts and stocking fillers this Christmas.


4) Vtech pull along Dalmatian, this bright and colourful toy will have your child entertained for hours, Pull along Dalmation, includes; phrases, sounds, 3 sing-along songs and 20 melodies. Teaches; colours, numbers it also helps Develop motor skills and its Legs really move! aimed at children aged 6 months plus it would make a great and useful learning toy this year.



5) Quack Quack moo baby grows we love these practical and stylish the brand also makes vests and bibs too perfectly practical stylish designs aimed at young children another great and different gift to give this Christmas.





6) Hape classic push-along wooden first car. This chunky little car has the simple shape of a modern car it is painted in bright red, with natural wooden wheels. Three holes represent the car windows and act as a handy easy grip to help little fingers push the car along. This Wooden car Unlike many of the toy vehicles which are only suitable from age 3, this little car has been safety tested to be suitable from age 10 months upwards, and so it makes an ideal first push-along vehicle. and would make the ideal stocking filler or stand-alone gift.



7)  Nibbling Rose Dummy clip  not just your average Dummy clip beautifully crafted the dummy clips come in different colours and with different shapes this particular one has roses attached to it making them stunning to look at and can be attached anywhere from the child's car seat, sleeping bag and cot  with the peace of mind that, all beads are made of non-toxic, BPA free, soft silicone and can safely be chewed on and washed.

8) Hape Polar Animal Tactile Puzzle is a wooden puzzle with textures to explore. It’s cold in the Arctic and the animals need special coats to keep warm! Remove the pieces of this puzzle to feel the coats of the seal, penguin, polar bear, arctic hare and orca. Although this is aged at 24 months+ I think this would make a great gift for children aged one the animals can be played with separately it is aged at this limit because of the fur and material underneath the puzzle however with supervision it would be great for sensory play.



9) Find me a gift, My first money box, it's never too early to think about collecting money for your little one even if they already have there own bank account you can save money for a rainy day, a day out or even if to pop your spare change into the front is see through so you can watch the pennies stacking up this is a great gift idea for any little one and will complement any nursery perfectly.



10) Find me a gift, Guess how much I love you, babies first booties These my first booties are the cutest little things I have ever seen, they are super soft and are going to keep any little ones feet cosy this winter  the booties have floppy ears and have a cute rattle noise inside them so they are sure to keep your little one entertained they also come in an adorable keepsake gift box.



11) Baby Blooms Bertie Bear Christmas morning gift set, This would make any Christmas special for your little one again with Baby Blooms all their items come beautifully presented in a gift box the teddy bear is suitable from birth and can be personalised with any name up to ten letters long, The set comprises of a bowl, plate, mug and egg cup and is hand decorated with the Babyblooms' Christmas tree and teddy bear.







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Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Stem cell storage - Cord Collection During Pregnancy

       
I have always had an interest in medicine and the human body right from being a teenager I was a closet geek collecting the human body magazine and reading them in bed at night time - I have never quite got rid of that feeling of wanting to learn more and there is always so much to learn about the human body which is why I trained to be an adult nurse. 

In different courses and whilst training to be a nurse I have touched upon stem cells and it is an absolutely fascinating topic - stem cells have the ability to potentially change into different cells that make up the human body which means the possibility of treating so many life-limiting and life-changing medical conditions. 

I worked in Oncology and haematology for a short time and stem cells were used to treat Leukaemia and Lymphoma which are both cancers of the blood I have also seen them being used when the bone marrow fails but Stem cells usage doesn't stop there stem cells are also being used to treat Sickle cell anaemia, spinal problems and cerebral palsy there is also ongoing research all the time to delve into other conditions that stem cells might be able to treat.

photo of DNA with writing stem cell storage cord collection during pregnancy stem cell everything you need to know


When I gave birth to each one of my children I knew there were options to have blood collected from the cord, however, nothing was specifically explained to myself at the time and it wasn't something that I really considered and it probably really should have been thinking about the research and possibilities now. 

Stem cells live in most tissues and replace themselves and other cells which are damaged and worn. We need them to maintain healthy tissues and their different functions. 

When you give birth to your child the cord and blood would usually be thrown away, really there is no harm in letting the cord blood be collected, The umbilical cord has two types of stem cells which can be collected. mesechymal stem cells which are found in the cord tissue which form bone cartilage and muscle cells and haemopoietic stem cells which go on to make up blood-related cells.

The video below gives by Smart cells gives an interesting useful and educational insight into how stem cells are collected and how amazing useful they can be for treating different conditions


    




If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant it is something worth taking into consideration. When you have your appointment with your midwife or hospital appointment, ask the question even if your not completely sure about it, find out if blood banking is an option for yourself and your baby, it's then so easy to order a storage kit online ready for the delivery team to collect and store those all important cord cells. Which is a much easier method of collection than collecting them through bone marrows which is how they have previously been collecting them. 

It would be so great to see more women joining in with cord collection as its an amazing way of helping with research and future discoveries in medicine its well worth taking this into consideration or just asking the questions when going for your next antenatal appointment. 

Have you thought about stem cell storage or have you taken part in the collection process? I would love to hear your thoughts.


*I was provided with this video by Smart Cells and Netmums  



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Monday, 27 November 2017

My Golden Ticket Personalised book for children





When I was approached by Wonderbly to review My Golden Ticket personalised book for children I got very excited I knew I had to say yes, this personalised book has been released in collaboration with Roal Dahl. As a child I absolutely loved Charlie and the chocolate factory it was one of my favourites it brings back some wonderful childhood memories of sitting down on a Sunday afternoon with the family to watch it. I knew this book would be great for my son Adam he loves to read and recently his reading skills have improved so much that he has started to read to himself although we have a lot of books in the house none of the books belong, solely to Adam they are shared books with his brothers, I decided to have this one personalised for just him.



When the book arrived it came in a beautiful envelope with a golden sticker on the back I decided I wouldn't open it I would save it for him to open his self when he arrived back from school. Needless to say, when he arrived back from school there was a lot of squealing with delight and excitement from him he absolutely loved it and immediately opened it and started reading the first few pages.



The book isn't just personalised with a name like other books each book varies from child to child and is different depending on the name you choose and the sex of the child they all get there own different tasty tour throughout the marvellous chocolate factory. The book takes you on a real adventure the illustrations throughout are beautiful and give the child a real feel for the story.



The beauty of this book is that there are lots of different options to choose from at the checkout the first page can include a message to whomever you are giving it too, of course, you include the child's full name and their name is mentioned throughout the story you can add a character in the book to join them so it could be mummy, daddy or a sibling or even a best friend. There is the option to have the book in hardback or paper and you can have it with or without the gift envelope there is also the option to have it scented with a special candy scent which is a fabulous final touch. Adam absolutely loved his adventure and I'm sure he will be reading My Golden Ticket for many more years to come.


If you have a child who loves to read or even if they don't like to read this book will have them wanting to read more its an exciting unique and individual book that will get children excited and there imagination working this would make a great gift for birthdays, special occasions, or even as a Christmas present this year we absolutely loved this book and couldn't recommend it enough you definitely won't be disappointed with it. 


We were sent this beautiful book for the purpose of this review all opinions remain honest and my own  





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Sunday, 26 November 2017

Ten tips for Passing your Practical Driving Test


Learning to drive is a huge deal, especially as you get older if you follow me regularly you will know I passed my driving test quite recently - it is the best thing that I have ever done especially with five children to get around now its tough on foot - however driving was just as tough to learn to do I have put together my top ten tips for passing your practical driving test. 




1. Practice, Practice, Practice.

It took me a few driving instructors before I found one that I was completely comfortable with, comfortable I don't mean a best friend, find a driving instructor that is friendly yet professional.
you could once you become more confident get a family member or friend let you practice in there car, however, I personally would just stick with the instructor but in case you want to learn with a friend or family member,It’s important to remember that the person who accompanies you in the car must be over the age of 21, be qualified to drive the type of vehicle you are learning in and must also have held a full driving licence for at least three years.

2. Learn the test routes.

Many people think that on the day of the test the driving examiner is the only one that knows the test route you will be taking this is not true at all the test routes can be found online try and study these and get plenty of practice on your practical lessons it will make things easier on your test also if there are any difficult junctions or roundabouts you will have plenty of time to practice them.


3. practice a manoeuvre every lesson,

I found manoeuvres all-around difficult. Somehow when you're going backwards it throws all your brain out. I made sure I practised at least one manoeuvre every lesson I hated them to start with but you have to do this on your test so practice, practice, practice you cant pass your test without getting a manoeuvre right.


4. Keep reading your theory books,

Once you have passed your theory test it's so easy to put your theory books down and not look at them again, I found that keeping reading my theory books it really helped me to learn about how the roads and helped me learn about signs and it really helped me with passing my test.

5. It’s OK to make mistakes

Obviously, there are some mistakes that result in an instant fail but some don't the driving examiner is going to be looking at how you deal with mistakes for example on the independent driving part of your test if you go the wrong way it doesn't matter as long as you make sure the car is safe and you do everything you are meant to safely you cant be failed also try to stay calm.

picture red L plate Learner driver sign


6. Know your car

Knowing the vehicle you are driving can help massively in understanding its functioning and feeling of being comfortable when driving. Ask lots of questions about the vehicle and get your instructor to show you the functions of the car regularly. 

7. Practice driving in different conditions.

The dark, rush hour, early mornings trying to practice in all conditions it is the only way you will ever learn what it feels like, also try to get out in different weather conditions, I know this is not always possible. get you driving instructor to teach you about the different weather conditions and how this can affect your driving.

8. Never be afraid get the examiner to repeat instructions. 

It can be daunting getting in the car with a total stranger especially under test conditions - the driving instructor will try and make you feel at ease as much as possible if you don't understand something they say or you didn't hear them properly don't be afraid to get them to repeat themselves - you can't get marked down for this.

9. Think about when you learn best. 

Everyone learns at a different pace in life and everyone is better learning at different times of the day try and work out when your concentration is at its best and book your test for that time mine was in the morning so this is when I had my tests for.

10. learn from experience.

Don't be disheartened if you don't pass your test first time, and don't compare yourself to others who did sometimes it isn't just about your driving for me it was nerves that let me down just stay calm and do your best - don't give up I didn't pass first time but I passed in the end through hard work and sticking with it.




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Saturday, 18 November 2017

Pregnancy - Planing the drive to the Hospital with Kia Stonic


I'm sure most mums whilst pregnant and pre-labour are guilty of this, We make plans to pack a changing bag, an overnight bag we decorate the nursery and prepare by buying baby equipment but how many of us actually plan the route to the hospital how are you going to get there when those labour pains set in? This is where your partner/ birthing partner can step in to help.

To celebrate the launch of the All-New Kia Stonic Urban Crossover, Kia is hosting a new test drive initiative introduced to help dads-to-be practice for the transition to fatherhood, covering everything from the drive to the hospital to the dreaded first car seat fitting. This was something that myself and Ian didn't really think about when I was pregnant with the twins and I'm sure most couples can relate to this, I got Ian to try out the challenges to see how he measured up! I was invited along a week or so ago to Leicester road Mountsorrel Loughborough dealership to test drive the New Kia Stonic, and found it to be an amazing car!

Before the actual test drive we took part in a series of challenges the first was similar to a treasure hunt except each clue led to something that you would need for a complete changing bag - the pressure was on, similar to the pressure you would feel if your partner was going into labour and you had to pack a real changing bag it was great fun working out the clues which were cleverly Placed around the dealership each one leading to another thing that belonged in the bag it was timed - I don't think Ian was that quick although the changing bag quite suited him! 



The second was the dreaded fitting of the car seat - it was again timed and Ian really struggled to get this in even though when we go out and about now he fits two car seats into our car he is a pro - but I think it was the pressure of being timed, it is so, so important you know how the car seat fits into the car when you go into labour and before you leave the hospital. Make sure you and your birthing partner or daddy to be knows how the car seat fits.

If you follow my blog regularly you will know I only passed my driving test just over a month ago so I went to the test drive with the full intention that there was no way I was going to drive the car (I hadn't driven since I passed). With a bit of gentle persuasion I decided that I would give it a go and do you know what I am actually so glad I did, I passed my test in a fairly new car so I thought that the Kia Stonic couldn't be much different - I was wrong it was so much better.

When I realised I had to reverse out of the Kia dealership I was really nervous  The reverse camera system with dynamic lines came on in front of me on the screen which made it all the more easier to reverse it is also there to help you park. The mirrors have sensors on them so you know if you are getting too close to another car or a white line, central reservation or even if you are trying to change lanes too soon. I actually felt like a celebrity, The interior throughout the Kia Stonic has a real sporty feel to it. This car has all the features of a family car yet it is super stylish, classy and smooth drive. 

If you love gadgets like my partner does this car is packed with them if you have an Apple phone or android you can syncronise your music or sat nav (which is in built) I always find a car is a place where you actually get to decide what music you want to listen to if your going to have a slick car like this you may as well make great use of the alone time with the music of your choice, however I can also see it would come in handy with a new born and white noise or nursery rhymes playing to soothe a crying baby. The car is great for the tech lover it also has other great features, Autonomous emergency braking, Reversing camera system with dynamic guidelines DAB radio and Hill start assist.




I'm not great with technology and gadgets but I do love styling things my own and the Kia Stonic comes in an array of bright colours you can choose which colour combinations you would like, which is a feature that I personally love. The seats are really comfortable and heated too which is exactly what you need at this time of year along with the steering wheel being heated which is great for the cold winter mornings. The steering wheel was really light and easy to move. 

When I went for the test drive I took one of my little ones with me I noticed there was plenty of room in the back for one car seat or even three - like a bigger family might need. The car itself is very quiet and smooth to drive it has a good power behind it even though it only has a one litre engine, for a brand new car I thought it was very reasonably priced and comes with a seven-year warranty which is fab so no need to worry about the car which is a great thing if you are a parent its peace of mind that you know at least one thing is always going to be reliable. The boot isn't huge but there is plenty enough space for a pushchair I did have a close look and I am almost positive you would be able to get my double in it.



I can honestly say this car is definitely made to keep parents in mind espcially ones that feel like they are not quite ready to grow up yet, it is a very cool car, that is a great all rounder, it would be great for first time parents that love the modern car, unfortunately for us and our family of seven the car just wouldn't be big enough for all of us, but I would definitely think about having this as a second car just to run around in the day time as it would be plenty big enough for myself the twins and Jack.

If you are looking for a car that is cool stylish yet practical for parenting the Kia Stonic ticks all the boxes and is definitely for you, Don't miss out book your test drive today!  


Daddy Day Car All-New Kia Stonic test drives test drives will be taking place at selected Kia dealerships in November. While places are limited, customers wishing to take part can contact kiadealer@kazoo.co.uk to inquire about their nearest dealership and book a slot. For more information on the All-New Kia Stonic please visit www.kia.co.uk/stonic


*In collaboration with Kia




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