My Crazy Family Story

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  


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  


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.


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 to inquire about their nearest dealership and book a slot. For more information on the All-New Kia Stonic please visit

*In collaboration with Kia


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Weaning with Hipp Organic

A few years ago when I first started weaning Jack I wrote an article on Hipp Organic baby food showing you a lot of the different flavours and varietys they have multiple jars and packets and even make a baby juice drink for your little one they are all yummy easy to grab and go packets and jars a fantastic idea if you need convenience when you are a busy mum like I do, admittedly it is easier to give the girls things that are already made and ready to go but of course I still want to know that they are healthy and not full of rubbish thats why Hipp Organic is one of my favourites.

Hipp Organic has just introduced a range of delicious pure vegetable jars which is ideal for babies first tastes and for when your little ones are ready to start weaning, we were sent a small selection of these to try with the twins. Weaning has taken a bit longer than usual with the twins, I think I thought they were ready to be weaned and three times I started weaning them and had to stop, for various different reasons, one of the main reasons is they are slightly behind because they were born earlier. but I am happy to say they are now successfully trying different things every day but we are still using the pureed first foods.

Organic Hipp pure vegetables for yummy first tastes come in three different flavours there is pure white carrot, pure parsnips and pure peas. Hipp Organic first tastes pride themselves on these jars containing no added salt or sugar and the food is then gently steam cooked to preserve only the best nutrients afterwards is finely pureed resulting in the best consistency for baby.

On a day to day basis, I use a range of ready-made food and homemade food for the girls but as I said above it can be very difficult when you have a large family and you are on the go all the time to make homemade meals. so the first tastes weaning jars worked really well for us the girls really liked the pure white carrot and the pure parsnips but they just didn't like the pure peas at all and just kept spitting it out on the several occasions I tried them with it.

I liked that each jar only had one individual vegetable in each rather than having a mix of a jar, for example, several different vegetables with them only being one vegetable I could tell exactly which foods they like and which food they don't like.

The Hipp first tastes jars can be given to your little one at room temperature or can be warmed up which is ideal if you are on the go or out and about as a personal preference both of my girls prefer the jars at room temperature rather than warm, I love that the jars are organic and the only thing that has been added to them is water these were a big hit in my house with the twins and a big hit with me knowing they are getting a healthy meal.

We will be continuing to use Hipp Organic and I will be stocking the cupboard with their lovely products as it is one of my favourite food brands for babies. you can find out more about babies first tastes, weaning and other great information by visiting the Hipp Organic website Here you can also view the full range of there baby food products.

We were sent the yummy first food jars of baby food from Hipp Organic for the purpose of this review all opinions remain honest and my own.

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