the waiting game.

Tomorrow our son, Henry, goes into hospital for an operation.

When he was just 3 months old Henry contracted Bacterial Meningitis (read about it and learn the signs & symptoms here…), which was horrific to put it mildly.

Thankfully, he came out of it the other side relatively unscathed.

However, at a routine post-Meningitis hearing check, the Audiology team discovered a hearing loss and, six tests later, that hearing loss isn’t getting any better.

So tomorrow, Henry heads into surgery to have grommets inserted.

Grommets are, for anyone that is wondering, very small tubes (like cotton reels) that help to drain away excess fluid building up in the middle ear.

Here’s a helpful handy diagram to show you exactly what I mean!*

grommet1

We’re hopeful that the grommets will drain away the fluid and that he will then pass his hearing tests – as the Audiology team believe that it’s the pressure of the fluid that is causing his hearing loss.

And, to be honest, that’s what I’m banking on – because otherwise, it’s likely that the Meningitis has damaged Henry’s hearing and so, if he doesn’t pass after the grommets have fallen out then we’ll need to consider hearing aids for him – and that, being completely honest, for some reason, makes me feel very uneasy.

Now, in my rational mind I know that this is a simple and straightforward procedure.

I know that he will be fine. That it’s routine and done hundreds of times a week. And that if, after it all he needs hearing aids then that is NOT a problem.

But yet I still feel like my world is spinning.

I feel sick. I’m worried. I’m nervous. I’m tired.

So, so tired.

Henry on the other hand, thankfully, is full of beans. He’s his usual belligerent self, shouting at his sister, raiding the fridge any chance he gets and stomping about the place wittering on to himself and anyone that will listen (and pretend to understand what he’s going on about!).

Tomorrow is unknown. I don’t have a clue what to expect. And I think that’s half of the problem.

I am, as you now know, a planner.

I’m strengthened by structure, and lists, and details.

Tomorrow makes me VERY nervous.

Once again, I’ll be on that ward.
The ward I had really hoped we’d never have to return to.

And once again, my baby will be handed off to someone else to take care of.

My control of the situation will be gone and, for a short time, so will my beautiful, smiley, happy son.

If you have any experience of this, or you can offer any pearls of wisdom to help me through then please feel free to comment.

Here’s to a quick and easy procedure, and to never having to go through this again!

But for now, we wait…

Speak soon,
K x

*Image supplied by afairgo.net

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spring fling. 

Last Sunday I did something I’ve been very excited about for a very long time…

I visited the Fabulous Places Spring Home, Food & Gift Market. 

Child free. 

And with a lovely friend. 

It was awesome. 

I’ve followed Deb at Fabulous Places for quite a while now (on Instagram, not actually followed her, that would be beyond weird) and have always wanted to go to one of the markets she organises. 

So when my lovely friend Michelle (of delicious cake company Pea Bakes Cakes), who lives in Derby where the market is held, said she fancied coming along with me I was over the moon. 

We weren’t disappointed! 

The venue, The Roundhouse, was fantastic. It’s a glorious old building that used to be used as a turning house for choo choo’s (sorry, I can’t actually use the word train anymore. Henry won’t let me!) and is now the perfect place for events like this. 

I loved the atmosphere, it was bustling but not too busy, and everyone just seemed super pleased to be there. 
The stalls were laid out beautifully. 

All independent, owner/maker managed and all so friendly and nice. I could have chatted to each and every single one of them for days, they were all so passionate about their product. 

I fell in love with a few in particular:

The Thomas-Coles

Handmade in Lancashire (Darwen to be exact…the next town over from where I’m from!) by a lovely couple who are passionate about fragrance. 

I bought a Pomello candle. 

Can’t. Stop. Smelling. It. 

Florence & Bow 

I could have bought everything on this stall. They have a shop in Leicestershire as well as an online presence. Look them up for lovely wall hangings, toptastic telephones and awesome trinkets for your house! 

Little Paperie
I love stationery. I just do. Always have done. Always will. 

And this stationery is the best I think I have ever seen. Seriously gorgeous little shop based in Ashbourne selling the most quirky, beautiful stationery and cards. They also offer Annie Sloan Chalk Paint workshops and are so lovely. I have tried and failed a few times to get to their shop (my fault entirely!) so getting to meet the girls behind #flamingofridays at the market was fab! 

As well as the most lovely home and gift stalls there were so many good food stalls. Pies. Bread. Ice Cream. Artisanal Toasties. 

#nom 

I couldn’t get near any of the cakes to take good enough pics, but if weight was gained by just looking at cake I wouldn’t have fit back in the car at the end of the day that’s for sure! 

It was a great day, and I’m so glad that we found the time to get there. Life is often hectic and we usually put the children first, so it was nice to do something just for me for a change. 

There’s a Summer market on 2nd July, again at The Roundhouse. 

I will be going. 

Oh yes I will. 

Have you ever been to a Fabulous Places market? What did you think? Would you like to know more? 

Share your thoughts in the comments! 

oh happy day. 

Supposedly it’s #internationaldayofhappiness today. 

Yes, some person somewhere chose a Monday in what seems like the longest month ever, to declare a day of forced happiness. 

You really wouldn’t know it from the number of horns I heard blaring on the way to work this morning. Or the number of miserable faces I encountered as I trekked through the rain to get lunch. 

But still, in a bid to embrace this most marvellous of days…here are 21 very special things you may not already have known about me. 

21 things that make me HAPPY! 

1. My children…of course! When they aren’t making me want to pull my ears off, or hide in a cupboard that is

2. The husband. Kind of have to say that. Feel’s like it would be wrong to leave him off the list! 

3. Hendricks gin…most marvellous


4. Talking to my mum…last year they went away on a cruise for pretty much a month, and I couldn’t speak to her. I couldn’t even text her. It was awful. She makes me rage quite often, but she’s fabulous and I can’t be without her. 

5. Summer…mainly for the ice creams


6. Hot dogs. With ketchup AND mustard. Oh yes. 

7. Fireworks. No matter what time of year. But woe betide anyone who lets off fireworks that wake my children! 


8. Memories of our wedding day. Including dancing the night away, kissing before we were supposed to and time alone spent watching our guests…

9. Friendship. The most wonderful thing on the planet

10. Tulips

11. Milkshakes, especially super thick strawberry ice cream ones – Ed’s Diner seems to be the best place  for these at the moment 
12. New York. Or more like memories of New York and films/books/TV shows featuring this amazing city 

13. Harry Potter. Just that. Love it! 


14. Home. 

15. Parties. Big ones, small ones, discos, boozy…I just love a gathering. 

16. Seeing other people happy


17. Fearne Cotton’s cook book…not that I am super keen on all the different ingredients she uses, but for the Spag Bol alone it’s worth it #nom


18. Love

19. Typography. I just love seeing it, searching out new fonts, fiddling around with lettering, reading old quotes in new and interesting formats! 


20. Interior design. Not in a pretentious Kelly Hoppen, yas daaahling way, but Pinteresting the heck out of a Monday evening to get some inspiration for doing up the utility room type stuff…and spending money I don’t have building new kitchens in my head! 

21. Hot chocolate. For the win. Always. 


So there’s my list…

There’s plenty more (I missed chorizo, generally eating, sleep, hot baths and cuddles to name just a few) but why go whole hog on #internationalhappinessday?! Too much of a good thing is bad for you, right?! 

What makes you happy?! Share folks, share! 

toilet trouble. 

I was supposed to be back to blogging. 

Remember? I wrote that whole post about why I’d been away and how I was back and it felt great…?? 

Yup. 

And then, one night last month, my phone fell rather unceremoniously from my back pocket into the TOILET! 

‘It’s fine!!’ I thought. It’s totally fine because I saw that advert that says it can last for 30 minutes underwater and nothing will be wrong with it. 

Except it’s not a Galaxy S7. 

So no, it is not alright. 

Typical. 
Within 2 minutes the phone ended up in, yep you’ve guessed it, a bag of rice. 

For days. 

And on the scorching hot radiator for days. 

And in the oven (someone at work did it and it helped their phone). 

But mine still didn’t work. 

So…there started my accidental digital detox. 

And whilst I wasn’t thrilled at first, I didn’t have cold sweats and I didn’t feel like it was the end of the world…so when the most ridiculous of sales assistants at the EE shop told me that I could “upgrade early for just £218 or wait for the free upgrade in March 2018!” I didn’t rage at him like I really felt I could be justified for doing (at point of sale I was told none of this information and therefore believed that, like with phone deals of old, I would be due an upgrade at the 1 year mark). 

Instead I just walked out of the shop and gave up on Instagram! 

Easy peasy! 

And I have to say that, while I didn’t have a phone at all I really didn’t miss it. 

I missed my WhatsApp messages from my friends. 

I missed the photos and videos of my children that I have lost because I was lazy and didn’t back up my phone often enough. 

I missed writing this blog. 

But I didn’t miss social media. 

I didn’t miss the nasty, horrible comments that I read on some lovely people’s feeds. People that are just having a laugh at life. People that are just being themselves and getting slated for it. Didn’t miss that at all. 

And now I have it back? I am using it less and loving it more. 

Appreciating the real world and the photos and videos that I take much more, because I’m taking less of them. If that makes sense!? 


So, whilst I don’t encourage dropping your phone in the loo…I would encourage you to have a digital detox. 

Go on. Put your phone down a bit more. I think you’ll love it! 

But whilst you’re still here, here’s a few more from whilst I was on radio silence and enjoying the good things in life…

meal planning hell.

Once upon a time there was a girl.

That girl loved nothing more than shopping for food, flicking through recipe books and cooking up meals.

When she was little she used to spend hours creating paper menus (always detailing the same meal of pasta, chicken, garlic salt and dried mixed herbs) and sit everyone down at the table to eat, drink and be merry – with a pot of yoghurt for pudding!

As she grew older, her love of food dwindled a bit…noodles from a packet so she could afford extra shots of tequila at Alma de Cuba that week, southern fried chicken and 99p chicken burgers instead of a decent meal because eating is cheating, and cup a soup to “lose some weight”.

But then, one day, the love came back…living back at home after so long spent fending for herself meant that cooking became fun again. Meals out became more frequent as she earned her own money and enjoyed spending time with her parents again.

And then, as she moved away from home to join her boyfriend in The Midlands (that scary place down south where they talk funny and don’t eat gravy with their chips!), things got even better! Meals out were a big part of her life and she loved nothing more than hunting down the next best restaurant, eating things she’d never even heard of before, trying Michelin star tasting menus, cooking and cooking and cooking…

Even when the children came along, food was still a wonderful thing. Weaning the babies she’d had was so much fun. Thinking up concoctions and pureeing every vegetable under the sun, determined that her little ones would love food and be excited to taste new and different things…

But then, one day, along came meal planning.

weekly-menu-planner-template-1-638

And alongside meal planning came routine and budgeting and a complete and utter lack of time and energy.

Week after week after week of trying to think up new and interesting ways to feed a family of four, on a budget and with no time has sapped this girl of the love of food.

SEND HELP!!

Inspiration has gone.

I am even scoffing at my former best friend, the BBC Good Food website…and I can’t get out of this rut I find myself in.

So…any ideas for quick and easy meals, wonderful foods that will excite my tastebuds and fascinate my husband will be most welcome! Do you have any to share?

And what about some great ideas for the children? That can all be made whilst tackling homework for a four year old and with a 21 month old permanently attached to my leg and screaming at me of course!

Let me know in the comments below!

Speak soon, x

 

the me and mine project.

You know when you spend hours getting lost on the internet? Trawling through blogs, laughing at funny cat videos and eating mini eggs like they’re going out of fashion?

No?

Just me then!?

Judge me not…but I like nothing more than a good Instagram session of an evening, after the ‘winks are in bed and I have dragged my bum into the kitchen to make something for dinner that is!

Last year, probably around June time, I came across a wonderful blog, Tigerlily Quinn, and I loved everything about it (Fritha is so refreshingly fab, you will love her and her posts)…but especially the Me and Mine Project feature.

It’s a very lovely community much like the ‘100 Happy Days’ project of a few years ago (which I embraced like a chocoholic at Easter) where people take at least one photo per month of their entire family…warts and all…and write a post about what they have been up to that particular month.

I instantly wanted to do what I always do…jump on the bandwagon!

Mr O always says that for someone who’s been in marketing for over 10 years I am the biggest sucker her knows.

He’s probably right…but do I actually care?

Nope!

This time around though I took stock (miraculous!) and decided to wait, it was half way through the year…why  start something half way through?

So I waited and waited and bloomin’ well waited some more…and now, it’s the last day of January and I’m ready to jump full force onto that bandwagon that I know I will love so much.

cropped-us.jpg

As a general rule I don’t like photos of myself.

I look like I have no eyes in most of them, and my teeth are a funny colour…so I tend to stick to photos of the babies.

This photo was taken whilst we froze our backsides off in a park in Ashbourne after I dragged us there to visit a shop that ended up being closed…another thing I was lured in by…yes Mr O, you were right again!

Ruby wanted a picnic so we sat on a bench in the park and ate leftover Christmas dinner sarnies and shared a bottle of water (I say shared…I had none after seeing the floaters that Henry had left in the bottle!).

All in all we’ve had a good January…only one or two small boughts of illness (which is amazing for us), and even though it has seriously felt like the longest month on record, it hasn’t been a total let down.

There has been:

  • Fun with grandparents
  • Holiday booking!
  • Crazy work schedules
  • Coming to terms with peach decor…blurgh!
  • Getting back into reading
  • Losing half a stone (no bloomin idea how mind!)
  • Fixing stuff that the mischievous Henry has broken
  • Picking up where I left off with my blog…

Yup, I may dispise winter and January might be the worst month for me but actually, it hasn’t really been that bad…still glad it’s over though!!

I hope that I will be able to look back on this project in years to come and remember a brilliant year, because goodness knows we deserve one.

But enough now of my jabbering, what have you done that you really enjoyed this month? And, more’s the point, do you fancy joining in!?

 

The Me and Mine Project

friendship.

I sent the message on a Saturday at 6.45am, apologising for sending it so early.

We’re nearly all mothers now, so really I have no idea why I apologised for sending a message so early. I knew full well that the majority of them would already be awake, but you know, I was probably trying to be polite! 

I was asking them for a photo of themselves.

A photo that captures who they are.

A photo of each one of the most special people that I am lucky enough to call my friends**

Friendship is a wonderful thing, isn’t it!?

I’m so lucky to have found so many great friends throughout my life…and to still have them now, after so many years.

I’ve had to call on my friends so much recently. Their input and their ears have been invaluable during what has been a really difficult few years, and I value their friendship more now than ever – so I wanted to celebrate them!

I love that I still have friends that were my friends at primary school and that, even though I now live so far away from them (and hardly ever see them), they are still my friends and I know that if I ever needed them they would be there.

St. Wilfrid’s CE High School brought me some of the best friends I will ever have. 7 years is a long time to get to know people – the highs and lows of teenage life brings fights and fall-outs, but these were some of the most fun and best years of my life. The common room that no longer exists was where I found myself, and where I cemented friendships that will last forever more…

University found more friends coming on board, very few of them are still in my life but thanks to the wonders of Facebook and Instagram I can see what they’re up to and it’s lovely to share in their moments of joy and pride…

And then there was Vauxhall. The best year of my life.
Friends…laughter…hangovers…work experience…debt…hangovers…
And the joy of that year still lightens my mood at even the darkest of times.

Because that’s what friendship is. And that’s what it does to you.

What is the saying, “There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger, and live just a little better”?

And that couldn’t be more true…

Hiding me from teachers in the common room…Eating bacon sarnies on break time…Eating so many Chupa Chups you think you might be sick…Singing to Bryan Adams waaaaaay too loud…Carrying me home after one too many…Laughing so hard it feels like your sides will split…Shooting down water slides in Gran Canaria…Calming me down in my angry moments…Listening to my hurts and making them better…Holding my babies and loving them so much…

And now, my work friends that have become so, so much more than just colleagues, and my fabulous, wonderful, amazing Mummy friends that keep me sane, invite us round for play dates that involve cake and Prosecco, take me out to the cinema to watch Bridget Jones, join me for cocktails and talk and talk and laugh and laugh until closing time…

To all my friends, near and far, thankyou.

Life without you all in it, in all your various shapes and sizes would be that much more difficult.

Thankyou for the fun.
Thankyou for the laughter.
Thankyou for being you.

Always.

What are your best friendship memories? I would love to hear them in the comments!

Speak soon, x

**I haven’t actually used any of the photos that they sent to me in this blog post – I have instead used far more embarrassing ones. That’s just how I roll!