Monday, 28 June 2010

The Gallery - Emotions - Goodbye Nan

This weeks gallery post is a special one. The prompt is emotions but this week its linked with Josie at Sleep is for the Weak and her Writing Workshop. I have not particpiated in the writing workshop before but I am so glad Tara at Sticky Fingers has introduced me to it and I will definitely be taking part in the future.

I always knew if anything were to happen it would be me that would find you, I had run the scenario through my mind several times but then when I came round one day and discovered it had actually happened my reaction didn’t quite fit what I had pictured.

I was scared, no terrified I knew something was wrong when you didn’t open the door and the curtains weren’t open, we had joked the night before on the phone how you would need to be up early as after a year off whilst I was on maternity leave it had also been a year since I had used you as my dog sitter.

You adored Finnie and it gave you something to look forward to, something to occupy your lonely days and a friend to talk to. It was Finnie that I sent it when I cautiously opened the door and peered in. I could see you on the floor in the lounge your legs just in sight.

Panic, screaming and my heart feeling like it may explode. I called out to you to see if you would move before I approached. You didn’t. Finnie tried to stir you but you wouldn’t move.

As I got closer I could see you had gone, even as I called the ambulance and they were talking me though CPR I knew there was no point that was obvious enough.

You had the phone in your hand, even now I wonder did it happen after we spoke on the phone or were you trying to call for help.

My emotions? Panic, terror, sorrow, grief, emptiness but now peace. I’m glad I was the one to find you that day 2 years ago but I do miss you Nan.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Creatures - The Gallery

Its another Gallery post prompted by Tara at Sticky Fingers, and the prompt this week is Creatures.

This is my little dog Finnie with Pop Princess when she was a few weeks old.

Finnie was my first baby and if anyone has seen the film 'Marley and Me', you may understand the attachment we have to our dogs. Like the film life has been a little stressful for Finnie of late, with the birth of Rock Baby in Jan she has now been pushed back to third in line in my priorities, she gets moaned at, she sometimes doesn't get her walk every day and she does get on my nerves when my patience is wearing thin.

So Finnie this is for you, you are an amazing dog, you love pop princess and rock baby dearly even though they have taken my attention from you. You are still totally obsessed with me, you would follow me to the end of the Earth and even now as I type you are sitting under my chair waiting for me to go up to bed so you can sneak in the bedroom with me. We love you, you are so special.

Don't forget to pop over to Sticky Fingers on Wednesday to check out the other posts

Sick of the Pox!

Sorry for my lack of posts over the last week, life has been slightly stressful.

Pop Princess has had chicken pox and when people talked about their children having this horrible illness I just thought it was just one of those childhood illnesses, you get a few spots but no big deal.

Well I was wrong, the spots came out last Saturday and it was fine, no need to panic off I trotted to the chemist to stock up on Calpol, Piriton and Calamine lotion. Saturday and Sunday were not too bad the spots were coming out but she was not covered although she was sleeping in the afternoon which hasn't happened since she dropped her daytime nap about 6 months ago. Me and the OH were thinking this isn't actually that bad but by Monday she was going downhill and then the fever started, by the afternoon she was burning up and delirious I was starting to panic as I had never seen her look that ill and I was wondering how I was going to manage looking after her with Rock Baby in tow. Then half way though her deep sleep she was moaning and I went in to check on her and she had blood all over her face as she'd had a nose bleed and had smeared it everywhere, staying calm I just said its OK and cleaned her up and she went back into her deep sleep.

On the outside I was cool as a cucumber but the nose bleed tipped me over the edge and I called the doctor for some reassurance that this fever etc was normal. He said it was and I felt better. Now the countdown is on for Rock Baby to pick it up although there seems to be two debates ongoing one saying she won't get it as I am still breastfeeding her and so my immunity should protect her and the other saying it will be two weeks after pop princess got it which should be this Saturday. So we will just have to wait and see.

Other than Pop Princess's chicken spots (that's what she has been calling them), Rock Baby has started weaning and its so exhausting! Once the girls are in bed I have been chopping and pureeing vegetables for her and putting them in the ice cube trays and it just takes ages, so once that has done, the sterilising is done, and I've managed to cook something for me and the OH, Rock Baby is ready for her night feed at 10 30 and then its bed time! phew....

Sorry for the moany post, I just feel so tired at the moment and have cabin fever from being stuck in with the pox and a very highly charged emotional toddler! Plus the realisation that I am not able to make it to cybermummy something I really wanted to go to, just to be able to learn more about blogging and how to make my blog look better and to meet some other mummy bloggers who I have been chatting to. Its not possible for me to go as Rock Baby will not take a bottle and whilst we have had some success with a cup she won't take that much and I can't leave her for the whole day at this moment in time.

At the same age Pop Princess had been smoothly passed over to formula feeds during the day but this isn't happening this time with RB and I am starting to feel very trapped by it. There is so much support for mums who want to breastfeed but very little if any if you want to stop.

If you've read to the end of this post I must apologise for the down beat nature of it and promise next time I will try and be more uplifting!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Gallery - Motherhood

This week is my first week taking part in Tara's Gallery and this weeks theme is motherhood. I would have loved to have posted a picture with me and my two girls but I am still to get a shot of all three of us together! So narrowed it down to two pictures

The first one is of me and Pop Princess when she just a couple of weeks old I love it as it shows how completely in love I am with this new little person that I created!

The Second one is of Rock Baby only a few days old grasping onto my finger for dear life, she just wouldn't let go and I feel it symbolises her attachment to me as her mum.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Rock Baby's Strawberry Birth Mark

Next Week Rock Baby is going back to hospital to see the paediatrician and the consultant about the strawberry birth mark on her head.

When she was first born I noticed a very slight stork mark and by the time she was 5 weeks old it had grown into a very pronounced strawberry birth mark right above her right eye.

I questioned it with the health visitor and got dismissed as soon as I mentioned it and was made to feel that I was being silly and irrational to even worry about it, as everyone was saying it would fade by the time she was 7 years old. But I was worried, Rock Baby obviously isn't she doesn't have a clue its there so was my worry really down to my own vanity and my own insecurities of people looking at my baby and sighing 'That's a shame that's there' (yes this has happened with strangers in the street!)

Adults and parents who know what it is sympathetically bring it up, young children point and whisper to their mummy's 'has she hurt herself?' or 'What's that?' and their mummy's do their best to explain what it is.

As Rock Baby gets older and starts pre school and then school she will herself have to start answering these questions and by then she will either be so blase about it as it won't be an issue or it could become an issue, something that could make her lose confidence.

It was a risk I didn't want to take. In her 6 week check the Doctor said that they would not do anything about it and to leave it and see how big it grows but insisted it would fade. So I went away again thinking there were no options.

Last month I booked another apt with a different doctor after doing lots of research I discovered there was a doctor who specialised in this type of birthmark at our local hospital and he had helped hundreds of babies and children over the years and it seemed that laser treatment was possible. So armed with this information I told the doctor I wished to be referred so I could at least discuss if there were any options available to us rather than be dismissed again I wanted to speak to a specialist who could tell me what could be done if anything. Luckily this doctor was more sympathetic and agreed to refer us.

So we saw the consultant a couple of weeks ago and discovered that we did indeed have options. Option one was to have laser but it could require general anaesthetic which I was not happy with given the risks in one so young or the second option was a new treatment only discovered in the last 2 years which is a syrup they give in the morning and evening and then we continue it at home. I don't know the complete ins and outs of this treatment but we are going on Thursday to learn more. Apparently this syrup has amazing results and within 3 weeks the birthmark would have shrivelled up and disappeared. She will be in no pain, there has been no side effects in all the babies and children they have treated and no nasty scars.

So this is the road we are now on, it looks like Rock Baby will be having this treatment and its obviously something that the GP's and Health Visitors are unaware of. I'm just so glad I pushed it and got referred and now RB will be birthmark free within the next few months. It just goes to show you have to fight for what you want for your children, if something is bothering you and you want more answers don't give up until you have explored all the options. I will let you know how RB gets on and it will be really interesting over the three week period to see how the birthmark goes down so I will keep you updated with pictures.

The Picture above is a recent one and shows the size of her birth mark now

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Sometimes it's OK to give up

Pop Princess is 3 in October and after a lot of pushing from nursery, last week I decided it was time to get her potty trained. I had been leaving it and leaving it as her world was turned upside down with the arrival of Rock Baby, and its something she has really struggled to come to terms with and even now she has not accepted the fact there is a new little lady in the house.

However we are 5 months in after RB's arrival and I thought this was enough time to now try her with the potty training. So off we went together to buy the big girl knickers with Peppa Pig and Dora emblazoned on them, the floor wipes and ample kitchen roll. We had already got the pink Peppa Pig Potty some time ago and she had been sitting on this on and off over the last few months.

So Day One was obviously not that great very few wee's actually went in the potty but by the end of the day she was getting the idea and the bribe of a chocolate button after each time she successfully got one in the potty seemed to work. However this was only working when she had nothing on and as soon as you put her big girl knickers on she struggled. She also hated the toilet and seemed really scared when she did do a little trickle!

Day two - Actually quite a good day, she was still not saying she needed to go but I managed to catch her with the potty before most of it went on the floor. Lots of stickers and buttons later I was really hopeful she was getting the idea. It did appear though she was struggling to get on and off the potty as its so low to the ground and she was tripping up when using it which seemed to knock her confidence.

Day three and four - total disasters now fully clothed with knickers and little skirts or loose leggings she was still not saying she needed to go, she was wetting herself and not caring, she just wasn't that interested and more interested in playing rather than noticing she was wet and only actually managed to use the potty once. Every time I asked her if she wanted to go she said no, when I tried to put her on the potty every half hour she didn't want to.

By Thursday night I was wondering if she was actually ready and everything was pointing towards this

She didn't once tell me the whole week she needed to go for a wee wee
She seemed scared of the toilet
She didn't seem bothered when she wet herself, more interested in playing
She wasn't excited by her potty and really had no interest
She couldn't pull her knickers on and off by herself

I could feel myself starting to get frustrated and I didn't want this to pass through to her and set her back so that night I rang my Auntie who is a midwife and she has always given me great advice and she said put her back in nappies, don't make an issue out of it, I was the one who had decided it was time to be potty trained not Pop Princess it was not her choice and she obviously wasn't ready.

So after a week of frustations I decided it was best for her and me to stop and try again in a month or even two months or three whenever PP showed more signs she was ready and asked about her potty.

Since being back in nappies she has not asked or mentioned the potty once another sign she was not ready.

So this episode has now taught me to go with my instincts more, she is my daughter and I know what's best for her, it doesn't matter that she is the last out of all her peer group to be potty trained, it doesn't matter that she has not met the target the nursery have on their charts and it doesn't matter that she will be 3 in Oct. She is just not ready and I need to listen to her more and go with what's best for her.

I need to remember she didn't sit up on her own until she was 9 months, she didn't crawl until she was 13 months and she didn't walk till she was 19 months, even now she can't competently run, is constantly tripping up and stumbling and hence was always physically slower than all her friends and potty training is going to be no different.

The biggest lesson is giving in is not failing, sometimes its ok to back down and give up if its in your child's best interest. I do feel very guilty now that I pushed her so hard, given her age I just assumed she would have had it cracked in a few days as we had waited that little bit longer but I was wrong and she is much happier so for now that's all that matters to me.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Eek yes I am a PR!

Inspired by a great fellow blogger Karin at Café Bebe who recently wrote a post titled PR Wish List in which she talks about her experience with a PR and a call out asking what bloggers expect from PR’s.

I read this with great interest as being a PR myself who is currently on maternity leave I stumbled across the world of mummy blogging thanks to a good friend of mine who is also a PR who told me all about a lovely lady she had met who had set up a fantastic networking site called British Mummy Bloggers.

The lady she had met was Susanna Scot the founder of the site and she also blogs at A Modern Mother and she told me it was something I should really look into. I think she could see that whilst I was enjoying my maternity leave, I was missing interacting with mums in a similar position to me, just having my second child, feeling slightly lost and adjusting to being at home again full time. I was struggling and I needed something to focus my mind on in the evenings and just to start talking to new people as I missed the banter and chat with journalists and work colleagues.

So I checked out BMB and started my own blog, having no technical experience at all and really being totally clueless when it came to anything blog related I have slowly been finding my feet and finding interesting mums to talk to through twitter and reading some fantastic blogs and posts from women from all walks of life.

I have entered a world in which as a PR more used to dealing with national papers and magazines than bloggers I have now realised how important and influential the blogging community can be. I know I have been very slow off the mark with this realisation.

I have been guilty in the past of getting a journalist’s name wrong, mostly by typing far to fast racing to meet a deadline, trying to get as many emails out as quickly as possible, and like many pr’s had the panicky feeling literally the second after hitting the send button and realising what I had done. I would always email straight back and apologise but mistakes do sometimes happen, pr’s after all are human but the good ones should at least acknowledge their mistakes.

I have also been guilty of using PR tools that bring up huge lists for you and let you email hundreds of people at once, we were taught to do this as the first stage of our campaign from a 100 people you may get at least 10 strong leads back, and then from those 10 people you research them a bit further and go in for a more detailed pitch. This is lazy PR but it does happen a lot and is very standard in most campaigns.

At some point in your career though you get to a point when the clients get bigger and you earn the respect of the journalist community and they start approaching you instead of you constantly hounding them.

Whenever I have trained new people I have always taught them the very simple basics:

Do you research – get their names right, look at the magazines and the different sections, make sure what you’ve got to say is relevant and of interest to them before you contact them.

Blogs are becoming a very popular way for PR’s to gain their clients coverage and when I return from my maternity leave in November I am going to make sure that I incorporate blogs into my campaigns.

I want to be accepted by the blogging community; I don’t want them to by cynical just because I am in PR. I am a mum who loves my little girls, I love meeting new mums, I am loving blogging and I’m hoping that in the future I am going to be able to bring my new found friends some great free products to test and trial and of course keep!

In the mean time I am going to enjoy blogging, meeting new people and joining in more of the great blogging activities such as Guest Post Day which I recently took part in and this was the fantastic idea of Erica at Little Mummy.