My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 8 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Monday, 28 July 2014

LolliBopping with the Vita Coco Kids Beach Club!

Vita Coco Kids is inviting festival loving families at LolliBop 2014 to take part in some games at their pop up beach club! Kids and parents alike are invited to join in the fun at the hourly sandcastle building contests, or try their hand at the coconut shy for a chance to win some nutty prizes!

If chilling out on the beach is more your style there’s also a colouring and activity area to let your creativity flow and plenty of deck chairs for parents and kiddies to put their feet up beneath the palm trees and enjoy a moment of calm. The Vita Coco Kids bike will also be on hand giving festival goers a helping hand with healthy hydration, for big and little monkeys alike.

Vita Coco Kids is made from young coconut water blended with natural fruit flavourings and spring water with no added colourings or preservatives, making it a natural source of hydration for children. 

Munchkin and Beastie Boo love their fruity drinks, and I do try to make sure they have a good balance of fruit drinks and water every day. However, in this warm weather, it is often difficult to be so strict on everything they drink, as the most important thing is they drink something. I was therefore really pleased to discover Vita Coco Kids drinks, as with these, we manage to tick both the 'Tasty' and 'Healthy' boxes!

Well, during the week, a surprise package arrived for Munch and Beastie. Always excited to receive a parcel, they couldn't wait to crack that crate open!!

They have now had the chance to try both of these appealing flavours, and both have gone down a treat! Even Munch, who will swear blind that she DOES NOT like any drink containing blackcurrant, asked for another carton when she had finished her apple & blackcurrant drink!

With around 20 percent less sugar and less calories than other leading UK chilled kids’ drinks, it is the healthier beverage option for your children when you’re at a festival. Available in two mouth-watering flavours, classic Apple & Blackcurrant and tropical Mango & Pineapple, these little cartons of goodness are also bursting with naturally occurring potassium that helps keep your little ones energised and hydrated on hot summer days. 

Munch and Beastie are both very active little girls, constantly on the move whether we are in or outdoors. Therefore, I like to know that the fluids they are drinking is actually keeping them properly hydrated!

Vita Coco Kids is available in a 4x180ml pack from a number of stores, including Waitrose, Ocado, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda, Amazon, Holland & Barrett, Tesco, Yo! Sushi, Wholefoods Market, Planet Organic and leading independent retailers, and retails (RRP) from £2.99 for a pack (4 cartons)

For activities that are shore to please, make sure you stop by the Vita Coco Kids Beach Club...just no monkey business!

I am promoting this information as an official ambassador for The LolliBop Festival. I received a complimentary pack of Vita Coco Kids drinks, but have not received any other form of payment for the promotion of the product. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

River Island teams with LolliBop!

Go Customise Crazy with River Island's Design Den!

Munch loves fashion. She really, really does. She loves to wear nice clothes, and every day she will request that she wears something pretty. Ok, so 'pretty' will often involve wearing tutus, princess dresses and tiaras, but for reasons of practicality, a nice dress or skirt and top ensemble will usually be sufficient! As long as it is pink or purple!

However, her love of clothes doesn't stop at wanting to strut around in perfect pairings of girly dresses and shoes, or at dressing her dolls in sparkles and pearls. She also likes to combine her passion for lovely clothes with her love of colour and drawing and is often found doodling pictures of herself, and me, in gorgeous fantasy outfits! And some of them are pretty unique, let me tell you! She has even gone as far as saying that after big school, she will go to big big school to be better at drawing, and then she will go to big big big school and learn how to draw real dresses. Do I have a budding Fashion Designer here ...? Maybe. But she also wants to be a Ballerina, a Chef, a Footballer and to work in Toys R Us when she is older, so she may be a little short on spare time!

When I told her that she will have the chance to design and make some real clothing at LolliBop this year, she was very excited! I went on to explain ...

River Island is pleased to announce that they are the official fashion partner for this year's LolliBop Festival, taking place at Hatfield House from 15th-17th August. The three day event is the UK's only festival where all the entertainment is for children!

Due to the huge success last year, River Island is hosting the fun and fashionable 'Design Den' for the second time round where festival goers will have the chance to transform into designers for the day and customise their very own shirt!

How does it work?

The Design Den will host craft stations for various age groups and the little ones have an allocated time slot to create their masterpiece! Afterwards, they can take to the River Island runway to strike a pose and show off their designs on the catwalk.

The youngsters need to make sure they have those cheeky grins at the ready as each child will receive a photo of the fabulous moment to take home too.

Visitors will also be able to shop the latest kidswear and accessories range from the River Island Summer collection at an exclusive pop up shop!

The River Island Baby and Kidswear range for ages 0-12 years is available at www.riverisland.com and in selected stores both in the UK and internationally.

There really is so much to see at The LolliBop Festival, and regrettably we didn't make it to the River Island Design Den last year, but we will be making it a priority this year! She loves to design, she loves to wear and she loves to pose, so I know she is going to love River Island's Design Den!

For the full line up and ticket details see www.lollibopfestival.co.uk
Keep up to date with the latest news and announcements from LolliBop HQ by following the lovely team on Facebook and Twitter!

I am promoting this information as an official ambassador for The LolliBop Festival. I will receive complimentary tickets to the festival, but have not received any other form of payment for the promotion of the event. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Tell me, mummy ... What makes lightning flash?

Here we are with our 2nd offering of our new linky, Tell me, mummy.

If you are in the UK, anywhere in the UK, you have probably witnessed some pretty erratic weather in the last few days. We have had hot sticky sunshine one minute, and torrential rain the next, and we have also been treated to one of the liveliest electrical storms I have ever seen. This is what prompted Munchkin's question of the week for Week 2.

Munch had her Nursery Graduation Prom last weekend. A day she has been very excited about for a long time. On Friday evening, I decided to take her on a little shopping trip, just the two of us, to complete her outfit with a few hair accessories. On leaving the shopping centre, a little after 9pm, we walked out to the bus stop area, which is all sheltered and usually very busy. This night was no exception. However, as we reached the shelter, a flash of lightning filled the sky, so bright you could have read a book in it! Munch was fascinated. This was followed by a series of phenomenal flashes, which had captured the full attention of every person waiting for buses. Munchkin sat herself down on the floor at the edge of the shelter and watched in awe, like a child watching fireworks for the first time. She was a little uneasy at times, but the curiosity and wonder overtook any feelings of discomfort, and then she asked the question ...

"Mummy, what makes lightning flash?"

Great, another 'sky related' question! And so the conversation began. This is how my reply went ...

"Clouds are made up of millions of tiny drops of water and ice, and sometimes those pieces of ice move around very fast and hit each other. This makes electricity, which fills up the clouds. That is what you see when we get lighning."

Again, I did feel as though my answer could have been better, but again, it seemed good enough for Munch. It actually then prompted further questions to follow, such as "Why doesn't the rain wash the lightning away?" and "Why do some storms have rain and some storms don't have rain?" 

This was clearly a topic that was interesting her!

From previous experience of working with children, I know that many kids have some very imaginative ideas when it comes to the weather and explaining its habits. This has always been especially true for thunder and lightning. These are the 'alternative answers' I will focus on this week. 

I remember teaching a lesson to a class of 7 year olds about the weather, and the theories behind thunder/lightning storms seemed to be the most popular, not to mention interesting! I therefore changed the direction of the planned lesson slightly and concentrated on this topic that seemed to be exciting them all so much. Their exercise was to draw a stormy picture using a variety of mediums, with a sentence explaining what they thought caused thunder or lightning. I can remember some of the responses, vividly!

"Lightning & thunder are from the Gods arguing and throwing the furniture around."

"Lightning is caused by the sun getting too close to the clouds."

"We get lightning when the Gods leave the lights on and make a power cut."

"Lightning is God's way of saying there are too many trees on Earth!"

The last one did make me laugh, and was an answer by a little boy that will always stick in my mind! He believed that trees were the only things that were ever struck by lightning, and therefore drew this conclusion himself!

This week's real answer has been taken from Science Kids

Lightning is a powerful burst of electricity that happens very quickly during a thunderstorm.

Lightning is caused by an electrical charge in the atmosphere that is unbalanced.

The movement of rain and ice inside a thundercloud creates an electrical charge, with the negative charge (electrons) forming at the bottom of the cloud and the positive charge (protons) forming at the top.

Opposites attract so the negative charge at the bottom of the cloud seeks out a positive charge to connect with.

Lightning can occur inside clouds, between clouds and from clouds to the ground."

Ok, so my answer may not have been as detailed as the real one, but I was on the right track and at least the information I gave her was correct, even if it was slightly condensed!

One very good thing has come from this week's little lesson though, and that is it seems Munch now has absolutely no fear of storms! She insisted on sitting at the front of the upper deck on the bus so that she could get a better view of the stormy weather, and excitedly shouted "I saw another one, mummy!!" every time there was a flash in the sky.

So, there we have it. Week 2 of our new linky, "Tell me, Mummy". We would love for you to join in and share the big, difficult, embarrassing questions that your little ones have asked you. Did you offer an answer? We're you left speechless? Did your quest for a response lead you to some amazing resources that you'd like to share with others? Whatever it is, if it relates to one of the millions of questions our children ask us, it has a place here! Just enter yourself on the linky and grab the badge code below to add to the bottom of your post! For a more detailed explanation of what Tell me, mummy is all about, take a look here.

Tell me mummy

See you next week!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

LolliBopping and Tooting with Thomas!

It's Coming!!!!!

With less than 3 weeks to go until Hatfield House in London opens its gates to hundreds of excited families for the city's biggest kids festival of the year, we are getting pretty excited here in the Munchkin Patch!

Justin will be polishing his dancing shoes, Mister Maker will be packing up his Doodle Box and Bear Grylls will be preparing his survival kit, all getting ready for this epic annual event, taking place from 15th-17th August, 2014. We have brought you news of line-up announcements previously in out first announcement post and our second update. Today, we have some more LolliBopping news to share with you!

Bust My Buffers! For the first time ever, Thomas & Friends™ will be making tracks to LolliBop.

The whole family is invited to experience the world of Thomas & Friends like never before as a new interactive themed play zone, the ‘Sodor Summer Fete’, is launched at the big bash for little people.

Families are invited to roll up and take photos with their favourite blue engine, get creative at the colouring and games stations and meet The Fat Controller. Packed with fun-filled activities and games for your little engineers to enjoy, as well as special guest appearances, there will be heaps of happenings for children to enjoy.

Whether you are planning a special birthday outing, weekend surprise or school holiday treat, a trip to LolliBop is the ultimate family experience for Thomas & Friends fans this summer.

With Thomas & Friends on-board, it’s full steam ahead for fun!

The line up includes Justin Fletcher, Mister Maker, Mr Bloom, Sam & Mark, Michaela Strachan, Lazy Town, Postman Pat, Chris & Pui, Scooby-Doo, Andy Day and Cook and Line from Swashbuckle. Other activities and interactive areas, include the Skylanders arena, ‘Join In with Southbank Centre’, Science Museum Live and Tottenham Hotspur Global Coaching Team

 For the full line up and ticket details see www.lollibopfestival.co.uk
Keep up to date with the latest news and announcements from LolliBop HQ by following the lovely team on Facebook and Twitter!

I am promoting this information as an official ambassador for The LolliBop Festival. I will receive complimentary tickets to the festival, but have not received any other form of payment for the promotion of the event. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Friday, 18 July 2014

Tell me, mummy ... Why does the moon come out in the day?

Walking home from nursery the other day, and Munchkin asks:

"Why is the moon out in the daytime, mummy?"

Now, topics involving the moon, the sun and the solar system were never my strongest subjects at school, but I tried!

Just as I tried to answer Munchkin's question as she was skipping along the path of the park on the way home.

First I asked her why she thinks the moon was out in the daytime. This was her answer:

"I think the moon has his times mixed up a bit. Maybe he thinks it's bedtime? Well it isn't, and he needs to go away again until it's time for bed!"

To any 4 year old, I think this would pass as quite a legitimate explanation. Pretty sure they'd go with that. Next, I offered my explanation ... 

"The moon is always there, but when we can see the sun, the sky is too bright for us to see the moon. Sometimes clouds are in the way. Sometimes it isn't in our line of sight. But it is always there."

I had no idea how accurate I was. She seemed to be happy with the response, but I needed to check out the facts when we got home. I didn't want to be feeding her complete rubbish!

When I asked a few fellow parents what their responses may have been, some had been asked this very question already, whilst others were not sure what they would say to explain this complex theory to a pre-schooler!

Erin, who writes over at I Am Mummy Bear has tackled the question before with an answer that satisfied her little one nicely:

"We said that the moon  sometimes likes to meet with his best friend the sun".

Another (unnamed) friend says that she tried to get extra scientific when she was presented with the question:

"... I started mumbling something about the planets lining up and the Earth turning ... then I confused myself and it all got a bit messy! I think I ended it by promising that his dad would answer the question for him when he gets in from work!"

So now I move on to the real answer. I have sourced the information for this answer from Universe Today:

"Everyone knows in general how things seem to work for day and night. During the Day the Sun is the brightest thing there is. We also know that Moon is the brightest object in the sky at night, but wait a minute. Why can we see the Moon during the day as well? The reason is due to two big factors are the moon’s brightness and its orbit around the Earth. These two things make it possible for the moon to still be seen during the day. Otherwise the belief of the Sun by day and Moon by night would still hold".

"The moon is highly reflective and close to the Earth so it is very visible both day and night. Its orbit increases its visibility because the Moon gets close to the sun towards the beginning of the lunar cycle as travels around the sky. So it increases visibility during the day".

So, there we have it. Week 1 of our new linky, "Tell me, Mummy". We would love for you to join in and share the big, difficult, embarrassing questions that your little ones have asked you. Did you offer an answer? We're you left speechless? Did your quest for a response lead you to some amazing resources that you'd like to share with others? Whatever it is, if it relates to one of the millions of questions our children ask us, it has a place here! Just enter yourself on the linky and grab the badge code below to add to the bottom of your post!

Tell me mummy

I can't wait to read your offerings!
See you next Friday.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

When good English goes BAD!

OK, so I received a decent education. I didn't attend a fee paying school, I wasn't sent away to boarding school, I didn't have personal tutors visiting my home. I attended an all girls' school, not too far from where I lived and had parents who liked me and my brothers to speak properly. Most of my friends from primary school attended the same school as me. 

So, English was one of my favourite subjects, right from Year 7, I loved my English lessons, and after passing the subject in GCSE, went on to study both English Language and English Literature at A'Level and then at University. So I consider myself, not an expert, but pretty capable of stringing a legible sentence together when I am writing. I like to read articles, posts, blogs that are written well, but I certainly do not, in any way, consider myself to be a word snob. I will not judge someone for spelling mistakes or stop reading blogs because of grammar blunders. I make plenty of my own! However, there are certain things I don't like to see and I am pretty sure many of you will be with me on this one. Either that, or I am going to come across as a judgemental, shameless smart-ass right now and will only know when my reader count drops considerably over the next 24 hours!

Many of us have been there. Scrolling Facebook, scanning forums, even reading some blogs. Everyone abbreviates, we all use acronyms, it can make things much easier and quicker, especially as everyone knows what you mean. However, there are certain word crimes and grammar errors that are just that. A great deal of the time, they are just pure laziness rather than honest mistakes.

My reason for writing this post today, other than this being something that I feel strongly about, is earlier this evening, The Man came over to me whilst I was at the critical stages of building a Mega Bloks 'palace' with Munch and Beastie Boo. He had been laughing ... a lot. He handed me his phone and simply said ...

"You HAVE to watch this. It's like it was written for you!"

So I'll not say another thing, other than take your its and your it's, place it together with your theres and theirs and put an extra apostrophe where it doesn't belong, just because your chosen word ends with an 's'! Muddle your with you're and even add the odd ur for good measure. Whilst you're at it, type every word you can using text speak or whatever they're calling it. I've decided I no longer care, because Weird Al Yankovic has said it all. He's taken everything that is wrong with today's written word and put it all right here.

Now I know I'm not alone!

Now that you've watched it ... please say you've watched it ... Tell me ...

R u stl wiv mi?!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Beautiful Bedrooms with Lulu and Nat! *Review*

Have you ever come across the lovely Lulu and Nat before?

A few months ago, I discovered them for the first time (and blogged about it!) when I was searching around for inspiration and ideas for bedroom themes for when we move. I fell in love with their vibrant designs and creative use of colour and patterns. The collections that are offered enable you to match and co-ordinate until you create the perfect look for your chosen room.

In case you missed it before, allow me to give a little background information behind this lovely brand:

Lulu Watts is a children's fashion designer based in London and has developed key collections for Liberty, The Little White Company & Aquascutum.

"Lulu & Nat was founded in 2007 with a dream to create playful, bold designs for kids to live in colour & dream in colour."

"The designs are modern, vibrant & playful, and celebrate the creative power of children. Whilst these design values ensure Lulu & Nat carry a unique aesthetic story, equal importance is placed on the quality of the products offered."

Lulu & Nat aim to make shopping for the home an easy & joyful experience for the whole family, whilst we are safe in the knowledge that the products are made to last and will bring a colourful contemporary feel to any room. Just take a look at their collections and you will see for yourself. Their patterns are wonderful.

Lulu And Nat's main focus is on special products for babies' & kids' bedrooms, however, they do have a range that caters to adults, so us mums who love their designs can find colourful & vibrant Lulu & Nat products for other parts of the home. WIN!! The design creations are carefully co-ordinated across the ranges to provide whole looks that are contemporary & fresh. In other words, whilst looking for bits to brighten up the kids' bedrooms, I could very easily and therefore accidentally, end up accessorising  the whole home! 

Oh well ... there are definitely worse things that could happen!

In our previous post, I sat down with Munch, and we picked out designs for each bedroom, and she had a go at co-ordinating patterns to achieve some beautiful results!

A few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to have been sent one of their gorgeous products to try out for ourselves. 

Sorry Munch, this time it's your baby brother's turn to take the reviewer baton from you, as I don't think this item really fits in to your chosen colour scheme ...!

Here we have the Boats toddler cot bed duvet set, which is part of their Baby Bedding range. This is one of their new prints and really is beautiful. As you can see here, the print has a distinctively unique appearance, as it has been hand block printed. I really do love this feature. It makes it feel that little bit more special and personalised! 

In the Pack:

1x Duvet Cover
1x Pillow Case

Baby Plum, this one is for you. 100% cotton, but not your usual 'just out of the packet' scratchy cotton. I was pleasently surprised when I opened the packet at how soft the material was to touch. I am used to opening new duvet sets and feeling compelled to throw it in the washing machine before using triple measures of fabric softener to have the slightest chance of filling it with a duvet and pillow! Not this time though. It almost felt ready to lay on the cot! However, I did wash it first. Apart from anything else, I wanted to see how well this lovely hand block printing survived a domestic wash!

I generally wash at a 30° temperature, and this occasion was no exception. The rear of the packet states that the duvet set is perfectly suitable for machine washing in a 30° wash. And, so far, I have found this to be completely accurate.

Look here! Our colours haven't run, they haven't faded, in fact, after the 3 washes the set has now had, the colours have not altered one bit! This is important in any situation, but especially if you have a number of items that are the same design to match. The last thing you want is for pillows, duvets, cushions and bunting to start varying in colour after a few weeks! 

Other washing instructions include: 

Warm iron 
Do not bleach 
Warm tumble dry 
Do not dry clean 

The duvet cover measures 120cmx150cm (around 47"x59") and the pillowcase measures 35cmx57cm (around 14"x22") 

There is no duvet in the packet, just the duvet cover, but Baby Plum is only 6 months old, and we are in the warmer months, so he has been very comfortable laying on top of the duvet cover for now. It sure does brighten up the cot!

A definite 5 Stars!!

I would definitely give Lulu and Nat top marks for quality. At first look, yes, their prices seem high end, and yes, you can go into a high street shop or online and purchase a duvet set for half the price, but, referring to the ago-old saying, "you get what you pay for". This is so true here. The covers feel more expensive, they wash like they're more expensive, and I like to think they're sending Baby Plum off into sweet dreams of boats on the sea each night, so for that alone, they're worth their weight in pure gold! 

Rest assured, wherever you see this label ...

... you know you can expect true quality, comfort and creativity in a product made with care and attention to detail, especially for you and your home. 

Thank you Lulu and Nat!

This review is linked with:

Family Fever

We were sent the Boats Cot Set free of charge for the purpose of this review. No other payment has been made and all words, thoughts and opinions are 100% our own and have not been influenced in any way.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Just another hospital visit ...

Saturday, 31st May, 2014.
The day started out like any other.

The Man was on his weekend off, so I woke him at around 9am. He got up and after getting himself sorted, he joined me and the little ones in the lounge. They were as lively as ever!

I didn't feel right. I felt very weak, very sick and had horrible niggly tummy cramps. I put it down to fatigue and possibly a touch of trapped wind! Mummies don't get ill, remember!!

The day progressed, and I couldn't even bring myself to get dressed! Even when my mum and dad called to say they were local and were popping in for a cuppa. I greeted them at the door in my PJs, having pre-warned them about my yucky state! They didn't stay long as they could see I wasn't well. Just long enough for a chat and cuddles with the kids.

Lunchtime, dinnertime, bath time, bedtime.
They all came and went and, through the niggling pain that was slowly getting more intense, I got things done. Thanks to The Man! I couldn't have managed the day without his help ... a statement I found myself making for quite a few days to come!

8pm, kids are in bed, and The Man is becoming quite concerned. I'm not good for admitting how bad a pain is unless I have to. Bad pain lead to being checked out and I don't like going to be checked out! It was only after some pestering from The Man and after finally admitting to my best friend the pain that I was in, that I decided maybe I should seek some advice.

I eventually gave in and called 111. They talked me through my symptoms and carried out their assessment on the phone. Then they said it. The one thing I didn't want to hear. The one reason I didn't call them in the first place ...

"We're sending an ambulance out to you. I'm paging one right away whilst you're on the line ...!"

But I only called for advice!

Whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive, I took some pain relief, as recommended on the phone by the clinician. The pain eased! For the first time in hours, I was kind of comfortable. Well, I wasn't writhing in pain, and that was a start!

By the time the paramedics arrived, the pain was still there, but very dull. They checked me over and told me they should really take me with them as there was little they could do for abdominal pain on scene. They also said they couldn't force me to go.

All I could think of was Munch. She has enough of a negative feeling towards hospitals as it is. For her to wake up the next morning and find I was gone and had been taken there would upset her too much. I decided the pain was bearable and that I would take myself to the local Minor Injuries Unit the following morning if the pain was still there. At least I could keep things as normal as possible for the kids.

10.40pm. The Paramedics left.
I fell asleep on the sofa with a hot water bottle.
The Man stayed up to keep an eye on me and so he could see to the kids if they wake.

2 hours later, and everything changes. One minute, all is calm and The Man is finally starting to relax, thinking that all the drama is over for the night, the next, I am awake, unable to move yet writhing around, unable to lay, sit, stand, crying at The Man, begging him to tell me what to do!

He called 999.
They promised to get a clinician to call us back, but to call again if my condition deteriorates.

10 minutes later, he calls 999 again as he becomes increasingly concerned that soon, he would be forced to wake the kids, bundle them in the car and take me to A&E himself. Once again, we were promised contact asap. 25 minutes later, I call 999 myself. By this time, I could barely speak through the pain. The Man had to take over the phone conversation halfway through.

Still no ambulance!
There I was, feeling incredibly guilty that I was putting The Man through this as I should have just gone with the Paramedics earlier in the evening.

By 2am, we were left with no alternative. I knew she wouldn't thank us for calling in the small hours, but I know she would have told me off if she knew we hadn't called and struggled.

The Man had to call my mum!
She came round straight away to either stay with the kids or take me to A&E.

We went with the latter. The Man should be the one at home in the morning to explain the situation to Munchkin. 

After a short wait in A&E (not bad for a Saturday night / Sunday morning!), I was seen and taken straight through to the ward. Morphine was administered, but it didn't work. Bloods were taken, obs were recorded, more bloods were taken, then I was admitted. Dad came to take over from mum and he stayed with me whilst they moved me to a ward, examined me a number of times and told me I was booked in for surgery.

They still weren't sure what was wrong, but were going to perform keyhole surgery to detect the problem and deal with it like that.

This was all happening so fast! There I was, dismissing it as trapped wind!!

A few hours later, and I am waking up from the general anaesthetic, very sore and very sick. I turn my head to see my consultant/surgeon sitting next to my bed, waiting for me to wake. He brought me round, allowed me to drink, then vomit, and then compose myself! He explained that the keyhole surgery was successful but insufficient. On entry, the camera had detected that I had contracted appendicitis, but that the appendix had burst, so full surgery was necessary and a full incision was made to enable them to remove everything they needed to. He said he believed the rupture had occurred a few hours before I was admitted, and when I went through the events of the previous evening with him, he concluded that the appendix probably burst whilst I was sleeping on the sofa and if I had left it until the following day to be seen, I may not have been here to write this post today.

Once again, there I was thinking it was trapped wind!

So I had to stay in hospital for a few days to recover. I was devastated. I just wanted to go home to my babies. I hadn't been prepared for this, and nor had they. It just wasn't fair! I couldn't even get a good enough signal on my phone to keep in touch! 

I was sore, unable to get in and out of bed without help and spent a great deal of time hooked up to an IV drip which was filling me with 6 hour long courses of antibiotics. I was covered in cannula needles, or bruises where others had been removed and had one of those horrible drains coming from my tummy. I thought I'd seen the last of them after having Plum!

However, there were some positives to my stay in hospital. Once I was moved to the ward, not everything was doom and gloom. I was on a small section of a ward, occupied by 3 other beds. Each of those beds was occupied by an amazing lady that I would eventually leave hospital knowing as a friend! The first that spoke to me was K. A beautiful, kind hearted lady who had been there for almost 2 weeks for an ongoing condition. We talked about friends, physiotherapists (K will know ...!) and sock monkeys. She opened my mind to a world of up-cycling and talked about her wonderful crafts. She made me smile for the first time in around 24 hours and made me realise that my time spent in hospital wasn't necessarily going to be so bad after all!

Next to speak to me was V. A wonderful lady and amazing mother to a lovely family. We talked about our families, our past, our present and our future. We spoke about our views on hundreds of topics and she took my mind away from the pain. Her daily calls to her children made me smile. She had been in hospital for 2 weeks, and they were clearly feeling the loss! 

Then there was S. An older lady who had been admitted following complications arising from an earlier operation. One of the sweetest ladies I have ever met, and with a wicked sense of humour! But wow, did my heart break for her to see the pain she was in!

These three ladies made everything better! We laughed, we cried, we chatted, we complained, we shared, we listened, we joked and we generally held each other up when we needed to. When I remember my time in hospital, these are the ladies I will think about. After that few days we spent together, we know a lot about each other! Possibly more than we should!

I am still in touch with these incredible ladies, and I'm so happy that I am. Without them, my stay in hospital would have been such a struggle! I missed my babies so so much, and they let me miss them. They let me talk about them and I knew it was ok to feel sad.

So there it is. My unexpected hospital visit!
I am still recovering, and still limited in what I can physically do, but I'm getting there now. I'm just happy to be here, happy to be back with my babies, but also happy that life sent me in a direction that allowed me to cross paths with three beautiful women whom I can now call friends!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

So, last week I went to my big school ...

So last week I went to my big school,
Mummy, Fudgy and me.
They said there'd be lots of exciting things,
For me to do and to see.

They said there'd be other children,
Children I would soon call friends!
Children that I will see every day,
When my time at my nursery ends.

They said I would meet a new teacher,
The one that will help me to learn.
The thought of all these new people,
Is causing my tummy to turn!

I'm happy at my nursery,
Everyone there knows my name!
I'm happy with all of my teachers there,
Why can't things just stay the same?

So getting ready for big school,
I picked out a pretty white dress.
I knew there'd be activities and things to do,
And I'd probably get in a mess.

But mummy let me wear what I wanted,
She knew that would make me smile.
I'm happier about my visit to big school,
Maybe I'll go for a while!

I skipped some of the way to big school,
Happy the sun was so bright!
Then as we got closer to the big red gates,
I grabbed mummy's hand and held tight.

Children were there with their mummies,
As I still held my mummy tight!
Then I felt a little tap on my shoulder,
And suddenly things felt alright ...

... C goes to my nursery,
We play together a lot!
Will she be in my class at big school then?
Some more of the fear is forgot!

Another friend from my nursery,
Two, and another one three!
I don't know what I've been frightened of,
They're coming to big school with me!

My new school looks really exciting,
Mrs O, my new teacher, seems great.
The classroom is full of fun things to do,
And at lunchtime, I nearly cleared my plate!

I know I will miss my old nursery,
And miss the teachers I adore.
But I suppose it's now time for me to move on,
To big school where I will learn more.

I know that mummy will cry,
Mascara will run down her face!
But I will start big school with a beaming smile,
'Cos I think I'm gonna like this new place!