Saturday, 6 October 2012

Life changing, I'm failing.

You know that minute in time when you suddenly have your life turned upside down when you make a decision which changes everything? Yes that. Sometimes you have to take action, this week I stepped in to help and take over care of someone I care very dearly about who is struggling with physical disability and mental health issues.

There's that word mental, that word I associate with playground taunts or a word which meant cool back in the 90's. That word that fills people with concern and thoughts of being institutionalised (or is that just me). Mental is a word that fills this person who is struggling with fear and tears flow as they say "I'm not mental, life is just getting me down."

There's been so much crying, much of it by me. I'm tired and these people who are meant to help are often quite exhausting. I'm sick of being addresses on a first name basis by people who call me expecting me to know what they are on about. They frequently fail to tell me who they are and express annoyance when I ask. Yes it matters to me exactly who you are, I don't care you are part of the team.

The next problem, no one is offering any answers, I keep being told it takes time, I understand it takes time, but where is the plan to show this person that they can rebuild their life? Where is the realisation that with the exception of phone calls they are leaving me unsupported, as the visits just result in questions which they won't answer. My home is not a permenant solution, my children are already feeling the strain of the crying and broken routine, how long can we continue? I don't know. There are so many problems and struggling to sort someone elses life is already meaning our lives are suffering with poor diets and sleep deprivation - this is just at the end of week 1. Let me find the strength for week 2.

Monday, 1 October 2012

With a little help from my friends.

I have to admit, at times I'm not the best friend I could be, I get absorbed in family life and sometimes I forget to arrange that coffee, or reply to that text. I'm not intentionally neglecting my friends, i'm just still the forgetful fool I've always been, just this time with a grown-up life thrown in.
I have to confess, for reasons I shan't write about right now, life is challenging at the moment, and I have had the urge to be an ostrich hiding my head in the sand and waiting for everything to pass, this has meant I've been even more rubbish than usual!
This weekend, some of my closest friends indulged me with their company and I suddenly remembered what it was like to be me. I smiled, laughed, made plans, felt alive. Listened to their worries one by one, hugged them and reminded them I am always here, and made a promise to myself that I will answer that text inviting me for coffee, and perhaps I'll be better at sending them to? No, I will be better at that! I'm great at chattering about challenges faced as a mother, i'll be the first to whinge about being woken up 5 times over night or the tantrums, but when it comes to talking about whatever it might be that is stressing me out which doesn't relate to children..I'm my own worst enemy. My mantra needs to be 'A problem shared is a problem halved' so thanks to my lovely friends for making me smile, and making me realise I need to share, it's true, I need a little help from my friends.

Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 - Stage 1,2,3 Car Seat Review

Several weeks ago we were sent a Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 car seat for Elvis to try out. I was intrigued by the car seat, as it doesn't use a five point harness, and instead utilises the seat belt to secure an impact shield for Group 1 children, which holds the child in place and keeps them safe in the event of an accident. Group 2 and 3 children just utilise the conventional seatbelt without the impact shield, due to a clever bit of technology 'the kiddy shock absorber' which takes the braking force in the event of an accident. As Elvis is a houdini, and manages to wriggle out of his harness, I was keen to try a seat without a five point harness!

We were amazed at how easy it was to pop the seat into the car, but I have to be honest it wasn't easy convincing Elvis to sit in the seat and let us put the impact shield infront of him, in truth he screamed so loudly the neighbours came to see if there was a problem. Once secure in the seat, for the first 3 or 4 outings, Elvis screamed and cried, clearly very upset, and I did wonder whether we should give up and go back to his original five point harness seat. We persisted with the seat, making sure Elvis had something to hold while we put him into the car seat. He soon realised that he had far more freedom in the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 and started to make use of the impact sheild - driving his car along it or perching his teddy on the edge! The screaming ceased, and now he can't wait to clamber into the car seat, I think the problem was the unfamiliarity of the car seat, he had spent 6 months in a conventional car seat and so the change was a little frightening. The impact shield is cleverly shaped to mould around your childs body and legs, so while it initially looks a little strange, it is clearly more comfortable than a conventional five point harness as there is no fear of any pressure on the shoulder area.

The seat it seems is incredibly comfortable, judging by the way Elvis falls asleep in the seat so easily and for longer periods (he's just woken up in the photo above!). There are no more issues with us having to stop the car to put his arms back into the straps, as there are no straps! He is now happy to climb into the car seat, and most importantly, it is so easy to fit the car seat that we can take the seat out and leave it with the Grandparents when the boys go to visit knowing they can easily fit it without a huge fuss! It is incredibly easy to clean the seat, I was worried as E managed to get hold of a bar of chocolate and wipe it over the impact shield, but it wiped clean! The rest of the covers can easily be machine washed, so even when we reach potty training all accidents are covered!

Is the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 worth the investment? Yes, I wish we'd discovered it sooner! No more bucking child as you try to secure them, no more having to stop to re-secure them! It's really ingenious, and I'd urge anyone looking for a new stage 1,2,3 car seat to take a look! As with any car seat do check the seat is appropriate for your car and your requirements! For all safety information check a good independent guide e.g Which!

Disclaimer: I received the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 free of charge for the purposes of an honest review, we have trialled the seat intensely for almost 6 weeks and the opinions stated above are based on our experiences during that time.