Friday, 14 December 2012

Make your own Tea Tree!

 Boo and E have lots of Aunts all of whom love tea, so in order that he can make them each a present (without it costing an arm and a leg!) we came up with a tea tree easy enough for a toddler to make!

What you need: Bendy Straws, Air dry clay (or playdoh), individually wrapped tea bags, sticky tape and ribbon or pipe cleaners to decorate.

Stick the straws into the clay, and then bend the tops over at angles to look like branches.

Then use the sticky tape to attach the tea bags to the 'branches'.

Next you need to decorate the tree, as our clay hadn't dried we used a glittery pipe cleaner to secure the tree trunk and E has added a foam shape at the base! Our plan is to paint the base when it is dry and Boo will write the recipients name on the base. If you are a little more patient than my children, you could always decorate the straws or wrap them in tin foil to give them an ultra Christmassy feel!

“This blog post is an entry into the Tots100/Experience Days Christmas Craft Competition”

Christmas Tree Stands

If you like us like a real tree, and have either small children, a lively cat or a mischievous dog you will know how important choosing the right Christmas tree stand is! We made the mistake of opting for a cheap stand then instantly regretting it after Boo yanked at the tree and 'snap' down it came..luckily he was highly amused (as it didn't land on him!) but it made us rethink! Last year we decided to invest in a Cinco Christmas Tree holder.
It was a bit more expensive than I'd wanted to pay, but as you can see it is really sturdy:

In the base is a spike which the tree sits on, and then you tighten the sides up, sorry about the state of the photos, the base has been living in the garden since last Christmas - so it has weathered!

Hayes Garden World have a variety of Cinco bases available, so you can find one to suit your requirements! They also have a range of artificial Christmas trees available and offer next day delivery for £7.95, but hurry last day for pre-Christmas delivery is coming soon!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Miscarriage - Letter to a friend

I wrote this letter after I suffered my first miscarriage back in January 2010, it seems right to share it with you now after miscarrying again last week, many of the thoughts and fears are the same. Of course, I went on to have beautiful E in 2011, so I know there is hope for conceiving again, at the moment I'm in no rush to try again, but no doubt once my hormones return to normal the urge will return. I still need reassurance that things will be ok though!
My first experience of dealing with medical professionals during a miscarriage was horrible and while I complain that this time I haven't been given advice, what I can say is that this time they were at least polite and offered some empathy, this was not the case in 2010.

Today the bleeding was heavier when i woke up at 5.30 with Boo, so I had to call the Dr's at 8am. I knew what was coming but it still didn't make it hurt any less, it seems that i am having a miscarriage, 'do you want a scan to confirm it?' erm.. yes i want a scan but i'm still hoping she's wrong. I have no idea when she'll call back to confirm when i can get a scan, I'm low priority, i feel like a failure as a human being, even though I have Boo smiling back at me. It took me a few minutes to look Mr G in the eye, I put the phone down on her and just cried, when i looked him in the eye, there was nothing there, he looked empty, basically how i feel. I have no idea why i writing this to you, just maybe because I don't want you to feel like this if you ever have the misfortune to experience it, and because i know you will kick me out of this heap of depression I can already feel myself falling into. As the tears roll down my cheeks, I'm not sure why, a little voice keeps saying 'it's ok she doesn't know what she's on about the scan will show the baby is ok' and my heart knows that maybe that is not true, then somewhere else I feel I never ever want to try again, ever.

I think the worst part, is the matter of fact way you're told, and i know it is 'normal' but it doesn't feel it.
So, I went to the hospital, and the woman who did the scan was horrible, she spoke to me as if i had imagined being pregnant at all and I was wasting her time. Had to have an internal scan which supposedly doesn't hurt, but was damn uncomfortable, especially when she jabbed at my bits! I knew it wasn't good as she turned the screen away from us. At the end, she announced that there was nothing there and no sign of any baby, I cried even though i already knew that. I got stuck in a room to wait for someone to talk to me, and twice people flung the door open and asked if i would mind moving into the waiting room then seeing me cry they left. The consultant came and spoke to me, explaining what could be the situation, i explained that the GP had already told me over the phone what the score was. I got moved into the treatment room, and there the sister held out a pregnancy test to the Dr,'It is positive but very faint' they looked very grave and so i said i guess that confirms a miscarriage? No reply, they take blood and give me a leaflet on 'ectopic pregnancy' as they feel i am at risk of this.

Home, all the way home i cry, Mr G drove in silence, I get in and K is babysitting I smile and say
'Tea?' she tries to leave, but i insist she needs tea and reluctantly she obliges and laughs nervously at my jokes. It is all so polite, but we both understand all i am trying to do is suppress my urge to cry.

The snow has been such a relief, i have loved my secure undisturbed shelter. Yesterday i went for a blood test, after much arguing i persuaded them to let me go to the gp as i felt i would suffer psycologically by returning to the hospital. After i got in, the phone rang, it was the hospital, they can't collect the blood samples, i explain i feel ok, the discomfort is still there, but no worse, and i would rather not come in. I have to agree to contact them Monday, great another week to be disturbed.

Today, Mr G has gone back to work, I feel lonely and distanced from Boo who has spent the days I've been grieving playing with his Daddy, I write on a pregnancy forum on a thread about miscarriage, i am painfully honest about feeling guilty for being upset as I have one healthy child, and not one person responds. I don't want sympathy, i don't know what i want, reassurance I suppose. Not finding it, I return and delete my post.

My head is filled with all sorts, I think in the back of my mind, I am still hoping it is wrong and the next blood test will show everything is fine and i am still pregnant. Then part of me wants to never ever get pregnant again, whilst the other part of me wants to try again right now.

The most strange part of the whole experience, was falling asleep after getting home from hospital and typing the first part of this letter, when i woke up the sun was beaming down on my face and it was really bright from the snow I could hear 'Auld Langs aye' playing (it was coming from the SATC movie which i had been watching) but I just felt this sudden and unmistakeable peace, it was like nothing i have ever experienced, and the bleeding had all but stopped. Of course, if i tried to explain this to anyone else they would undoubtedly think i had lost my mind, but i think it was my way of accepting what had happened, and moving on.

Hearing that NICE are today recommending a dedicated service for pregnant women suspected of suffering a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, fills me with hope that other women will receive better care and support in future when suffering the pain of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. 


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Fair Trade Gift Ideas for Christmas?

Traid Craft aim to fight poverty via trade and they helped to establish the fair trade mark over ten years ago. Traid Craft, offer a variety of fair trade gifts and products and have some beautiful nativity sets this year. 
As a Christian I celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus, and always like to make sure we have a nativity set as part of our decorations, I am thinking of adding the beautiful tea light holder to our decorations this year, as it could be a welcoming gesture in the window, to guests over Christmas. 
Traid Craft have so many gift ideas, I have to confess I have already put the chocolate hamper on my Christmas list and I've been told that the boys want to try the fair trade chocolate beanies! 
There are some lovely gift ideas for the ladies in your family including some really pretty jewellery, personally I love the print on the make up bags hint hint Mr G if you are reading! 
With free delivery over £15 why not consider giving fair trade this Christmas?