Sunday, 9 December 2012

Kelly Clarkson get out of my head!!

I'm feeling oh so sentimental at the moment. Whilst I'm waiting for a few very important and scary test results from the hospital, words seem to be screaming at me more than ever. Maybe because I'm unsure what life holds or maybe it's because I've never spent the time to listen properly to the lyrics of some songs before!

Which is where Kelly Clarkson comes in to it!

I didn't see her win the American Idol show and she never springs to mind when someone says 'who's your favourite female singer?' I don't even own a single or an album.... but I do love her songs... they stick in my head.

I have been singing the Breakaway song for the past few hours and it says all of what I wanted to say growing up. I didn't want the norm, I didn't want to get stuck and I didn't want to be a nobody... I just wanted to be me.... the best me that I could be.

In short...

The now me looks back at the old me and can see where that me went wrong. But the now me wants the old me to breakthrough and scream help me come back!.... I'm hoping the future me takes note of the scream for help from the old me and no matter what the future me has to en-tale in life physically and mentally, that this me doesn't get angry at me in general for not being the best me I could be....

Here is Kelly's Breakaway Lyrics.... I bet a few of you can relate...


Grew up in a small town
And when the rain would fall down
I'd just stare out my window
Dreamin' of what could be
And if I'd end up happy
I would pray

Trying hard to reach out
But when I tried to speak out
Felt like no one could hear me
Wanted to belong here
But something felt so wrong here
So I'd pray
I could breakaway

I'll spread my wings, and I'll learn how to fly
I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky
And I'll make a wish
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won't forget all the ones that I love
I'll take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway

Want to feel the warm breeze
Sleep under a palm tree
Feel the rush of the ocean
Get on board a fast train
Travel on a jet plane
And breakaway

I'll spread my wings, and I'll learn how to fly
I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky
And I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
I won't forget all the ones that I love
I gotta take a risk, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway

Buildings with a hundred floors
Swinging 'round revolvin' doors
Maybe I don't know where they take me
But gotta keep movin' on
Movin' on
Fly away

I'll spread my wings, and I'll learn how to fly
Though it's not easy to tell you goodbye
I gotta take a risk, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won't forget the place I come from
I gotta take a risk, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway

My Promise to the Future Me...

I hereby promise the future me that the now me will somehow contact the old me and become that me once more!.... I will spread my wings and learn how to fly!

So many of her songs seem to be about me... maybe she's attached a scary tape recorder into my head!

Hmmmmm Stalker Alert!!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Gordon's FREEKICK - Reading FC vs Manchester Utd

This weekend the dreams of one little boy came true as he walked out onto the pitch with his footballing idols for one of Reading FC's biggest games of the season, Manchester Utd, all thanks to the amazing work of the charity FreeKicks.

Last season you might remember that Kyd was lucky enough to be given the chance to be mascot for Reading FC vs Peterborough Utd (who are friends of his... as strange as that sounds) and he still talks about it to this day. 

This season we nominated one of Kyd's friends, who sits next to us at the Madejski Stadium, to receive a once in a lifetime chance to walk beside his favourite players from Reading FC and some of the worlds most well known football stars like, Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie, Rio Ferdinand amongst others. This must be every young budding footballers dream, but for this child it was one that was long awaited and much deserved.

Gordon was adopted by an amazing couple in October 2011, after a long drawn out high court battle. He was removed from his birth family at 18 months and placed with his now dad and his first wife at roughly age 2, a short while later the relationship ended and Gordon remained with his now Dad. The couple then met in 2006 and married in 2009 which then caused further delays in the adoption process.
Gordon has several behavioural problems and learning difficulties. He self harms and has global development delay. He is 11 and functioning as an 8 year old. He goes to a special school in Oxford and has severe ways of getting people's attention, leaving life difficult for all but especially him.

We have known Gordon for a few years now, as his season ticket is placed next to ours in the East Stand of the Madejski Stadium. He has always kept me entertained with his random questions and we are often seen sharing some sweets during the second half of the game... when I say sharing I mean I steal them from him when he's not looking. Kyd and Gordon get on really well and we actually quite like his mum too... but not that much! **ducks from the flying shoes** Joking, we think both her and her husband are brilliant and just for the record, the fact that they have fought so hard to keep this little boy out of the system, is something that most people wouldn't do and more should do, making them exceptional human beings. He is a credit to them and even with his random questions and inability to stop talking, he is a wonderful little boy.

**Enough of the soppy stuff I am pretty sure Gordon wouldn't appreciate it**


So on the day Kyd and I had been asked by Steve at FreeKicks to go along and represent the charity and be official photographers.... We weren't exactly going to say no now were we?

We met up with Gordon and his family at the Madejski Stadium and discussed what was going to happen. His mum knew months ago but Gordon was told much later. He was so excited but I don't think he really knew what was going to be happening once we were inside and so began the excited questions...

Once inside we met up with Gill from Reading FC who organises the Mascots. We've met Gill several times now and Kyd was very matter of fact with his 'you know who I am' stance! He was so cool about it, he showed Gordon the way round the place like it was his own house and tried to explain what he was going to be doing in his Kyd like way.... Gordon is very patient with him, as his speech is very poor if there are bits he doesn't understand he just looks at me and I translate and then he nods and goes on with his conversation. 

We started in the lounge/bar with the other mascots and their families. They all looked as excited as Gordon, in their kits and with their goody bags, what a day for all of them. The young lads from the academy who were co-ordinating the Mascots for that game met us there. They were brilliant, very up beat and understanding of Gordon's situation. One of them even recognised Kyd from before and started chatting to him, I love that they are so inclusive and natural with all the kids, it melts my heart a little. They had a lot to organise at this game as there were 9, yes 9, mascots and so there was a lot of children to keep in one place... they did it though, for so young they were very good at co-ordinating children! Much better than me anyway!! Hats off to them.

The lads led us down stairs where we stood in the tunnel and watched the boys line up to meet the players in the changing rooms. I must admit Kyd was a little confused as to why he wasn't going in too but he soon understood when I explained it again that he's already done it and that he was very kind and let Gordon do it this time. Gordon was bouncing along as he went in and the lads who were taking them in gave us the nod of he'll be fine... **As much as we tried... we weren't allowed in! Apparently it's a girl free zone! boooooo**

We stood and waited pitch side as the mascots got their autograph books signed and chatted with the players. As they came out the mascot co-ordinator looked worn out... like it'd been 'an experience'... we knew that Gordon would have been doing his question overload thing, so we instantly knew why.

There was a bit of a wait after this and so it was time for a few pictures and to get ready for a bit of football on the pitch as the players warmed up. Kyd and Gordon sat in the Dug Out quite patiently and then as the Man Utd players came out to warm up I think it suddenly hit both of them who they were!... Whilst they boo'd.... YEP they boo'd them!.... to their faces... I was so proud yet so horrified all at the same time. They suddenly got even more excited as they saw Rooney rock up, they're faces were a picture! I know Kyd is a huge Rooney fan... but only when in an England kit, so to see him in the flesh was excitement overload!

As the Reading boys came out they ran past us and everyone clapped. Kyd as cool as day, gave them the nod... the boy amuses me!... They were followed by the academy players that were doing some warm ups with the mascots and the mascots themselves including Gordon, he looked so proud of himself walking on the pitch... keeping Kyd from following them was hard work but he stood and watched.... WELL until he spotted Kingsley and Queensley the mascots and then he was jumping on them excitedly instead. 

THEN Kyd spotted good old Sir John Madejski, Chairman of Reading FC, and as a huge fan and old friend of John's he jumped out at him shouting John, John and then hugged his legs... It may have given him a heart attack but graceful as ever, he smiled and chatted with him unphased. What a lovely man he is. Much to Gordon's mum's amusement he then went on to call the lady from the Young Royal's his girlfriend and chatted to Noel Hunt about pizza and socks... as you do!... He's like part of the furniture now I think lol.

Anyway whilst Kyd was amusing us pitch side, Gordon was running around passing the ball to the players and acting like a real pro and he looked like one too, I might add! He came off out of breath and buzzing after a short while he was ushered over to get ready for his big moment! Whilst going down the tunnel with the boys to get ready for Kick Off he gave us a huge grin!... my heart melted, he was so excited.

Gordon's Big Moment!

**Pro photo to come soon**
With a packed out stadium, an announcement over the speakers, a huge round of applause and a cheer of URZZZZ the players and mascots came out of the tunnel to greet the officials and shake each others hands. Gordon was holding Adam Federici's hand (the goal keeper) and casually shook the hands of the Man Utd team and the officials as if it was an every day thing. He posed for a photo and ran off with the others.... 

....and then the Whistle blew for Kick Off time.

We walked around the side of the pitch and back to our normal seats (whilst bumping in to a few known faces and getting chatted up by random Away fans on the way past... awkward!).

I lost count of how many times Gordon thanked me and how many times I caught him smiling to himself.
I felt all teary and emotional... 

...but I'm unsure if this was because of his joy or the fact we scored against Man Utd a whopping 3 times... It was a bloody good game... even though we lost 3-4... It's emotional being a Reading Fan you know!!

I'd like to thank FreeKicks for creating this amazing opportunity for Gordon (and us too) and also Reading FC for being so supportive and welcoming to both FreeKicks and Gordon.... and Kyd obviously!

OH and Thank You Noel Hunt for agreeing to sign some socks for the next FreeKicks Socktober! He's a good sport!

Day well spent I think! 
Well done Gordon!

The Free Kicks Foundation

The Free Kicks Foundation is a Peterborough based charity whose aim is to provide football-related activities for ill, bereaved and disadvantaged children, to give them a day to remember with their favourite football club.
The charity is run on a voluntary basis by Steve Thorpe and Sam Downing. Steve’s main responsibility is fundraising as well as using his extensive media contacts to gain publicity. Sam is the Kick Co-ordinator, she liaises with clubs, hospitals and families to ensure that the children have a day to remember.
To Read more click HERE

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

20 weeks old... Is it time for weaning?

Recently I have been umming and ahhhing about whether Milk is just not enough for Rocky now even though he's not quite 6 months (which is the the recommended time to start weaning)... As in 20 weeks... 5 months on 10/12/12... so nowhere near 6 months!

I have noticed he is guzzling the milk down faster than ever! He has also started wanting more milk straight after his feed, especially in the morning and at night.

I was encouraged to stick to the 'no food before 6 months' thing by the Health Visitor and I was ready and willing to do so. I have always said that if he's ready, he's ready and that is that, meaning I'd never have to worry about starting him too early as he would be telling me 'now is the time mum, give me that food!'.... but I thought it'd be ages until he reached that stage.

But he's 20 weeks, which is not 6 months and he is telling me now, I know it.... So why am I doubting myself and my judgement?

Well as I was having an 'I have no idea what I'm doing' thing going on and starting to get in a flap about it I asked my Blogging mums to help....

Oh I think I owe them a lot of wine, gin and cake! Especially Fi at Childcare is Fun! who explained the professional side of weaning and advised me about timing and his age and made my melted brain understand it all!

After reading all the advice given to me by my bloggy friends and Fi's expert weaning advice on her website, I have now learnt how to test he is ready... and boy is he ready!

He looked at me like I was mad at first and wasn't overly keen on baby rice or Apple & Banana from Ella's Kitchen which made me think he wasn't ready but when I mixed it together... 


One VERY happy and excited Rocky!

Later that day I tried him with a savoury option... mainly because I wanted to see what he'd do.... Sweet Potato, Carrot and Apple also from Ella's Kitchen, it went down like watching Kyd eat a burger, a smile, a giggle and whoooosh it's gone!!

Funnily enough I am now convinced that this little monster is in fact, ready to be a big boy and eat big boy food.... They grow up so fast!

Now to start blending up the veg!

I have decided to try out a few of Fi's Weaning Purée's though as they've been tried and tested.... Check them out HERE!

Monday, 26 November 2012

My Mummy Mugshot! - Not so long ago...

This picture was taken 20 weeks ago and yet it feels to me like I'm looking at a photo of someone else.

I look at this picture and all I see is a very happy me, just hours after giving birth, smelling my babies head and thanking God that labour was over and I finally had my baby in my arms.

Others just see huge eyelashes!

Yep I did have a full set of false lashes on the whole way through my labour and for a few weeks after. I also re did my make up during labour.... 

'How Vain'
I hear you say... 
But to me it was important to have photo's of me and my newborn that made me look less like I was dead and more like I was happy and content, as with my first I can't even look at the photos because I look awful... just to add, I allowed tired, just not the living dead.

The funny thing is after those lashes left me, so did my health.
I've hardly worn make up or my beloved lashes since.

Blood clots and suspected serious health issues have seen me housebound, hospital bound and mostly sofa bound and has lead to me not recognising myself in the mirror.

One day I will get back to this happy me.
One day, I will look in the mirror and say 'Welcome back'
Until that day...
I will just look at this picture and pretend it's a mirror.


Friday, 16 November 2012

Breast feeding vs Bottle feeding! The Big Fight....

Right this might be a bit ranty but I'm annoyed so bear with me...

Today on This Morning we saw a debate between a Pro Breastfeeding woman and a Pro Bottle feeding women (their names escape me).

I'm over the moon that Ruth, the presenter, actually admitted that she struggled with breastfeeding and felt guilty about it because of the media and professionals. I am also over the moon that the Pro Bottle feeding lady won the viewers vote about who we thought was right in the debate, albeit by 1% but a win is a win! But the 49% & 51% just proves the devide between the country!

Before Rocky was born I was all set to breastfeed. I had bought a hand held pump and loads of things to aid breastfeeding. I knew what I was getting into, I'd done my research and I had breastfed Kyd for 6 months, although that was 10 years ago. I spoke to ladies online about it and I even read up on Pro Breastfeeding blogs.... although I was aware some people just couldn't and so wasn't really pushing myself in any direction just prepared for any eventuality so had bottles and formula too.

Nothing prepared me for what was to come though!

He was 3 weeks early and tongue tied.

He struggled to latch onto the breast from the very start. I tried and tried and tried again on day 1 in the hospital and was told to keep trying. Eventually they told me he was tongue tied and to express into a syringe and drip feed him. I hardly got a single drop into it so how was that any better? But the midwife was there massaging my boobs and expressing into this tiny thing for ages until she got, a massive, 2ml, which was so painful. She said I'd have to do this at home too until my milk came in properly. I was ready and set to do this for him, as feeding him was my main priority but then I asked the following question...

'Should I top him up with formula so I know what he's getting?'

OH MY.... I was shot down like a terrorist. How dare I suggest it. 

'No dear, there is no need for that. If you make the effort so will he!' said with a patronising glow on her face.

I was so annoyed as Kyd had issues feeding and we were told in that hospital that this is what would be done, that much I remembered, which is why I suggested it. I went with it. We got home and I tried so hard to carry on hand expressing and struggled. I went to the midwife run drop in at the hospital to discuss cutting his tongue tie and they showed me other ways of feeding from the breast and suggested an electric pump and to come back in a few days. So we went and bought one, which wasn't cheap.  

Aged just 4 days he had a midwife come and weigh him... 12% weight loss and becoming slightly jaundice. I knew deep down he wasn't getting enough but we were told to carry on over and over, so I thought I was being over cautious as a new mum, but we weren't!

We were rushed into hospital, where he was seen by the Peads department and we were told....


Are you fricking kidding me???  

I explained to the doctors what had been happening for the 4 long days of his life and they were so annoyed! Not only had if I'd have topped him up with formula, would we not have been there but there was completely no need to have his tongue tie snipped as it wasn't that restricting and would stretch over time! The contradicting advice between professionals at the same hospital was overly and unnecessarily confusing!

So we topped him up with formula every few hours. It was harder than it sounds as because of his weight loss he was so weak he just slept all the time. He wasn't interested in feeding.


After all that, it turned out I had a life threatening blood clot and was on a lot of medication not only to thin my blood but to ease the pain. With all this I couldn't breastfeed so I was told to express and throw it away until the meds slowed down and it was safe for him.

Even though it was dangerous to feed him myself because the drugs would be in my milk, I still got bombarded with people telling me that I needed to breastfeed him! I had midwives and breastfeeding specialists coming in and looking into the different meds etc and each told me the same thing... 

'carry on expressing you'll get there soon enough and it will be worth it in the end' 

The doctor made the most sense...

**with a confused look on his face**
'you're going to express and tip it down the sink for 6 months and bottle feed him on formula and then expect him to remember how to latch on to the breast? That's just a lot of work and not very practical! but it's up to you'

NO it's not practical is it, well said Mr Doctor you tell the others that!!

Communication people...COMM-UNI-CATION!!

Why is it Pro or Against anyway? Why isn't it the choice of the parents?  

This frustrates me so much! It's not fair to bombard parents with breastfeeding info that are not breastfeeding?! Fair enough at the beginning and during pregnancy educate them about the pros of breastfeeding but after that just do it when they want it or ask for it

Tailor the info to the parents and baby not to the governments standards!

If they don't want to and can't, don't make them feel guilty. 

A new mum, first time or not, is vulnerable, hormonal and completely knackered! She has no doubt made her choice and decided for or against breastfeeding. She is under a lot of pressure to get everything right and when she can't, she feels like she has failed at the most natural thing on earth... Being a mother! 

This can lead to Baby Blues and Post Natal Depression, which can lead to all sorts of mental issues and problems. Believe me I know.

Why do we have to be made to feel we've failed as mothers?

We are told in the media that you bond better with a baby when breastfed.... leaving you feeling like you're not bonding if you don't.

We are also told in the media that it is better for their health if they're breastfed.... leaving bottle fed mums feeling the pressure of failure at the first sniffle.

We are told that bottle feeding babies leads to obesity.... REALLY? Are you sure that's not the McDonalds and Greggs on every corner making it easier to feed children crap rather than cooking?

I wish I could wake some people up....
SOMETIMES Mother Nature says NO! 
That is not the mothers fault and to be tutted at and patronised is not going to help her hormonal sensitivities about what is out of their hands when it comes to feeding. 

Who's choice is it anyway? 

The silly thing is I can see both sides and I was desperate to breastfeed Rocky for many reasons and was left feeling like a failure for being to ill to do so. I resented the meds I was on even though they were in fact keeping me alive and I felt my  PND come creeping back like a baddy sneaking up on Harry Potter.

I was left feeling isolated and useless even though I had prepared for all that could go wrong. I think if it was said to be my choice and left at that I'd have been fine about it.... but they just kept jabbing at me making me feel like I'd failed.

How dare they, actually how dare anybody, make me feel bad about the way I feed my baby. Would you rather I drug him with contaminated milk??

As long as the baby is happy and healthy and not at risk (which Rocky would have been if I'd NOT listened to them) who cares??

Leave new mums alone...

Stop with the breastfeeding bombardment it's not always our fault

.....and my choice is to stay alive and not drug my baby so I choose Bottle Feeding.... so shoot me!