Our afternoon tea at The Vintage Tea Room oakengates Telford
Kids are hard enough to deal with at the best of time from babies to toddlers, teenager years to adults.
I’ve done the babies stages of night feeds, bum changes, long sleepless nights to the surprise crawling and walking.
The toddler stage of walking, climbing, messy eating and tantrums are next which if you brave it out you can make it through generally unscathed.
Your onto the next stage now from ages 5 – 10, the stage of learning at school and finding their personality and place in the family and amongst their friends.
There will still be tantrums and even messy eating but you wont be as stressed about it as they tend to be quite independent by this age.
Now comes the dreaded age of them all.
An age that all parents dread and a word that strikes fear into the strongest of people and that word is….
As a daddy whats worse than a teenager?
Bringing up children I have learnt that boys basically raise themselves, the smell, fight, burp, fart and are always getting hurt because they have no sense of fear.
But girls are harder in my eyes they squeal, most of them are like tiny princesses and I have no idea how to plait hair or whats the difference between leggings or tights.
So bringing up girls is bad enough and as a daddy your already over protective as it is over your baby girl so image what its like when they become a teenager.
Because teenage girls bring issues like hormones, periods and boys!
You know they will start their period and as a dad you dread the conversation and try to be as supportive as you can and just muddle through like you know what you’re doing.
With this brings tears and mood swings where all you can do is try to make them comfortable and ask the same question over and over of “Are you ok?”.
As a daddy we were young boys at one point so we know how boys are and how they think around girls.
So you know in the back of your mind your daughter is going to have her heart-broken at some point and you just pray that she gets over it quick and you’re not going to have to break any legs.
Please say it gets easier as they grow up…..anyone?
So to my teenage daughter, you may be going through a lot that I don’t quite understand but just know that i’m here for you and will do the best I can.
Oh and stay away from boys!
Daddy Giraffe x
Bath times can be a task when you’re a parent an if your children are anything like mine getting them in a bath is like wrestling a crocodile but thank god for Zimpli Kids.
Zimpli Kids have an array of things to keep your children entertained and what entertains your children more I hear you say?
Its making a mess!
I was send some products to test out on the kiddies and I had so much fun myself as well as the kids.
I got a package and I was like a kid at Christmas opening it, I open the box and here are what treasures were inside.
Want a snowball fight without getting cold?
This is the stuff for you, its amazing to watch it change from water to a snowy texture, put it in a bucket or tub and let them go nuts!
Easy to clean or dispose of afterwards but I recommend they play with it outdoors.
This came in a different colours like Lagon Blue and Oozy Red.
This was exactly as it said on the box it turned into jelly which was so satisfying to put your hands in.
We filled two big tubs of blue gelli and hid some colourful play pit balls in it.
The first person to find all ten balls was the winner.
There was lots of mess but even more fun and laughter.
It’s so easy to dispose of, just add the deactivation powder into the Gelli Baff and it instantly dissolves so you can just pour it down the sink.
This is by far the popular choice of them all.
Sometimes bath time is boring for kids especially mine 4-year-old who could spend that time doing something else so how do you keep in the bath long enough.
Slime that’s how!
After he’s all washed we tip the powder into the bath and 10 mins later he’s lying in a bath tub full of red slime.
He sliding everywhere and making slime pancakes.
Once he’s finished you can just empty the bath the more water you put in the thinner the slime gets then a quick wash off and your done.
I defiantly will be getting some more of this!
I have a little one who hates baths, hates everything about them and is screaming from start to finish.
Usually its a battle to get her bathed but we got her to pick her own colour of water and she was happy enough playing in a pink bath.
It doesn’t stain of affect the skin so you can bath your children as normal and let’s be honest who wouldn’t want to bathe in a pink bath.
I’m so pleased I was given the chance to review these product and they were a huge hit with my children providing hours of fun and laughter.
Daddy Giraffe x
*I was given these items in exchange for a fair and honest review by Zimpli Kids*
A lot of my posts are Mental Health related and how I’m not coping well but now its time to focus on things that I’m looking forward to.
Its been a shit year to put it mildly with the break down of my family and my time in hospital.
The fight just to be seen by professionals is hard enough especially when you’re in a hole you can’t get out of yourself.
So what have I got to focus on to occupy me which makes me think things are looking up?
As I got older Christmas kind of lost its meaning and was just another day until I has children and I look forward to the time where the music starts, decorations go up and wrapping presents to go under the tree.
Waiting to watch them on Christmas morning open up their gifts all excited gives it some sort of meaning again.
Bethie is now 2 and is starting to understand the excitement of Christmas which may be the cutest thing in the world.
A day which is purely meant for family to be together and enjoy each others time and of course the dinner is a bonus.
Cheryl and the 2 eldest children has started a new adventure.
I can’t say much as I have been told it’s a secret and not to say too much but it involves them having to film in London.
This will open new avenues for them all and I’m excited to see where they take it from here.
Going back to work next year
This one I’m excited for.
After battling my corner for so long and hitting nothing but brick walls I see some light.
The doctors have agreed to change my medication to an injection that will last for months in my system and if I react well to and of course behave myself them they will help me back into work.
This is something I’ve wanted to do for ages and feel I would benefit from it and finally they have listened and are willing to help me on my journey.
A New Year
I’m so looking forward to this year to be over and just to start a fresh new year.
A new start where I can start it on a good note and make it count for something.
Who know 2019 can be the year for the Giraffe!
The weekend is something that the kids usually look forward to, Friday means no more school for 2 days.
Friday morning we wake the kiddies as normal and when its Freddie’s turn to wake up we are not greeted with the smiley good morning I can’t wait for school.
Instead we are met with can I stay home today I have a cough?
Freddie loves school and never misses a day so for him to want to stay home we took as a sign of him feeling under the weather and he had a day in his pajamas.
This cough was a barking kind of cough, the type that makes him sound like seal which we knew straight away was Croup.
We knew this because he’s had it 4 times all ready and gets it often.
For those of you who don’t know what Croup is it’s a condition that usually affects babies and small children.
It’s a viral infection which gives your child a temperature, seal like barking cough and struggling to breathe.
Usually you can ride this out at home by using Calpol for the temperature and steam to help clear the air waves but this time Freddie woke up seeming a bit worse for wear.
We sent him to bed at 7pm for a good nights sleep and within an hour he was awake coughing, crying and wheezing.
I bring him downstairs and check his temperature where it was 38.8 after Calpol, he was shaking and breathing heavy.
Cheryl called 111 to get some advice and after hearing Freddie trying to breathe over the phone they sent out an ambulance.
After assessing him they decided to take him in to be checked out.
Freddie would get his first ride in an ambulance which he loved every second of.
We get to hospital and we are shown into a cubicle to wait to be seen, its late and Freddie is tired so trying to keep him awake is a hard task indeed
Were seen by a nurse who gave him some more medicine which tasted like Orange and some strong steroids which didn’t taste as nice.
We waited for 4 hours to be seem by a doctor so we took Freddie into the play room for a while to play with some toys until we were seen.
A lovely doctor came to examine him and he was by far the best doctor i’ve seen.
He asked Freddie question, let him listen to his own heartbeat and even tickle attacked him.
It was explained to us about Croup and that with the long-lasting steroids he would feel better in a few days.
The doctor then brought out a leaflet and knelt down to Freddie’s level and explained to him how he can treat himself and all about Croup before tickling him once more and sending us home.
We arrive home at 2am where he falls straight to sleep but the next few days are rough and we are some tried parents.
Get better soon Bear x
When you’re a blogger you spend the majority of the time networking or writing and while checking my email I stumble a blogging night invitation.
The blogging event involved a night out at Star City in Birmingham where we would be treated with food, fun and entertainment.
As this was my first blogging event since I became a blogger I wasn’t sure what to expect but I decided to go anyway and take the plunge.
There was a group of 8 bloggers which I met outside Star City and the night of events where to follow.
Outdoors Ice Rink
First stop was some Ice Skating.
Sounds fun right?
Except I had never skated in my life so I looked like Bambi learning to walk for the very first time.
I cling onto the side taking baby steps along the ice thinking I wasn’t doing to bad until a 5-year-old skates past me where I realise maybe ice skating isn’t for me.
Although I struggled to stand I had fun and didn’t fall once which was a bonus and I would give it another go.
If you like chicken then you will love Nandos!
We go in and sit around the table in a booth and await whats next.
After some chatting and getting to know each other the waiter brings over 4 plates of chicken wings and its announced that we will be doing the roulette wing challenge.
This is where there a mixture of mild, medium and how wings but you can’t tell which ones they are so your having to guess.
It seemed like every wing I picked was the hot wings and it soon went around the table of people picking the same having to get extra drinks just to stop the burning lips.
The wings were gone but with difficulty but be did the challenge!
Again this is the first time I have played mini golf but I was looking forward to this.
We Step in and the course is jungle themed and looks amazing!
Two teams of 4 are made and we start on the course.
Turns out we are all equally bad as each other and it seems almost impossible to get that tiny ball in the hole.
We played 18 courses and with a lot of swearing and miss hits we finish where I manage to place third out of 8 which I was happy with.
Who knows I could be the next Tiger Woods.
After working up an appetite from all that golf we called into Pizza Hut for a meal and the last thing our agenda.
Looking through the menu something caught my eye that I wouldn’t have usually of order and that was the Pulled Chicken Mac & Cheese.
It looked good on the menu and I ordered a side of fries just in case.
After chatting for a while the food arrive and OMG the size of my Mac & Cheese was unbelievable.
If I had known it was that huge I wouldn’t have ordered the fries or ate so many chicken wings.
I tried it and it was creamy,cheesy and by far the best choice of the table.
Despite my best effort I couldn’t finish it but it was worth the challenge.
End of the night
The end of the night came we were all tired and full.
It was time to go our separate ways but not before swapping social media.
Great night had by all and I was so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and met new people who also do blogging.
Star City is a great place for a night out, it has everything you could need in one place from cinemas, restaurants and entertainment.
I shall definatly be going again for a night out.
Ive had the privalidge of reviewing a book called A gift from Woolworths.
It’s written by a very talented author called Elaine Everest.
About the Author
Elaine grew up in north west Kent where she grew up listening to stories of the war years.
She actually worked briefly at Woolworths herself.
A former journalist she has written over sixty short stories.
Whats the story about?
The book is based in 1945 thick into the war where the story is based around the lives of the woman of Woolworths.
Betty is the store manager of Woolworths and soon discovers that she is expecting a baby which will change her life.
Masie is a loving mother who looks after her nieces as well as her own children but life doesn’t run as smoothly as she likes.
Freda falls in love but will it all be roses and end well?
Sarah dream of a cottage and the return of her husband from the war but will she get the happily ever after?
With Woolworths beckoning, their life changing and the continuing war nobody know what lies ahead.
I have this book to my teenage bookworm of a daughter to read and told her to let me know what she thought.
She enjoyed the book very much and loved how clever it was that each woman had their own individual story tied to the war and Woolworths.
Ot was very well written and she look forward to reading more of Elaine’s work in the future.
Where to get A Gift from Woolworths?
If you would like this book you can order it from amazon here.
its also available as an ebook.
Thank you very much for letting me review your work and I wish you all the best in the future.
Daddy Giraffe x
Throughout my journey with Mental Health there are a few things I’m that I am feeling.
The first being overwhelmed by the level of support and love I receive from my family on a day-to-day basis.
The second is the feeling of being let down by the Mental Health team throughout and the battle just to get some sort of care or support.
From the start its a big step to admit that you need help and to get that help is a long and lengthy process from getting and appointment to getting a diagnosis.
At the beginning I went to every appointment, took all the medication and followed every task I was given to start my journey to getting better.
Through the first year I was passed from pillar to post, from person to person and department to department where I was being turned away from every door.
Then it happened I had my first melt down!
I was in the house and thought I heard my name called and just lost the plot all together.
I was lost and scared, the tears wouldn’t stop and I refused to go back into the house.
This would last for hours but luckily for me Cheryl was there to help me through it the whole way and called the crisis team for help.
After a lengthy conversation and advice it was only then did we find out what my diagnosis was of Personality Disorder but it came from them not my own doctor and the reason why??
In his own words he thought he told me!
I heard nothing for a few months until I called the team myself to see what was going on to be informed that my doctor had left and I was under someone else now and that they would be in touch very soon.
I meet the new doctor and the first thing he does is up my medication and add a few new ones, run a few tests and book an appointment to be assessed.
I leave feeling positive this could be the start of me getting better.
Little did I know how bad this doctor would be for me.
I attend every meeting like always and every other meeting is met with my medication being up which is now just basically sedating me.
He asks me why I’m on the medication because he doesn’t remember prescribing it for me!
It’s now been a year waiting for the tests and referral at this point to which he asks what they were for but its ok because he will up my medication if I need it.
And as for the advice he gives me goes as good as this…
“If you were to hurt someone even kill them you would be cover by the mental health act”
Tell me what kind of advice is that??
Again time goes by and I receive no appointments no phone calls and the time came that I was dreading the most and wished it would never come to that.
Being sectioned for my own safety and the safety of others.
I spent a short while in a hospital in Stafford where I was taken care of and treated properly, re medicated and when the time for me to leave came I was assured that there was care in place from my team.
I left and waited but nothing came again.
I call to find out whats going on and oh yeah my doctor had left again and I was assigned a new doctor.
This doctor I never got to see my appointments were cancelled days before then she was on holiday and oh yeah she left!!
So where am I now?
I m left with a new doctor that Cheryl had to fight and scream for me to see because they just wouldn’t seal with me or kept fobbing me off.
When it comes to the point that your own mental health team are asking you to make a complaint to PALS then you know that they are in desperate need.
I don’t know where I go from here, I know I don’t want to be locked up again so all I can do is hope they sort themselves out and just start getting better.
Its been a while since I have done a Mental Health guest post so I thought what a better time to do one than now and I had the pleasure of talking to a lovely lady called Mel who opened up about her journey.
Could you tell me a bit about yourself?
I’m 45 and married.
We don’t have any children but we have a dog is our baby.
Just under 2 years ago we left our life in England and moved to Spain .
I was a teacher England and I worked with adults with learning disabilities.
I am now a teacher of English as a foreign language where we are now in the process of starting our own language school.
Where did your Mental Health journey begin?
I was having trouble dealing with the little things in my life not the big issues.
My husband noticed the change in me when I didn’t.
When I went to the doctors they prescribed me with Citilopram and I’ve been on it ever since.
However with hindsight I think I had issues with mental health before then nut nobody including me recognised the signs.
How is you Mental Health now?
Most of the time I think I manage with life ok.
Being in Spain has been good because life is different to England and I have time to be me.
However some days are harder than others.
One thing I find hard is people expect me to be happy.
So when some of my English friends who know I have Depression ask how I am where I respond low don’t understand how when I live in Spain.
Do you consider yourself disabled?
I’m not sure I consider myself disabled.
In some aspects I think I am enabled because I am beginning to understand myself.
How does your family deal with your Mental Health issues?
My family has never had a problem with my diagnosis.
My in-laws don’t understand.
My mother in law doesn’t understand what I have to be depressed about.
I think it might be a generation thing.
My brother who works in the medical profession is great, he’s non judgemental and just listens.
My dad works for the Samaritans and is very good as he is able to distance himself and ask questions that make me think about how I’m felling and honestly answer.
Some of my friend found it difficult because they hadn’t recognised that in me but they are supportive.
What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
I think I would tell people its scary but enabling.
Some days you will take 2 or 3 steps forward then the nest you go backwards.
Its frustrating and agonising but you will go forward again.
When people ask how you are tell the truth even if your felling crap.
They will find it difficult and weird at first but your true friends will get used and help you through the bad times.
The black dog is always there but not always negatively.
And finally tell me something you like a bout yourself.
I like my eyes and the fact that I care about others.
Thank you very much for being so open and honest Mel and I wish you all the best in the future.
Daddy Giraffe x
In the time that I have been a family blogger I have reviewed quite a few children’s books, I was approached by a company called Big Belly Book Co where I have the chance to review a new book called Anthill for sale.
Who was involved in this book?
Big Belly Book Co is an award-winning publisher of children’s picture books.
The Author is a by a very talented man called Johnny Ray Moore
The illustrator is from a very gifted lady named Zuzana Svobodova
What is the book about?
Anthill for sale is about an ant called Alvin who decides he is selling the family home.
Upon selling his family home that is filled with fond memories he has a list of potential buyers, the only problem is the want to change everything about Alvin’s home.
After remembering all the good memories Alvin and his family have had in the Anthill Alvin has a change of heart and now must convince his wife that this is still the perfect home for them.
Like every children’s book I receive they are read to my 4-year-old who loves books, I settled him down for bed and we read this story together.
It’s hard to gain Freddie’s attention for long but the pictures had him entertained and asking questions, he enjoyed the story and all of the insects trying to buy Alvin’s home.
The book was long enough for Freddie to enjoy and hold his attention.
Now time for the scores, Freddie likes this part very much.
Anthill for Sale scored 10 out of 10 because in Freddie’s own words ” Ants are cool!”
Where can I get this book?
If you’re looking to read this to you little ones them you can get this from following the links bellow.
Going onto the Big Belly Book Co website where you can get a 10% discount before the end of November. http://www.bigbellybookco.com/home.html
On Amazon by clicking here
At Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound or at your local book stores.
Daddy Giraffe x
As a child you would hear your parents say things to you that didn’t make much sense like “If you don’t stop crying I’ll give you something to cry about”
Or having to correct you about the most random things you would do as a child like.
As a parent there a few things I have had to say to my children that made me just shake my head and wonder if that actually happened.
I would like to share with you my top things I didn’t expect I would have to say to my children.
Get you finger out your bum!
Freddie is now at that age where he is forever holding his willy or scratching his bum, the kid is obsessed.
we think sometimes it’s because he need a wee but no he just likes holding it.
One day his hands were down his trousers and I’m thinking he is scratching him bum again like he does but I notice he’s doing a lot more than that so I shout get your finger out your bum, which then involves the next step of me chasing him around to clean his hands and him thinking hilarious.
Keep it up and I’ll ground you so you have to go outside.
Now I know what your thinking, well if we ground our kids we take their phones, laptop, TV or there no allowed to go out.
Well not Ellie!
We can’t get her to leave the house, if we take her phone, she will watch TV or even worse read a book!
If we ground her to stay in she will snuggle on the sofa under a blanket and watch a film so the treat of going out doors and playing with her brother is enough to get her to buck her ideas up.
Stop wiggling your bum!
This is to my 2-year-old who discovers she loves to wiggle her bum.
When we say to her Bethie stop wiggling your bum she looks at us and shouts…
”It’s wiggle time!”
Which just makes her do it more.
No homework on the 6 week holidays!
Yes we really did have to say this to Harry on the 6 week holiday.
Not only did we have to tell him to cut back on his homework and extra homework but also his teachers had to tell him to tone it down.
After he try’s to do some and we tell him no you would have sworn his life was over, what such mean parents we are.
No there is no A or U in shoe
This would make sense is it was my four-year old but sadly it wasn’t.
It was our very smart very clever daughter Ellie who turned to us and asked the question straight-faced waiting for an answer.
Of course she was met with laughter and once she realised what she had said she was left very red face and even now at 13 she hasn’t lived it down and will be brought up on her wedding day or any special events.
I’m sure some of you can relate with these things your children have said but I would love to hear yours.
Daddy Giraffe x