Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Dangers of underage hypnotism

Whilst trying to hypnotise me, Itchy manager to hypnotise herself.  This really makes me giggle.


Thursday, 30 January 2014

Thank God for washable pens

Those who follow me on twitter will know this happened last week, but now I have video evidence to bring you of the perils of pens and twins.



Friday, 26 July 2013

SPD Guest post

I've teamed up with Wriggly Wrascals and wrote an article about another special gift from Mother Nature during pregnancy - SPD (Symphysis Publis Dysfunction).  To read more about what it is, my personal experience and ways to relieve it check out my article here.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

They always make you out to be liars

After trying to persuade Scratchy (2yr old twin 1) to eat her lunch for 15 minutes - and dealing with tantrums and pea throwing in public - I decided to film her so my husband could witness what a nightmare they can be. And then she did this....

video

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Hearing Loss in Children: How to Overcome the Odds

*Fanfare*.  For the first time ever, Anonomum has opened it's gates to a guest post.  John O'Connor is a father, outdoorsman and sports enthusiast who writes below on the issues of hearing loss in children.

Hearing is a key part of life. Can you even imagine a world without sound? Hearing loss affects all ages of people, not just adults and elders. Babies, toddlers, younger and older children experience hearing loss. Whether you're born deaf or you have a condition with symptoms of hearing loss, the number of Americans that are experiencing hearing loss has doubled over 30 years. Hearing loss is more common than any people think and often a sense that many people take for granted until it is gone. 

It's becoming clear that hearing loss affects many children throughout the world. Between the ages of 6 and 19 years of age, younger people show some form of hearing loss. This means that they cannot hear at least 16 decibel in one or both of their ears. However, it can progressively get worse in some cases, such as frequent cases of otitis media in infants. For children, the cause of hearing loss may be hereditary, related to illness, noise exposure, neurological disorder, chemical exposure, trauma to the ear or a variety of neurobiological factors. Symptoms may progress from an infection or immediately occur after trauma to the ear.

The important thing for children to realize is that they are not alone and that they can receive help. Education for the deaf has progressed incredibly in the past 10 years. It's easier to learn grammar, vocabulary and other communication even if you are unable to hear. There are also a variety of hearing aids that help children to hear. Another option for children is to learn sign language. This allows them to communicate with family and friends.

In some instances children with hearing loss may have a hard time at school or while playing sports.  They may be bullied by other kids or treated differently. In some schools, this isn't the case. Most children understand and want to help or even learn sign language when another classmate is deaf. Children with hearing loss should never feel discouraged from meeting other kids, partaking in activities and achieving academic goals. Having hearing loss does not make them different from any other kid in their classes or sports team.  There are also plenty of children who have grown up to be superstars and athletes who had some type of hearing loss. With the right education on hearing loss and support from family and friends the possibilities are endless for children who have hearing loss. 

For instance, Nick Hamilton is a 22-year-old baseball player who just graduated from Kent State University. He actually competed at the College World Series. He was selected in the 35th round of Major League Baseball Draft and currently plays for the Cleveland Indians. However, there's something special about this baseball player. Ever since he was a 3-year-old, Nick Hamilton could not hear very well. He received surgery to stop his hearing loss from progressing and now wears a hearing aid to adjust his hearing levels. Nick uses lip reading to understand his coaches and teammates.

There are also a variety of companies and people out there doing things to help people who are hard of hearing. EarQ provides hearing aids and is currently heading up a campaign called HearStrong, which is a program to identify and alleviate social stigmas placed on those with hearing loss and also to change the perception of hearing loss in society. Just because someone is hard of hearing or deaf shouldn't dictate how far he or she can go and what he or she can achieve in life. There should be endless possibilities and more understanding from society as a whole in regards to hearing loss.  

Hi my name is John O'Connor, I am a father, outdoorsman, sports enthusiast and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.  Check out my new blog at bloggingwjohno.blogspot.com!

If you're a regular to this blog and fancy writing your own guest post then please get in touch.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Bug-tastic day out

There’s nothing like a Saturday with no Anonoman to motivate me to find something to do with the 2 yr old twins…and to rope someone else in to help it go quicker smoothly.

I’d found my victims companions in the shape of my sister and her 2 children and all we needed to do was think of somewhere to go.  You probably know the scenario, the weather’s drab which counts out anything outdoorsy.  Play areas are cramped hyperactive germ fests.  Shopping outlets are boring places for kids, which leaves you scratching your head for something different but appropriate for adults and kids that doesn’t involve a museum (yawn) or the same thing you did last weekend.

Well, we found the perfect thing.  Bugtopia at Greentrunks Garden Centre in Great Cransley, Kettering Northants.  If that’s too far for you, see if there’s something similar in your area because it’s well worth it

It’s like a zoo for bugs, snakes, spiders etc and a big hit with our kids (aged 2-7).  We went to a talk in their Bugtopia hut which lasted about an hour and we got to hear about all the creepy crawlies there, and *gulp* handle them. My two year olds got to hold stick insects, cockroaches, spiders and snakes.  They also stroked a Carnelians and some other strange creatures (which I don’t know the name of because I missed that bit during the couple of tantrums we had - hence the pram).  They were braver than me.  I body swerved the cockroaches and spiders, conveniently finding something mumsey to do at that point.  Indiana Jones, who was our bugtastic guide (so nicknamed by me due to the authentic jungle get up he was wearing) was very passionate about the beasties, and it was kind of infectious.  He was also wonderful with all the kids and accommodating with the odd tantrum too.  The other highlight was hearing we couldn’t see one of the spiders because it had a leg missing, and then spotting what suspicious looked like a spiders leg on the floor a few minutes later.  It could have been a twig.  Had-to-be-there moment I guess).

It was completely different to what we usually do, and very reasonable too (£3.50 per person).  I’d definitely recommend doing this if you have kids aged 2 +.  I’ve not been asked to write this, I just genuinely had a good time and think they deserve a few more visitors.  It also has a small play area and a cafĂ© that does a mean toastie.

Check it out.  http://www.greentrunks.co.uk/  (Indiana is the guy on the “contact us” page who has a *clears throat* handful)

Friday, 8 March 2013

Toddlers on a plane

You may have seen the scary (and hilarious) film - Snakes on a Plane, but that was just the precursor for my tale – Toddling Twins on a Plane.  It’s already been green lit by Hollywood and will star a wild cat and a Tasmanian devil as Itchy & Scratchy - my 2 yr old twin girls.
We had 4 days in Jersey last month to see the in-laws and if I thought that it was going to be easier than 6 months ago when they were 18months, I was in denial.  I hope my story serves as an inadvertent guide to others on what works, and what doesn’t.  I’ll even chuck in some home grown top tips for you.
Arriving at Long Stay car park 1 at East Midlands airport, we realised our first mistake.  Although it was 3 minutes walk to departures in Toddler distance that’s about 3 miles.  Leaving the pram at home (for reasons I’ll divulge later) they we on reins, but a) it was snowing and blowing a gale, and b) they tried to collect every stone on the way making us wish we’d factored in 45 mins of pre-flight nature walk time.  Top Tip 1 – spend the money and park right outside if you’re pram free.
Arriving at the airport we were delighted to find it very quiet with no queues.  Checking in was going to be a breeze.  We walk straight up to the counter and start to hand over booking refs etc.  When asked if it was just us adults flying, we explained no our little darlings were coming too.  Cue – turning round and finding no children.  Anonoman had let go of said reins and they were currently legging it across the concourse leaving the squeals of delight as the only trails to find them.  They were running under those makeshift barriers they have to control the queues and watching Anonoman trying to catch them gave me fond memories of Linford Christie’s hurdling in the 80’s, minus the revealing Lycra.  Top Tip 2 – give them a job at check in so they don’t run off.
Children retrieved we headed to passport control and the security gates.  Flying from a small airport is great because there are small distances to walk and less crowds.  But it was this moment that my twins discovered they could throw themselves at the floor and we’d hold them up from their reins stopping them from bashing their teeth in.  The best game in the world to a 2 year old and I thought about adding human Puppeteer to my resume.  I feel guilty walking through security with all those poker faced androids starring at me to see if I’m the kind of mother to conceal cocaine on my children somewhere.  But add my kid’s mayhem into the mix and we were most certainly the centre of attention.  Anonoman goes through the scanner first and gets taken off to the side to be frisked because it had bleeped.  I’m left trying to put all our coats and hand luggage through the machine and trying to stop  both kids from floor diving like Tom Cruise in that film and braking their faces...ironically a mission impossible.  They're also no running around me transforming me into a human maypole.  I can’t lift them both, they won’t go through the scanner.  I end up dragging them through on their arses which becomes a new game to them.  I’m left looking apologetic and embarrassed as I notice Anonoman is close to having the rubber glove treatment.  I’m actually envious because I’d take his place and would I’d like to give someone else some shit for a change – literally. Top Tip 3 – make sure you put some metal in your pockets to set off the scanner and leave your partner dealing with the kids.
Waiting for the flight was packed with the usual toddler antics.  Running after them, trying to distract them with food, noticing other people have clocked you and are praying you’re not on their flight.  I noticed the couple next to us in the cafe had ordered a bottle of wine...it was 9:30am and I hoped they were starting their holiday in style and it wasn’t a reflection on the close proximity of my kids.
Then the bit I had been dreading – boarding the plane.  The reason we were pramless was because last time having a pram at this point was a nightmare.  Itchy had started to become unwell then and was clinging to us while we were trying to fold down the pram, putting labels on it, holding our hand  luggage as well as two children who were trying to run off onto the runway.  I remembered Anonoman took Itchy and walked off leaving me with the rest to sort out.  My resounding memory was being flustered and angry, giving him dagger eyes, and then seeing Itchy vomit on his head.  One of those moments were you just know that God exists.  Top Tip 4 – if your child becomes ill when you’re at the airport, leave one of those plastic bibs on them that collects stuff in the bottom.  It’ll save their clothes from vomit.
This time round we had none of those stresses.  Our girls were quite distressed getting onto the metal tube of hell – as they must have saw it.  We were the last passengers on (because of the dawdling and floor diving) and they screamed all the way to their seats.  We weren’t making any friends on this flight.  But once they were buckled in and bribed with lollies and biscuits all was fine.  They had sticker booked, a drawing pad and our iphone games to keep them entertained and the flight was fine.  Top Tip 5 – leave lots of time to walk to the departure gate.  Take snacks, games and books and a dummy if they’re still using them.  Book a seat next to the window as it’ll keep them entertained– not all of them do. A short flight is an ideal introduction for toddlers on a plane. 
We just need to see if Samuel L Jackson wants to be in our horror movie too...but he might find it too unrealistic.