Everything comes in threes…

Donut hasn’t had the best of times over the past couple of months.

It all started in December, when hubby treated me to an early birthday present.  He booked for us to go away for the night, leaving both boys with my parents.  It was a lovely break…  We had dinner, played Fallout Monopoly, and the following morning, breakfast, and he took me to watch Star Wars:  The Last Jedi, before heading to my parents to pick the boys up.

That was when it all started.

We arrive at their house, and my mum is cuddling Donut.  “He’s not well…” she said.

His breathing was erratic – like he couldn’t catch his breath.  He was also making a weird “clicking” noise, which sounded on every short inhale.  He also didn’t want to move.  He seemed really lethargic.

Mum explained that he’d been that way since about 11am – it was then nearly 4pm when I was there.

An emergency appointment to see a doctor was in order, so we called NHS 111 for advice.  They agreed that they would like Donut to seek medical advice, so just after 6pm, I took him to the clinic.

Immediately the physician said that she wasn’t happy, and she called an ambulance for him.  She placed a mask on him, connected to an oxygen tank, and filled a tube with what looked like a liquid, which started steaming and bubbling as he breathed.

She took his pulse, blood pressure, and checked his lung capacity.  His pulse was racing, his temperature was through the roof, and his lung capacity was down to just 75%.

We waited for almost 3 hours before the ambulance arrived.  I felt like I had failed as a mother.  Why didn’t I just take him straight to A&E?  Obviously this was an urgent matter, but as usual, I tried to shrug it off, saying, “ahh, he’ll be ok shortly…”

My husband was the one who went in the ambulance with him.  I couldn’t face it – I almost had a breakdown.  I just couldn’t cope.  Instead, I took Gning home, and explained that his baby brother wasn’t very well, and would hopefully be home from hospital very soon.

10pm-ish.  Hubby phoned me, asking to come and pick them up from hospital.  He said that his battery (on his phone) was almost dead, so he would explain everything when we got there.

I parked in the “drop-off” zone, and managed to get a message to hubby to let him know where we were.  As soon as we seen hubby and Donut come out through the automatic sliding doors, Gning was out of the car, running towards them.  He ran like the wind.  As soon as he reached them, he was on his knees, giving Donut a massive hug.  Donut was smiling and laughing.

Back in the car, hubby explained to me that a virus had triggered a breathing attack.  As Donut is under 5 years old, the NHS are not allowed to diagnose asthma (big concern, as hubby has suffered with it all his life), but he had an asthma attack.  Instead of being diagnosed with infantile asthma, he was diagnosed with Infantile Wheezing Syndrome.

He was sent away from the hospital with a blue inhaler – Salbutamol, and we were instructed to give him 5 “puffs” every 4 hours for the first week, then drop it to 2 “puffs” every 4 hours for the second week, whilst waiting to see our own doctor.

I waited until the New Year, as the week between Christmas and New Year was fully booked at the surgery.  The doctor had looked through all of Donut’s notes, and I explained what we had been doing (with the inhaler).  The doctor seemed happy with his progress, so advised that we don’t have to continue using the inhaler unless we deem it necessary.  We were to book another review in 6 weeks time, and in the meantime, keep a diary (of sorts) of when we use the inhaler, and how many “puffs”.

Fast forward to Sunday (14 January).  Donut falls asleep on me in the front room.  Hubby carries him to bed, and tucks him in.

About 10.30pm, Donut is up and back in the front room.  He’s whingy.  I pick him up, and his temperature is sky high again.

I strip his pyjama’s off him immediately, and advise hubby to find some paracetamol urgently – which he did.  We gave him some medicine, and I lightly cuddled him.  We had to bring his temperature down; so I told hubby to take him in to the “big bed”, and to lay him on top of the covers, ensuring the ceiling fan is on.  Within 20 minutes, Donut is asleep again.

It was a bad night.  He was tossing and turning, and snoring snotty snores…  I spent most of the night awake, constantly checking on his temperature.  He was still hot.

Morning came, and hubby came home from work (he works 2am-7am-ish), and Donut was still hot to the touch.  We also found it very difficult to wake him up.

I called our doctors surgery at 8am, when they first opened, and explained that I needed an urgent appointment.  We were given one for 9am.

Donut was diagnosed with the “flu”.  He was prescribed Ibuprofen, and we were advised to alternate the paracetamol with the Ibuprofen.  Plenty of water, and plenty of rest is also essential to his recovery.  Just to ensure that this didn’t trigger another “breathing attack”, we also started giving him his 2 “puffs” of the inhaler, every time he took some medicine.

Thankfully he didn’t suffer for long, as he seems back to normal today (Thursday).  We’ve stopped the medicines and inhaler, however today brought “incident number 3”.

They always say that everything comes in 3’s.  Let’s just hope that Donut doesn’t have to suffer any more after today.

I instructed Gning to go and brush his teeth.  Now, Gning doesn’t like brushing his teeth, so to make sure he was doing it properly, I stood in the doorway of my bedroom, where I was watching him in the bathroom.  Donut was in the front room, and seen me.  Thinking I was playing a game, he runs from the front room, in to the hallway, trips up over his empty Lego bag, and falls head first, straight in to the door frame.

He hit it hard.  The bang was like nothing I have heard.  The whole house seemed to shake.

I scooped him up off the floor, ran in to the front room and sat down with Donut on my knee.  I had my hand firmly pressed against his forehead, and told hubby to get me some Witch Hazel on a tissue as a matter of urgency.

Ten seconds later, hubby had the Witch Hazel soaked tissue, and I removed my hand.  No blood – it’s not cut, but there’s already a bump.  Just as soon as I moved my hand, the tissue was placed on the bump.

I had to take Gning to school, so instead of having to make hubby constantly hold the soaked tissue on Donut’s forehead, I managed to find two Star Wars themed plasters (band-aids), which secured the tissue in place.  Hubby kept Donut amused while I did the school run.  When I got back, Donut was playing on Star Wars Battlefront II (see a theme here?  We’re Star Wars mad, lol).

Donut heard me come back, so he tottled in to the front room, and asked me to take the tissue off his head.  I gladly obliged him, as he’d had it on without complaining for almost 30 minutes.

I asked him how his head was…  “Fine”, he said in his own little way.

He’s bumped, and it’ll probably bruise too, but without the Witch Hazel, it could have been a lot worse.

Let’s hope that’s the end of it.

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For more information on Witch Hazel, and it’s healing properties, click here

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The morning I was rushed to hospital…

On 29 September, I had horrific abdominal pains, and I was almost calling NHS 111 for advice. I had the pains, cold sweats, and was feeling incredibly nauseous. Anyway, the pain went away, I went to bed, and I thought nothing of it. The following day I had another slight “attack”, but subsided within 20 minutes.

12 October 2017, at 9pm,  I had the start of a stomach ache again. I thought I had just eaten too much (pasta bolognaise and garlic bread…) I was in bed for 10pm, to try to sleep it off.

Hubby left for work for 1.20am (ish), going in to 13 October, and even though he didn’t intend to – his leaving disturbed me… Either that, or the pain woke me up, coinciding with him leaving.

Sweats, pain, nausea again… 2.10am, I call NHS 111. After a telephone triage, they decide that they need to send an ambulance – to check me over.

Next thing you know, hubby is home from work, and I’m in the back of the ambulance, on the way to A&E.

Several blood and urine tests, stomach and chest x-rays, and ecg’s later, the pain has subsided enough for me to be discharged, with the diagnosis that it’s more than likely my gallbladder / gallstones.

I’m now expecting a letter from my GP with an appointment for an ultrasound, so they can closer examine my gallbladder. This may mean an operation is on the cards…

Just say hello

As schools are back this week, I thought it would be a good time for me to take Donut to a play centre.  It’d be quiet(er), and there wouldn’t be any “big kids” running around.  I had decided on taking him to a lovely little play centre, called Playdays Cafe, which is in St Helens (Merseyside).

Now, I’m a member of several websites, that encourages mums to make friends with other mums – so I decided to extend my little party of two to be a mummy social.

One particular website I’m a member of, is (ironically) called Mummy Social, and does allow you to set up events, and invite other mums in your area (or further afield, if you wish).  So I did.  I set it up about 10 days ago, and hey presto!  My invitations were automatically sent out to those in the St Helens and Liverpool area.

It was the eve before my “social”, and no one had clicked the “attend” button on the site.  However, I wasn’t disheartened.  As I said – I was already planning on taking Donut anyway.

I quickly made a post on a local mums facebook group, extending the invite there, and I did get a lot of interest – 4 other mums said they would be there with their little ones.

This morning started off as usual.  Gning and Donut decided they wanted “milk and cookies” for breakfast, and as soon as they were ready, we were out the door.  I dropped Gning off at school (just started year 1), and Donut got really upset, because he wasn’t going to school (he goes to nursery, three times a week).  I explained to him that we were going to play instead, so he hurried me back to the car…

I arrived at the play centre early.  A lot earlier than I had invited the mums for.  I had said 10am, but I was there for 9:30am.

I’m one of those people who suffers anxiety, and I did have a mini panic-attack this morning, thinking that people would actually turn up!  What would I say to them?  Should I just say hello?  How would I keep the conversation going..?

Donut quickly ran off and started playing.  He knows this particular play centre inside out, and has a habit of climbing up to the tallest part, then starts crying.  He gets “stuck”.  He isn’t really stuck…  He just realises that he’s at the top, and can’t remember the way down.  This is exactly what happened at 9:55am.  He stood at the top of the frame, looking down at me, sobbing.  One of the girls who worked there shouted up to him, “are you ok?”, she asked.  I replied that he always does this – he just can’t remember the way down.  I stood up and went to help him, but the girl had beat me to it.  “Don’t worry about it – I’m used to going up and down this thing.  You just sit down and enjoy your coffee”, she said with a smile.  Brilliant.  Mother of the Year award goes to a complete stranger, who shot up the climbing frame quicker than I could pick up my cup.

Donut made his own way down, with guidance from the girl, and was so happy when he reached the bottom.  He did his little happy dance, and even “high fived” her, before she made her way back behind the counter.  Next thing you know, he’s up at the top again…  Only this time, he remembered his new learned skill, and was back down!

There were plenty of other mums, and carer’s of children, in the play centre.  I looked around, looking for any glimpse of familiarity in their faces.  Was that the girl who replied that she would attend?  I’m sure I recognise that little boys face…

One mum was heavily pregnant, and looked really stressed out.  She had a little girl with her – I’d say about 18 months old or so, and the tiny tot would not leave her side.  The bump had to climb over the 1.5ft barrier occasion on occasion to force her daughter to play.

Another mum was there, and had what looked like a 3 year old boy, and a baby boy – around a month old.  She looked a natural.  Laughing, chasing the child around, whilst “wearing” the baby on her chest…

Then I realised that Donut had disappeared again.  I thought that he was up on the frame again, but then I heard him laugh.  I turned around, and noticed that he was in one of those coin operated rides, with another little boy of a similar age, and the machine was on.  Mum of little boy was at their side, smiling.  I shot over to their side, and apologised that Donut was taking over her sons’ ride.  She laughed, and told me not to worry about it.  Her son doesn’t usually mingle well with other children, but he seemed to like Donut.

It was now 10:20am.  I was getting bored, sitting at the table alone.  If anyone had turned up from the Mummy Social site, or facebook group, no one had made an effort to try to find me.

I hastily posted a status on the latter mentioned group, asking if anyone was there, and if they were too shy to say hello – because I was in the same boat.  I did get lots of replies, but all were “sorry, I forgot”, or “I didn’t know you meant today…”.

I called Donut over, and asked him if he wanted to go home and see daddy, which he said “yes” to.  On with his shoes, and home we went.

I think the point that I’m getting to here is not about anyone else turning up, it’s about something much more.  I was sat on my own, and apart from the other two mums’, who seemed to be there without any other adult company, there were other “groups” of mums / child-carers.

Did you know that 4 out of 5 people would rather use the statement “I’m depressed”, rather than “I’m lonely”?

If you’re with a group of friends, and you see a mum sitting on her own – smile at her.  Say “hello”.  It’s not much, and takes no effort at all, but you may just bring so much more to that persons’ day.

Seek out the mum who is focused on her smartphone.  Most of the time they will say, ‘Oh, did you mean me?  Hi.’  A little eye contact, a little smile, a little victory for humanity.

You never know – you may just have met your new best mum friend by one simple word.

Oh, how life has changed.

It’s been exactly one month since my life changed, and I’ve been trying to work out exactly what I was going to write to update you all.

My hubby was offered a full-time job to start on 10 July, and if we were both to be in work, there would be problems with childcare.  Yes, we had the option to put the kids in to a private nursery, but even with both of our wages, this would leave us out of pocket.  So there was a decision to be made, and quickly.

On 7 July, I worked my last day with the DWP.  I am now a “full-time, stay at home mummy”.  I am now one of the people who I either envied… Or slated.

I was envious because they got to stay at home with their children.  They got to watch their children take their first steps.  They got to hear their children say their first words.  As a full-time working mum, I missed those moments.  I would never have them again, and it ruined me.

I slated the other “full-time, SAHMs” because they had no interest in working.  Their kids were in full-time school, and all they did was sit on their arses all day, watching Jeremy Kyle, or spending their dole money on alcohol and tobacco.  I am positive that most of the mums that fell in to this category were “baby boomers” – only interested in popping out another sproglet because they got more money…

Yes, I am one of those people who turns my nose up at the “minions”.  Yes, I do think I am better than all of the SAHMs that fall in to the latter category.

So now I can hear the comments, “what gives her the right to say that?”

Well, allow me to explain.

Today marks one month since I last worked for anyone.

Since then, I had enrolled on to an online course, and completed a new qualification.  I received my PDF certificate just a couple of days ago, and I am waiting for the “hard copy” to come through.  The certificate confirms that I had passed the final assessment with a “Higher Distinction”.  I have purchased various equipment that I will need to take my qualification further, started a Facebook page with my new “job”, created a Twitter feed, and built a website from scratch.  I am now “up and ready to go”.  My new career will allow me to choose my own hours; and means that I can do something that I have always wanted to do.

Meanwhile, it’s the summer holidays; so Gning is off school for 6 weeks.  I’ve had my two boys with me 24/7 (almost) since I left the DWP – we have had days out, here, there and everywhere…

Gning has been off for 2 full weeks so far (we’re just in to week 3), and so far we have been to:

Acorn Venture Farm (Kirkby)

Gulliver’s World (Warrington)

Treetops (soft play centre in Golborne)

Heysham, Morecambe, Knotts End and Sunderland point (all one journey – Lancashire)

Martin Mere (Bursough)

Windmill Animal Farm (Burscough)

Speke Hall (Speke, Liverpool)

I don’t think the boys have done too badly so far, and there are still (almost) 4 weeks left!

I’ve started a scrapbook for them, so they can keep track of what they’ve been up to, in the summer of 2017.

So what else have I been doing?  I’ve kept on top of the front garden – mowing, raking and strimming.  The back garden is much to be desired, and I really need to get out there, but the weather has been so bad recently, it’d just be like walking in a swamp.  I’ve also scrubbed the kitchen; got on top of all the washing; cleaned the front room – several times; and kept on top of the bookings over at the village hall.

I’ve got lots of other plans, but I need a bit of a rest first of all.  These past 4 weeks that I’ve been off work have been a bit of a whirlwind…  The first 2 weeks, I practically did nothing.  My brain was set to “holiday” mode, lol.

Here’s me, Gning and Donut – I took the selfie yesterday…  I think being a full-time SAHM suits me…

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It’s another Blogiversary!

Today celebrates my 6th year of my Insanely Normal blog.

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It’s been fun, although a little slack, and I know that I have said it time and time again, but that can now change…  I have a lot more time to be able to publish, and I have all sorts of ideas!

So, without further ado, let’s revisit my top three posts…

At number 3…

This post has somewhat amused me since I published it in 2014.  It was a review (a negative one at that!  And badly wrote, haha) about a local franchised café.  I can remember visiting the place – it was bloody awful, and I imagine nothing has changed, because I’m still receiving messages agreeing with my post!  You can read about the Pound Café in Huyton here.

At number 2…

2015 seems to have been the year that brought in most of my subscribers (hello stalkers!), and top of the shot (again), was my Christmas Ham post!  My second most popular post in 2015 was for my slow cooker sausage casserole…  With just under 10,000 reads throughout the year, it definitely got the attention it deserved, ha ha.  You can try the slow cooker sausage casserole recipe here.

Drum roll please, because at number 1…

Every Christmas, I make a ham.  It’s by far the best thing I have ever made, and you all seem to agree, as the amount of views that post has received is amazing!  I first published the post in 2012, and it seems to be a recipe that is used right throughout the year, as it’s always my most read…  My “best” stats for this recipe was on 1 December, 2016, when I had a little over 4,000 views – just on that day!  You can read my Christmas Ham here.


So, it seems that my stalkers like recipes and negative reviews!  Ha ha.  Yes, those were my top three posts in the past six years, and other posts in my top ten include more recipes, a holiday post, and how parenthood drives me crazy.

So, here’s to more exciting times – more recipes, more random stuff, and I may even through in a mini-comp somewhere…

Live Video Stream NOW!!

Last week I published a post, to say that my husband is taking part in a 24hr live gaming challenge, raising money for Macmillan.  He’s now a little over 8 hours in to the session, and is still streaming LIVE!!

You can view his live stream HERE.  You do not need to register to watch, but you will need to register / log in to chat!

He’s been broadcasting from midnight, and will continue live streaming until midnight tonight…

The Just Giving page for donations is HERE.  Please consider making a donation to this great charity.  Even if you can only give a pound / dollar – it all goes a long way.

Thank you.

24 hour gaming session

So my darling hubby has decided to take one of his passions to the extreme, and in doing so, he’s helping a fantastic charity.

Macmillan know how a cancer diagnosis can affect everything. So they’re there to support you and help you take back some control in your life. From help with money worries and advice about work, to someone who’ll listen if you just want to talk, they’re there.

No one should face cancer alone. So when you need someone to turn to, Macmillan are there. Right from the moment you’re diagnosed, through your treatment and beyond, we’re a constant source of support, giving you the energy and inspiration to help you take back control of your life, and feel more like yourself again.

My hubby has decided to take part in a 24 hour online gaming marathon, and will be “live streaming” the session via the xbox one app, “Beam”.  The session will start at midnight on 2nd going in to the 3rd of June, and will end at 23:59 on 3rd June.

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Snipped taken from the donation page – Just Giving

So this is a post asking for donations.  Not for me – not for my hubby – but straight to this wonderful charity, so they can continue with their excellent work.

Even if you can only donate a pound, as the saying goes – “every penny helps”.

Please click here to make a donation.

Thank you.