A to Z of me

A to Z of me

Ages ago now I was tagged by Kaiden Laverty to take part in an A to Z of all the things you don’t know about me. I can talk about Monkey for hours but I’m not so good at talking about me which is why it’s taken me forever to write this post. Anyway it’s done now so here goes.

Allergies

I don’t have any allergies and if I’m honest I never used to believe in them but now they’re a big part of my life. Monkey has multiple allergies and whilst she’s not as poorly as when she was a tiny baby they do have a huge impact. These days I spend a lot of time trying to raise funds and awareness for Allergy UK who helped our family so much.

Betty’s

Betty’s is my absolute favourite place to eat. I love afternoon tea even though I don’t actually drink tea and everyone knows this is the best place for it.

Christian

You’re probably more likely to know this from reading my blog than meeting me in real life but I’m a Christian. My faith is very important to me and something that I have been working on being more open about.

Diet Coke

I’m addicted to the stuff! There’s not really much else to say.

Excitable

I can get far too giddy far too quickly. I guess some people might find it annoying but at least I’m having fun.

Football

I’m a huge football fan. I was brought up watching Manchester United and was lucky enough to have a season ticket when they were winning everything in the 90s. I’ve not been back to Old Trafford since the Glazer takeover in 2005 though and these days watch FC United of Manchester instead. I don’t get to many games since Monkey came along but I do still love my football.

Genealogy

It’s been a while since I did any work on it but I love researching my family tree. I find it so interesting to see how my relatives lived in the past. Although discovering that one of my relatives was a servant in the home of my husband’s relatives was a low point!

Happy Hardcore

Yes, I know I should have grown out of it by now but I still love it. I was a proper raver in my younger days and whilst there is no way I’d manage an all nighter anymore I still love the music. So many good memories and it’s still great for dancing round the kitchen to.

Internet

I spend far too much time messing about on the internet. Hardly any of it is actually productive.

Janet

That’s my name!

Katy Day Designs

I’m lucky enough to be a brand rep for Katy Day Designs.  She makes the most gorgeous jewellery. I’ll be telling you all about my bible verse bracelet in the next few days but you really should check out her website.

Little Mr and Miss Apparel

Monkey is a brand rep for Little Mr and Miss Apparel. Chances are if you’ve ever admired one of her outfits it will be from there. We both love their clothes and Monkey is such a little poser she loves doing pictures for them.

Manchester

Not only is it the world’s finest city, it’s home!

Nandos

We are at Nandos quite a lot pre-Monkey. It’s a good job we like it because it is definitely one of the best places to eat out with allergies. Their allergy file is amazing – so clear and readily available unlike a lot of places. They’re really good about cross contamination too and basically can’t do enough to help.

Only child

I’m an only child and the likelihood is that Monkey will be an only child too. This does NOT mean either of us are spoilt. It’s just the way things work out sometimes.

Penpalling

Penpalling is probably my main hobby and one that people who don’t write letters seem to be fascinated by. I’ve had penpals for 30 years now (that makes me sound ancient – I was very young when I started) and find writing letters a really good way to relax. I’m not sure exactly how many pals I have at the moment but it’s a lot. I write and receive letters most days.

Quirky

I’m not particularly! But I’m not a queen either and they were the only Q words I could think of.

Running

I’m not a natural runner. I don’t particularly enjoyed it. But I will be running a half marathon in September. I’m doing the Great North Run in September and Monkey is doing the mini run to raise money for Allergy UK. You can sponsor us here

Short

I’m only five foot tall. I used to hate being so short but it doesn’t bother me too much anymore.

Toddler book club

I love to see kids with books and I run a book club for kids up age four in my local area. We read a story and then do activities based on the story. We usually make a lot of mess and we always have a lot of fun.

Unfinished projects

I am the queen of these! I’m full of big ideas that I never quite manage. My family tree cross stitch and gentleness quilt are the big two I’m determined to get finished.

Vic and his bloody van

Monkey is learning phonics at nursery. They use Jolly Phonics where each sound has an action and a song. It obviously works because Monkey is doing so well with her ‘reading’ but those songs get in your head and you just can’t get them out. Vic in his van is definitely the worst!

World Vision

sponsor a child through the charity World Vision. Regina is 7 and lives in Uganda. I love receiving her letters and updates from the charity and seeing the real difference child sponsorship can make.

Xray

I’ve had quite a few xrays but the most memorable was a chest xray. We saw it up on the light box before the doctor came to talk to us. My husband decided all that black stuff in the middle looked dodgy and needed to come out. That black stuff was my heart!

Yes

I say this far too often. I never want to turn into a selfish person only doing things for myself but sometimes I think I need to practice saying no.

Zoo

Every year on Monkey’s birthday we go to Chester Zoo. I’m looking forward to visiting again in a few weeks.

I’m tagging the following bloggers.

Anna at Squats, sass and saggy skin

Rachel at Coffee, cake, kids

Charlotte at Cups of Charlotte

Kristy at Miss Porkpie

Amanda at Delightful note

Emma at Mummy Em

Naomi at Trips with a tot

Siobhan at The baby boat diaries

Tim at Broken Thoughts

I’m looking forward to finding out more about you all.

Mummy Meditations – Faithfulness week 2

Mummy Meditations – Faithfulness week 2

It’s been a strange week with Mummy Meditations. In some ways I don’t feel that we’ve done much with the verse at all but then I’ve had some lovely conversations with Monkey where she really seems to be thinking about the verse.

This week’s verse was Psalm 86:15.

But you, Lord,are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

When I first read this verse to Monkey she asked me what some of the words meant. Compassionate and gracious we changed to kind and caring to help her understand and I explained that abounding meant having lots of. Interestingly she didn’t ask me to explain faithfulness. When I asked her if she knew what faithfulness means she replied “I remember from last week mummy. God is faithful because he will never leave me”. These last few weeks I’m really starting to see just how much Mummy Meditations is helping us both grow in faith.

As I said we’ve not done much with the verse this week but we have enjoyed singing this song together.

Mummy Meditations is a way of spending time with God whilst also raising children. You can find out more at Rache Ridler – Mum on a Mission

Postbox Peeking 10/6/17

Postbox Peeking 10/6/17

I didn’t write a postbox peeking last week, partly because I was away camping but mainly because I broke my phone so today you’re getting two weeks for the price of one. Here goes!

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Penpalling

It’s been quiet for penpal letters with only four coming in over the fortnight.

Shopping

Monkey and I went to Big Church Day out last week and camped there for the weekend. In my usual organised state I had no tent until the day before we went. It did arrive in time though and Monkey loved it. She is a born camper!

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A Disney princess umbrella also arrived this week. She can’t actually manage to hold it AND hold my hand so going out with it is a bit of a nightmare. Monkey is very chuffed with it though.

Charity

More used stamps arrived this week. I’m always really grateful when people send me their stamps as they can be used to raise funds for Allergy UK – a charity that means so much to our family.

Subscriptions

It was a toucan box week this week. Monkey has a lovely Indian elephant to make. Lots of glitter so she will be happy.

Other stuff

I had lots of lovely goodies as part of the mummy meditations good gift exchange. I’ll be writing about that in the week so you’ll have to wait to see what I got.

This is the first election for ages where people have actually bothered to leaflet. I’ve had loads of election mailing from all the main parties and from my union.

Monkey’s junior ISA statement arrived and confirmed that she is loads richer than her mummy.

What have you had in the post this week?

Mummy Meditations – Faithfulness week 1

Mummy Meditations – Faithfulness week 1

This week in our mummy meditations we have moved onto looking at faithfulness. I had assumed we would be looking at our faithfulness to God but you should never assume anything because we began this week by looking at God’s faithfulness to us.

Because God has said “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. – Hebrews 13:5

When I first looked at the verse it struck me what an amazing promise that was. No matter what we do, or who we are God will always be there for us. Whilst he will always try to lead us on the right path ultimately we are human and make our own choices and mistakes. God will never leave our side though, even if we are making bad choices that is his faithfulness to us.

Whenever I look at a bible verse with Monkey I try to find a song to start with, to help her think about what the verse I trying to tell us. There are loads of great worship songs for kids these days and usually I choose one of those but the more I looked at this verse the more I was reminded of one of the classics I used to sing as a child. Great is Thy Faithfulness just seemed to fit here.

I’ve talked lots with Monkey this week about people who look after her and more importantly what they do to look after her. One of the images she came up with was of me holding her hand. We talked about even though we can’t see him God is always there with her holding her hand.

I love a good handprint craft so we got the paint out to talk about this some more.The handprint represented how God holds her in his hand but each finger also represented a way in which God was faithful to her: He made her, he knows her, he loves her, he protects her and he rescues her. Pretty amazing!

We always have a lot of fun looking at our mummy meditations verse together but I’ve never been sure quite how much of what we talk about is going in. She’s pretty bright but then all mums think that about their kids and she’s still not quite three. However, she amazed me at Sunday school this morning. Completely coincidentally they were looking at the same verse. We’re only a small church so all the kids are in together and range from age one to ten. Monkey is the second youngest but when it came to this verse she proudly announced that she knew it because she’d been learning about with mummy and the church ladies from inside her phone. 

Allergy Update

Allergy Update

A few weeks ago Monkey was back at the children’s hospital for an allergy clinic appointment. It was a really positive appointment so I thought I’d do a little update about where we’re up to with her allergies

The appointment started with them doing her height and weight. She was very shy for some reason and clung to my legs. It took a lot of persuasion to get her on the scales and I’m not convinced her height was recorded correctly as she was wriggling about so much and jumping up and down.

She seemed to relax a bit when we were back in the waiting room. They have a great set up there and there is so much to do to stop the kids getting bored. As usual when we’re at the children’s hospital Monkey headed straight for the play house.

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We saw the dietitian first. Monkey’s size continues to be a worry. She is now below centiles for both height and weight. Whilst this is obviously not great they’re not panicking too much at the moment. She was small at birth and she IS growing, just very slowly! The main thing is she is in proportion. They explained it was more worrying if there was a big difference between height and weight centiles.

At the moment they’re not planning to do anything about her weight. She was on a prescription food when she was younger that was high calorie and high fat. It looked like wallpaper paste but Monkey seemed to like it. They mentioned she may need something similar short term if she ever gets any kind of sickness bug as she can’t afford to lose any weight.

When we’d finished with our dietitian we went in to see the specialist allergy nurse. Apart from her weight they were really pleased with how she was doing. Her skin and asthma seem to be much more under control since her last time in clinic and some foods have been reintroduced to her diet. Soya was no problem at all. Wheat was more difficult but we seem to have cracked it.

The plan for now is to try to reintroduce some of the lower risk allergens at home and they’re going to book her in for hospital food challenges to the things she had the worst reactions to.

We’ve already sucessfully introduced pears since the appointment. Monkey is absolutely loving them! Next on the list is sesame.

Overall it was a really positive appointment. At our last allergy clinic I was all in a panic about applying for schools, thinking I’d be sending her off with loads of allergies and they wouldn’t be able to keep her safe. Now we have significantly reduced the number of allergies. I don’t think she’ll be allergy free by the time she starts school but it’ll certainly be more managable. And I’m hopeful that one day, maybe, she will be allergy free!

Mummy’s confession – Living Arrows

Mummy’s confession – Living Arrows

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth – Kahlil Gibran

Living Arrows is all about celebrating childhood by sharing a picture from the previous week. This week I wanted to share this picture of Monkey on a ride in a local shopping centre.

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I love this picture because she looks so happy even if she does look scarily grown up. But I have a confession – the ride isn’t moving!

The very first time Monkey asked to go on a ride I had no change. She was only 1 so I just sat her on it and let her explore. She loved it and this seems to have become our pattern. She’s three next month and I don’t think she even realises they do move. She’s certainly never asked me to put any money in.

Part of me thinks I should tell her but then part of me thinks does she need to know? Even taking away the cost factor I’m not sure. I love watching her play on the rides. She does a little commentary of what she’s doing and she has such a vivid imagination. Does she really need some electronic voice making the story up for her? At the moment I don’t think she does.

Living Arrows
Mummy Meditations – Goodness week 4

Mummy Meditations – Goodness week 4

It’s been a bit of a different week for me with Mummy Meditations this week. Normally I try to get Monkey really involved in the verse. We get messy, paint, cut, stick, build and experiment to help her understand the bible. We sing and we dance and we make lots of noise praising our God.

This week wasn’t like that.

The awful events of Monday night have made me just want a quiet week. The fact that it is so close to home means my journey to and from work has been affected so even if I wanted to get messy, I had a lot less time to do so.

I almost didn’t write a post this week but then I realised just because we’ve not done lots of activities and got insta worthy photos doesn’t mean we’ve not done Mummy Meditations. In fact, if I look at Rachel’s aims when setting up Mummy Meditations this week is exactly what it’s all about – not letting being a busy mum stop you spending time with God AND not feeling guilty about fitting that time in where you can.

So have I spent more time with God than I would have without Mummy Meditations?  Yes!

Have I needed that time this week? Absolutely!

A good man brings good out of the good stored up in him and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him – Matthew 12:35

On Tuesday when I looked again at the verse for this week it said so much to me about what was happening in Manchester. Good v evil seemed to fit so well and looking at what has been happening in town since the bomb evil will never win.

People I know have asked me since Monday where is God in all this? Spending just five minutes in Manchester City Centre will give you your answer. You can see God at work in the amazing people that are there helping. People of all races and religions coming together to help, standing up strong and saying “We’re Manchester, we’re strong and hate is not welcome here”

So many people have good stored up in them and to me it starts with that most important commandment – Love.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. – John 13:34-35

The love that people have for each other and their city has been stored up in the good people of Manchester allowing them to do not just good things but amazing things this week.

I’m thankful that Monkey is still too young to understand. I don’t know how I would explain to her without terrifying her. She knows something sad has happened though. We did the minutes silence together and at nursery the children dressed as Manchester bees and released pink balloons which was beautiful.

At home we have talked lots about what makes a person good. We talked about the people who help us and used bubbles to help us pray for them. As Monkey popped bubbles she said the name of people or groups she wanted to pray for – nurses, teachers, doctors, her friends and family.

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We always try to find a song to sing together and to finish off our month on goodness we went for this one.