Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Day 2 - Living Below The Line!

Today is day two of living off £1 per day; just 3 days to go! Yesterday made me realise how much I do snack on food throughout the day; as come 5pm, I was feeling very hungry. After eating dinner, I ate a few pieces of chocolate and oh my, it was heaven! Just the thought of chocolate makes me want to eat more! but I know I must keep some back for another day.

For breakfast today I had jam on toast; lunch was the same yesterday and dinner was rice with curry sauce and a handful of frozen veg. I was dreading eating the curry as I am quite a snob when it comes to curry, but I have to say it tasted soooo good; although i'm not sure if that was because I was so hungry! I have had a headache for most of the day so I must remember to increase my fluid intake. Today's food bill came in at a whopping 64p, with my little bit of chocolate and a few biscuits.

A little bit of luxury! 

I am putting my self through this for a great cause; if you are in a position to do so, I would be really grateful if you could sponsor me; every little really does make a difference, I am so near my target!


Monday, 29 April 2013

I Must Be Mad - Live Below The Line

You may recall some time ago that I mentioned in a previous post that I was hoping to take part in a campaign called "Live Below the Line"; its basically a campaign to raise awareness of poverty and highlight how people in some countries are living on less than £1 per day for food.

I am taking part by attempting to live off £1 per day for 5 whole days! I have no idea how I am actually going to cope; what makes it even more challenging is that I am breastfeeding Lottie and I am a size 6, so I really cannot afford to lose any weight!

I went off to our cheapest local supermarket, armed with a list of basics that I knew I would need and a calculator.

I have a sweet tooth so I knew that the very first thing I had to buy was a bar of chocolate at 30p.

Here is what I bought:

I was actually quite surprised at how much food I could get for £5! What do you think could you live off this for 5 days?

I took part in a interview with BBC Radio Leicester this morning to raise awareness; you can listen here 
My part starts at 23 minutes and 40 seconds into the show.

For breakfast this morning I ate toast without any butter, I love butter so to go without was awful.

For lunch I had some soup with bread followed by a banana. I still can't believe the soup was 5p! It actually tasted good too!

For dinner it was pasta with half a can of tomatoes and some veg! I was so looking forward to dinner. I have not opened the biscuits or chocolate yet! I am saving them for nearer the end of the week when I will really need them!

I appreaciate that times are tough, but if you would like to sponsor me, please use the following link; every penny really does count - https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/kimberleytyler

Saturday, 27 April 2013

10 Things My Girls Have Taught Me!

Here are ten things that I have learnt since becoming a parent:

Ruby and Lottie

  1. To live on a budget and that every spare penny I have, I want to spend it on them.

  2. That there is no such thing as a lie-in anymore and that 5 o'clock in the morning actually exists!

  3. To laugh more than I ever thought possible.

  4. To cry a lot too!

  5. To greater appreciate my own parents for what they did for me.

  6. That life passes by way too quickly and we should treasure every minute together.

  7. That I have an inbuilt maternal instinct.

  8. To appreciate the smaller things in life, like cuddling and kissing my girls.

  9. That being a mummy is a really hard job, but so very rewarding too.

  10. But most of all I have learnt what Unconditional Love is. 

Friday, 26 April 2013

The Feel Good Factor!

From an early age I have enjoyed helping people and seeing them achieve something they didn't think was possible or helped to boost their confidence. I've worked as a volunteer for a number of charities over the years and each and every one holds a lot of fantastic and special memories. I would highly recommend giving some of your time to a voluntary organisation or charity, its amazing how good it makes you feel and you will also be doing a lot of good for the organisation too!

Recently I have spent a number of years supporting women and young girls who have been victims of rape and sexual assault. I've helped to support women over the phone, email or face to face. I have found this to be challenging at times but its so good to see someone fly the nest so to speak, feeling stronger than what they did before having support. I particularly enjoyed worked on a one to one basis with people, building a rapport and learning about the person, which enabled me to best help their needs.

Pregnancy Sickness Support

Moving forward I now have a new charity that I am absolutely thrilled to be involved in; this charity is very dear to my own heart, as when some people around me were no where to be seen, pregnancy sickness support rallied around me and gave me all the support, information and help I needed to combat the awful sickness that I suffered terribly with whilst pregnant with both children. Hyperemesis Gravidrum is now a lot more in the public domain after Kate Middleton was admitted to hospital with it. 

The main aims of pregnancy sickness support is to help those experiencing Nausea & Vomiting in Pregnancy and Hyperemesis Gravidarum by:-
  • The development of a help line to give information and support.
  • The production of leaflets to explain about pregnancy sickness with helpful information for sufferers and carers.
  • Offering information about treatments available for Pregnancy Sickness and Hyperemesis Gravidarum
  • Providing resources & information to inform and educate doctors and health care professionals about the condition.
  • Raising awareness of Pregnancy Sickness and Hyperemesis Gravidarum amongst the general public through articles and information.
  • Encouraging further research into the condition, it's impact and its treatments.

I am looking forward to working with Pregnancy Sickness Support and helping to make a difference to all the people I meet with.Over the coming months I hope to distribute leaflets to as many GP practices as I can; if anyone is willing to help or has any fundraising ideas for this worthy charity, please let me know. If you yourself or you know of someone who is currently suffering please feel free to either get in touch with me or visit http://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk for further information.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Bugs Bugs and More Bugs!

As both girls were at home today, I decided to have a theme for today's play. I was thinking about this last night but wasn't sure what to do; then all of a sudden click, I had an idea! I remembered that I had set a jelly with some worm sweets in it a couple of days ago, but we had not got round to eat it; so I decided to go for a bug theme!

The playroom was in a bit of a mess and I wanted to give it a quick tidy, so I decided to put on "A Bugs Life" to keep the girls occupied whilst I cleaned. For anyone who has not seen bugs life its a Disney movie about:
"Journey with one ant as he searches for warriors to help battle bullying grasshoppers who threaten his home. When he stumbles on a bumbling troupe of circus bugs, the only hope for victory is the bond of friendship and the power of imagination." Source: Disney
This film linked in really well with what I had planned for the rest of the day. After lunch the sun came out so we went out for a walk on the hunt for some bugs. We found some ladybirds, ants, spiders, bees and wasps! I explained to Ruby that bugs needed homes to live in and she told me don't be silly mummy, bugs don't live in real houses they live in trees and soil; on the way back we collected some nice leaves and twigs that we will use another day to make something.

Bug Hunting!

We had a lovely hot chocolate with all the trimmings as despite the sun being out, it was still really cold. We then read "What the Ladybird Heard" by Julia Donaldson, this story is about:
"Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan: they’ll sneak past all the animals and steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But they forget all about the tiniest, quietest creature on the farm—the ladybug. She has a plan of her own." Source: J Donaldson

For the rest of the afternoon we focused on ladybirds and Lottie and Ruby moved around on our ladbybird skipper. We had collected some large stones whilst walking around earlier and I asked Ruby if she would like to make ladybirds; we painted the stones and used googley eyes to make our very own ladybirds.

Ruby and I read Lottie the story of the "Incy Wincey Spider"

Before hubbie returned home from work, the girls had just finished eating their dinner and it was now time for messy play pudding! I placed the jelly in the middle of the Tuff Tray and just allowed the girls to play and eat it however they wanted!

I think its safe to say they had a very enjoyable time!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Liebster Award!

When I started blogging I never set out to win any awards, my purpose for my blog has and always will be to keep a journal for my girls so that they and I can reflect on our play and experiences in years to come, and also maybe to even show to my grandchildren! I really hope that this blog inspires others to give it a go and maybe help others too.

The Liebster award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. 
What is a Liebster? The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. I feel so overwhelmed that someone would use these words above to describe my blog. I feel so incredibly honored.

I would like to say a big thank you to Louise for nominating me, you can view her blog here - http://www.thegrumpasaursblog.com/

The aim of the Liebster award is to promote smaller blogs and also an opportunity for me to share some more information about the girls and I, so here are 11 facts about us:

1 - We all share the same colour birth stone, Red. Ruby for the girls and garnet for me

2 - My favourite colour is pink

3 - I don't eat fish

4 - I love shoes but can hardly get any to fit my narrow feet so Ruby makes up for me and has lots of pairs!

5 - I love flowers

6 - I am scared of flying

7 - Ruby's favourite food is jam on toast

8 - Lottie loves messy play

9 - I am a size 6 for trousers

10 - I love dark chocolate

11 - Ruby has brown eyes and Lottie has blue.

I was set the following questions by Louise

1. What shoes did you wear today?

     Green flat shoes

2. Who is the first person you spoke to today?

     Lottie to tell her to go back to sleep at 1am!

3. What's your favorite film?

     Legally blonde

4. If you were stranded on a desert Island what 3 things would you take with you?

     It would have to be Ruby, Lottie and Phil

5. McDonalds or Burger King?

     Burger King

6. When was the last time you slept past 8am?

     So long ago I have no idea!

7. Where do you want to be and who with in ten years from now?

     I hope to be a fully qualified midwife and still be married to Phil

8. Do you prefer sweet or savoury food?

     Sweet food definately!

9. Twitter or Facebook?

     I a new to twitter so facebook at the moment until I master twitter!

10. Who was your first love?

     I married my first love, my hubbie

11. What's your guilty secret?

     I don't think I have one!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Messy Play Picnic and Park!

Tuesdays are one of the days that Ruby goes to play school; she headed off with her pack lunch in one hand and yesterdays hungry caterpillar picture in the other, desperate to show her friends what she had made. Today was a day for Lottie and I; I decided it would be a good idea to hit the shops as we needed a couple of fresh food bits and it is much easier to look around the shops without Ruby, as Ruby now knows exactly what she likes and what she doesn't!

Happy to be out shopping!

After dropping Ruby off at playschool we headed straight of after to a local small shopping centre, there are only about 8 shops here, but it is my favorite place to shop because it contains a really good sized T.K.Maxx. For anyone who has not been in one before, I strongly suggest you go, I love it! My mothers day present actually came from there; its a handbag with the union jack on it, its really bright, colourful and unusual.

I really like browsing the unusual things that not many people have, and enjoy decorating our home with interesting bits and pieces; T.K.Maxx is always reasonably priced when it comes to these sorts of things. In a way I am really glad that I didn't have Ruby with me as she would have wanted to buy almost  everything in the store today; I even joked to the cashier about it, to which she replied shes "a typical girl then"! 

I stocked up on a couple of presents for Ruby's birthday and got her a Disney princesses bag and hair bobbles. Were hoping that sometime next year we can take the girls to Disney Land in Paris, but as always its down to whether we can save enough money as we are already on a tight budget with just one income.

Ruby's Birthday Presents

Lottie and I then went to the supermarket to pick up a few bits and brought a couple of food items to use for our creative messy play! Never in a million years did I think I would be doing this with the girls, but they are both loving it and I must admit I am too! 

I decided to do a picnic lunch for Lottie after seeing how well she did yesterday with baby led weaning. She again ate everything I put in front of her; I think she even eats more than Ruby!

Lottie eating her lunch

Then came pudding! I had set a strawberry mousse and put jelly teddy bears in; I was a little, well actually a lot worried about this, but we took the plunge and I allowed her to play however she wanted with it!

I think the following pictures just say it all really!

She certainly needed her bath afterwards!

It was then time to pick Ruby up from playschool and as the sun was still shinning, we went to the park. Ruby was not feeling very confident and kept saying she couldn't do things and was no good, so never one to miss out on a bit of play, I decided to get involved to; as soon as I had shown her what to do, she copied and felt much more confident.

After lots and lots of play it was time to head home for dinner!

Monday, 22 April 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

Today I have a lot to celebrate, it marks 4 weeks of blogging and the creation of Ruby plus Lottie; where has the time gone? I have learnt so much in 4 short weeks; I have relaxed more as a parent and at times stepped out of my comfort zone so that my girls can enjoy different forms of play. 4 weeks a go we would not be doing any form of messy play, but now were doing it most days! As soon as Ruby woke up, she came into my bed and asked if we could go in the tray! I asked her what she liked best and she listed off everything we had done; it must be a big hit with her.

After breakfast Ruby was still very keen to get into the "tray" as she calls it. I asked her if she would like to do some painting; without any hesitation, ruby started to jump up and down with excitement. Today I decided that we would use our hands and feet to paint with. As I was getting everything ready, Ruby asked me if she could go in the tray, but before I had even finished my sentence, Ruby was wearing very little! Ruby has never painted her feet before and found the experience very exciting, she kept laughing as the paint tickled her feet; Ruby even helped to paint Lottie's feet so that we have a record of her footprints too.

Ruby and Lottie's Prints

We decided to try and be a little bit more creative with our hand prints and had a go at making the very hungry caterpillar; I think it turned out really well, what do you think?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

After a busy morning of painting, we sat down for a little rest and read the story of the very hungry caterpillar.

At lunchtime I gave the girls exactly the same lunch as one another, I have never tried baby led weaning but today I decided to give it a go.... and Lottie munched her way through everything! Lunch consisted of a ham sandwiches, slices of cucumber and carrot, a tomato and a few crisps. I tried to allow her to feed herself yogurt, but it was too messy for my liking, as she just put her hands all in it!

This afternoon we decided to head outside; as the weather was being kind to us we went to our local park. whilst we were there, four other children turned up with their mum's, this is a rarity and never normally happens; it was lovely to have some adult company whilst watching our children play, as being a stay at home mummy doesn't often bring adult conversation.

Whilst walking back from the park we noticed that the Library was open, so we decided to hunt out some new books for Ruby to have read to her as a bedtime story. Here is what we picked ....

I always struggle to find time to read a book, as my evenings are spent either crashing out in front of the TV, cleaning, or on some rare occasions knitting or sewing! A book really jumped out at me whilst looking around the Library, one that I remember from when I was younger; it was one of the famous five books by Enid Blyton. I decided to take it home to rekindle the memories I once had reading it! So what do you remember reading when you were younger or what are your children's favorite books?

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Saying Hello and Goodbye!

Today has been a fairly hectic Saturday with more than just the usual ballet and swimming lessons for the girls. After dropping Ruby off for her swimming lesson, I rushed off to the train station to pick up one of my mummy friends, Kylie (notevena.blogspot.co.uk).

Kylie and I have only met in the flesh a handful of times, but every time we meet I feel like I have known her years; although we do not meet in person often, we have been chatting online for over 5 years and have shared a lot together. We both joined an online forum just before our weddings in 2008, to get ideas and inspiration. After we were both married and whilst still participating in the forum, we both fell pregnant at a similar time and shared our journeys to motherhood.

It was fantastic meeting up with Kylie today, we had a lovely time chatting about anything and everything and Kylie got to finally meet Lottie who is her God-daughter.

Kylie was in Leicester to speak at my local cathedral as part of a service held in association with Saying Goodbye UK, an organisation that provides support to those who have lost a baby; I was privileged to be able to attended the service with her.

Saying Goodbye

"The loss of a baby is a devestating and traumatic experiences for the mother and father, and of course for the extended family. Before 24 weeks gestation there is often no funeral service held, no tribute to commerotate a life unlived. for babies lost after this time, services are normally conducted while the parents are in the depths of grief"
Source: Saying Goodbye UK.

The saying goodbye events are the first national set of commemorative services for people who have lost a baby at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in infancy. The services are for people of any faith or no faith at all, and are for anyone who has lost a baby, whether the loss was yesterday or 80 years go.

The service was very emotional and informative; I don't think there was a dry eye in the house when the cannon, who was taking the service, spoke about how his own personal experience and how he had a newborn son who was in neonatal intensive care and ultimately passed away. It was a very heartfelt and rare emotional talk that really pulled at my heart strings.

I really liked the following thought provoking poem that was read at the service:

In Memory of Zackery Wasik -By Jennifer Wasik

I thought of you and closed my eyes 
And prayed to God today, 
I asked, "What makes a Mother?" 
And I know I heard him say: 
A Mother has a baby, This we know is true 
But, God, can you be a mother 
When your baby's not with you? 

Yes, you can, he replied 
With confidence in his voice, 
I give many women babies, 
When they leave it is not their choice. 
Some I send for a lifetime, 
And others for the day, 
And some I send to feel your womb, 

But there's no need to stay. 
I just don't understand this God, 
I want my baby here. 
He took a breath, 
And cleared his throat, 
And then I saw a tear. 
I wish I could show you, 
What your child is doing Here... 

If you could see your child smile 
With other children and say, 
"We go to earth to learn our lessons 
Of love and life and fear, 
But my mommy loved me so much 
I got to come straight here!"

I feel so lucky to have a Mom who had so much love for me, 
I learned my lessons very quickly, 
My Mommy set me free. 
I miss my Mommy oh so much 
But I visit her each day. 
When she goes to sleep,

On her pillow is where I lay. 
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek, 
And whisper in her ear, 
"Mommy, Please don't be sad today, 
I'm your baby and I am here"

So you see my dear sweet one, 
Your children are okay. 
Your babies are here in my home, 
And this is where they'll stay. 
They'll wait for you with Me, 
Until your lessons there are through, 
And on the day that you come home, 
They'll be at the gates waiting for you 

So now you see What makes a Mother, 
It's the feeling in your heart, 
It's the love you had so much of 
Right from the very start.

If you have lost a baby or child however long ago it may have been, support and advice can be found here: www.sayinggoodbye.org.