Thursday, 16 February 2012

A fantastic valentines day.

A heart and a chocolate waiting for me on my pillow when I went to bed, bless.

I finally took my son out on my own on Feb the 14th, a truly lovely way to celebrate Valentines Day, yes that sounds odd I know, I know my husband loves me, I love him, we show that every day in little ways or big, he will buy me a box of chocolates out of the blue, I will cook a cake for him etc. However, to be able to take out the best thing my husband or any one has ever given me in life, my son, on my own was just so lovely I can not put it into words.
Maxi Cosi Axiss,whole seat swivels to face the car door entrance. Available every where,I got mine from  Precious Little Ones.

So off we trotted, first I put him in my super light buggy from Babies R Us (A calypso stroller), wheeled him to the car, got him in his Maxi Axiss all by myself, folded the stroller up and off we went. First stop was the library. I was shaking like a leaf when we parked up,I was so nervous of getting him out of the car and into his buggy with literally no one who knew me any where around, however I unfolded buggy, managed to get him out of the car seat and all was well.

The drawback of the Callypso, it is the only drawback, is that the wheels do not swivel. The easy fold and unfold system of kicking a bar up and down, the light weight ness of it is fantastic. However, by the end of the library visit, I was in agony as I was struggling to lift the buggy with him in it onto the back wheels to keep turning the stroller around corners. So I went to Mothercare to get a new stroller.

Mothercare was useless, a really poor selection of buggies were on display, their lightest weight ones had a ridiculous safety button to press in before you could kick the bar down to unfold or fold the buggy, it was lightweight but no good as my hands could not manage to push the safety button. No staff came to me to help me look at buggies but I could see that most of those on display were big, heavy and lots of buttons to push, levers to pull gadgets to fold up the buggy that my hands couldn't work.

So I went to Argos, I never go to Argos but gosh am I so glad I did and purely because of one excellent sales assistant called Laura S at St Oswalds park in Gloucester. I sighted two potential strollers from the catalogue in store, I explained to her I had arthritis and asked if I could just have a look at them. She was so helpful. Smiley, happy to help, happily undid all the ridiculous packaging each had on them. She showed me how to unfold,then I had a go. She was just so upbeat, just made the looking at both models a joy rather than how some sales people make you feel, like you are a real nuisance or in most cases they completely hide from you, she happily came out with me to the car to help me put the new buggy in, we were smiling at ridiculous complicated buggy designs today etc.

Babystart Pushchair with canopy,swivel wheels,available in pink or black-from Argos-£29.99
 I happily brought one of these brilliant buggies, a "Baby Start" model, there are two from Argos,both as light as the Calypso,easy step on a bar at back to fold buggy out and kick it up to fold it up again system, I went for the £29.99 Baby Start buggy as I felt although it was almost identical to the cheaper £19.99 model it came with a sun shade, looked tougher material,also had a rain cover but above all lovely swivel wheels.
BabyStart Basic pushchair-Argos- no canopy still swivel wheels, £19.99
I brought the buggy ,not just because it had every thing but also because the sales person was a real gem. I have been to John Lewis at Cribbs Causeway Bristol, where I usually shop, no sales person has ever come over to help me! I have been to Mothercare in Gloucester and it has been the same story there. When I see a gem I have decided to publicize it. People deserve recognition when they make a difference for the better for someone else. Laura S from Argos St Oswalds Retail Park, Gloucester is certainly a gem and a reason why I will go back to that Argos again.

I think Britain and its populous is very quick to point out what isn't good, what doesn't work, who is not getting what or who is getting what. Life is far too short to be bitter and sour, I hope I will be able to add many more gems onto my blog, from the high street or as I meet them in my daily life.

Good night x

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Safety blog.

Oh I yawn at the mention of health and safety, god I always think of a man with a clipboard in hand, yellow bob the builder hat adorned and speaking in monotone. The whole concept makes me sleep! However I have a one year old who can crawl from the middle of his big bedroom to Daddy's office in 11 seconds! It was time to face facts and start thinking safety gates,plug protectors, corner cushions etc.

Husband and I sat down a few nights ago and had a conversation over what the heck we should do about it all. We were currently taking it turns to follow our son around the house herding him away from unsafe places, objects, dog trying to snooze and so on. It was getting a tad ridiculous. So here are our tried and tested and found and hated and general confusing area of the baby safety world.

  • SPRING LOADED SAFETY GATES- simple word- Rubbish! Hard to push open because of the spring, usually have a bar going along the bottom of the gate so if you are wheelchair bound you won't get any further than the gate unless you can pick your chair up, lift it over the gate step etc. 

  •  "No trip gate",non spring loaded- great! No step at bottom of gate to go flying over, to struggle over on crutches or a barrier to wheelchairs. Non spring loaded gates work just like a garden gate. There is a lever knob to push down with one hand and push gate through with other hand. I have very arthritic age five year old sized hands, I have little grip or strength in fingers but I could work this style of gate.

  • Google your local council to see if they run a free health and safety baby home check.Gloucestershire County Council runs such a scheme. What a fantastic scheme, it basically involves a safety bod coming out to check your house over, discuss safety equipment that you can often buy from them at exceptionally good prices, they will even fit the gates and other equipment for free!!! Your health visitor will be able to give you details of your local council safety check scheme if one is available in your area. This service was especially useful for us two ,creaky parents, as their staff take your difficulties into account when recommending items to you, they have a non trip gate for you to try which is invaluable. It is difficult to find a store that displays gates.However IKEA and John Lewis do.

  • You can get easy access playpens which tend to be hexagonal  in shape.The pens come with a non spring loaded gate that swings open meaning no reaching to get your child out is required. There is a very very minute step across the bottom of the gate entrance. It may there for now be ideal for a wheelchair parent however by aged one your child probably would happily just crawl over the small step over if you hold the gate open for him hopefully meaning you can then grab your child once through the entrance of the pen. 
Safe and Secure Metal Playpen
Safe and secure metal playpen from

BabyDan baby Den White
BabyDan Baby Den -my favorite pen as for me it has the easiest latch to open. Available from all baby high street/online shops.

  • Plug protectors -have to be brought and all of them are tricky in all honesty. The common ones are the two below. The "Clippasafe socket cover" was the easiest for me to use, the other type readily available are flat plastic circles that plug into the empty plug socket. I found the round plastic disks difficult with poor dexterity and strength in my fingers. Neither are ideal for arthritic parents or those with weakness in hands but  they are an absolute must have for your childs safety so you will have to choose between the lesser of two evils.
Clippasafe Electrical Plug Socket Protector
Clippasafe electrical socket protector, has two buttons either side which you gently push and raise lid up,
available from
Common plug protectors on market. 

Finally we actually don't have the BabyDan playpen but it is basically the Baby Dan configure gate in hexagon shape, same easy mechanism. We have gone for creating a safe corner on one side of our chimmney breast in our lounge as we felt frankly with an open log fire, flat screen tv, wii, digi box, dog etc there was far too much to safety proof and would end up proofing against my husband and I! So we took a BabyDan configure gate and did the following, it works so well, my son can play, see the television, every thing is protected from his little hands.

Our BabyDan configure gate  set  up,works so well!

Space for our son to move and play. 

Easy pull up latch, very light pulling on the latch bar required to open gate. 

Very tiny little lip across the entrance.

We have completely safety proofed our sons whole bedroom which is a large room. His door entrance has been kitted out with a non trip door gate from the Health and Safety scheme with Gloucester City Council, we have corner protectors which are no problem to pop on corners of drawers,these are available on the high street,we have put flat plug protectors in every plug in his room. He can explore that room entirely on his own, when he is not in his pen area in our lounge we will watch him like a hawk!

It is ridiculous to expect parents with poor dexterity to gate every where, put plug protectors in every plug, fireguard gates that are a fiddle and huge, take up a huge space if you are in a wheelchair you would need to consider that. We will have a gate on our lounge entrance to stop little man getting out and about into the kitchen or any where else down stairs.

TV flat screen straps, available from all retail shops offering baby safety items.

We won't gate every room, we will put flat screen tv belts on our tv to stop him pulling that off. These attach at the wall bracket on the back of your tv and then fix to the wall.  

Ok so I love this stage in my son, as a Psychologist I enjoy the cognition that babies display at this age, I like that he mimics what I say, I told him he was being a cheeky little monkey today, he smiled and said "cheeky". Made me feel all warm inside. I love the fact he wants to read a book more than play with a plastic toy, when I bring his pile of books into him in the morning to read with him he reaches out to the pile. However with ever developing cognition comes a desire to explore and BOY IS IT EXHAUSTING haha. 

To all those that think work is strenuous,please! Try waking at 6am and straight into action, no cups of tea to wake up, no coming around from your sleep slowly or getting dressed straight away, no sitting still until the little darling goes to bed at night where by you try to catch up with household chores, my husband tries to paint, I try to shoot off a blog,walk dog,load dishwasher, hoover,put baby toys away. Mayhem indeed but would not change it for the world and I guess who in reality, at work, has a boss that smiles, giggles with them, wants a cuddle and enjoys being with you twenty four seven!?! My husband, son and dog mean the world to me, would not change a thing about it. 

Sunday, 5 February 2012


Well today I am saying fairwell to my sons first car seat, the maxi Cosi pebble, won't be too sad as sold it and was not really ideal for a disabled parent to get son in and out of.

I have sworn at the seat many a time but saying fairwell shows my only child is growing up.

My saddest fairwell will be when my child's "Bumbo seat" sells on Preloved. This has been an essential item in my mind for any new disabled parent. The seat holds your child from four months old in a seated position with no straps to fiddle with. It is light weight so can pick up easily and take any where. It has meant I could sit my son in it knowing he was very safely held and get on with jobs. I fed him in it as was easier to use than a highchair with straps to do up etc. Ho hum big sigh and a fond farewell. I hope another parent gets some use out of it, as I say a disabled parent should buy one as a baby care essential item along with a cot and buggy.

We almost said goodbye to our cot which I won't sell on as the side of it dropped out yesterday! My sons cot base had to be lowered the day before as he sits up on his own, crawls etc and the cot couldn't cope with change. It just spat out the side! I was worried once the base was lowered as I could no longer manage to get my son out, but the cot helped me by throwing it's side off as my husband decided to gate it. As a result I can get my son out again, the whole side swings open, hinged one side and bolts top, bottom and middle other side. Works so so well! Really pleased! So no goodbye cot yet, phew.

My son is now 1 year old, he can crawl from one room to another in eleven seconds! It is manic, my husband can get my son from the floor but I can't so I currently follow him around herding him in the direction that is safe. However I love this stage because whilst exhausting, he babbles away, loves songs, laughs lots and is developing little boy mischief, diving under a duvet and giggling when I ask "where is Christopher?".

Maxi Cosi Axiss seat came in an all far too stiff newness,the straps were impossible to adjust for both my husbands hands and mine so I had some one pull at the straps 100 times which has loosened them. We should have brought second hand, we should have learnt by now but we worried a second hand car seat would be dangerous but people sell them in great condition and not having been in a car accident etc. Still all is working now and I can manage it all but need to wait for snow to go for my son and I to try.I still say it is the only accessible car seat for nine month upwards children, all accessible except the newness of straps!

Now looking at safety gates and that is a separate blog as have to let you all know about a nationwide service where safety for baby is concerned but will blog later about this.

Night night all creaky and nimble parents x

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Chocolate orange and a big thank you.

Well now I am sat munching on my chocolate orange and in my inbox I find that I have been awarded the "Versatile Blog" award by oddparent many thanks Mette and have a big slice of this lovely chocolate orange which I am posting through my usb port as I type to get to you. Seriously thank you.

I shall be spreading the love shortly by passing it on to 15 more worthy blogs but please check out Oddparent as she is another happy lady on the pathway of parenthood showing we all do it with a smile and a joy in our hearts.

Now I need to make some kind of Oscar winning speech about me and break it into media bite size 7 things about me so here goes:

1. Love White chocolate orange, yum yum yum.

2. I have had arthritis since I was 15 months old, what isn't already a plastic joint soon will be! I swallow tables and have an injection regularly in the week which is my super fuel to help me be a little less creaky but I still make Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, when he was rusty, look like an athletic soul!

3. I love my one year old son, he really is my pride and joy. I love his big baby eyes, his normal looking legs, hands, arms, neck,back. I love his little giggle at the dog coming up to him and his funny way of clapping his hands like me, I can't clap normally but he doesn't know it isn't the normal way, as far as he is concerned I am Mummy and I must be right and so he claps like I do with gusto at "Happy and you know it".

4. I have learnt so much through being a mother, such as most baby equipment has never been designed with any thing less than 100% fit in mind but you laugh it off and adapt it, take a chain saw to it or swear at it out of your childs hearing then gulp a calming cup of tea down.

5. I have an assistant dog from Canine Partners. She is a godsend with my son, she spends so much of a day picking up toys for him, getting washing in and out of washing machine, she is a real friend of mine, gentle and thoughtful, sometimes a bit over protective and boy can she nag me sometimes when I feel down to cheer up, by licking me or tickling me with her big soft ears.

6.I love people, I guess it helps I am a Psychologist but I really have learnt little from a degree and more from having been an ill child, ill teen and ill adult, I really do understand difficulties, struggles, those who have not or are not having life easy and I have a genuine drive,desire to help and reach out to those people who don't have life from an Ideal Home magazine. Most of all I

7.Love my husband,son,mother,father,sister, brothers and friends all of whom make me laugh, make me feel loved,make me feel irritated but make me feel normal.

Really that is me. I thank you again Oddparent and shall now put forward my 15 noteworthy blogs that have gotten my attention,some have made me cry actually especially the blogs about children suffering as I share too much memories with their plight. I am going on a theme here because I really feel that there needs to be a community of help for disabled parents but equally for those parenting disabled children all in one easy to access place. I hope by raising awareness of these blogs we are all becoming informed,before I launch into some hippy 1960s get together song here are my nominations:

Award for the Most Versatile Blog goes to:

Thanks to Oddparent for being a supported to my blog. I hope I can also do the same for your blog and these others, I really think if we all look into others thoughts and feelings, hopes etc we all learn a bit and gain better consideration for others.

Keep smiling lovely parents x