Jord Wood Watches: My honest review

20 September 2016

Dear friends,

I've been looking for a new watch for ages. I have a beautiful watch that hubby bought me as a honeymoon present that I like to keep for best but when my ice watch broke I started to wear it daily. It's a beautiful watch but a bit too bling for daily use and also a bit heavy! I wanted something stylish and fashionable, yet a bit different and light enough to wear every day. I really did not want anything with a rubbery or plastic feel. 

When Ben got in touch asking if I would like to review a Jord women's watch. I jumped at the chance. I had seen Jord Wood Watches on IG and loved the unique look. I also love the ethos behind the watch design. 

TELLING MORE THAN TIME  The value of a watch is not in being able to tell how much time has passed, but in being aware of the need to make that time count. Moments are bigger than minutes and your watch should tell more than time.

 I couldn't wait to pick a cool design, perfect for me and my busy lifestyle. 

The website was super easy to navigate and had great pictures with a beautiful selection of unique women's watches.  It was unbelievably difficult to make a choice but in the end I went for the Purpleheart and mother of pearl and waited (very impatiently) for it to arrive. Jord is an American company and the watch took around two weeks to arrive.

My Jord Watch arrived in a beautiful wooden box. I couldn't wait to open it! 

Book corner: Fidgety Fish

19 September 2016

My book corner choice this month is: Fidgety Fish by Ruth Galloway

Fidgety Fish is one of my favourite picture books to read out loud. It is so much fun and your kids will love joining in. If you have an active child they will really identify with Fidgety as he is a fish who can not keep still. He wriggles and squiggles and darts and giggles through the story. Eventually his mum gets fed up and sends him out to play to release some of that energy. (I am sure many mums will identify with this story too!) Mum warns him to be careful but Tiddler swims out into the sea and his inquisitive nature soon lands him in trouble... 

Ruth Galloway has written and illustrated a series of under water tales including Smiley Shark, Tickly Octopus and Clumsy Crab. Perfect for an under water topic at school or home.

Bloggers beating cancer: When you knocked on my door....

18 September 2016

Bloody Cancer,

I'll never forget the first time you knocked on my door. Well you didn't really knock you just kicked the door right in with one mighty boot. The chill of your sudden presence stunned me into a shocked silence. It stunned us all... 

The Drs tried to force you back but you were too strong. I made promises to anyone who would listen and refused to accept that this bear of a man, this gentle giant who had always made me feel like the most special little girl in the whole world, his
C C C Catie 
could be taken away so quickly with so little warning.

I watched and waited, desperately attempting to heal with the spirit of my love, to bring peace, whilst you consumed the body of the grandpa that I adored.

The day I discovered a lump in my breast I felt the threat of your return.  The idea of you filled my thoughts and swamped me. I could sense you grasping, attempting to get a grip. Every moment took on a new significance, every cuddle, every smile, every conversation became tainted by you. The future that I wanted so much to be a part of (watching my boys grow into amazing young men) was suddenly uncertain. It terrified me. It engulfed me.

But this time it wasn't you knocking. I was the lucky one and I vowed to start looking for rainbows...

I'll never forget the night we got your call. You forced your way back into our lives, turning our world upside down, filling me with sadness and guilt at how far away I am from my family, how I am no help or support.

The initial shock turned to panic. I don't want to introduce you to my children? You are the bogeyman, a phantom, the stuff of nightmares, I don't want you in their world.  How do you answer a child who asks; Will he die?

But you don't discriminate, you don't care, young, old, male, female, Dutch or English. And now we live with you in our lives as so many people do...

I wish we could find a way to barricade that door and never let you back in.
I wish we could send you far away where you can not cause any more confusion, pain, sadness, desperation and torment.
I wish we could kick your arse!

How you can help.

Join #BloggersBeatingCancer

#BloggersBeatingCancer – join Emma & Sarah on Friday 30th September at 10.30am, for coffee and a social media thunderclap. Use the hashtag, get your friends involved, and get fundraising if you can.”

As Sarah from Mumzilla said:

We bloggers, as a collective, we could really shout. How many people could we each get to donate say £5 to charity? To Bart’s Charity and to MacMillan, for both cure and care? So we have set a date for bloggers, and the people who read our ramblings, to have a virtual coffee morning. To spend 10, 15, 30 minutes, whatever we can spare, to sit and have a drink, and to talk to our friends, either in person or online. To ask people to donate to these amazing causes, that could change lives, that could save lives.

Please support this campaign if you can!

You can donate here.

Parenting from a Special Perspective: The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum

12 September 2016

Ever wondered what it is really like to parent from a special perspective? Parent to a Special Needs Child? Where do you turn for help? What challenges do you face? What has surprised you? What have you learned? Every month I will be featuring one of my brilliant fellow SEND bloggers and sharing their reflections on raising a child with special needs.

Welcome Vicki. Vicki blogs over at The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum and is a mother to Elijah. Shortly after birth he was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, and suffered a Neo Natal Stroke (bleed on the brain). He spent 9 days in NICU and at 6 months had a full TOF repair done via open heart surgery. He is now a happy and healthy little boy.

1. When did you first realise your child has Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF).

12 hours post birth Elijah began have ‘dusky’ episodes, he went purple but would go back to normal after a few seconds. This happened a few times luckily infront of a nurse when I was still in the delivery suite. He was taken for assessment in the NICU, admitted and a heart scan confirmed the diagnosis. This was later complicated my a Neo Natal stroke.

2. How did you feel when you found out that your child has Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)

Like my world had shattered, like my stomach dropped, like they had got it wrong. How could my baby, have this? Was this my fault? Was he going to survive? Would I lose my baby or even get to take him home? I was in denial up until 6 months, when we went down to Great Ormond Street for pre admission of the surgery.

3. Where did you first turn for help?

I didn’t, I tried to confide in friends and family let them support me but I couldn’t face them. I was dealing with guilt, with resentment so much anger and I was clearly depressed. After Elijah’s surgery I went to the doctors and was put on medication, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I felt I really didn’t start overcoming this until I joined Instagram! Started connecting with other NICU/HEART/CHD families this then led to my blog.

Picture of baby Elijah in the NICU

Think before you share

7 September 2016

Dear Friends,

It's happened again this week. A post about a child with autism has gone viral. A mum posted on Facebook and that post has been reported on all over the world (well I've seen it in America the UK and Holland).

The mother of an autistic child said she was moved to tears when a visiting American Football star joined her son, who was eating alone at school.

When I read the article my heart sank... 

Firstly my heart went out to this mother, how awful that she has had to carry the burden of knowing that her son ate lunch alone, every day! But... where were the caring staff at school to support this child. Lunch times in a large space with lots of people are bound to be difficult for a child with autism. Why wasn't he being given more support?

Secondly, I am happy that Bo now has friends to eat lunch with but it makes me sad that it took one famous adult to let them see the boy for who he really is. To get them to look beyond the autism, the awkwardness, the hand flapping to really see Bo. Another case where autism awareness has not lead to acceptance.

I applaud the mother of Travis Rudolph as she has obviously raised a kind, caring, intelligent young man. He saw a boy eating alone, sat with him and talked with him. This is a heart warming story about a man showing kindness.  Thousands of careers, therapists, doctors, teachers etc working with our children show amazing kindness too but it isn't front page news! It is news because Travis is famous?

Posts like this always make me feel sad and disappointed because they appeal to the journalistic culture of pity or fear. 

I do not want to be pitied and autism is not something to fear, it is about people who deserve to be understood and valued! I will share the success of an amazing athlete Mikey Brannigan who ran the 1500m in less than 4 minutes in qualifying for the Paralympics. Oh and he also happens to have autism. Did you hear about that?

H Days: 7 months later...

6 September 2016

Dear friend,

I have been putting off writing this update... I meant to write a 5 and 6 month update and here we are at month 7. Why? What stopped me from writing this?

I was confused, scared, angry...

In my 4 month update I mentioned that I had seen my GP as I had been experiencing some pain particularly around my menstruation time. This has continued. And instead of accepting it and facing it head on, I am afraid I tried to bury my head in the sand and ignore what was happening...

Stupid I know but previously I have touched on the weight of expectation I was feeling and that there appears to be a life expectancy placed on illness.

Are you still having problems?
How long ago was your surgery?

Or worse still, people don't ask and just assume you are back to normal.

I am also my own worse enemy and have lifted heavy boxes of books, moved tables and carpets and climbed ladders before I was completely ready. Just so I did not have to admit I was having problems still!

I have struggled with feelings of disappointment and depression at having gone through all of this and still having issues. Has it been worth it? What if there's something really wrong with me...

Internet research is dangerous and for a time I convinced myself that it was because of the endometriosis and there was nothing that could be done...

All without seeking a medical opinion... all because I was scared, or too busy, or unwilling to admit I wasn't better...

Things came to a head when I started to bleed and I told hubby... He made me go back to hospital.

It turns out that the enemetriosis has caused a cyst to grow in the ovary. I have been given medication to try and shrink it. The Dr is confident that this should work.

I have been taking the medication for about 3 weeks and I am starting to feel a lot better so fingers crossed it is working...

I wish I had swallowed my stupid pride and gone back sooner instead of waiting it out. 

But we can not look back in regret we must move on in hope...

I hope this is my solution... I hope at my check-up I can report that I am fighting fit. I hope I can finally put all this behind me. I hope my H days are well and truly over!

Read more of my Hysterectomy diary...

Photography @My_Dutch_Angle

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