Monday, 31 October 2011

Butlins, Skegness–Sunday

Related Posts: Friday ~ Saturday ~ Monday ~ Tuesday ~ Wednesday ~ Thursday


We all made our way to the Skyline pavilion where KayCee & Ella had their faces painted. It cost £3.99 each and was worth the money. The girls looked lovely when they were done.







It didn’t last very long however because we didn’t really think things through properly; after the face paints, we went straight to a candy floss machine. It cost £1 and you watched through the glass while the machine made the candy floss then opened up the glass to get your candy floss on a stick.
Ant, Aiden, KayCee & Ella all got one then we went outside to make our way to the arcade. It was windy, both girl’s had worn their hair down and they ended up with sticky sugar all over their faces, coats and in their hair.
Of course, I hadn’t put any wipes in my bag and the only thing I had was a dry hanky, which was about as useful as a chocolate fireguard!
After a trip to the toilets, both girls were left with only half their faces painted and it turned out to be a bit of a waste of money….we won’t be making that mistake again!
While Ant and Aiden went on some rides at the fair, KayCee and Ella spent an hour in the soft play area.
The thing I like most about Butlins is being able to say yes to most things the kids want to go on because so many things are included in the price.


Of course, they wanted to go on things that cost money and we refused on principal because we felt the price was too high or because they could go on the same thing for free later when they went to the fair. For example, Ella wanted to go on a mini carousel that cost £1 when the huge, traditional carousel was free on the fairground and they could go on as many times as they liked.

We went in the pavilion and had a Burger King for lunch. It was ok but it wasn’t a patch on McDonalds!
I had the most delicious caramel latte from Soho coffee and I think if we ever win the lottery, I’m buying one of those machines for my home so I can have one whenever I want!
Before going back to the apartment, the girls had their photos taken with Angelina Ballerina. They both said they enjoyed it and wanted it doing but neither of them smiled when the picture was being taken!

After lunch, the girls watched a puppet show about the 75th Butlins anniversary.



For dinner we had pizza from Papa Johns. It wasn’t too expensive and the pizza was ok but it won’t be our first choice for pizza again. The special garlic sauce looked and tasted like melted butter. In fact, Ella even said, ‘it’s butter’ when she first tasted it.
The sour cream dip was ok but the pizza sauce dip turned out to be ketchup. Now I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and allowing for the fact that they might have sent the wrong pot, however, if not and what they sent was in fact, supposed to be pizza sauce dip, I would have to say that I would not be happy to receive ketchup when I ordered pizza sauce.

All in all, we had another nice day :)

To be continued…..

Please note: None of these posts have been sponsored by Butlins. We haven’t had any payment/free gifts from Butlins and paid for our holiday/food/entertainment in full.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Butlins, Skegness – Saturday

 Related Posts: Friday ~ Sunday ~ Monday ~ Tuesday ~ Wednesday ~ Thursday

Saturday morning was set aside for a trip to Tesco. We only took enough food for Saturday morning breakfast so we had to stock up for the week. We ended up buying lots of stuff that we wouldn’t normally buy and not enough food but hey, we’re on holiday so it’s ok, right?!
We went back to the apartment to unpack and have lunch. KayCee made sandwiches for herself, Aiden and Ella. Ant and I decided not to have any because we were still full from the huge fry up I’d done for breakfast!
By this time, my back and poorly foot were causing me a lot of pain so I took painkillers and rested on the sofa while Ant took the kids to the funfair and to have a look around.
The girls went on the rides in Bob the builder’s yard and they loved being able to go on them as many times as they wanted.




They had a great time at the funfair but because I wasn’t able to go, Ant found it hard to keep all three entertained. Ella had to be accompanied on most rides so Aiden and KayCee had to wait then Ella had to wait while Aiden and KayCee went on rides.

We had southern fried chicken for dinner. We bought it at Tesco but it was a bit too spicy for the girls. They ended up scraping the coating off and just eating the chicken.
Ant washed the dishes, for which I was very appreciative. I’d mentioned a few weeks earlier that I did more when I was on holiday because we never have a dishwasher and I always have dishes to wash every day so it was lovely not to have any dishes to wash!

To be continued……….

Please note: None of these posts have been sponsored by Butlins. We haven’t had any payment/free gifts from Butlins and paid for our holiday/food/entertainment in full.

#SilentSunday

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Wonderful week at Butlins, Skegness – Friday

Related Posts: Saturday ~ Sunday ~ Monday ~ Tuesday ~ Wednesday ~ Thursday

As the title says, our half term week at Butlins, Skegness was wonderful.
We arrived some time after 4pm last Friday and went to check in. Ant does the check in while I wait in the car with the kids and unlike last year, (we went to Haven) we were only waiting a few minutes. It was excellent!

We found our apartment quite easily and were pleasantly surprised when we went inside. We were in a standard second floor apartment and expected it to be a lot smaller than what it was.
It was very clean and and had lovely, comfy, squashy sofas! Every place we’ve stayed in before, be it caravan or cottage, have always had hard, uncomfortable sofas but not this time!
There was a lake out the front and loads of ducks roamed around.

There were a few little niggles in the apartment, like the sink in the bathroom wasn't fitted properly and moved about a bit, as did one of taps on the sink but it didn’t detract from our overall experience.
In the kitchen, there were adequate utensils, pots and pans and something even more impressive, it had a tin opener that actually worked better than ours at home! (You can probably tell from this statement that tin openers are usually old and useless in holiday homes/caravans in our experience!).

We decided to have fish and chips for dinner on our first night. Ant fetched our order from Finnigan’s.
The chips were lovely but I can’t say the same for the fish. The batter was soggy and I ended up scraping it off and just eating the fish, as did Aiden.
The girls had a child’s meal with chips and fish fingers and Ant had Sausage, chips and gravy. It came to £23 and we’ve decided we’re going to a chippie on the sea front next time we want chips!

The kids all wanted to sleep in the same room on the first night so we put KayCee’s mattress on the floor in the middle of the 2 beds in one of the twin rooms and they all slept well.
Ant and I on the other hand had a terrible first nights sleep. The double bed was very hard and I was awake more than I was a sleep. I ended up trying the sofa in the middle of the night but although it’s great to sit on, it really isn’t very good to sleep on. I ended up propped up with pillows trying to ease the pain in my back.
Ant said he woke every hour because the bed was too hard and we were both shattered on Saturday.

To be continued……

Please note: None of these posts have been sponsored by Butlins. We haven’t had any payment/free gifts from Butlins and paid for our holiday/food/entertainment in full.

2nd Weigh in

If you've read my post....Okay, so it's not a tumor, you'll know that I have to lose a lot of weight to be able to have an operation to sort out a hernia.

Well we had a wonderful week at Butlins and I have some ready to publish once I've added all the photos so I'll be back with those later.
This morning though, it's all about my diet over the last week.

We had quite a few takeaways during the week but I was determined not to get out of control. For instance, when we went to Burger King, I had a child size meal instead of a super sized adult meal.
I did have a few treats during the week; the caramel coffee from Soho Coffee Co. was delicious, as were the fresh prawns and hot doughnuts but my favourite indulgence came in the form of a pear drop milkshake from the shake place in the Skyline Pavilion. Ant fetched it for me and he said they made it with real pear drops! It was the most wonderful milkshake I've ever tasted in my life! I don't even want to think about the calories it contained so I'm not going to!
I haven't been tracking my calories because we only had limited Internet and to be honest, it was lovely to leave the laptop alone for most of the week.

When I weighed myself this morning, I was very pleased to only have a 2lb gain. I was aiming to stay the same but I can cope with 2lb. I've been on holidays before where I've put on half a stone in a week so I feel pretty good about the result this week.

I'm now back to tracking and will here next week with a weight loss result!

Thanks to all who are supporting me with this :) xx

Friday, 21 October 2011

Flashback Friday Oct 21st

My last birth story and it's the one from my first born, Aiden :)

I went two weeks overdue so the hospital arranged for me to be induced on Easter Sunday.
I had to be at the hospital early Sunday morning and my friend Jo, was my birth partner. They induced me in the morning and I started getting contractions shortly after.
I was on gas and air most of the day and I have to say I love that stuff! Don't get me wrong, it didn't take the pain away but what it did do was make it so that I didn't really care about it!
To cut a long story short.....I spent all Sunday in labour but not progressing and by Monday morning I was shattered so agreed to have an epidural.
Around lunchtime on Easter Sunday, Aiden started getting distressed so they decided to do an emergency c-section because I still wasn't dilated.

I hadn't found out what I was having at my scans and was absolutely certain I was having a girl.
It was a shock when I had a boy and Jo said (even though I can't remember any of this!) I answered 'Jasmine' when they asked what I was calling him!
Jo said, 'Shell, it's not a girl, it's a boy' and I was like, 'errrm, I can't remember what name I'd picked for a boy!'.
The first one that came into my head was Aiden so that's what I blurted out! Luckily, I love the name and didn't change it when I got home and looked in the baby name book to see that I'd picked Bradley John if I had a boy.

The c-section wasn't the best thing I'd ever gone through. I was still in pain and able to move my legs so I still think that they didn't give me enough epidural. The doctor was getting stressed with me because I was crying and trying to move and the nurse kept giving me gas and air and morphine.

Jo left not long after the surgery was over because she was shattered as well. She'd been awake for a day and a half. I was a bit emotional when she left because I was scared about being left on my own but I didn't say anything to her because I felt guilty. She's since told me off numerous times for saying it was fine for her to leave when I wasn't being totally honest!

All in all, it wasn't a bad first birth experience and I've now got a wonderful, sweet, caring, kind 11 year old who I adore, as do his sisters :) most of the time when they're not arguing!


Dear So & So

Dear Head Cold,
GO AWAY.
That is all.
From her who has had her fair share of illness lately and can't take anymore.

Dear Children,
You've worked really hard at school and we're very proud of you.
I hope you enjoy our holiday to Butlins, you deserve it :)
I love you all.
From Mum (who hopes she'll be better soon so she can enjoy taking you places on holiday) xx

Dear Readers,
sorry for the short post this week.
Head is pounding, nose is running, eyes are stinging and all energy supplies have been depleted!
From her who is feeling sorry for herself....again.

Dear So and So...

Thursday, 20 October 2011

#TheGallery - Faces

The Gallery is taking a week off but seeing as I'll be on holiday next week, I wanted to get the post done now so I only have to spend a couple of minutes linking up next Wednesday.

I've found a few photos that I could use for the prompt this week but even as I was looking through all our photos, I knew the one I one I was going to use.
The reason I hesitated is because I've used this photo recently on a post but I decided it was good enough to use twice!

This is my gorgeous little girl, Ella and her cousin, Jake. There's always been a special connection between these two. I don't know why or when it started, it just always seems to have been there.
They don't get to see each other that often, with us living in Lincoln and Jake living in Derbyshire but they love getting together and going to the park or just playing in the house.

I love how the expressions on their faces mirror each other and the sheer happiness that has been captured is a moment to treasure forever.

Ella says Jake is her boyfriend and she's going to marry him when she's older! That remains to be seen but whatever the outcome of the relationship!, I hope they continue to have that special bond and be there for each other throughout their lives :)

 

1st weigh in

If you read my post last week after my trip to the doctor's....Okay, so it's not a tumor, you'll know that I have to lose a lot of weight to be able to have an operation to sort out a hernia.

I started my diet the same day I got the news about the hernia which was a week ago today.
I'm using sparkpeople to help keep track of the calories I'm eating. It's a free site and it really helps me to manage my food intake. It works out how many calories, carbs, fat and protein you should eat each day to have a healthy balanced diet.
For my height and weight, it recommends the following:

Daily calories - 1450 - 1800
Daily carbs - 191 - 276
Daily fat - 38 - 66
Daily protein - 60 - 149

Here are my results for the past week:
(results in green = hit target/results in blue = below target/results in red = over target)

Thursday 13 October:
Daily calories - 1042
Daily carbs - 119
Daily fat - 39
Daily protein - 36

Friday 14 October:
Daily calories - 1251
Daily carbs - 125
Daily fat - 15
Daily protein - 80

Saturday 15 October:
Daily calories - 1568
Daily carbs - 221
Daily fat - 44
Daily protein - 60

Sunday 16 October:
Daily calories - 1740
Daily carbs - 251
Daily fat - 65
Daily protein - 77

Monday 17 October:
Daily calories - 1348
Daily carbs - 165
Daily fat - 52
Daily protein - 59

Tuesday 18 October:
Daily calories - 1451
Daily carbs - 190
Daily fat - 19
Daily protein - 41

Wednesday 19 October:
Daily calories - 1670
Daily carbs - 193
Daily fat - 58
Daily protein - 43

My weight last week 29 stone, 7lb (413lb)
My weight this week is 28 stone, 12lb (404lb)

My loss this week is 9lb :o)

We go on holiday tomorrow so it's going to be tough keeping track of the calories (no Internet in the apartment) but I'm determined not to over eat and undo all the hard work from this past week.

I'll add my photos to this post later when Aiden's home from school because he has to take them for me!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Tuesday tea and sympathy (except it's Wednesday!)

This blog hop came at just the right time for me.....I'm totally feeling sorry for myself and for once, it's not my own fault. By this I mean it's not self inflicted, like for instance, I haven't failed with my diet this week, which is usually one of the reasons I would feel sorry for myself!

I'm feeling down because around lunchtime today, the back of my nose started to feel uncomfortable and as the hours pass, it's slowly getting worse.
This means that I'm going to get a cold and yes, I know most people think a cold isn't really that big of a deal, except that for me they are. I get really ill, they're more flu like than cold like but not only that, I knew, without a doubt, that I was going to get ill this week or next. How, I hear you ask, did she know this?
Well it's because of sod's bloomin' law, that's how I knew.

Let me take you back to around this time last year.
We went to Haven, Mablethorpe for the half term holiday. A couple of days in and I got ill. I felt awful and
Ant ended up taking the children out on his own a few times because I was too ill.

Back to this year and the kids break up from school tomorrow for the half term holiday; on Friday we're going to Butlins for the week so I knew I'd get ill just before or during our holiday and here it is, as predicted.

As I said.....sod's bloomin' law!

Talking of being ill....little Ella has just come in complaining of her head hurting, her nose is running and I think she's getting a temperature. She's now lying on the sofa, wrapped in my winter house coat, watching Beauty and the Beast.
I hope she doesn't get too ill and have her holiday ruined as well :(

I thank you for the tea and sympathy, I appreciate it. (I'm a very mardy ill person!)

If you have more tea and sympathy to spare, head on over to Here Come The Girls :)

meme2

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

68 Days to Christmas

Blimey....68 days already? (Well, nearly 67 now because I started this post this morning and haven't been able to get it finished till just now...which is bedtime for me!)
Feels like I only did my '100 days to Christmas' post a few days ago!

I haven't been doing a post every day but I have been checking the daily tips and using them to help organise our celebrations this year.
I've bought some gifts, a big tin of Cadbury's Roses and one of Mars Celebrations, some Shloer that was on a buy one get one free offer and some cheese footballs. Ant loves cheese footballs and every time I order them from Tesco or Asda in December, they've always sold out. When I saw them on offer in Tesco I snapped them up!
I got the kid's advent calendars and some Santa and snowmen serving bowls.
I'm getting excited with each new purchase!

Today, the tip is to make a start on Autumn deep cleaning.
I did this last year, splitting each section to do on a different day so I didn't feel overwhelmed.
It really helped making a list and ticking off each job when it was done.

Click to find out more about Autumn deep cleaning and to check out the daily tips, visit 101 Days to Christmas

Learning to read

Ella's in reception class and has recently started to bring reading books home. Her first ones didn't have any words and to say she wasn't impressed with this would be an understatement!
Ever since she turned four, she thinks she can do everything that KayCee can. She told her teacher she wanted words in her books so her teacher let her.
Last night, for the first time and after only 3-4 weeks of her starting to learn to read, she's learnt her letters and can now spell out the letters to help her read the words.

I was talking to Ant about her the other night after she'd 'read' her school book. KayCee had been helping her with her book earlier on in the night so I wasn't sure whether Ella was just remembering what KayCee had read or whether she had actually picked up some words.
I think she had just remembered the words but last night she was definitely reading them.
It was a book called Pips in Pots and it was made up of words that sound the way you say them when you spell them out.
She was amazing and by the end of the book I was welling up!
Both Aiden and KayCee are great readers and both picked it up quite quickly but not as quickly as Ella seems to be doing. Ant spoke to her teacher this morning and she's as impressed with Ella as we are! She said they only have to explain something to her once and she's got it.

I can't wait to see what book she brings home tonight!
I'm loving seeing my children grow and learn new things everyday. I'm so proud of them all and just wanted to remember this time in years to come so please forgive me if I'm gushing a little too much!

I'm loving this photo of Ella and her cousin, Jake. She says he's her boyfriend! I just can't get over how the both of them are looking at each other!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Britmums blogging prompt

Another week, another Britmums blogging prompt and this time we're listing our 5 favourite blogs and telling why we love them so here are my 5 :)

  1.  Cherry Menlove - I found this blog when someone mentioned her on Mumsnet. I was curious so I googled the name and found her lovely web site. It inspired me to do more crafting, cooking and also to start writing my own blog on a regular basis. Until I found Cherry's site, I'd only done a couple of posts in the last 2 years on this blog but I loved reading about her, her husband and those adorable twins and thought it would be nice to have a record of my children's lives. I look forward to every new post!
  2. One of the first blogs I came across when I started blogging, was 365 Days of Summer; some of the things Summer gets up to has me in stitches. I had to go back to the beginning and read every post from the first one. I absolutely love the photo of Summer at the top of the blog!
  3. I love the way the author of Love in the Nest writes. There's just something about her; she seems like she'd be a really good friend. I look forward to each post and I especially loved the post she did for the Britmums personal prompt. I want to go to that hotel now and spend the weekend!
  4. Who wouldn't love the hugely talented and funny, Mammasaurus! She has me laughing when she writes and when she vlogs. She also runs the brilliant 'Love new blogs' which is a great idea. I keep forgetting to get my entry in but I'm determined to get one in soon!
  5. My last choice is Grace under Pressure. Grace is her daughter and she has Aspergers Syndrome. I really like her writing style. She takes you with her on the highs and lows and it's a very interesting read, especially for someone who doesn't know much about Aspergers.
So there they are, the top 5 blogs I look forward to reading :)

Hop on over to Britmums to add your link and read all the other entries.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Listography - Top 5 keyword searches

I haven't taken part in the last couple of listography link ups because I haven't had enough to jobs to list my top 5 or for that matter, enough worst dates!

I do have enough keyword searches though so here are my 5 :)

1) and to hearing kaycee s giggle - It's from a post I did for Dear So & So,  here.
2) 97 days to christmas - Not surprisingly, it's from my 97 days to Christmas post!
3) boys scrapbooks - I googled these words but couldn't find the link to my blog so I can only assume it's from the post about the girl's scrapbooks.
4) lantana lucky sunrise - This is from one of my garden posts here.
5) 96 days to Christmas - again, not surprisingly, from this post here.

I'd love to read your top 5 so head on over to Kate takes 5 to add your link :)

Saturday is caption day Oct 15th

Sorry about the quality. It was taken using my old phone which had a terrible camera!
Anyway, all you witty people out there, what can you come up with for this photo?

Check out all the other entries by clicking the picture
Saturday Is Caption Day

Friday, 14 October 2011

Dear So & So - The looking on the bright side edition!

Dear Hernia,
didn't like hearing about you but wanted to thank you for helping me get my ass in gear and get back to dieting. Can't give up this time because it's too important so thank you again. Oh, and thanks for not being a tumor. Been a bit worried about that all week if I'm honest.
Yours, the relieved one.

Dear Plantar Fasciitis,
I'd never heard of you until my doctor uttered your name on Thursday. You're a painful little bugger and from what I've read on the Internet, you take a heck of a long time to go away.
It's hard to find a bright side when you make me hobble like an old woman every morning but I suppose if I had to find the silver lining, it would be that I need to rest my foot regularly so I'll be able to get more of my shows watched! (for the sake of this 'looking on the bright side edition' we're ignoring the fact that I need to exercise to lose weight. I have been on my feet all day and only resting it for a few minutes at a time but I'm paying the price now. It's very painful at the moment but we're 'looking on the bright side' so I'll smile!)
Yours, the one in pain but trying to ignore it.

Dear Ant,
thank you for ordering TiVo :):):) I'm super excited and can't wait till it's fitted! I love you for always doing things to make me happy, as well as other reasons, before you ask if that's the only reason I love you! :) xx
Yours...forever xxx

Dear Butlins,
we're really looking forward to visiting you for the week when the kids break up for half term. It's our first ever visit.....I do hope you don't disappoint.
Yours, the excited one :)

Flashback Friday Oct 14th

Another birth story, this time from 2005. It didn't go as smoothly as Ella's and if you're squeamish, or pregnant, or both! you may not want to read it. I remember being pregnant for the first time and worrying over every little thing I read in other people's birth stories. Just wanted to put a little warning out there before you read!

My waters broke and I went into labour naturally with KayCee in the middle of the night. This was a new experience for me as I'd been induced with Aiden.
I spent most of the day on gas and air but things didn't progress and KayCee started getting distressed. They decided to do an emergency c-section and I got whisked away to get me ready for surgery.

They seemed to be taking forever to get the epidural in but they finally did it and things seemed to happen really fast afterwards.
They were soon lifting my gorgeous little up girl up to meet me. They told me we had a girl and I just cried. I was so happy. Ant held her while they sorted me out and a while later we went to the ward.
I couldn't stop looking at her. She sucked her fingers all the time and we noticed some little blister like marks, one on each hand near the thumb. We mentioned it to the midwife and she said it was were KayCee had sucked her hands when she was inside me. They were worried that they might get infected so they put her on antibiotics.
It was a nightmare trying to get her to take the medicine until a lovely midwife on the night shift showed me how to make it easier. She squirted the medicine into a new teat (the ones they provide for the bottles of formula) and put the teat into KayCee's mouth. She sucked strait away and in a few seconds the medicine was gone. I was very impressed!

I was a little dazed and my memory isn't the greatest but I think it was a short while later when the head anaesthetist came to see me, accompanied by the anaesthetist who had done my epidural.
They came to tell me about a complication that had happened when they were trying to get my epidural in;
the needle had broken in my back and the piece that had broken off was still in there.
Nobody had told me at the time because they didn't want to distress me while they were doing the surgery.
The anaesthetist who did it looked worried, like he thought I was going to shout at him or something. Ant and I both assured him that we totally understood he wasn't at fault. There was nothing he could have done to stop it happening and his job was made harder by me being so overweight so we didn't blame him at all.

We had some visitors while we were in, one of them being Jonathan, Ant's eldest son from his first marriage. Luckily, he was in the country and came to see us; (he'd been in Australia and is now teaching English in China) it was lovely to see him because with all his travelling, we don't get to see him much.



I spent the next couple of days being x-rayed and scanned, trying to find the needle so the back surgeon could go in and get it out.
I remember being very scared when they wheeled me away from Ant and into theatre. He didn't have to look after KayCee while I was in surgery as they'd sent her to the special care baby unit so Ant could be with me.

All I remember after that, is thinking that I'd never felt pain like it in my life, ever.
Every single part of me seemed to be screaming in pain and I woke up crying. I was in the high dependency unit and if I remember right, I think I had a male nurse, who was really lovely. I can't remember what he looked like but I remember he kept trying to make me smile.
They wanted to get me changed at one point, I don't remember why but I know I had my own clothes on, pajamas I think and when they tried to move me, I told them to just cut the clothes, I didn't care about them at all. I just couldn't stand being moved.
I think I was on the HDU overnight but my memory is really sketchy!

When I could move again, I got Ant to describe the dressing on my back. He said it was a see through sticker but he couldn't see the wound because it was full of blood.
I was let home soon after with an appointment to go back to see the surgeon who had removed the needle so he could check the wound and sign me off to the care of my doctor.
I had the dressing on for a week in total and it felt horrible. I was so relieved to have it taken off!
The surgeon was pleased with the wound so signed me off and instructed me to see the nurse at my doctors.

As I sat back in the car to go home, it felt like a tap had been switched on and the water was running down my back. I got Ant to have a look and he said it looked like the wound was opening.
To cut a very long story short, the wound did come open and it took six weeks to heal. It had to be dressed daily by the nurses from my doctor's surgery. They came to my home every day for 4 weeks then I went to the surgery every day for the next 2 weeks. I shudder to think how much my treatment cost. The dressings they used cost between £25 and £40 each depending on the size. They were special dressings to collect all the fluid that was leaking from the wound all the time and sometimes it leaked that much Ant had to change the dressings more than once a day.

If I'm honest, those 6 weeks were really hard for me. I found it hard to bond with KayCee because I couldn't do things for her without someone having to help me and I kept getting depressed because I had to rely on Ant for everything.
He never once complained and hugged me when I cried and blubbered that I felt guilty because I couldn't do anything. It felt like it was never going to end.
The day the nurse said I didn't need to go anymore was one of the best days of my life! I could finally start looking after my baby properly.

Kellyann & KayCee, Ant's daughter from his first marriage. She was in the RAF at the time so we didn't get to see her much either but as you can see, they adored each other from very early on!

My dad :)

I'm left with a scar but surprisingly, it's gone quite small considering the size of the wound.
All in all, it was a stressful time but our gorgeous, smart, wonderful KayCee was worth it all :)


For more Flashback Fridays, click the picture :)

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Okay, so it's not a tumor...

that's a relief!

For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the back story....

A few weeks ago (maybe even a couple of months if I'm honest....I've been in denial for a while and no, I'm not really a poet!) I was taking a shower, as you do and I noticed that one side of my stomach was bigger and harder than the other side. I didn't think much of it, preferring to forget all about it and hoping that it would go away.

A few weeks later and it hadn't gone away. I had a prod and a poke every time I had a shower and every time I thought to myself, I should just mention this to Ant and see what he reckons but by the time I'd finished my shower, I'd put it to the back of my mind again.
However, the back of the mind can be a bit annoying. it doesn't always keep things locked away there and I started to think that maybe it could be a tumor of some sort and the longer I deny it's existence, the worse it could be getting so I finally decided to mention it to Ant last week.

He was sensible and told me to make a doctors appointment, so I did.

My doctor diagnosed a hernia and immediately I thought, 'phew, it's not a tumor; hernia's aren't so bad are they?' he quickly changed my mind on that when he said "your weight and the fact that you've had blood clots on your lungs in the past means you're too high risk for surgery. This means that you have to live with the hernia until you lose enough weight to be considered safe enough to operate on. Now, losing the weight might mean that it repairs itself and you won't need surgery, which is what we'll hope for. However, the hernia can get trapped at any time and if this happens, it will start to get painful. This can kill you. If you get any pain, see a doctor straight away".

He's a really lovely doctor and I could see he felt awful telling me I had to lose weight. He said, "I know doctors blame weight on everything and you're always being told to lose weight but this time, if we want to keep you alive, you have to lose the weight, there's no other option because I know they're not going to operate on you at this weight".

So I'm now on a new diet and fitness regime.
I've been determined to lose the weight before but I've failed a lot of times. However, I've never felt like my life was in danger before, like I did when I got the blood clots on my lungs and was told I needed to stop smoking. I didn't have another cig from that day and I'm now in the same frame of mind about my weight.

I'm usually too shy to post full length pictures of myself online and always choose ones that I feel hide how big I actually am (they probably don't but you know....denial is my friend) but I've decided that I need to face up to how I really look and I got Aiden to take these photos of me today.


I weighed myself today. I'm the heaviest I've ever been and I'm ashamed I've let it get so bad. I've only ever been totally honest with Ant about how much I actually weigh but today I'm putting it out there because I'm determined to lose this weight and it will be really good for me to write about my journey and perhaps share it with others who are struggling with their weight.

So here it is....my weight, on day one of 'Operation Hernia Be-Gone!' is 29 stone and 7lb *going red faced with shame*. It's very hard to hear it out loud but there we go, it's done and next week, when I do my first update, it won't be as high and I can start to feel better with each pound I lose :)
I'm going to post a new picture each week with my weight loss result. It will help me visualise the changes and hopefully keep me motivated.

I'm going to use Sparkpeople to help me keep track of the calories and fat I eat. I've used it in the past and there are some great tools on there to help you get fitter.

I really will appreciate any support I get so please feel free to leave a comment.
Thanks for reading and wish me luck! :)

The Gallery - Inspirational Person

I'm a day late with this weeks gallery entry. I usually have the post ready to go on a Tuesday so I can link up Wednesday morning but I forgot about it on Tuesday *shock* and was too busy cleaning upstairs yesterday to sit at the laptop for any length of time.

This is an important topic and I wanted to do it justice so whilst I'm supposed to be getting the downstairs cleaning done today, I'm taking a little break to write about my husband.


He's not had an easy life. In fact, parts of it have been harder than I can imagine having to go through.
He was married to his first wife, Kathy, for 18 years and he adored her.

They had 8 children, 5 boys and 3 girls and they were both very happy in their marriage.

Ant started to suffer with depression when his second eldest daughter died. She was only a baby and the family were obviously devastated.
The depression was made worse a few years later when their third daughter died, also when she was still a baby. He struggled with his depression for years and they went through some very dark times. Thankfully, his marriage was strong and they were able to stay together.



As if losing 2 babies wasn't enough, Kathy got ill a few years later and sadly died, leaving Ant to raise their 6 children on his own, the youngest was around 9 I think.
At the time, he lived in Northern Ireland. He struggled with his grief and his depression and a couple of years or so later, he decided to move back to England to be closer to his family.
It was a really hard time for him. He had to constantly fight the depression. Sometimes it looked like it was going to win but thankfully, it didn't.

His 6 children are absolutely wonderful and a credit to their parents.
They obviously suffered through all the losses and were hit especially hard by the loss of their mum. From all accounts, Kathy was a brilliant mum and lived for her children. They all adored her and she adored them.

When Ant and I met in 2003, he was still fighting the depression. He was in a pretty bad way when we got together, after having just left a relationship that he'd totally committed too.
He's an 'all or nothing' kind of guy and doesn't commit easily. He took the breakdown of his previous relationship very hard and at times, I didn't think he'd ever be able to move on and commit to us.

I'm 18 years younger than Ant and already had Aiden, who was only 3 at the time when we met. I didn't think Ant would want anymore children after already having 6 and with everything he'd gone through when they lost the babies.
I knew I wanted to be with him forever so I resigned myself to only having the one child and being a step mum to Ant's children (although that was a bit weird when the eldest was only a few years younger than me!) who I adored.
They'd welcomed me into the family and made me feel totally at ease.

I was so excited when Ant said he wanted us to have a baby together. We went on to have KayCee and Ella and decided after Ella that we'd completed our family :)

Ant, Aiden and KayCee

Ant and KayCee

Ant and Ella

KayCee getting a hug from Daddy after she hurt her knee.

From meeting Ant, right up until to today, he's been my inspiration. He's a wonderful father to our girls and Aiden. He's a wonderful husband and my best friend.
He's been through so much but every day, no matter how much the depression tries to drag him back down, no matter how he's feeling, he tries his very hardest to smile and be happy.
I don't know how he does it but I'm thankful that he does because he keeps me strong. He makes me feel like I can accomplish anything and I'm also thankful that our children have such a wonderful role model.

He's our hero and I love him dearly.



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