Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Guest Post By Mia Lane: My Amazing Sister Needs Your Help

Hi all. My name’s Mia. The lovely Hannah has kindly allowed me to share a sad story that’s affected my family this month, in the hope that some of you might be able to help turn a tragedy into something really positive. 

Sometimes awful things happen to the people you love the most, and there are no words of comfort you can offer. All you can do is share their grief, be there when they need you and make a lot of tea. That’s the situation I find myself in right now.


Becca is my amazing sister. She’s funny, strong and super smart. Despite being the baby of the family, she’s the one who keeps me in check. She’s a primary school teacher in Liskeard and I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone who loves their job so much. She’d do anything for the kids and goes above and beyond to ensure they all leave her class at the end of the year feeling special.

Paul and Becca on their wedding day.

Last year she married her Mr Right, Paul, who’s the most supportive, kind husband she could wish for. They were delighted to discover they were pregnant last September and nicknamed their bump Lentil, because he was the size of a lentil when they received the good news. 

Two weeks ago Becca went into labour. The family gathered at my parents’ house in Plymouth ready for the birth. Everyone was so excited to finally meet Lentil. We went to bed on Saturday night hopeful that by morning we’d have news that he’d arrived safe and sound.

But it wasn’t to be. I was awoken by my Dad with news that Lentil hadn’t survived the birth. There’s no feeling like the sudden wave of shock and grief when you realise something terrible can’t be undone, and someone you want to protect so badly is enduring the most awful pain. 

Lentil Bear was born June 14th 2015
Becca and Paul had planned a home birth in Liskeard but were rushed to Derriford Hospital when Lentil’s heart rate unexpectedly started to drop. The hospital team began preparing for a C-section, but it was too late, Lentil’s heart had stopped. Becca delivered him naturally at 9 minutes past midnight on the 14th June in the Jasmine and Central Delivery Suite, a special unit set up for parents dealing with the loss of their baby. He weighed 8 pounds 11oz, with Becca’s tiny ears and mouth and Paul’s nose and feet. The whole family immediately fell in love with him, I was lucky enough to spend some time with Lentil at the unit and the strange combination of wonder and heartbreak on meeting a baby that hasn’t made it was like nothing I’ve ever felt. My main awe was with Becca and Paul who, through their complete devastation, managed to deal with the most horrific experience of their lives with grace, dignity and extreme strength. Their support for each other throughout has been a real inspiration.

At a time like this most couples would understandably shut the world out and grieve quietly, not Becca and Paul. Incredibly, they’ve decided to turn Lentil’s tragic death into something incredibly positive. They received huge support from the midwives and staff at Derriford, and thanks to the Jasmine and Central Delivery Suite special unit, were able to spend quiet time with Lentil before facing the real world. The unit needs to raise £200,000 to buy vital equipment and continue providing their incredible service. Becca and Paul set up the Lentil Bear Evans Memorial Fund to ensure that if other parents have to go through this awful experience, they will receive the same level of care and support from the Jasmine and Central Delivery Suite team. 

In just over a week they’ve raised almost £8000 for the fund, and are so grateful that Lentil’s story has encouraged so many generous donations and words of support. 

I could not be prouder of my sister and brother-in-law, it’s times like this that make you realise you don’t say those things enough. My sister’s ruddy brilliant, in fact, this experience has made me want to tell everyone just how incredibly kind, generous and loving my extended family is. I’m just sad Lentil won’t get to grow up knowing them all. 

There are still no words I can offer that will make anything better. And there are only so many cups of tea one girl can make. What I can do is help share their amazing story, raise awareness of the work of the Jasmine and Central Delivery Suite and ask people to support and share their amazing campaign, at www.justgiving.com/Lentil-Bear-Evans. 

All donations, no matter how small, will make a big difference to other parents during their saddest time, and will help offer a small glimmer of light to my amazing sister and brother-in-law that Lentil’s short life has left a lasting impression on our often unfair world. 
  
Thanks so much for reading this, it means a lot. And if you’ve got an amazing sister, remember to give her a squeeze and let her know.  

Mia with Becca and beloved dog Maisy.

Thank you for reading this post. When Mia mailed me to tell me of her sister and brother in laws story, as a parent it broke my heart. I would love this message to be spread as far and as wide as possible to help this increible unit continue to help support parents like Becca and Paul through one of those most unimaginable times of their lives. My love and strength goes out to you both, Becca and Paul as well to your family.
Hannah xx


The Twinkle Diaries

Monday, 29 June 2015

What We've Been Up To...

For the last couple of weeks we've had lots of appointments with Little A and a lot of school things going on. There are school plays coming up, more meet the teacher days and more settling in sessions to come- it's all rather exciting (if a little hectic!) Although it's been busy and although Little A has been getting on great, we are having a pushing boundaries phase on top of some self regulating problems at home. Nothing too bad, it's just that it can all get a bit stressful! We have had fun though! Here are some photos of our last couple of weeks!


Fun purple star biscuits// Very happy little ones with their baking// Homemade fish with chips for dinner by Mr B// Back tickles for A// Walking to school together// Digger mad!// Walking over hills and in between daisies after a day out swimming// Cheeky biscuit in Costa// Baby chino!


My #Paperhaul box arrived!// Happy tasty mail// I actually had a night without Little A in my bed!// Hill top pose// The Moon, Mars and Jupiter// Little A out with his Mumma on a breakfast date// Summery card from #Paperhaul// Cupcakes// My new score on the TOTS100 which made me smile

I've also been carrying on from my #30dayswild and taken many more photos of nature. Here's a few favourites from my week:


I hope you've been all enjoying some sunshine and nature too despite how hectic our lives can be! Next week we meet Little A's reception teachers properly, will enjoy a teddy bears picnic, hopefully go to the local pool again and buy our holiday train tickets!

Cupcake Mumma

Saturday, 27 June 2015

#Paperhaul Box 6!

I am in love. Every month I look forward to my #Paperhaul monthly subscription box and I always get so excited to see the theme revealed! I avoid the hashtag and sneak previews on the internet all in order to not ruin the surprise for myself! (Anyone else?) Here is Junes' rather wonderful and rather tasty box!


#Paperhaul always has a quality themed washi tape which is easily one of my favourite items in the boxes. I love the stripes on this months offering and think it'll bring a nice bit of colour to my happy mail this summer.

Postcards are my other love. I have a suitcase dedicated to my postcard collection so every month I look forward to seeing what postcards I'm getting to add to my collection. This months cards are simplistic, bold and yummy!



I love this months scrap papers. I have quite a collection now this is my sixth #Paperhaul box and I'm saving them up for that day when I decide to get that scrap book out and do some sticking! I love both sides of the papers this month so it's going to be a tough choice (or a half and half job!)


Milkshakes and Pudding. Yum
There are always 2 unique and high quality cards in a #Paperhaul box, plus 3 smaller cards all of which come with their own envelopes. All cards are totally blank and ready for your personal messages.

Pink lolly sure to make one of my pen friends hungry!

My favourite card this month

Beautiful mini cards. I'm sure they're water colour?
These gift tags remind me the Magnum ice creams! I love these and can't wait to use them for several upcoming birthdays and a gift swap.


Finally another one of my all time favourite stationery items: stickers! You always get a set of stickers to suit the theme of the box as well as two easy to peel larger stickers which are fab for brightening up those boring parcels.




I adore every item in this box but my favourite items are definitely the selection of ice cream stickers, the bold ice cream cone postcard and the washi tape. Do you subscribe to #Paperhaul? What were your favourite items from this months box? If you don't subscribe (you're missing out!)  you can do so here!

I am part of a group of bloggers who get a slight discount for reviewing a monthly #Paperhaul box. All opinions and photos are, as usual, my own.

Cupake Mumma


A Cornish Mum


Dear So and So...

Dear Mind,
So things have taken a turn. I've not been pleasant to be around, so much so my daughter has told me I'm always grumpy and my husband has told me he doesn't know how to make me happy anymore. I cannot lie, my heart broke a bit both these times. Whilst I have been off my medication for only a month I have worked hard to keep myself 'up', clearly I thought I was working harder than I actually was. I am deeply frustrated to be given so much in life and yet still be plagued by lonely and unhappy thoughts when I have such a lovely, stable, healthy, happy life. There really is nothing to be sad about. I am trying hard not to hate you right now and focus on the positives: I can see I need help. I am going to get that help again and I am going to set a new goal for October when the children are both in full time school. I'm now wondering if this should be 'Dear Depression' rather than 'Dear Mind' because I want to end with this: I will kick your ass.

Yours, Determined.

Dear, Mr B and my Beautiful Children,

I am deeply sorry for being angry, bad tempered, inpatient and emotional. For making one or all of you feel bad. Thank you for being there, thank you for your honesty. I am a very lucky girl.

Xxxx

Dear Mum,

Thank you for letting me stay over your house on Friday night. I love where you live, right by the sea. My head is clearer and you are not just my Mother but my best friend too. Not many people get that balance right but I love you, respect you and love being around you. I know you don't need thanks for this but I'm saying it anyway, thank you.

Hannah-Leigh xxxx

Dear Readers,

As usual thank you so much for reading. Thank you to the bloggers who have been so kind this week when I was nervous about my silly tooth being taken out! Thank you to the people who have probably unknowingly made me smile this week. Please link up your letters with Michelle by following the badge below.

Cupcake Mumma

Dear So and So at Mummy from the Heart




The Dad Network

Thursday, 25 June 2015

An Orb Factory Art Mosaic Review!

In the Cupcake House we love a craft (well, nearly of us, Mr B is the odd one out..his loss!) Midge and Little A were so excited when they got home from school and found their Orb Factory craft boxes waiting for them. Little A received a pirate box and Midge a princess themed box. Both boxes are sticky mosaic craft sets! No glue, no mess, just coloured sticky tabs that match the squares to the characters.

Pirate Sticky Mosaic Set

Sticky Mosaic Princess Set

In our kits we had 4 characters ready to decorate, a great selection of coloured square tabs which are plain and glittery (also gems in the princess set), an instruction sheet which helps you match the colours to the numbers on the characters and some stick on plastic type hooks plus several cardboard stands so you can hang two up on a wall and another two can sit proudly on a desk or shelf.

Pirate characters

Dark coloured sticky tabs

Princess characters
Selection of gems and brightly coloured sticky tabs

Midge is just the right age for these craft sets from Orb Factory, she enjoyed taking the time to place the right squares and gems on the right colour square and sharing with me what she thought she'd name the pictures and how much fun she was having. In contrast there was Little A who at 4 is a little young (although some children his age have great fun in matching up colours!) Little A was more happy to dot the squares where he felt they should go and who am I to stop him? As you can see below I did help him (by his request) and I had great fun! It was nice not to lay out newspaper, get glue all over our fingers and have lots of tidying up to do when finished.

Finished pirate character

I love the pink princess one and the woodland princess

Midges favourite character

Bright and woodland themed

I can really recommend these Sticky Mosaic sets (buy them here for £9.99) and I also like the look of Orb factory's other craft sets too so I think they're worth a look. If you purchase these sets i'd love to know what you think! Dont forget to visit Orb Factory on Facebook.

We received the Sticky Mosaic sets for free in return for an honest review. All words and photos are as usual my own.

Cupcake Mumma

Monday, 22 June 2015

Little A an Update


Things have been up and down with Little A for a couple of years and it's been difficult. When I first realised I needed some help with A I phoned a health visitor in tears but now we are 2 years on things are getting easier. We had his transitional meeting at nursery recently and it was so good to know that my boy is going to be understood and not left behind during his first year of school. If all goes well he will be signed off the list for these school meetings we attend with a lovely special needs worker. Little A has some sensory issues but he doesn't have any other issues and as long as people who are close to him understand these he will be okay.

He will continue with speech therapy which has been such a gift. I cannot explain how much this has meant to us. With his speech sessions and with the nursery setting and teachers being so wonderful and his skills with socialising and interacting with other children constantly building he has come such a long way. I always said I was offended by the the line "once he starts talking you'll want him to shut up" and I stand firmly by that still. Until you are the parent of a child and you cannot understand a single word they say and they are angry, stressed and frustrated because of all the people in the world you should know what he is saying and you don't, you just don't know what a gift it is to hear words and sentences tumble from his lips after school, at bedtime, with his big sister, with me in the middle of the night, it goes on and I love it. He is still very repetitive which of course is something that wears thin but overall I couldn't be a happier Mum if I tried!


We've had an occupational therapy consultation which was a success. I think it went very well. The therapist did agree with sensory issues, once written down we could see his main issues revolved around touch and he also has trouble self regulating. He is sensitive to noise but a lot of what I described made her feel that it was best to see our doctor (we think he could be experiencing tinnitus which is just horrible because I have it) and to get him a hearing test just to be sure. She also felt the head rocking and banging and the sleep disturbances and night terrors were not sensory so we have been referred to Sleep Solutions. I'm not sure what they can advise, I think we have a mixture of waiting it out to do and habits to break which is all very difficult when we all just want sleep but I'm willing to hear suggestions and honest views on our situation. Obviously I'm prepared for the inevitable hard work and screaming in future too...

We have a paediatric appointment next month which I think may be our last one but I'm not sure. We have a specialist dental appointment coming up because for the first few years we really struggled to brush Little A's teeth and I'm hoping that although now he copes better with the feel of tooth brushing he still finds it distressing, so I'm meeting the dental team to see if they'll coat his teeth to help protect the enamel. His doctors appointment is this week and I'm sure his hearing test won't be far behind! In the mean time, nursery is helping his transition to reception with visits and meeting the teacher (the whole class do this) A will have a personalised picture table of his new class and teachers that we can show him over the holidays. I think this will work with any child who is nervous about reception not just children who may struggle to understand their next step, so maybe if you're worried ask your nursery team or new teachers what they think.

So to sum it all up we are so pleased with A's speech and language, I'm happy with the outcome of the OT appointment because I think there are children who struggle with sensory issues much more than A who could benefit from their time. Since I took A to his first paediatric appointment last year I researched so much into sensory processing disorder and I changed the way I deal with him, our routines changed and when I started seeing what he struggled with I made allowances, or changed things or just understood him more, it's changed him so much I don't think OT could've provided much. I'm thinking of doing some posts about Little A's biggest sensory difficulties (tooth brushing, clothing etc) and how we deal with this. If it's any use to anyone let me know!

Cupcake Mumma
The Twinkle Diaries

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Beautiful Nature..#30DaysWild

I love nature. There is so much out there to see and enjoy and be thankful for. I love pointing new flowers out to the children (I think flowers must be my favourite thing) and the children love to point out birds and butterflies. I recently signed up to #30dayswild which has opened my eyes to new beautiful flowers around me and I've actively looked into breeds of birds and butterflies and asked online if people knew the names of flowers I'd found. It's been great so far! Here's a collection of photos from my first couple of weeks of being more open eyed and connected to Mother Nature.

Little A has really got into nature on your school runs

The colour on this flower is just stunning.

Busy bees!

I love Bumble Bees
Mummascribbles

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Lowering the Dose Part 4

I think I've been off my medication for over 2 months now. Wow that went fast. I've had a panic attack, I've gone to Bath with my daughter dealing with a lot of high anxiety type stuff (for me) lots of people, catching trains on time, having the right tickets, being on the right train, navigating stations but I've done it. I took my pills away with me incase I got so badly anxious away from home I could chuck one a day and then go back off them when I returned..I am aware of that poor thinking but I must point out I went with the flow. I didn't need those tablets and I haven't needed them since.

However, over the last couple days I have reached my first real challenge. I feel lonely, frustrated, tired and fed up. I've had a long week of sickness bugs (including myself) which left me physically shattered for far longer than anyone else (always the way! I rarely get ill so when I do I find it takes me a little longer to get back to normal running) my mind is overrun with appointments to keep and make regarding Little A and the school chuck more items to add to my calendar. My family are away this weekend but because we have a choice between saving for Christmas and summer holiday activities (by that I don't mean holidays I literally mean little days out and activities) we couldn't afford to go. It stings a little but it's only because I know how beautiful, peaceful and warming it is up there.

You get things happen that are a big deal and then you get these things that are nothing major but they weigh you down. I have some other things going on of course, I'm at this point where I want to change things, where my excessive blushing and fear of doing so has caused so much pain and damage to me psychologically and socially that I want to fight back. I guess as much as I want to it scares the hell out of me and I've found myself in a rather dark place over the last week or so. The theory is to not care anymore, but that's just not easy in practice. I think next week I will see if I can get some therapy for social anxiety with a target on the blushing and erythrophobia (fear of going red) or maybe I'll grow a pair by Monday and start kicking ass anyway!

I'm going to link to my past posts as this is very much part of my Lowering the Dose journey. It's the first real low mood I've had and it's challenging but I know I can overcome it, after all, I brought a spade this time, I can see the light already...




Cupcake Mumma

Thursday, 11 June 2015

A Blog Break & Catch Up

I've had a week or so off from blogging. I've not really been doing other things, I can't remember the last time I did something I enjoyed to be honest. Mr B has been on night shifts so I've been doing everything alone and found it quite tiring to be honest! Also lonely. I've not wanted to do much once bedtime is done other than curl up and watch something on the TV. Mostly I've turned it off at 10pm and gone upstairs to deal with Little A and his wake ups.

Anyway, I've had a little break, although I wanted to blog I just didn't want to sit and edit photos but here's a little catch up of our last few weeks:

I went to Bath with Midge in the half term where we enjoyed a huge park, her first cinema visit where we watched Paddington and we both had fun on the train journey. She was scared of going over the bridge that connects Plymouth but seems to have gotten over that fairly quickly! We enjoyed our first Shakeaway, the dairy free milkshakes were delicious. The day after I came back I spent some time with both children. We had breakfast out and bought them a toy each.


I visited my Gran with Little A this week to celebrate her 82nd birthday. I made her a lemon cake and enjoyed a lovely lunch with her, my Mum and my A. I've been enjoying nature as part of 30 days wild which I've seen over on social networks. I've spotted some lovely flowers and am nurturing my own tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes and some flowers. We've bought some pebbles and a swing seat so the back garden can take a step in the right direction! We need to mow the lawn, give the decking another coat, buy more pebbles, get a bench and finally we'll use fencing to split the garden for the children and the dog. To finish the week, I had Little A's parent meeting which was really positive and baked 50 cupcakes for a friends wedding which we went to the reception of last Saturday. I had a lovely couple of hours but had to come home early because Midge was sick during the first part! At least I saw the first dance and the cake cutting and I saw all my cupcakes with the wedding cake and I felt so proud. I've banged on about it loads and I know people can make them so much better but I don't care, I loved them! (And so did the happy couple so that's all that matters!)


Now we really are on count down to the summer holidays with only six weeks left! Midge has lots planned for the upcoming weeks and on Tuesday she had a swimming assessment. She has a birthday party at the local pool to look forward to this weekend. There's an inset day on tomorrow, where I have a doctor appointment for A but otherwise nothing else planned. Mr B is back to normal work shifts and I'll just be plodding along in my usual way. I hope you're all enjoying the sun that's come out in the last week or so! I know we have!

Cupcake Mumma

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Dear So and So...

Dear Readers,

I'm so sorry it's been a while since I last wrote. I haven't really done anything for myself lately. I've been tired or bogged down, I've got posts in drafts but the thought of editing photos really makes me feel like I can't be bothered. I then got a stomach bug which I'm getting over that put my plans on the back burner for the start of the week! I don't think people really care if I blog a lot or not, I kind of like my blog popping up here and there. Thanks for sticking with me :)

Cupcake Mumma

Dear Little A,

I'm so proud of your latest report and I really enjoyed hearing about your progress in your parents meeting. Everyone seems to think you're doing really well and now we're focusing on your transition to reception so you don't go backwards. You've been lovely while I've been poorly so big thank yous for that! We've got lots of appointments coming up which is good but I can't lie, I don't exactly look forward to them!

Love Mumma xxx

Dear Midge,

You looked so pretty the other day for the wedding reception, I'm just sorry you became poorly and we had to leave! Thank you for your words of encouragement while I made my cupcakes, you were a big help. Your assessment results were really great, you're making so much progress even where you find difficulty. Well done my beautiful girl! Today you're doing a swimming assessment, I have no idea how you'll get on because normally you just make silly noises and seem reluctant to have a go. Where we have no success I'm sure the swim school will!

Love Mum xxx

Dear Hubby,

Thank you for being awesome these last few days. Love you

Hannah xxx

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Cupcake Mumma

Dear So and So at Mummy from the Heart

The Twinkle Diaries