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Reviewing 2018

Recently it's safe to say  my life has been a whirlwind, after all...I wouldn't be me if my life was drama free, and as 2018 approaches an end I've looked back at everything this year has thrown at me. Friendships, Relationships, Illness, Drama the list is endless.

Lets start with the friendships. I've lost some, I've made some. I've wrecked some, I've earned some but the loyalty of my friends this year has kept me sane. The ones that have stayed awake messaging me till late at night, the ones that helped me find me when I couldn't. The ones who still messaged me while on holiday because they knew I was at a low point, or the one who drove 80 miles to pick me up for the weekend, how about the ones who visited me in hospital. They have helped me more than ever this year, and for them. I am eternally grateful.

Relationships? Pffft, after nearly a year of being single I've discovered so much and learned so much about myself, and the most important thi…

Underwater Swimming - Yay or Nay?

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You may have seen my post a little while back about getting your children into clubs and hobbies as early as possible... Well, following on from that, the latest club we have joined is Tadpole Tots Swimming Lessons.

I know, I know, Olivia is only 2. She can't really be taught to swim, right?

WRONG.

Today we had our first lesson and it was amazing. Her confidence in the water at first wasn't great, and she gripped onto me like there was no tomorrow, but by the end of the half an hour session, she was diving off the side of the pool into me, rolling off of a big float into the water, and more happily went underwater with me.

I won't lie, going underwater with her terrified me... A LOT. I'm pretty sure she inhaled/drank a fair amount of pool water...

I'm not a confident swimmer - I'll be the first to hold my hands up to that! Jamie on the other hand is a pretty good swimmer and goes quite often. Kiera, my stepdaughter, had swimming less…

Midwives- The unsung heroes

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It's true what they say, you never forget your midwife. I remember nearly every midwife I had with Oliver. My community midwife was the most understanding woman I had ever come across. Even before I met her, I was texting her at 4/5 weeks pregnant, explaining I couldn't eat or drink, and if it wasn't for her care I wouldn't have been diagnosed with Hyperemises Gravidarum as soon as I did, and I was extremely dehydrated when I was admitted the first time.

'Before Labour'/Pregnancy Midwives
Throughout my pregnancy, my community midwife was there every step of the way. Hyperemises, bleeding, high blood pressure scares and just general hormones. Nothing was too much trouble for her, and honestly when the time came to say goodbye to her I was heartbroken. She understood me, the journey I had been on to get Oliver. She knew how much he meant to me and my family and she was a real angel. She knew how desperate I was to have a water birth, but she explained to me why …

Taking Care Of Toddler Skin In Winter

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You may remember that Chrissy wrote a post on spotting the early signs of lung cancer for us last year, and today, she is sharing her top 3 tips for taking care of toddler skin in the winter time!
Lots of children suffer with eczema and I know how dry even my skin gets during the winter - I hope that these tips will help someone who's little one is suffering in the cold weather!

Thank you Chrissy!

3 TOP TIPS TO HELP YOUR TODDLER'S SKIN DURING THE WINTER
British winters can be freezing - last winter’s average temperature was at 3.6 degrees - but they can also be magical and full of exciting new experiences for your toddler. That said, raising toddlers in the chilly climate has its own set of challenges. Between helping them battle inevitable colds to keeping them warm and occupied, making sure their skin remains healthy and soft should be the least of your worries. Here are the basics for keeping their young complexions happy and smooth as you introduce y…

Decluttering Christmas

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This year we have decided to take the “stuff” out of Christmas. I find myself getting stressed about Christmas earlier and earlier every year. Partly because of the shopping we feel pressured to engage in and partly because of the inevitable bombardment of...stuff.

We have enough stuff and I have enough stress so this year we just aren't doing it. 
For the first time ever I’m doing away with the polite “oh, you don’t have to get us anything” because that doesn’t actually mean anything. We have a fairly definitive list of things we would like across varying budgets and we are letting people know. It’s mostly stuff that we need, things that will make our lives that much easier. Things like stock pots and storage boxes for us, swimming lessons and tickets for our 3 year old.

We have warned people that if they don’t tell us something they want they won’t get anything, because we are done buying gifts for the sake of gifting.

Gift wrap is out the window, if I…

Moving house with a little one? Here's 5 top tips to keep your sanity

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It's all go here in the Piper household as we're just about to move house. Given that this is our third house move in 2 years, you'd think we'd be seasoned veterans by now, but moving with our little one is SO much harder. She needs constant attention, which makes getting the packing done much more time consuming, and I constantly feel like there's something huge I'm forgetting! With that in mind, I've come up with 5 top tips to stop you pulling your hair out on move in day.


1 - Get some help By this I mean childcare, whether that is letting Grandma look after Little One for the day, or having an extra family member/friend/extra pair of hands around to look after them in your new home. The first is preferable, as it can be dangerous for little ones to be underfoot with big boxes being moved about. If you have to have your little one in your new place while you're moving, try and keep them away from all the action - it's s…

Having an ovary removed at 21 - My Story

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Laparoscopic right salpingo oophorectomy - I believe that is the "medical term" for it, and on the 08/11/2018 the NHS gave me my very own experience of it.

I should probably take this time to say how grateful I am for the NHS, and how amazing the staff who work for the NHS are, from the paramedics to the porters, HCAs to surgeons... 
every single one made my journey bearable and I am eternally grateful.

I've posted previously about my battles with endometriosis and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and on the 18/10/2018, my consultant and I came to the mutual agreement that it was time to say adios to my right ovary and fallopian tube (the worst out of my two ovaries, as over time my left ovary has been rather kind to me over the years).

However the week of the 01/11/2018 I had a pretty aggressive flare up, it was starting and stopping but I dismissed it, after all... I have no time to be ill, between work and my son, a trip up A&E would never…

Ideas for your Paper Anniversary

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Mine and Jamie's first wedding anniversary has been and gone (I had planned on publishing this on the anniversary but I've become a bit unreliable with blog things lately as life is getting in the way!) and so I thought I would share the ideas I had before FINALLY deciding on my first anniversary gift to my darling husband.

I should say, I'm a bit cringy when it comes to these things. My Paper Anniversary means that the gift should be Paper too! But anyway... here are the gift ideas I came across on my search for the perfect present!

1. Tickets

More often than not after having kids, you don't really get the time to have a good old night out with your significant other. So... the FIRST thing I considered was some kind of event ticket.

BUT I didn't want to wait absolutely months for the event - Jamie is still not home yet from Afghanistan so we've missed our actual anniversary. With a bit more pre-planning I maybe could have found an ev…

What Hyperemesis Gravidarum meant for me

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This week, I spoke to my lovely friend Becki about her experience of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. For those of you who don't know, around 10,000 women in the UK suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) every year. It is often dismissed as normal morning sickness in pregnancy, but in reality can leave the women who experience it with PTSD, a torn oesophagus, burst blood vessels and eroded tooth enamel. 





What did you know about HG before you were pregnant?I can remember reading a news article online about the Duchess of Cambridge suffering from it when she was pregnant with Princess Charlotte and feeling sympathy for her, but not really understanding exactly what it was. It was initially described by the media as “extreme morning sickness” which I’ve come to learn is not the case at all. I knew next to nothing and I didn’t think I’d ever need to educate myself. My friend Roo has also suffered with it, but I had no idea to what extent it affected her- it was pure ignorance. 

 What treatments…

The Trampolining Trend and Why it's Actually Amazing!

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If there's one thing little 2 year old Olivia loves, it's trampolines.

Actually, in all fairness, it's not just her! Kiera loves it too and she's about to turn 9. Heck, even I love it and I'm 23!

But there are soooooo many benefits. You might think that trampoline parks are like soft play hell x1000, but they're actually pretty cool and if you haven't tried taking the kids out to one, you most definitely should!

We, as a family, are a bit of an expert at trampoline parks. We seem to have tested out quite a few! There's Airhop in Guildford, Gravity Force in Camberley, and Flip Out in Ashford (they also have locations in Southampton, Basingstoke, Portsmouth, Chatham, Nottingham and more, but Ashford is the only one we've sampled!) and I have actually recently bought an annual membership at Gravity Force for me and Olivia! £8 per month for unlimited jumping, excluding their Gravity Fit sessions, but that's a bargain for …