Holidays in Portugal

2014-05-28 16.01.01

We have just returned from our holidays in Portugal.  16 of my family went (us included) and we all stayed in a Villa, the kids loved it.  It had been planned for a year and was tough saving for it, 5 new passports for the kids (which are not cheap) paying for flights, the villa , clothes etc.  Saving all year, and the nights of having beans/cheese/spaghetti on toast were definitely worth it as Portugal is fabulous.

The last time I went there I was pregnant with my 4th child Erin and it was a week after Madeline McCann went missing.  Personally when anyone ever says the word Portugal I think Madeline will always be associated with it.  I found myself whilst there looking everywhere, looking at children, just anything really in the hope that she will be found.  Very immature of me but I think every parent will always have the hope in them that she will be found.

The kids were great on the plane and loved it, every parent dreads the plane with the kids but this didn’t bother them at all.  They just couldn’t wait to get in the pool.  Landing the weather was glorious, nice and hot, something of a rarity in Britain.  There wasn’t 1 day of rain whilst we were there, which was great.


2014-05-27 15.54.31


It was great just spending time with the kids and the family.  Internet connection was really limited so there was no chance of working on the campaign (also a pre warning off hubby before we left)

2014-05-26 15.31.10

The beaches were amazing, which made shell collecting fab, the kids loved going into the sea getting splashed by the waves.  The Portugese people were so friendly and calm, making you realise how rushed and busy us Brits are. 20140608-211702-76622548.jpg










If you ever go to Portugal (to the West of Albufreira ) you will find a great bar called Scoobys Family Pool Bar.  It has everything for the family, swimming pool, play area, pool table, sunbed loungers , board games, Sky Sports TV and like we did most days spent the whole day there.  The food was British based, all the comfort food you want whilst away and would be prepared ASAP and not left waiting.  The staff  were very helpful and friendly and their was no need to go to the bar as they would come to you.  What was even better is that the man himself Scooby (Originally from London) will pick you up from where you are staying and take you back home so there is no need to be waiting around on Taxi’s.






Another Year Gone By

Another year has gone by without my lovely mum, making it 11 years since she died. She died aged 42 after overcoming and beating the cruel disease that dominates so many ladies Breast Cancer. She then went onto develop 2 tumours in her brain.

Life is cruel and often leaves us with questions such as “Why me” “what if” but I do believe one thing. Things happen for a reason and I stick by this mantra fully. When she died a part of me died with her as my husband says and until you have encountered real grief you will not understand. Losing my mum will always be the biggest event in my life. Over the past 11 years I have hit the lowest of the low with regards to depression, the loss of my mum and everything that has happened with my children. To this day I am still heartbroken and truthfully will never get over losing her, but my mum dying at such a young age has made me the mum and person I am today. I have HAD to carry on for my children and family, I know if she was here I would depend on her fully to help with the kids. Her pictures are all around my house, and even though my children never met her, they know about her, we talk of her all the time, no matter what her memory will always live on.

Live for today, you never know what is around the corner. Looking back I have spent too long crying and grieving for my mum, and not enjoyed what I have here and now.

RIP my lovely mum…… will love you always


Shoes To Fit Splints

One of the downfalls of having children with Cerebral Palsy, is finding adequate shoes that can fit over the splint. Both Lauren and Luke wear splints, Lauren 24 hours a day (with maybe 2 hours rest) and Luke wears day splints. We have been attending Orthotics clinics for years now with the kids and we have never been recommended of a place that actually sells shoes to go over splints……We have finally found somewhere. The day I found them I was over the moon, as any parent whose child has cerebral palsy will know how hard it is too find good supportive shoes to go over the splint.

Splints are commonly made out of plastics that can be heated and moulded directly onto the body. They can be produced quickly; however, the plastic is not very strong. As such, splints are usually recommended only when the device is needed for a short time, or when there is not much force placed on the material. So finding shoes that go over the splint , it was like winning the lottery

Laurens Splints and Trainers

Laurens Splints and Trainers

The other thing is that shoes that we do find and normally it is trainers, wear down very easily as sometimes when Lauren is on her frame she will get lazy and drag her legs, scrapping the shoe. We find ourself buying trainers every 6 weeks. So Im hoping these new shoes will last a bit longer.

It is a sport shoe, so its not like Lauren is finally in heels, but it’s a shoe that accommodates the splint. These shoes are called Tomcat Twisters. They are available in all sizes from a childs size 7 to adult size 5 ( in the UK). There is a winter and summer collection and they are available in 4 different colours…. We will be getting the pink :)
The company is called Tomcat and they don’t just do shoes they also do bikes, trikes, chairs and safeguards for beds.

Tomcat Twisters

Tomcat Twisters

Tomcat Website

Lauren’s Pumps

Lauren is absolutely delighted. She has finally fitted into her 1st pair of pumps with her splints. It’s so hard finding shoes that fit with her splints. Her words were “Yes, I’m so lucky”. Little things like a pair of shoes, have just brought a huge smile


25th March – Cerebral Palsy Awareness


My 2 children Lauren and Luke are both diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Before they had their diagnosis I was very ignorant to this condition, basically because it didn’t affect me. It is a life changing condition for the whole family. There are endless appointments for the hospital, castings for splints, fittings at Orthotics./There are days when it does take its toll, the pain they have in their legs, the tears and occasionally the “Why me?” Question, but on the other hand my children are very very lucky as they are considered to have it mild. I am so proud of them both. They carry on with life smiling and just get on with it. No one can imagine what living with Cerebral Palsy is like until they are in that situation. Each person with this condition is unique. It is down to that persons courage, strength and determination that makes them unique.





You Are My Sunshine


My sunshine moment this week was when my daughter Erin had her hearing aids fitted and she could hear. The delight in her face and the big smile she gave me and her dad.
“I can hear better mum”

It was just great. She has to wear aids in both ears and she has amazed with her confidence in actually wanting to wear them. She was so excited Sunday evening to get them, she couldn’t wait for her appointment on Monday. Normally children feel embarrassed by such situations, but Erin was so confident and really embraced having them .

A situation that I was devastated at when I was told about her deafness, but that feeling immediately disappeared when seeing her reaction

This post is part of Autism Mumma (Twitter) Sunshine Link :

Erin Can Finally Hear


Yesterday was a very long awaited and anticipated day.  16 months ago my daughter Erin (6) was diagnosed with deafness, another symptom from her primary condition FACS.

Since becoming a mum, I am used to having diagnosis of many things with the kids but I was so upset about Erin having hearing loss.  She was always very loud but I just put it down to Erin being Erin and also having 2 sisters and 2 brothers a way of her seeking more attention.  I also envisaged the hearing aid she was to be fitted with like my Grandad’s (15/20 years ago) an aid that would be like a box, a mustardy grey colour and be whistling on and off.  It may sound very nieve and in a way I am, but until your faced in this situation, you don’t know what to expect.

What a long way in technology we have come.  The hearing aids today are fantastic.  They come in lots of different colours and are a lot lot smaller than they were years ago.  What has amazed me about Erin is how she has been looking forward to getting them.  No embarrassment, she has been telling everyone about how excited she is and can’t wait to see them.  Erin picked pink and glittery  (she’s very girly), and when we saw them today,  I was still a bit sad that she did have to wear them, but that all vanished when they were fitted.  The look she gave me and her dad, a huge smile.  I asked her could she hear better and smiling she said yes straight away.  She told us the noises she could hear were clearer. I can’t tell you how fab it was when she said “I can hear”…… brilliant.  A game we would regular play, in which we would cover our mouths and say words she could hear what we were saying where as before she couldn’t hear anything, or would guess at words.

She woke today excited to go to school to show her friends.  She has been assigned a support worker who will go into school and help her adapt to them.  She is also going to do a talk to the rest of the children about hearing aids, explaining what they do and what they are used for.  Erins teacher also has hearing aids so this morning after having spoke to Mrs T she couldn’t wait for her school day to start.