Monday, 29 February 2016

Me and Mine - February 2016

What a lovely month February has been. It's been very quite and laid back, with not much to report. We've seen the sun much more and even though it's been bitter cold, I never mind the cold when the sun is out. I don't think I'm alone in saying this, but I can't wait for Spring.

I think because of the weather it has slowed us down to just have lazy weekends as it's either raining or freezing, but I don't think any of us mind this slower pace at this time of the year. Saying that though, Michael and I were talking the other night, and we've agreed that we really want to make this summer great for Alfie. Last year, we didn't do nearly enough things that we wanted when it was warm, so we've made a promise to be more spontaneous this summer.

I had big plans for this month photo's. In my head, we were going to be on a park somewhere and Alfie was going to be holding a bunch of valentines balloons with Michael and I stood behind him. In reality - it just didn't happen because the one dry day we got, Alfie wouldn't have his photo taken and then I couldn't get any helium to fill just 3 balloons. So my idea went out of the window and we ended up taking them when I got home from work at 5.30pm on Valentines night, just after I'd been given the most beautiful bouquet of flowers off hubby. He even got our wedding florist to do them - extra hubby points earned ;)

Looking back on these pictures, I actually really love them because we've caught Alfie in a good mood!

Here's hoping next month's photo's go to plan!

Sunday, 28 February 2016

{The Ordinary Moments #9} Date Night!

So last night, Michael and I had an actual date night. As I work Sunday's, it's really tricky for us to go out on a Saturday, because who wants to go out on a Saturday night when they're in work at 8am the next day!

We'd had the night planned for a while and my Mum had very kindly offered to have Alfie over night. We were both nervous about Alfie staying at mum's. They look after him often for us but it's been such a long time since he stayed out overnight that we were worried that he wouldn't settle, as there was a few times in the day when he'd said he wanted to sleep at home with us If memory serves me right, then I don't think he's actually stayed out without us since before we got married in 2014. I don't even know why as he stayed out quite a lot in his first year....When we dropped him off at Mum and Dad's at tea time and he seemed to be fine. He started playing straight away and barely looked at us when we were leaving!

We decided to go to our local Bella Italia for our meal and I'm so pleased we did as I have really love it every time I've been. We were actually really early getting there, so it was nice to have a drink at the bar, whilst we waited for our table.

For starters I had the mozzarella sticks (Michael had chicken wings, which I didn't photograph and chicken on the bones makes me feel queasy)! I had the most delicious lasagne and chips for my main, whilst Michael chose a spicy pizza and I finished off the evening with a latte.

It was so lovely being out together in the evening as it's something we don't do nearly enough these days. It was one of those kids of nights where we chatted all night long, we laughed, we talked about our future and our hopes and dreams.

I feel very lucky to have such an amazing husband and I really hope this year will see lots more date nights. We've been guilty of not making enough time for each other recently, but last night really reminded us of what's important. Whilst we both love being parents, we needed last night to remind ourselves that it's also good to be Michael and Nicola, husband and wife, every now and again. 

Here's to many more date nights in 2016!

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

{The Ordinary Moments #8} Meeting your favourite TV Characters

A couple of weekends ago, when we went into town, we noticed a sign up saying that Chase and Marshall from Paw Patrol were going to be there last week. We told Alfie and all week he has been so excited about it. Every morning he's woken up this week, he's asked is it Paw Patrol day!

On Saturday morning however, he was actually quite naughty and we almost didn't take him. As it happened, I had to go to the opticians, so we did still go but even when we got there he was acting up and wanted to be picked up, put down, picked up again - you get the gist. We persevered though and I was so glad we did as his little face was a picture when he spotted them coming down the escalators.

Where we were stood, they actually walked straight past us and he was so excited. It's not very often that I actually capture his natural smile. It's quite funny really because when we ask him to smile he looks like Chandler Bing in the episode of friends when he can't smile haha!

I have to be honest and say that I was actually very disappointed as there was only two characters and a man on stage who was reading some stories from Paw Patrol books. I thought there would have been much more to it. Alfie lost interest after about 10 minutes, so we decided to go for a coffee and a cake. The Paw Patrol guys were back on the stage a little later, so Michael took him back and he did seem more into it the second time around, so all was not lost.

I do find this age very hard as he's going through a stage of being difficult  and hard work, more than he's well behaved, but I know that he's not going to be little for long and whilst he is still this young, I really want to embrace seeing the world through his eyes and getting caught up in the magic and what better way to spend a Saturday than to see your favourite tv show characters ;)

Sunday, 14 February 2016

{The Ordinary Moments #7} Nacho Night

On Friday's we do nacho's.

I can't remember when our love for nacho night started but for a good couple of years now, Friday night has been nacho night in our house. We like to start the weekend with a treat tea and rather than ordering a take away every week, we have nacho's.

I don't work on Friday's, so all day I'll be looking forward to Michael getting in from work and Alfie going to bed, so we can have our treat. Does that make us really sad haha? My friends from work laugh at me cos we have them every week without fail. Even Alfie will ask us if we are having nacho's on a Friday! When I was younger on Saturday's we'd have what my Dad called a 'fatty do' where he would cook us a big plate of chips with salad cream and we would get lots of treats from the shops. With Alfie only being 3, he's too young to enjoy our treat nights, but it's something I can't wait to get him involved in when he's older. Silly really isn't it.

I love how something so simple as a plate of nacho's has become such a Friday night ritual for us.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

{The Ordinary Moments #6} Saturday Trips to Town

I'm really late in writing my ordinary moments post for last week but I didn't want to get to next week without writing something.

The truth is, last week was very ordinary and very boring and I didn't have much to write about until I looked back on my camera and my phone...

My very first ordinary moments was about how Michael and I love to go for a coffee at weekend whilst we are in town and Alfie had his nap. It's now been many months since Alfie has napped in the day (sob) but we've still continued with our Saturday tradition of going for a coffee, but we usually need to entertain Alfie (thank goodness for the good old trusty phone and free wifi in Starbucks). When I look at these pictures, I see just how much he's grown up, the baby days are well and truly behind us and he's a proper little boy completely navigating his way around our phones - including unlocking them with the passcode!

As much as I loved having a coffee with Michael whilst Alfie napped, I must admit that I do also love that Alfie now joins in with our little tradition. On a Saturday morning, he'll often ask are we going to Starbucks or Costa (I'm firmly in the Costa camp, whilst the boys prefer Starbucks).

This weekend it was the boys turn for a Starbucks and after we had a little walk around town and let Alfie play on a train which they've got in the local shopping centre. He absolutely loves trains at the moment and was in his element jumping from carriage to carriage then pretending to be the train driver.

Something so simple but kids really do see the best in everything. I love listening to his imagination when he is playing. I really want to remember these normal Saturday's when he would enjoy going to town with Mummy and Daddy because I'm all too aware that there'll come a time where he won't want to be seen with us, let alone going for coffee and cake ;)

Yummy lemon cake and hot chocolate 

Browsing kids youtube
 I love this photo of my boys

Checking out the train

My train mad little love

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

A very special 3rd birthday.

This year, your birthday really crept up on me. One minute it was the start of Summer and the next, the summer holiday's were over and we were in September! 

We didn't really know what to do for your birthday this year because even though you are at nursery, I don't know any of the other parents or children really, so we couldn't arrange a party with your nursery friends. I am hoping that's something we can do next year as you'll have been in the same class at nursery for a year by then. You did have a little tea party at nursery and we sent a cake in and everyone sung happy birthday to you and you blew your candles out. Gina and Ann were kind enough to take some photo's for me so I could see what you got up too and I loved seeing them and seeing you with your little nursery friends. 

On the Saturday before you birthday, we had a family party at our house. Whilst it wasn't the warmest of days, the sun was shining and it was nice enough for you, Jack and Holly to play out. It was such a lovely day. You were incredibly spoilt. We let you have 2 of your presents on the day of your party as they were for outside. We got you a bouncy castle and Nana got you an activity tent. You, Jack and Holly had a great time playing with them. 

It was lovely having all the family together for lots of food and drink to celebrate you. I made stuck photo's up of you in the kitchen - one for every month you've been here :) 

We got you a paw patrol cake and some paw patrol decorations which I really loved and they went down a treat. 

I didn't get many pictures at this party, because every one was too busy having a good time! 

On the day of your birthday, you woke up very early (6.30) desperate to find out if the birthday fairy had been, but luckily, you were happy to watch the ipad in our bed for a little while. We got up and let you go down at 7.30 and you were greeted with so many presents - if felt like Christmas! 

I don't want to forget what everyone got you, so here is a list of presents you received:

Mummy and Daddy: Construction set, jigsaw clock,some farm animals, a paw patrol book and decorated your new bedroom
Nan and Grandad: Some bath animals and a farm book and they gave us some money for you, which we bought clothes with, including your new winter coat, 
Nanna; Activity tent and some clothes and we got a new light shade for your room with the left over money
Papa: Grandad Pig's boat for the bath
Auntie Emily: Dressing gown and slippers and a digger
Auntie Paula, Uncle Mark, Jack and Holly: a marvel hoody, a nightlight and money (we got you a canvas for your room).
Gemma: A tool box and lots of tools
Anthony: A workman dress up kit (hi vis, goggles, hard hat, tool belt) and a torch with different slides with space pics on (you love to see planet Earth)
Great Nan and Grandad Price: gave you money and we got you some new trainers and clothes
Great Auntie Pat and David: sent you money (they actually sent you money last year too, which got lost in our wedding cards, so you had double this year) we bought you a rescue helicopter
Auntie Audrey: Money - we got you some new welly's
Great Uncle Andrew and Sue: sent you money which we've yet to spend on you.
Cohen: brought you a bar of chocolate to your party!
Yvonne and Alan: a remote control car

Once we were all ready, we decided to take you to the Sea Life Centre at the Trafford Centre. We had toyed with taking you to Chester Zoo, but as it was such a long way and so recent since we last went, we decided to go somewhere new. Typically, you fell asleep before we arrived, which I was glad about as I wanted you to enjoy the sea life centre and not be ratty! Once you'd woken up we went to get our wrist bands and off we went. We had an absolutely fab couple of hours. You loved running round seeing all the different fish. We even went in a tunnel where sharks swam overhead! I didn't really know what to expect but we all had a great time and will definitely go again. 

When we got home, Nan, Grandad, Nanna and Auntie Emily came to see you for an hour or so as they couldn't wait to see the birthday boy :) 

It was such a lovely day and I really treasure getting to spend your birthday with you as I am all too aware that when you start school, I won't be able to have the whole day with you. 

I know you won't remember this day, but you had the best time! 

Singing happy birthday

His paw patrol birthday cake 

With my cousin and his godmother - I love this pic

Opening the first of many presents

Drilling the wall - as you do

And the TV ;) 

Taken after our birthday breakfast 

Spotting all the fish at the sea life centre

Fishy Selfies!

Our little builder

I loved all his cards

He got to choose a special treat from the sea life centre - meet Tommy Turtle 

The only picture I got of us on his birthday - a very grainy iphone snap right before bed! 

Monday, 1 February 2016

Six Months Later - No Fear Go Smear

Last May, I attended my routine smear test at my GP surgery. A couple of weeks later, I got sent a letter through the post with the results that every woman dreads - the results had come back abnormal. I had high grade dyskaryosis (mine was grade 3 - the highest grade pre cancer).

I went to the hospital to have a colposcopy which is a detailed examination of the cervix with a microscope where the doctor puts iodine on the cevix with a cotton bud to highlight any abnormal cell changes. These cells are then sent away for testing. Once I'd got my results back, I had to go back to the hospital again for the LLETZ procecure - where a wire loop is inserted to removed the abnormal cells by using an electric current.

I wrote about my full experience here

Once I'd had the LLETZ, I was so relieved to get my results back to say that all the abnormal cells had been removed. It was such a huge relief. At the same time as getting my results, an appointment was made for me to have a follow up smear test, six months after treatment.

Which takes me to two weeks ago. On the 14 January, I went to the hospital for my six month check up, if you will. I'd been feeling anxious in the days leading up to it, which I think is only natural. My mum came with me to the appointment and I was glad to have someone there to wait with me.

The nurse I saw was absolutely lovely, she really put me at ease and had a real warmth about her. In fact, all the doctors and nurses I've seen at Bolton hospital have been absolutely brilliant.

So I got on the bed, legs in stirrups again - oh the glamour - and before I knew it, it was all over and done with again. The nurse talked me through it all and said that everything looks as it should for someone who's had treatment and I should get the results back in a couple of weeks. If everything was ok, then I would be discharged and would be back to having smear tests every three years. If the results came back abnormal again, then I'd have to go back for further treatment.

Last Friday, I received my results - and I'm so pleased to say that everything is ok. There was no more signs of abnormal cells, so I've been completely discharged and I won't need to go back for another three years, which is a huge weight off my mind.

Throughout all this, it's only highlighted even more how important it is to make sure you have regular smear tests. I dread to think what could have happened had I not bothered going to mine last May.

If you are over due, please book one! A few minutes of being uncomfortable, could save your life!

Image - google images