Thursday, 14 April 2016

To my beautiful daughter, I know your heart is breaking

Today you reached breaking point, 
today you broke down and I was not there for you.
Dad was though and I am pleased he was,
he will protect you and have your back.

School has been a struggle for years, 
we've always known that, we were prepared for that.
What we were not prepared for was the bullying,
for 3 years it has gone on, all from the same boy!

A boy, since when did boys bully girls, 
for years you have tried to hold your head high.
Been told by the teachers time and time again, 
it's just banter! Banter it is not.
I wish you would have told us how scared you were earlier, 
instead of keeping it in.
It is our job to protect you, make you feel safe, 
It is our job to ensure you are happy.

Now we know the full story we will, 
this I promise you.
I will not stop until you feel safe, 
until he is reprimanded.

Things will get better, I promise you that, 
Tomorrow we will get answers.
We will not stop until you feel safe at school, 
We will protect you.

The sad thing is you've decided not to attend prom, 
prom that you have been talking about for years.
The dress, the hair, the nails, 
how you will travel there.

We sat and we hugged and we cried together, 
we will do something special.
I don't know what and I know it will not make up for missing prom, 
but I know that you will feel safe.

I know that we will make it special, 
I know that your memories of it will be happy.
I sit here now writing this and my heart breaks for you, 
you should not be made to feel this way.

You're beautiful, you're funny, 
you're brilliant at creating great hair styles.
Far better than me,
you have your future at your feet.

To my beautiful 16 year old first born, 
I love you and that will never end.
I will fight your corner, 
that will always be the case.

I can not make up for missing prom, 
I can not promise that it will be as flash as prom would have been.
But I do promise that happy memories will be made, 
you will get a new dress and you will be with people who love you.


Friday, 5 February 2016

The Growth of Inclusive Sport in the UK

If you think sport is just for keep-fit fanatics, Sunday footballers, and those with too much time on their hands, think again – sport can play a part in everyone’s life to not only maintain a healthy body, but a healthy and active mind too. 
And that goes for everyone, regardless of age or ability level.  The growth of inclusive sport means that virtually anybody can get involved and experience the physical and psychological benefits that are associated with sport, exercise and social-interaction with like-minded people.  

The Inclusive Sport programme is a Sport England initiative designed to increase participation among disabled adults and young people from the age 14 upwards.  
The project is part of Sport England’s wider remit to increase regular sport participation by disabled people, and so far there have been two rounds of Inclusive Sport that have seen 88 projects benefit from almost £20 million of National Lottery investment. 
It’s not all about getting everyone playing football, netball or cricket though, as traditional team sports are simply no fun for those who have sensory issues, and difficulties with communication and social skills. 
Similarly, more individual pursuits such as running and cycling may not be suitable for those who limited mobility or who suffer with fatigue, though there are real strides being made to make these pursuits more fully inclusive, notably adapting bicycles for those with special needs. 
What are the benefits of physical activity? Physical activity benefits both the body and the mind and participation for people of all physical-abilities, is inextricably linked to both better physical and mental wellbeing and the noticeable benefits include: 
  • Improvement in muscle coordination, flexibility, muscle strength and endurance, all of which can increase life expectancy. 
  • Improvement in self-confidence, social skills, behaviour and academic performance. 
  • Positive experiences of achievement and accomplishment, both personally and as part of a team. 
  • Increase in attention span and responsiveness to others. 
  • Can help cut secondary health complications like obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. 
  • Offer and outlet for physical energy that can help alleviate stress, anxiety and depression. 
Promoting physical activity If you know someone who is simply not interested in physical activity it can be near impossible getting them out and about, so you need to think outside the box and suggest activities that promote movement without being to ‘sporty’ or excessively vigorous. 
So you could consider things such as: 
  • Walking around the local park and collecting rocks, leaves, and flowers which can be used later on as part of an art project. 
  • Gardening can also be a great way to promote outdoor physical activity and have tangible end results to be proud of. 
  • Playing catch with a friend or even the family dog 
  • Learning skills such as juggling, balancing or kite flying. 
  • Playing games with hula hoops, gymnastic ribbons or skipping ropes. 
  • Taking part in sports that can still be fun without being overly competitive, for instance bowling, table tennis or swimming. 
Playing video games On the face of it, encouraging kids to play video games is a sure fire way to promote a sedentary lifestyle, but there are games designed to get everyone up and active. This can be a fun and practical way of introducing physical activity, especially to anyone who is self-conscious and would prefer to exercise in the privacy of his or her home. 
Instead of sitting in front of Mario Kart or Call of Duty, try some of these instead:  
  • Wii Fit Plus has a balance board and game software that promotes all kinds of physical activity such as yoga and Pilates, and even things like boxing and tennis on Wii Sports can offer a fairly rigorous workout.  
  • Just Dance is a game that is available on all consoles and promotes exercise through fun dance routines to famous songs. 
  • Kinect Sport Ultimate Sport Collection is similar to Wii Sports but is available on Xbox. This game includes sports like basketball, football, beach volleyball and boxing, all of which must be played using bodily movements instead of a traditional controller. 
Have you seen first-hand the positive effect being active can have on an individual? Or have you come up with some inventive ways to promote physical activity? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below…

Friday, 18 December 2015

Portable North Pole

Portable North Pole or PNP as most people know it has been used by us parents for many years. This year was the first year I have had a gold subscription to it. On previous years we have always created a video using the free subscription. I must say I am rather impressed with the gold subscription. You have access to unlimited videos, when you have five children this comes in very handy. I can now create a video for the run up to Christmas and a special one each on Christmas Eve. Not only that you can add extra details on the gold subscription. That is not all the gold subscription has to offer. You also get access to unlimited phone calls.

 My children all received their phone calls today much to their delight. Little lady who is poorly with bronchitis was very quiet when he called. Little T was as giddy as ever and said yes a lot. Big T who still believes in the magic of Christmas was thrilled that he made it onto Santa's good list.

I can not wait to show them their Christmas Eve videos before we go outside to see Santa's sleigh cross the sky at 5:20pm.

For just £9.99 you can get unlimited videos and calls. For all of Mummy2five's readers I can offer you 20% off any paid products, to redeem this offer enter BLG20PNP

I hope your children enjoy the Portable North Pole as much as my children do.

Merry Christmas from us all at Mummy2five

Christmas Gift Guide for the Pets in Our Lives

Christmas is a special time and many of us include our pets when we are buying gifts for family and friends. Below is the perfect gifts for our fabulous pets. All products are from Rosewood

Guinea Pigs
Regular readers will know we have five beautiful guinea pigs. Over the last few days they have been putting all of their new gifts to the test.

Rosewood Naturals Chill 'N' Snooze Bed

The Rosewood Naturals Chill 'N' Snooze Bed is a big hit with Bertie. I filled it with his favourite hay and he jumped straight in. I use fleece as their substrate, so it helps to keep all of the hay in one place, which makes cleaning much easier. The bed is made out of water hyacinth and rattan, beautifully woven,  best of all it is staple and glue free so should Bertie fancy a nibble on his new bed it will not harm him.

Carrot Cottage
All of our guinea pigs have put these cute edible hides to the test. Bertie got the medium size Carrot Cottage and our sows got a large Carrot Cottage to share. Guinea pigs are prey animals so must have hides to retreat to, to make them feel safe. The medium Carrot Cottage is suitable for a single guinea pig and the larger size could fit my four guinea pigs comfortably. The hides are made of parchment board which is covered in meadow hay and topped with a real carrot roof which is safe to chew. As you can see Bertie has had a nibble on his as have the sows. 

Meadow Menu Guinea Pig Food
My guinea pigs love this food. I love that is is 100% natural and compacted into quad-shaped pieces to prevent the guinea pigs selecting their favourite bits. You can rest assured that your guinea pig is receiving a balanced diet. Rosewood say their food is "Grain free and closer to nature with only 100% natural and beneficial ingredients. Contains no cereals, added sugar, GM or salt. 100% vegetarian Made from over 40 meadow grasses, plants, vegetable and beneficial seeds cold pressed to retain nutrients Formed into unique Quad-shaped pieces to stop selective feeding Fibre rich and designed to support tooth abrasion; plus good digestive and overall health". I know pet food isn't a gift but giving your pets a good quality food is the best gift you can give to them.

Cats, cats and more cats
 Now we can not leave out our two cats Barnaby and Shadow.

Yeowww Catnip Toy
Rosewood sent us three of their Yeowww catnip toys: Sour Puss Lemon, Green Fish and Yellow Fish.
I have bought catnip toys for them before and they have shown little interest in them. As soon as I took the Sour Puss Lemon out of its box Shadow went a little crazy for it. I didn't even get time to take the tag off before he pounced. He attacked it in true cat fashion leaving the lemon battered and punctured. The great news is it is still going strong. Barnaby our other cat came in from his little cat adventure and took over the Sour Puss Lemon attack much to Shadow's dismay. I am going to place the fish in their Christmas stockings to keep them entertained for the day and hopefully the fish will help to keep them away from trying to pinch the turkey.

Jolly Moggy Mr Mouse Teaser
Barnaby is the more playful of the two and loves a game of chase the mouse. My youngest daughter loves to keep Barnaby entertained by walking around our home trailing Mr Mouse behind her, closely followed by a stalking Barnaby. Mr Mouse is filled with catnip too so it is sure to be a welcomed treat once he finally catches the mouse. The cats at a cat rescue I volunteered at loved these kind of toys, young or old you could guarantee that the predator instincts would kick in, ready to catch whatever is on the end of the elastic.

Silvervine Seagrass Animal
The Rosewood Silvervine Seagrass Animal is made from natural seagrass that my cats love to scratch at. Inside the seagrass tunnel is a large cat toy that is stuffed with silverline which is a natural attractant. It brings out the playfulness in a cat in a similar way to catnip. Barnaby is quite a good hunter and set to work straight away trying to kill the toy. The effects of silverline can last anything between 5-20 minutes so it helps to give the less athletic cats a workout. Shadow carries a little extra weight thanks to his dog like bin raids so this is the perfect gift for him.

We love all of Rosewood's products, we have bought them in the past and will continue to buy them. So whether you have a big or small budget you will find a product that your pet will enjoy.

Next on my guinea pig shopping list is an Options Deluxe Playpen. Our guinea pigs all live in a big shed and we often bring them into the house for human interaction or after a bath so a place to be safe away from the cats is a must. Also summer is only half a year away and I am sure the guinea pigs would love a nibble on our new lawn.

You can buy Rosewood pet products from most major pet supplies and supermarkets.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Keeping Kids Safe Online

As Christmas day is creeping nearer the children are all excited and I am sure many have asked for a gadget that gives them access to the internet. Children who are young even have their own tablets, why? Well they are fantastic educational tools. KidzInMind have created an app that is available on apple and android devices. The app is free to download and gives your child safer access to the internet. You can subscribe to KidzInMind for free for the first 7 days then will be charged just £2.99 a month there after.

So what does the app do?

     AN ‘APP OF APPS’ - Every app within the KidzInMind has been selected and approved to meet strict criteria.
     SAFE AND SECURE - No inappropriate language, no advertising, no hidden payments and a baby safe mode.
     EDUCATIONAL - All apps have been evaluated to ensure that they are engaging, educational and appropriate to the child’s stage of learning.
     TIME ALERT PLAY - Relax in the knowledge that your child is learning within a safe and secure environment. Control the amount of play time your child is allowed with the parental control timer.
     RESTRICT ACTIVITY – Use the parental control feature to specify exactly what your kids can do whilst using the KidzInMind e.g. no internet or other app access.
     APPROVED BY PARENTS – KidzInMind has received the kidSAFE Seal, Mom’s Choice Award and was nominated Best Mobile App for Children and Toddlers in 2014

The KidzInMind app features a selection of apps that have been carefully chosen for preschool kidsaged 2-6 years old that are safe, secure. What I like about them is they are educational. This for me isimportant as it saves me spending a lot of time checking out an educational app for my children, I canrest easy in the knowledge that the apps they have access to will already have been approved.

The key features of KidzInMind are:

     PRE-SCHOOL - KidzInMind is the first digital playground for pre-school children aged 2-6.
     APPROVED - All apps featured are vetted and approved before being added to KidzInMind.
     EXPERTS - KidzInMind has worked closely with experts in paediatrics, nutrition and education to curate a unique selection of the best apps for children.
     EDUCATIONAL - Every app is educational in nature.
     PARENTAL CONTROL - Parents are offered added peace of mind with access to a selection of parental controls including time restricted sessions for kids and the ability to restrict activity to other areas of the device, such as the internet or other apps.
     CHOICE – There are already a selection of more than 40 apps to choose from, with more added each week!
     SAFE AND SECURE - KidzInMind is a safe and secure environment for kids to learn and have fun with no risk of clicking away to inappropriate content or links.
     AD-FREE - Simple - no ads whatsoever.

KidzInMind have really thought of everything on this app, when you access the app, it requests that theuser must complete a mathematical equation before continuing which is great as this then requires aparent to approve it. If you are giving your young child an internet device this Christmas I highlyrecommend that KidzInMind app is the first app you install. £2.99 a month is a small price to pay for thesafety of your child online.


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Mummy2five's Christmas Gift Guide Part 2

The Christmas gift guide continues.

To Keep you Warm
Woolovers sent me their fabulous cotton & cashmere striped button crew neck jumper to put to the test. Now with the mixed blend of cotton and cashmere I did not expect it to feel as soft as 100% cashmere but I can honestly not fault it. It feels really soft to the skin. I have washed it a few times now and it still feels as soft as the day it arrived.
If you are stuck on a gift you can not fault knitwear. What is better is Woolovers have a huge sale on at the minute with many items reduced in price.
I love that this nautical themed jumper matches my nautical wellies perfectly. It makes me want to forget my coat and head out looking perfectly matched.

One for the Kids
ImageA tradition in our house is to watch a film on Christmas Eve, our choice this year is On Angel Wings which is already out on dvd.
The story begins on a present day Christmas night. Rachel is eight and for the first time she is allowed to join her brothers and sister to visit their Grandfather Amos, as he carries out his annual ritual of a night in the hills, where he worked as a young shepherd boy.
Grandfather is delighted to see the children and a special bond is established between himself and Rachel. Like her, he was the youngest and was always getting in the way, struggling to do things better, fighting to be believed in. He tells them how she reminds him of a magical night and proceeds to recount how he was flown by the Angel Gabriel to become the first visitor to the newly-born Christ child, the Virgin Mary and Joseph.
Rich with human poignancy, ON ANGEL WINGS makes ideal holiday viewing for the entire family and is the perfect gift for Christmas. This very special DVD also features an exclusive Storyboard Commentary from director Dave Unwin (The Tales of Peter Rabbit, The Wind and the Willows, The Little Reindeer).

For the One who Loses Things
Everyone has a friend or family member that loses things. For me, I am that person. I lose my keys on a daily basis, granted they are always in my home but I do have sentimental items attached to my keys and would be upset if I was to lose them forever. This is where the Gigaset G-tag comes in handy. Just attach it to your keys and download the app. Link up to the G-Tag and you can locate your keys whenever you lose them. It is ironic that when I went to put the G-tag on my keys it took me a good 10 minutes of hunting for them. I am also tempted to attack a G-tag to my kids coats so I can locate them when the paranoid parent in me kicks in. It is available from Amazon priced at £17.50, the colours available are black, white, orange, red and green.

Skin Care
Having suffered with eczema all of my life I love receiving new products to try. I am often reluctant to spend money on products I have not used previously as I am allergic to many products. Hope's relief products are hypoallergenic, 100% free from steroids, paraffin, parabens, petrochemicals, SLS, perfumes and colours. This for me is music to my ears. I was sent a Goats Milk body wash to try out and I must say I am impressed. My skin felt soft and it did not leave my skin feeling tight like body washes I have used in the past have.  It is not often I am bought bath sets as my family all know how badly I react to some. I think any of Hope's Relief products would be a welcome gift to those who suffer with dry skin conditions.

Personalised Phone Cases
My girls have asked for iphones this year. Going from their track record a phone case is a must so when I was offered two cases from Mr Nutcase I jumped at the chance. You can choose from a designed case or personalise your own. I let both of the girls choose what they wanted. There are 100s of beautiful designed cases to choose from but they opted for a personalised one. I was quite thrilled when they asked could they choose a picture I had taken to be put on their case. The cases arrived very quickly. They come in a jiffy bag so if you are giving it as a gift I recommend that you buy a cute little box to package it in. You can buy cases for a vast range of phones and tablets so be sure to check out Mr Nutcase website. 

Merry Christmas from us all at Mummy2five