Birds, bees, needles & lots of spots


It was during the recent trauma – and closeness – of our vigil with Ellie during her week in hospital with ‘the pox’.

She slept a lot of the time, day & night, due to her illness & the medication she was taking. She’d just recently awoken, & we were doing ordinary things, like watching children’s TV or videos, & chatting.

We got to talking about our being in hospital when she & Jake were born, when out of the blue she said:

“Doctors make babies, don’t they?”


Continue reading “Birds, bees, needles & lots of spots”


From the Mouths of Babes and Infants…

It was a difficult time, for all of us, when Ellie was so sick & in hospital with her nasty infected chickenpox.

The Mummy was talking to her about it, saying “It was really hard seeing you so sick in hospital, Ellie”

She straight-away replied: “But Mummy, remember the fun we had in the playroom there”.


Such wisdom from a 4-year-old!

We can definitely learn a lot from even very young children 🙂

For more Magic Moments just click the pic:

Related: The Story Behind the Photo

The Story Behind the Photo

This was my Silent Sunday Photo on the weekend (many thanks, by the way, to everyone who offered words of support):


Ellie was in hospital, & on a drip. Neither she nor Jake have ever had to spend time in hospital like this since they were little babies; obviously it’s been a difficult time for all of us.

So why was she there? Continue reading “The Story Behind the Photo”

Saturday is a “Too Funky!” Caption Day

The Mummy has had a routine op this week & we were going in to the hospital to see her for the first time.

We brought in chocolates, crisps & fruit, & there was even some left over for Mummy after Jake & Ellie had very kindly helped her eat them…

Ellie & Jake wanted to make a special effort for her. They crafted some beautiful cards for her (more on that later) & dressed up in ‘special outfits’.

Jake – who’s become a bit camera-shy lately – was Mike the Knight, & Ellie was, ummm… actually, I’m not really sure.

A Hippy Rapunzel? The next Pixie Lott / Rita Ora / Paloma Faith?

Whatever she was, she looked pretty funky!

And I’d love to see what captions you could come up with for her!


Then for more captiony fun just click the pic:

The Gallery: Something Beautiful

A lot of it is a blur, but I still remember the moment.

My wife had survived what was a very difficult delivery & was still in recovery.

I was alone with my newborn twins, besotted.

Jake was sleeping, Ellie was crying.

Then she reached out & wrapped her tiny little fingers around my finger & stopped crying, held on as if she would never let go & went back to sleep.
Continue reading “The Gallery: Something Beautiful”

In Sickness and In Health

The Mummy was a little worried about Jake’s health recently: as well as a runny nose & bad cough he had a temperature & was very tired & sluggish – very unlike his usual energetic self.

She was concerned enough that she thought a trip to the out-of-hours children’s doctor was called for. It was night-time & they had school the next day so rather than us all going she took Jake in while I stayed with Ellie to help settle her to sleep.

Instead of the usual books Ellie wanted to do colouring-in in 1 of her magazines, in bed. And I was expected – no, required – to join in with her.

Continue reading “In Sickness and In Health”

Shoulder to Shoulder To Day #S2S2D

An amazing thing has been happening here in the online parenting community over the last few weeks.

Emma Day, a young Mum who blogs over at Crazy With Twins, has been struggling with cancer. Having had an operation which was only partially successful she then had to undergo treatment with radioactive iodine. Distressing enough in itself it also meant her being in complete isolation for 5 days, then unable to go within 1-2 metres of anyone for 10-16 days, and – worst of all – within 1-2 metres of her baby twins for up to 28 days!

The full story is here, and you can read all about her struggle with cancer here.

The parent blogging community rallied around. Victoria & Firefly Phil set up ‘Shoulder To Shoulder To Day’ & invited bloggers to give Emma their support in this difficult time, mainly by writing cheerful & inspirational posts for her to read while in isolation.

The good news is that her treatment has been much more successful than expected & she is now in full contact with her family again!

We have decided to carry on with the blog hop as planned, with not only cheerful & inspirational posts, but also to raise awareness of the dangers of cancer irrespective of age or circumstance. We’re urging everyone to get anything suspicious checked as soon as possible; in Emma’s words “unlike me who left it years”.

We’re also raising awareness of the fantastic work of Maggie’s Cancer Centre & of Emma & her friend Sarah running the Race For Life to raise funds. Emma’s sponsorship page is here.

We’re also looking for a sponsor to buy an iPad for the iodine room at the Cheltenham General Hospital; anything used there can’t be taken back outside due to radioactivity & has to instead be destroyed. A permanent iPad there for anyone else undergoing treatment like Emma’s would be a fantastic help. If you can help or if you know someone who can please let us know.

So if you have a cheerful or inspirational post you’d like to add please do so!

Even better, if you have an experience of cancer that you’d like to share we’d love to read it.

I’m honoured to be able to host this wonderful blog-link today as part of the parent blogging community, along with Mary at Over 40 and a mum to one.

So thank you for reading, & please go ahead: read, write, enjoy!

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When even a trip to the hospital can be (a bit) funee

We had a spot of bother on Saturday afternoon.

Twice in a row Ellie was in a lot of pain while having a pee. Fearing a urinary infection we arranged an appointment at the out-of-hours GPs’ Surgery.

Jake seemed to have figured out that Ellie was having trouble with her ‘lady-parts’, so at the hospital after we’d registered he told the receptionist, very confidently:

“I’m alright. I’ve got a willy.”

Such a helpful boy!

Ellie was OK, by the way. She didn’t seem to have an infection, & has had no trouble since.

For more posts like this just click the pics!

Wot So Funee?

Shoulder to Shoulder to Day

An Adventure at the Hospital

The logo of NHS Wales
The logo of NHS Wales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may know that there’s a measles epidemic based in Swansea, & that it’s spreading. It seems to be the result of children not receiving the MMR vaccine in the light of the 1998 Wakefield debacle where MMR was falsely linked to autism & bowel disease, herd immunity now wearing off & a misinformed campaign by a local newspaper.

We live too close to be unconcerned. Jake & Ellie have just turned 3 & are starting pre-school in 2 weeks. There may well be infected children there!

Measles is a highly infectious viral disease, spread respiratorily. It is at its most infectious for 4 days before any symptoms appear. Complications can affect as many as 1 in 15 & can result in permanent disability, even death. Roald Dahl‘s 7-year-old daughter, for instance, died from encephalitis – inflammation of the brain – as a result of catching measles.

So we’re taking no chances! Jallie were due their 2nd jab in July but following official advice from Public Health Wales in response to the epidemic we brought it forward. We’ve just come back from the hospital where a special vaccination session has been organised.

Even though we arrived at the starting time of 10am there was already a queue outside at least 60m long!

It was heartening to see that so many have responded. It will slow the spread of the epidemic, & will very likely have prevented serious illness, disability & maybe even death for the children there & others they will come into contact with.

It would have been better for us if there were fewer there though!

Jake & Ellie were great. They’re very good at making their own fun. They’re very sociable & were going up to other children in the queue, chatting away. There was space enough to run around in & they were soon playing with another boy & girl who we thought were also twins but who were in fact cousins. There were walls to hide behind, sticks to wave around, spinning to be done.

It was sunny, but cold: they didn’t seem to mind at all. I love how sociable & fun-loving they are!

It was an hour before we got inside, & by this time the queue looked to be at least 100m long. It was very crowded, but staff there were efficient & organised. There were some great little toys & books there so they were quite happy.

They were seen quickly, & didn’t even seem that bothered by a needle in their shoulder muscles. Jake cried a little bit, but they were both fine afterwards. Especially after as many mini chocolate eggs as they wanted! They were so good: they deserved it!

After being there for an hour & a half we finally headed home, the twins quickly drifting into a much-needed nap.

I guess we should be annoyed with the people who caused the epidemic. The corrupt Wakefield for his falsified ‘research’, the media who promulgated his lies, & the many ‘misinformed’ parents who have – & still do – put mistrust of authority & belief in unlikely conspiracies ahead of solid scientific evidence.

But actually we just feel relieved. We’ve only lost 2 1/2 hours of 1 weekend, & the twins actually seemed to have fun. And got to eat lots of chocolate mini-eggs.

No, we can now be 98% certain that they are safe from a catching a dreadful disease, safe from the horrible complications it can cause, safe even from possible death.

And that’s got to be worth a bit of queuing.

I’d like to say a huge Thank You to Public Health Wales for their quick & efficient response to the crisis. And to the many NHS staff, at hospitals & GPs’ surgeries all over the region, for their hard work & for their time & effort. The NHS has its problems, & I for one have been vocal about them, but here they’ve really come through for us, & for that we are grateful.   

IMPORTANT: Public Health Wales’ Advice on Measles Epidemic

I was going to make this a series of tweets but I think this information is important enough that it should have a more permanent place here on my blog.

If you’ve been following the news you will know that there is currently a measles epidemic centred around Swansea in south Wales.

As of today there have been 541 cases, of which at least 51 have resulted in hospitalisation. The figures have gone up by more than 100 in a week and health experts are urging parents to ensure their children receive the MMR vaccine.

Public Health Wales warn that the risk of unvaccinated children coming into contact with those already infected is “increasing every day”.

It added that it was “just a matter of time” before a child was left with serious and permanent complications, such as eye disorders, deafness or brain damage, or even dies.

The full story is here.

The following is vital information about who should be vaccinated & when if you live in or have recently been in the outbreak area. It is copied from an email I received from Public Health Wales this afternoon.

Outbreak Area: Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Llanelli

The following is guidance for those residing in or travelling to an area where there is an outbreak of measles

Age < 6 mths 6 – 12 mths   13mths – 3 yrs 4 mths   Unvaccinated children over 3 yrs 4m and adults < 45 years Adults > 45 years
  No previous MMR No Previous MMR 1 previous dose of MMR
No vaccination Give one dose of MMR vaccine. Another 2 doses (at 13 months and 3-5 years) will be required in line with UK schedule.   Give one MMR and follow with 2nd dose at recommended schedule (3 yrs and 4 mths) Bring forward second dose. There must be at least a month gap between doses. If child under 18 mths and if second dose given within 3 mths of the first  give  third dose at recommended schedule (3 yrs and four months) 2 doses of MMR at least 1 month apart Are likely to be immune. However MMR can be offered


There is a free MMR vaccination session on Saturday, 6 April from 10:00 to 16:00 BST at the Princess of Wales (Bridgend) paediatric outpatients department. It is aimed at children but jabs will be available for anyone born after 1970 and who has not had measles or been vaccinated against it.

GPs’ surgeries & clinics in & around the outbreak area also have drop-in sessions.

If you might be affected please don’t play Russian Roulette with your children’s health: please make sure they, &  others around them,  are protected!

Thank you for reading.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible