Amelia - "The obese one".

Friday, 27 July 2012

My name is Laura and I am a mother to an obese child

I want to take this time to talk about my wonderful, beautiful twenty month old daughter, Amelia. She is obese. She was born on the 28th of November 2010, two weeks early at 8lb 11oz, was a breastfed child and between the age of 3 months to 8 months she had gone right up the charts on weight gain. Despite the fact that the only fluids she consumed was breastmilk and the only solids from six months were pureed vegetables made at home, somehow she gained a lot of weight. It didn't stop.

After numerous appointments with the health visitor and GP we finally got an appointment with a paediatrician in February. After blood tests came back normal we had to write down all food consumed, all drinks, weigh them individually and photograph them. Today was our second appointment with the paediatrician and the dietician said her diet was fine, not high in fat or sugar so she couldn't see the problem. In the four months since our last appointment my daughter has gained 2kg equating to two bags of sugar despite her diet being the same and having much more exercise. It is confusing to us.

Her diet is normal. It includes sugar free squash, a few treats, meat, carbohydrates, fruit, vegetables, water, juice - no fast food or lots of sweet treats. Essentially what you would normally feed your child. An ice cream here and there or some fun sized Milky Way's through the week but not a diet of processed crap or McDonalds. Her sister who is two and a half years older than her has the exact same diet and is underweight borderline normal. Two polar opposite children.

So on Monday morning my precious baby is being admitted to hospital for a week for a strict calorie counted diet and horrible tests to test for everything else. While our nights will be split so we both get to see both children it is going to be difficult. I have hoped and prayed to all that I've ever believed in that it is simply my fault. I can deal with it being my fault. I can be in control and change her diet, give her more exercise, do more. I still hope it's my fault. I don't want my beautiful, intelligent and sweet baby to have to deal with an illness.

People stare at her in the street. People make rude comments. People assume I feed her fast food and load her food with salt. People everywhere. Family. Friends. Strangers. Everyone has an opinion. Not everything is so cut and dry. Not everything is black or white. This is a huge grey area for her doctors and for us. We don't know what is happening but everyone else seemingly does. We are toxic parents to raise our child this way but we don't know in what way we're supposed to be raising her. We're just doing what we think is correct, not being told it's incorrect and everyone is pacing halls with notes and sharp tools to poke and prod her. We're agitated. We're anxious. We're scared. Salad won't fix her but as of Monday, professionals might.

A Welsh Summer

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I didn't upload anything yesterday for the sheer fact that I was so tired it hurt and I barely made it through a TV show at the end of the night. From being up at 6:30am, doing the food shopping at 8am, getting on a bus to finally see The Dark Knight Rises at 11am, home by 2:30pm, more shopping until 3:30pm and a five mile walk and picnic with the girls and dog to the park, well, once the girls went to bed at 6:30pm it was all over for me. Broccoli and cheese pasta before sleep. Kaput.

Today is big. I had a driving lesson at 8am but that's now been moved to 5pm so I decided to make a flippant comment about what a mess the garden was. Bad move. I got roped in to sweeping the entire thing while he chopped down broken branches and dug the flowerbeds. The result is a nice clean garden but it was hours of work while the girls played around us and I've hurt my back. You can see in the photos above that it looks pretty clean and Sadie the puppy definitely enjoyed the sun.

Today is big for other reasons. My fiance has a great job opportunity and after jumping through hoops for months with tests and team building skills he finally has his interview. I wish I'd got a picture before he left because he looked great but I didn't. He's been out of work for some time now, in and out of part time jobs while in university so we've been relying on my income but it's so good to know that out of 130 applicants he's in the final 13 for 2 jobs. I'm sat here with my fingers and toes crossed that this will be the first step to a better life.

Summer has arrived and with it, hope.

Week In Photos

Monday, 23 July 2012

My kitchen, No 7 Fanomenal mascara, "Love Who You Are", Nicorette inhalator, my own personal duck face, quitting smoking aids, 2 Broke Girls, trying out a Kat Dennings lip, obsessed with ear cuffs and chains

I am not a quitter and yet I quit.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Tomorrow I am quitting smoking. Smoking is the one thing I have been fully committed to for the last decade. From the first taste of peer pressure to the first taste of a cigarette, I have been hooked for a decade. A decade seems like a very long time since I've only been alive for two decades and change which means I have been smoking for close to half of my life. Smoking has seen me through four boyfriends, two children (not during pregnancy), three house moves and God knows how many other big moments in my life. Whatever has happened in the last ten years, a cigarette would lay in wait to be lit, inhaled and exhaled. No matter how it started or why it has stuck around for so long, it is time to quit.

There are many reasons to quit. For health, for money, for a longer lifespan, to be rid of the cravings and ultimately, the withdrawals. To be rid of the looks from people in the street or "Oh...ok's" from non-smoking friends on a night out. The main reason for me is money. Today I sat down to work out the bills for the next week and realised I had £30 left over. I started to panic. £30 wouldn't last me in tobacco all week. For that panic, I am ashamed. It didn't matter that the £30 could be better spent or that I had some money left over to pay for transport or a day swimming with the girls - I was focused on the tobacco which is a product of addiction and I didn't like it.

I have, of course, tried to quit before. The quitter's mantra of "I tried" or "I'm trying" and there's always an excuse to fall back into old, smelly habits. The last time I tried to quit was around four months ago. I lasted 11 days and I was so proud of myself but the finances took a hit, everything fell to bits and when everything is falling around me I decided to fix myself a cigarette. The stress wasn't the cause of me starting to smoke again, I was and that was the hardest thing to come to terms with because I had done so well and I had bigged myself up to everyone I knew about just how well I was doing only to fail. If there's one thing I hate, it's failure.

So tomorrow is a new day. The first day in my quest to rid myself of this filthy, poisonous addiction. I'm not alone as my partner is coming along for the ride and while it's old territory, it feels new, strange and dangerous. I don't know how I am going to cope but I know that I will cope because somewhere amongst all the rubble you find something to represent a new beginning.

Primark A/W 2012

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Primark A/W 2012 - You can find the full collection here

I know these photos have been doing the rounds for a while now since the collections usually come into stores around August but I felt I had to share them too. I find Primark to be amazing for knitwear, much better than Topshop for usually 1/3 of the price. I also find their coats to be great quality for the price and can never fail to find a good handbag or dress in there. There are tricks to shopping there (go very early on a week day for instance where there's much less chance of finding it looking like a jumble sale with sizes all over the place) and I usually find I need to size up as some of their items run quite small but nevertheless, Primark is a staple in my wardrobe alongside other high street favourites like River Island and New Look. I've seen photos for both New Look's and River Island's A/W collections and I love them but to me, Primark is the most wearable with their beautiful knits. Strangely I am attracted to the wedge trainer shoe which I remember coming in many years ago and me looking a fool. I don't think I'm good enough to pull a pair of myself but I can't wait to see other bloggers in them.

What do you think of Primark's A/W 2012 collection? What will you be buying?

MUA Lipstick in Bare

Friday, 20 July 2012

MUA Lipstick in Bare. You can find it here for £1 or in your local Superdrug.

I'm an advocate of bargain beauty and MUA is the best bargain make up brand I've found. I own a lot of their nail varnishes, lipsticks and palettes but I always find myself with a spare £5 note huddled around the counter in Superdrug. This is my favourite natural shade. I'm not a fan of foundation lips so anything too pink toned doesn't suit me. This lipstick is a creamy peach with hints of brown that fits me perfectly. I wear it a lot be it with a dramatic eye or just a natural make up day. I use it as a light contour on my cheeks too and this bullet has lasted me over two months with daily use (but as you can see from the photos, it is well used). It really is a 'my lips but better shade' without going too over the top one way or the other. I love this lipstick and I find the formula's so decent for £1. They're not too drying which is great as I suffer from dry lips and come in a great variety of colours so there's bound to be one that takes your fancy.

What do you think of MUA cosmetics? Do you find yourself repurchasing what you buy?

How Laura Lives*

Thursday, 19 July 2012

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1. I love this owl cushion. I bought the girls one each from Dunelm Mill but I think I need one (or three) for the big window seat in my bedroom.
2. I've seen these plant pots from Ikea all over the internet and now I'm determined to buy some to store my make-up brushes. Who knows? I could even end up using one as an actual plant pot.
3. This lamp says it all really. I adore the print and it would look adorable in 'my room'**.
4. This fabric caught my eye to make roller blinds with. It's white fabric with black written numbers on it. It would look perfect in my kitchen to cover up the windows. I have an irrational (or not so irrational) phobia of looking into the windows at night and seeing someone staring at me so I definitely need window coverings.
5. My sofa's are looking a big old now so what better way to revamp than with a lovely throw that would fit in to the beige and blue shabby chic theme nicely?
6. I've eyed up these tables for about four years now so it's time I get one for my room.

* How Laura Lives is an idea I've had where I make collages of the things I have recently purchased/want for my home. I've lived here for a year now and haven't done too much to the place despite desperately wanting to. 2012 is the year.
** 'My room' is the spare box room in the house. At the moment it's magnolia with nothing but a bed in but within a few months it will be transformed into a mini office with a desk, beauty bits and pieces, lots of cushions to turn the bed into a day bed etc. I have so many ideas for such a small space so I really need to scale them down but also make the room liveable as it's where my partner's son sleeps when he stays over one night a week.

George at ASDA


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I wanted to compile a little wishlist of items I'd like from none other than the bargain brand of George at Asda. I do my food shopping in Asda and since the clothes are right there I can never tear myself from having a little look. I usually find something I love for a great price, be it children's clothes or adults. I'm not a huge fan of their menswear or accessories but their G21 collection is really rather nice.

1. I love this sleeveless dress. I had my eye on the navy polka dot one too but I think this black one can be worn with bright jeans so it's my personal favourite.
2. This bird print onesie is fantastic. I already own a similar one but the print on this is too gorgeous to leave for only £8!
3. The metallic belt is obviously very cheap and can look cheap but it's perfect to wear with an all black or tan outfit to add some shine.
4. I need a scarf cape. I haven't seen it in person yet so I can't say how soft or warm it's likely to be but I'll be buying it.
5. Lastly, a pair of nude ballet flats because who doesn't need more ballet flats? Certainly not me. I know nude is probably not the best colour as it will attract scratches and dirt but they would go perfectly with a dress I already own therefore for £7 I need them.

A new look.

So, some of you will have seen this site before this new layout and I must say, it didn't look good. Gone are the creative days of working on a layout for days and having it perfect to go live. Or so I thought.

Karris posted on her Facebook page about her new layout and I was so impressed I commissioned Gillian to make one of my own. You can find her previous designs here and her shop here. She is fantastic with communication and her design is beyond what I ever expected so a huge thank you to Gillian for making my blog more me than I would ever put together myself.

Layla-Grace.

I wanted to take some time to talk about my gorgeous first born. The girl that inspired every life choice I have made these past (almost) five years. The girl who gave me a reason for change as soon as those two pink lines appeared on that plastic test one breezy day in September 2007. She was to be named Layla-Grace and she was to be beautiful. Of course, now I am blessed with two incredible daughters but Amelia didn't arrive until Layla was two and a half. Now? Now Layla is four. Four years old. Yesterday was her last day in nursery until the big adventure of Reception in a big school with big children and even bigger rules (can we say no unauthorised absence?) This is as much my journey as it is hers and boy, I am the luckiest woman on the planet.


Her fourth birthday!

I'm sorry for the bad quality photos. Most of them were taken on my phone or Macbook because, well, life!

I am amazed that I have managed to raise an creative, exuberant, inquisitive, charismatic, sociable and caring girl. I am quite frankly amazed that from the time I was pregnant at nineteen, homeless and waiting on council accommodation that I've managed to raise my daughter, get us into a beautiful house, have another daughter, hold down some semblance of a life and say yes to a proposal from the girls' father and the one man I trust with my life. A lot happens in four years and I'm sure a lot will continue to happen in the next four and the four after that and the...I don't want to think about it. Wherever life takes me, whatever struggles pull and push us in opposite directions, we are a family and nobody will ever take that away from us.