Tag Archives: milestones

Review – Relax Pack From The Cocoon Collection

3 Jun

As a busy mum of three sometimes it’s nice to have a little time for me.

I may be a mum but I’m a woman too, one that like others, loves a little self indulgence.

The wonderful people over at cocoon collection understand this (or so their Relax Pack would indicate)!

Last week I was delivered a very exciting parcel, one packed with treats for me… Yes me!

I was presented with the Relax Pack (Massage and Pamper Pack) a white box tied in a beautiful hot pink ribbon.

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If the outside was anything to go by then I couldn’t wait to see what was inside!

Well, I wasn’t disappointed! Inside I found a beautiful selection of pampering treats. Just lifting the lid I knew I was in for a treat, the beautiful sweet aroma from the bath bomb could be smelt instantly.

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Here’s what was included…

The Gold Relaxer… a fantastic 4 point massager which soothes away achy muscles with its four clever points and is said to be a hand held dream!

Hand Lotion Set With Ceramic Dish. The set includes both hand wash and hand & nail cream and have a gorgeous fresh white linen and jasmine fragrance which I adore. Both wash and cream are contained within pump action dispenser bottles and presented in a beautiful ceramic dish… Perfect for the bathroom sink.

Crazy After Dark Bath Blaster – this is what I smelt as I lifted the lid of the box, this bomb smells absolutely gorgeous and what’s more its packed full of fab essential oils. I seriously couldn’t wait to relax with this fizzy away in the tub.

Flower Power Face Mask – This is a little face mask without the gunk! Instead of slapping some messy slop on my chops I was instead presented with a cloth which has been impregnated with sweet smelling mulberry to place on my face. The mask has been designed to refresh, revive and illuminate.

Eye Gel Pads – cooling and soothing, to awaken sleepy eyes and hopefully help improve my tired bagged eyes, giving them back some sparkle.

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Mini Emery Boards – A pack of 10 handbag sized little emery boards. These are held in a little box that displays a super cute but quirky design of a somewhat funky kitty.

Breakfast at Sniffany’s – designed to match the above emery boards, this sweet packet of tissues display the same quirky but somehow very cute Hollywood glam kitty design!

Now can you see why I was eager to put this kit to the test. This was definitely something I couldn’t wait to use but decided there was little point in doing so until I had some ‘Me time’

Finally that ‘Me Time’ came around when all the children were sleeping I grabbed my box and headed to the bathroom.

I unwrapped the bath bomb and added it to the bath as the hot water ran. In a sad sort of sense I was a little gutted to see it dissolving as it was so very pretty! However the smell that filled the air around me was lush and I couldn’t wait to soak my tired self within its essence.

Seriously I was in that bath till my toes wrinkled.

I also used the face mask and could feel myself drifting of to sleep as I relaxed in silence.

What a rare treat, little man is known to be up till 4am on most nights so the fact he was in his bed sleeping at a little past 1am was most pleasing.

Of course I’ve tried both the hand wash and lotion which left my hands smelling delightful. I’ve now moved them both into the kitchen as I hate the way my hands are left feeling following a session washing the dishes. I wash my hands and apply the lotion right afterwards and this instantly corrects the problem.

The emery boards are in my makeup bag ready for my next nail painting session and the tissues are in my handbag! Yes, I don’t want these to run out… Maybe I’ll just have to refill the funky packaging with some more tissues once used.

The eye mask is tucked away for my next bit of “Me time” which I’m hoping is someday soon.

As for the massager, this is yet to be tested… It’s just not the same trying to use it on yourself. Maybe I’ll get the kids on the job… *giggle*

I really do love the online Cocoon collection. Yes, I’ve tried out many of these online stores specialising in gift ideas but the range over at cocoon is so extensive it’s hard not to be impressed.

There really is something for everyone! You can find a specially designed section for all them major milestones whether it’s a gift for someone’s eightieth or someone’s big 50!

You will also find a great children’s selection which boast something for every occasion from the celebration of a birth or a get well gift. I love the “Being Brave” gift set that would make a really special gift for a child in hospital.

There are gifts for him, her, couples and more. You will find a great fathers day selection which again contains some impressive gift sets like the “Dads Dancing” kit or that of a “Big bag of beer”

With so much to chose from its hard to make a decision! I was drawn to many sets including the above “Relax pack” as well as the “Little pick me up” the “Sweet Fizz” the “Rush hour” specially for commuters and the lovely teacher gift of a personalised best teacher certificate. They even do beautiful jewellery gift sets so your sure to find the perfect gift for any occasion.

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I’m so glad I got to test and review a gift from the Cocoon Collection because I have now found a site I’d most definitely use in the future! I’ve already spotted a number of gift sets that I’d like to purchase for family and friends for those special occasions, ones which I know they will love.

The Relax Pack is great and I’d highly recommend this as the perfect gift for a reasonable price!

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For more information or just for a browse check out the Cocoon Collection online

Disclaimer: This is a review post. I was not paid to write this review but was offered a sample of the product in question as to provide readers with my honest thoughts and opinions.

As easy as child’s play

27 Sep

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Play, A god given right for all children!

 Its importance is critical to the development of every child regardless of, Class, age, race, gender or ability!

 With every game of peek a boo, every story told and building block added to a carefully constructed tower, your child learns something new & exciting.

 A child may not speak or be able to hear, he may not walk, they may be even confined to a wheelchair, nonetheless this doesn’t mean the child will benefit from play any-less, regardless of a child’s disability, they should be encouraged in play, and will enjoy it like any other child.

 As a mother to three children, I really love playing and interacting with my children, whether its make-believe, a board game or something else all together! Though yes, I do admit it’s not always easy to find the time, yet its something I consider important so try to make it a priority (something we engage in a few times a week minimum).

 As most regular readers will know, my eldest son has Aspergers syndrome which forms part of the autism spectrum. At almost 11 years old, Little man was my first-born, when I was at the tender age of 18. I noticed pretty early on in little mans life that his play style was somewhat different from what I considered to be typical play for a child his age.

 My daughter didn’t come into our lives for a further two and a bit years, meaning I had plenty of one on one time with my developing baby. Games such as Peek a Boo or sing alongs didn’t give of that WOW factor for Little man, instead they sent him into a howling frenzy. 

 Regardless of the above I persisted in my quest, a road of discovery, encouraging my child to engage in interactive play. I knew he got enjoyment from playing alone, I didn’t discourage, though I didn’t reframe from interactive play either! I’m convinced this has been of some benefit to my child now his older. 

 Play helps feed a child’s imagination helping it grow, it allows a child to use creativity while helping them to connect to their surroundings and adapt play to their environment. I believe that play can help a child learn certain roles and requirements while aiding the development of dexterity, physical, cognitive strength.

When your child is on the autism spectrum, play may not be what you typically expect it to be!

 Yes, I learnt the hard way, don’t we all? 

 I learnt that my child didn’t actually require all the latest toys that the boy next door was playing with. My expectations both before and after Little man was born were unrealistic, I had naively assumed that all children played the same way! Play was play, nothing more, nothing less, It all amounted to the same thing! God I had a shock awaiting me and a hell of a lot to learn.

I had no intention on lying to my friends and family when I announced that Little man loved Bob the builder only to end up with a house full of Bob merchandise come Christmas! In some respects I think I half convinced myself it was the case, well he had at least glanced in the direction of the tool kit I had brought him!  It wasn’t just Bob the builder, I was a mother moving with the times & quite honestly the latest craze that I quite often learnt about from the gloating neighbour who would quite often proudly inform me about the latest Spiderman bike her son was now whizzing around on! The next week Little man would have that very same bike, though it remained in the cupboard by the front door only ever seeing the light of day once, twice if you include the day I awkwardly tried to get it home on the bus. This was one of hundreds of toys that were both a waste of time and yes money!

 Looking back as I write this I get a glimpse of how bloody crazy I was! Yes, total denial sweep through me.

 It was only once I had taken a few steps back and observed the situation that both myself and especially little man began to benefit.

 I note… No, Little man did not like playing with Cars (though he quite does today) he did however love spinning the wheels over and over again! I decided that actually that was OK.

 I note… No, Little man did not love Bob the builder (though I only wish I had kept all that merchandise as my youngest is Bob gaga) though he did love Thomas the tank. I decided again, that was fine!

  I discovered that between the ages of 2 and 7 Little man only ever really played with train sets and transport mats despite his bedroom now looking like the Disney store!

 Finally I excepted this!

 I stopped focusing on that Little boy next door, therefore letting go of that, “My child should be playing with that toy” scenario! I focused on the Little man instead and what I saw was no longer what I felt I needed to see through my own stereotypical rigidness, I now saw Little man for the child he actually was! I successfully learnt my first very valuable lesson about play! 

 “Play is unique there is no right or wrong way of doing it”! 

 By stepping into Little man’s world while taking small steps to engage with him in this child lead play I noticed he slowly became more interactive, wanting me to take an interest in his games. 

 Yes, all along I just needed to go with the flow (so to speak) I needed to embrace and celebrate his interest, a massive milestone

 Oh, and did I mention that big credit should be given to my wonderful daughter? Siblings can actually be a massive source of learning  for the child on the spectrum, Alice-Sara certainly was!

 Alice-Sara was that child who played like I also assumed all children did! She played the way I always expected the Little guy would!

 Through sheer willingness and determination his younger sibling did something wonderful without really knowing it! She introduced her older brother to role-play! She taught him the value of this type of play and helped him develop the tools needed to engage in it!

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 It is this aspect of play that I firmly believe is the true instrument needed for a child with Aspergers to progress.

 I don’t know if Alice-Sara just longed for this type of interactive play from her older brother, but as a small child she fought to get it, and she did!

 OK, it isn’t perfect, as much as he is able to engage in such play it is still largely ritualistic and he can become overly controlling often using his younger sibling as a play object, yet his come a long way!

 However ritualistic and Un-spontaneous his play maybe, his sister has successfully taught him how to play schools (a game he still plays today, though it always involves a school “bus”) he also loves playing shop keepers and hospitals (if his the ambulance driver of course)! 

This variety of play offers so much to the child on the spectrum. The child will learn important social interaction skills, and a number of other important life skills they will acquire in life. 

 I’ve seen my Little man go from the child who really did prefer the box as opposed to the toy that came in it at Christmas (mainly due to what I was giving him) to a child who now enjoys play so much more and through he still does it alone, he is much more willing to play with his peers even if they don’t always oblige to him joining in. 

 Yes, he still has them “odd” items on his Birthday and Christmas wish list; Batteries padlocks, neon electric fly zapping lights; and 20 cans of DR pepper to name a few; yet he also loves, computers, lego, model buses and trains, bikes, scooters, board games and magic tricks. 

 Recently I saw a worrying statement 

“As easy as child’s play don’t apply to children with autism”

 That is bum fluff!”

 “Just because it isn’t typical doesn’t mean it isn’t magical!” 

I learnt that the hard way, I hope you don’t!

With the rise in Measles it’s decision time!

24 Mar

This is such a hard post to write, and I really don’t know how to word what it is I’m feeling.

Nevertheless I need to try.

Tomorrow the 25 th March 2011 is the day I will make an appointment for my youngest child, (Little mans baby brother) to have his immunisation  (MMR) with our local GP.

He is almost 16 months old and should have had the vaccine almost 4 months ago. I wish I could just keep my baby under house arrest away from the worlds harmful viruses, but with two school age children how is this possible!

As a mother to a child with Aspergers this has been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but it’s one I must make as a parent. Both little man and his sister had the MMR jab with little man having his at the height of the controversy over the possible link between that of the MMR and autism.

I decided to opt for single vaccinations but sadly with the country having no supplies of the mumps vaccine this is a no, no. So, I called the local surgery and arranged the baby’s appointment for his immunisation with much fear and dread.

With reported cases of measles rapidly affecting a huge proportion of the UK, the pressure rises.

Do I want my child to be autistic? No!
Do I want my child to catch a virus that can potently cause him brain damage, even death?
No!

I don’t wish for either. However with their being proven risks associated with each of these conditions (especially that of measles) do I want to realistically take that chance on my son’s life? Again, No!
I don’t think I can live with myself if anything happened to him!

Measles can kill, It’s not some myth, but a fact that a child’s life can be taken by a virus that has the capability of becoming deadly.

I think I would rather have an autistic child then run the risk of having no child at all.

Some may say that is selfish! Then again some may say the same to those who choose against such immunizations as it’s  not only their own child’s life in danger but those around them, particularly that of pregnant women! Regardless of what society thinks, I love this little person with all my heart and I can’t help that.

It’s not like I haven’t spent time going over this in my mind! It’s been there since the day he was born  December 2009′ Its something that’s always been there niggling away at me.

Since I discovered I was having a boy I’ve faced that worry of him having an ASD. Of course girls have this condition too but the risk seem much higher for boys (regardless of the number of girls who remain un-diagnosis). Whenever Harley does something ‘odd’ or someone comments how like Little man he is I feel my body freeze. Don’t get me wrong, I love little man just as much as I love his siblings, and though I see his Aspergers as a gift, it’s not something I choose for him. I would never change him but this isn’t the point.

Little man has AS and if anything as a baby/toddler I didn’t notice any developmental delays! My child seemed very advanced. His language was amazing and he was out of nappies being dry throughout the day & the night by the age of 2. I didn’t notice any regression once he had received the immunisation. However what I did notice after this time was his in-tensed interests, obsessions, poor play skills etc. However these were things that I would not have noticed prior to the MMR and would have only become noticeable with age!  I believe little man has always had some degree of sensory sensitivity and sensory seeking behaviours from the day he was born. He only eats certain food, would gag if given a dummy, screamed if his blanket was in the washing machine, and had his bottle to age 6 (just for bed) I also remember his interest in trains from a very young age, he loved lining them up. By around the age of two, he was absorbed in Thomas the tank engine mesmerized by it whenever it was on the telly he was there eyes glued to the scene

There was one change I noticed in little man after the immunisation was given. His sleep pattern become a whole lot more unpredictable. Before this time he would sleep well but only in my arms or my chest (would never sleep in a cot, which is funny as he isn’t a cuddle seeker  at least not no more) As a newborn he had bad colic that kept him awake for hours on end screaming, otherwise he slept through anything.

He wasn’t pre-term but 4 days over due. I did have quite a difficult delivery, with him being born with the cord tightly around his neck, very swollen head and features due to becoming stuck in the birth canal and a very strange tone of blue. His little lips trembled and he was placed under the light to warm him up.

He never cried (apart from them few times he had colic), he never went through the terrible twos, he actually didn’t start the meltdowns till he was around 4 years old.

Harley (baby brother) had a great delivery despite him weighing a whopping 9lb. He was ten days overdue which was quite a surprise given the doctors were trying to keep him in there from week 30!

His extremely advanced! At first I didn’t think so, but he said his first word at 5 months, was taking steps at 7 months and wait for it, “having huge full-blown tantrums at 6 months” these involve head-butting everything, resulting in him looking a tad like Mr bump.

Harley is very advanced in his language, even stringing together a three word sentence and he could count to three by 13 months.

Little sister who was born 3 weeks early and the smallest out the three, met all her milestones at a pretty average pace. She is two years younger than little man and isn’t on the spectrum. She had the MMR jab at 12 months.

I know there is a huge proportion of the world who are very anti vaccine, I also know that many of these parents claim their child/children have been affected by the vaccine! I’m not here to say whether I agree or disagree, that’s not the plan at all. I’m writing this as a parent who needs to make an informed decision on what’s best for her own child!

Harley was very sick at five weeks old and we stayed in the hospital by his side for over a week. He had developed a chest infection that progressed into pneumonia and then he went on to contract H1N1 even through I had already contracted the flu virus while in the latter stages of pregnancy. I never want to see my child with feeding tubs and relying oxygen ever, ever again. If Harley caught measles, mumps or rubella and it affected him in such away how could I cope knowing I basically put him there! Contributed somehow.

Harley’s appointment is in 2 weeks time, he will be sixteen months old. Yes, I will sit pondering questioning my decision for that entire time, but I will also be clinging to the hope he doesn’t contract measles, mumps or rubella either.

I could go on forever writing this, reasoning with my own mind while putting it down for the world to see! But I won’t drive my head crazy no more (at least for the rest of today anyway)

This topic has always produced a debate and is bound to for many years to come! Science is a wonderful thing that sadly normally leads to worry. With medical professionals working hard to prove each other wrong which is mainly done in a display of public statements smeared all over the press, us parents hold little hope of maintaining a smooth ride. Faced with choices that have become some of the most frightening choices we will ever have to make!

I guess this is one us parents will never escape.

NOTE…
This is a personal opinion and choice! I am not stating that those that chose not to vaccinate are bad parents etc. For this reason please have respect if commenting. Although I’m happy for all to comment what ever the opinion, abuse and rude comments will not be published.

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