Saturday, July 25

Do you know about Medical Power of Attorney?

Medical power of attorney, this isn't something I'd heard about before, however it's something I would urge you all to learn about and to set in place to ensure your loved ones wishes are taken into account should the shit hit the fan and they lose their own ability to voice their wishes in hospital.

Having a loved one in hospital is hard enough, however as their nearest and dearest and probably their next of kin, you will want to ensure their wishes are adhered to if they become unable to communicate these themselves.

This is a situation we recently found ourselves in and we wanted to share to help ensure others don't have to face this in difficult times.

As you know my Mother-in-Law Anne had terminal Cancer.   What you won't have known is she hated hospitals, even before all her treatments began.  She would do everything to avoid being kept in and we all knew this. She stayed in only when she desperately had to. She has always wanted treatments and caring for in the comfort of her own home, surrounded by family not strangers.

After a family holiday this month Anne needed to be rushed to hospital,  unsure what was wrong but knowing whatever it was needed urgent attention.

Her Husband and Sons were asked about resuscitation and whether they would agree to brain surgery if needed.  Anne was so frail and poorly from all her previous treatments that it was agreed that surgery wasn't feasibly an option and as next of kin they signed the DNR forms.

Now, as you can well imagine, this is a horrible situation for any family to be in, however Anne's wishes and welfare were foremost in the heart of all family members.

The hospital performed a CT scan and determined a big bleed on the brain.  They wanted to do a MRI, which they were to do the following day, so she stayed in another night, with Paul staying in the room over night for a second night to help calm her fears and ensure she wasn't alone.

This didn't happen the following day and she was becoming more and more distressed.  She wanted to be at home, the family wanted her at home and even arranged to have the MRI done privately so she could come home and not spend another day/night and longer where she didn't want to be.

This is where the problems started, by this time Anne was now unable to communicate these wishes when the consultants were in the room, as she was only really awake for minutes at a time, so would be asleep when they visited and confused if they tried waking her.

Although her family was able to sign the DNR forms and make those decisions, they weren't able to take her home and to discharge her themselves.

Her Macmillan nurse told the doctors/consultant that Anne would definitely want to be at home, however the hospital then expressed concerns that Anne was a vulnerable adult and wouldn't listen to the Macmillan nurse.

The hospital are actually able to make your loved one a ward of court if they disagree with your decisions. As a family they just wanted her wishes adhered to and were completely stuck, as, if they pushed too hard, the hospital can actually take you to court and then you won't be able to see your nearest and dearest when they desperately need you the most.

This is why having a medical power of attorney set up is what we urge you all to do!

It's a legally binding document drawn up by a solicitor, or which you can do via the site, which gives your voice to a loved one in hospital should you lose the ability to communicate your wishes yourself.

With this in place you can discharge a loved one to spend their final journey at home with the family, if this it what you know they want.  You can ensure their voice is heard when they have lost the ability to express it themselves.

Luckily for us in the end, Anne's Oncologist was finishing his clinic for the day and came to see the family.  They told him that the consultant wanted to keep her in to do the MRI, however the Oncologist disagreed as even if they did this the outcome couldn't be changed and would make no difference, operating wasn't an option as she was too frail for the procedure.  Making her comfortable was all they could do and he agreed she would be happier at home.

We don't want anyone else to have to fight like this in what is already the hardest of times.

Please do consider having a document drawn up giving medical power of attorney to a loved one and urge your nearest and dearest to do the same. It may seem unnecessary just now and hopefully you will never be put in this position, however you never know what tomorrow brings and won't want this fight on your hands when your time and energy will be needed elsewhere caring for your nearest and dearest.

I've not looked into how much this costs elsewhere but via the above link it costs £110.  It can take up to 10 weeks for the documents to all come through and you are able to nominate a single person or multiple people over the age of 18, who can jointly make the medical decisions on your behalf. (discounts are available if you're in receipt of certain benefits)
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Emmy and I completed the Race for Life in loving memory of my Mother-in-Law, Emmy's Nanny who we sadly lost on the 14th July.  We would love it if you would consider sponsoring us.
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Friday, July 24

A Trip to Willows Farm

A little while ago I took the children to Willows Farm in Colney Heath with my Mum.
Willows Farm is somewhere we have been many times before, set in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside this is a lovely day out for all the family.
We actually visited during the Spring time events however with recent events I'm so delayed in telling you about them that they have now moved onto the Summer time programme.
When we visited we were able to watch the sheep sheering which was new to me, and although we are regulars to the farm I've not managed to catch it before.   The children happily sat at the front on the floor to grab a perfect view and were shown the correct way to hold onto the sheep and then listened to a wonderful talk and were both fascinated to see just how quickly a sheep gets its hair cut.
During the summer months you can visit the corn maze which is great fun.  A maze made from maize! We love running through this and trying to find our way out again.  There is also goat racing, sports day races and many other fun activities.
Both Emmy and Harry love the petting area where you can feed the goats, pigs and sheep. You'll also find horses and the rabbits and if you sit on the seats in the middle the lovely staff will bring out the very friendly Guinea pigs to hold.
Once inside the farm everything else is free so the children can play on the ride on tractors, ride the carousels and play on the bouncy castles and the trampolines.
There are a couple of play areas too, some aimed at older children and the others for the younger ones. 
There's also a fairly large sandpit area with diggers you can sit on and dig/play with.

You can also ride on the tractor which takes you around and area of the farm,  this has songs and commentary running for the children which always goes down well.

Panning for gold always goes down well, although be prepared to get wet if your children are young and the fire squirting game is always a winner especially as it is also free so the kids all just line up to take turns.
There is also a large indoor play area should the weather turn or you really want to wear the kids out and a cafe too, as well as kiosks dotted around selling burgers, chips and ice creams.

We always just take a picnic and use one one the many picnic benches which can be found all over the farm.
We can easily spend most of the day here and will be returning over the summer holidays.
It's not the cheapest place to get into with adults tickets priced at £14.50 and children's at £15.50 (under 2's are FREE) but you can look around for deals on sites such as, take your own picnics and race through the gift shop on the way out to keep the cost down.

If you are local and will visit often then there is also the option of buying a yearly membership or if you are planning to visit only over the Summer holidays you could take advantage of the Summer super savers deal which allows 3 visits with your ticket price, these cost £23 for adults and £25 for children.
"This is a collaborative post."

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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Emmy and I completed the Race for Life in loving memory of my Mother-in-Law, Emmy's Nanny who we sadly lost on the 14th July.  We would love it if you would consider sponsoring us.
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Saucy Chocolate Pudding

The School holidays are now in full flow here and that means a lot of making, baking and creating goes on in our household.  We usually don't have the time as we are rushing around with School runs so we have been taking full advantage already this week with lazy pyjama mornings and then whipping up some tasty treats in the afternoon ready for dinner.
This week we've been taking advantage of the recipes on the Flora website and with the children in charge of our creations it wasn't a great surprise they opted for Saucy Chocolate Pudding, they do love a chocolate pudding just like their Dad.
Of course they were also in charge of making the pudding entirely themselves, the mess left proved that.  I find it is good for Emmy to weigh the ingredients (with instruction) as it helps to improve her maths skills at the same time.
This pudding is made in two parts, the main cake and the sauce, however unlike many chocolate puddings this one is cooked all together at the same time.
Main pudding:
  • 75g (3oz) Flora Buttery
  • 75g (3oz) Soft Brown Sugar (or Caster)
  • 75g (3oz) Self-Raising Flour
  • 3 tbsp. Cocoa Powder
  • 0.5 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp. Cocoa Powder
  • 50g (2oz) Soft Brown Sugar
  • 200ml (7floz) Hot Water
What I really like about this recipe is that it requires no special messing around so the children can just throw the ingredients together into a bowl and stir. 
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6/180 degrees.
For the main pudding you can cream together the sugar and the Flora but we actually just put all of the ingredients into one bowl and stirred well.
For the sauce, Mix the sugar and the cocoa powder together and add a little water, mix into a paste and then add the rest of the water.
Grease an oven proof dish and pour in the main cake mixture.  Then carefully pour the sauce over the top.  Bake for 20 minutes
This is a pudding to eat warm however we discovered it is fine to warm in the microwave later on when needed although by then the sauce isn't as runny.
This was really easy to make and the kids had loads of fun in the process, including a little flour fight when I turned my back to put it into the oven.
We are currently eyeing up what to make next from the Flora website and soup is a current favourite with Emmy, while Harry is searching for more chocolate ones.
"This is a commissioned post"
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Emmy and I completed the Race for Life in memory of my wonderful Mother-in-Law/Emmy's Nanny, we would love it if you would consider sponsoring us by clicking on the button below.
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Giveaway: Win a 3 month's supply of WaterWipes

Nothing in the world is as delicate or as precious as your baby’s skin.  A newborn’s skin is five times thinner than an adult’s skin and is much more sensitive too.  Yet, despite this, without knowing it, many of us expose our babies’ skin to chemicals every day.
WaterWipes are the only wipes which are as gentle on your baby’s skin as pure water.  Scientifically formulated to be as kind to delicate skin as cotton wool and cooled boiled water – but much more convenient – the only ingredients used are 99.9% purified water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract … and that’s it.
Most parents change their baby’s nappy up to 10 times a day.  Imagine wiping unsuitable ingredients on your baby’s skin 70 times per week, and then locking them in with a nappy. WaterWipes are suitable for babies with other sensitive skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, which is why they are the only wipe ever to be approved by Allergy UK.
WaterWipes have very kindly offered one lucky reader a prize of three month supply of WaterWipes (12 packs of wipes) so you can fall in love with the world’s purest baby wipe for the world’s most sensitive skin.
If you would like to enter this giveaway please fill in the rafflecopter form below. 

This giveaway will end at midnight on 21st August 2015. Open to UK entrants only. Good luck.
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Emmy and I completed the Race for Life in loving memory of my Mother-in-Law, Emmy's Nanny who we sadly lost on the 14th July.  We would love it if you would consider sponsoring us.
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Thursday, July 23

Giveaway: Win a potty training kit with HUGGIES® Pull-Ups®

HUGGIES® Pull-Ups®, the perfect tool for potty training, are encouraging parents and toddlers to say goodbye to nappies and hello to learning pants! The new learning liner inside HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® allows toddlers to feel wetness for a few moments, before quickly drawing the moisture away. This way, little ones will start to learn the difference between wet and dry and means they can ultimately stay dry on their own.
HUGGIES® Pull-Ups®, specifically designed to make potty training easier, have teamed up with Emmy’s Mummy to win a potty training starter kit to help your little one graduate to real undies with ease.

This includes two packs of HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® and two packs of HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® night time, both of which have Disney® graphics to make learning fun and encourage independence. Simply answer the question below for a chance to win.

Q. What are HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® encouraging parents and toddlers to do?

a) Say goodbye to nappies and learning pants
b) Say goodbye to nappies and hello to learning pants
c) Say hello to nappies and goodbye to learning pants

Visit for helpful tips and advice and to request your free sample.

Please enter via the rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway will end at Midnight on 13rd August 2015.  UK entries only.

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