Just a little Indi update

Just a little Indi update

Usually I’m a phone addict. I love Instagram and blogging our life (and I think you guys do too?!) but recently it’s taken a back seat.

Firstly because I got a BPD diagnosis which had taken some adjustments especially medication wise. I’ve also gone back to work after 2 years and it’s helped massively! That time I have to myself, even to wee, is pure bliss.

Secondly (and more importantly) there’s been some area of concern with Indiana. It’s hard not to compare him to other children especially his friends who are similar age to him because everyone develops differently. However there are some signs that there was just too much to ignore:

• His speech is at the same level as a 7 month- 1 year old not at a 2.5 years old. He’s never once said “mama” or “mummy” or “love you”.

• He won’t acknowledge his name when called

• Constant smacking himself

• Hyper-activeness and aggression

• He’s slept through possible 4 times in his entire life

• He will only watch Paw Patrol (internal screaming) and specifically likes Chase, no other pup will do!

• He rarely ever interacts with other children and struggles massively! He’s only just shared a toy for the first time the other week and baby group which almost made me cry.

For a long while I just thought I was an awful mum, why was my child so naughty? Why can’t my kids get on well like others I know? Why does everyone so obviously dislike him?

I struggled so much. Why was he such hard work?! Why don’t I enjoy parenting as much as I should. I knew I needed more help so got in contact with our local health visitor and she arranged a visit and I expressed my concerns. That’s when she suggested that she thought he was autistic.

If you’ve ever been through the process you will know the assessment is a score sheet (which Indiana scored very high on) and it’s been a tough road but we are starting to get help. Without the help of my friends Vanessa and Joely I’d be really clueless and they just GETs it you know? It might help others but for me every time I see an account that’s with the username ‘@superautismmummy’ or ‘@autismmumsdoitbetter’ it drives me mad! It’s not a unique selling point for a blog. I’m down for the cool mums who also happen to have children with disabilities and I won’t let that define me as a mum. Each to their own of course.

Meltdown

Autism is a spectrum and every child is different. He’s taught us to love without words which is truly magic. That’s just what makes him that little bit more special. Not ‘needs’ just special.

Hyper episode

From time to time I will write about it because it’s all new to us and I feel like I can put a raw, honest and genuine angle on it. I’m also free for any support that might be needed! It’s also important to add that it’s a long road to getting an official diagnosis. It hasn’t either been confirmed it’s autism or ADHD or even something else but we will always care for him.

Peace-

Fifi

Xoxo

3 generations of dumpy hairless boys

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Brigits Bakery afternoon tea tour bus- review

Brigits Bakery afternoon tea tour bus- review

One day I was at the coach station and I saw this fabulous big red bus pull up and it looked fabulous compared to the coach I was going to be getting on (a three hour slog back to Dover *shudder*). I later discovered it was the Bs bakery tour bus with afternoon tea. There’s only one woman in this world who loves afternoon tea more than me and that is my Nan! So I booked us in and invited her which she was really thrilled about bless her.

We got there 20 minutes early (as requested) and boarded the shiny red bus on the top deck where our gorgeous tea was laid out. Our fantastic tour guide was fabulous and attentive with topping up our prosecco and tea/coffee. To support #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth all teas are pink themed and Brigits Bakery are donating £1 of every ticket sale to the Pink Ribbon Foundation who support breast cancer patients.

Unfortunately the microphone wasn’t working so we missed out on the tour but my Nan (a true Londoner) wasn’t bothered. We still got to see all the fabulous tourist spots and even saw the changing of the guide. I just like seeing the good shopping points and seeing if I could spot a cheeky celeb or two.

They made up for it by lots of bubbly and letting us keep our cups- we got reusable cups with tops on which was really handy in case of speed bumps! The food was gorgeous especially the macaroons and cupcakes. I’m a vegetarian too so the variety of sandwiches in most afternoon teas can be disappointing but Brigits Bakery put on a yummy spread for me which I was impressed with.

You can follow Brigits Bakery on all socials at @brigitsbakery. 10/10 for the staff who really made the trip, our lovely waitress even sang happy birthday to two passengers and was really comical.

This was a gifted experience for this honest review.

Good bubble- review

Good bubble- review

Hands up, I was intrigued! Everyone’s been talking about Good Bubble and I’m always keen to try new products especially when the market for toddler skincare used to be mainly Johnson’s. I’m also more cautious now of products that aren’t cruelty free and vegan, I like knowing where things are coming from and what I’m using on my children.

I’d seen lots of other mums using Good Bubble and I wanted in. The previous brand was getting too expensive (toddlers get MESSY, they need lots of baths) so I contacted them and they invited me to review their products (painfully honestly) in exchange for products and discounts.

The cloudberry arrived and the kids loved it. Delilah said it smelled like black current squash actually. It’s one of the bubbliest baths they have ever had but after a while they mixed in the bath and was nice and soothing before bed. I hate having to funds suds after them so was handy for me but they was a bit disappointed.

All the products are allergen and sulphate free which is a bonus because Delilah has a cosmetic allergy. This makes them suitable for newborns so make sure you pop this in your hospital bag!

All products are vegan too whilst being affordable (all products are under £6.99!). They are also PROUDLY cruelty free which can be very rare to find in baby products.

You can buy them from;

Visit their Facebook page too.

These products were gifted for an honest review but as always I would alway give a fair review that was true to my opinions. From one parent to another I only blog honestly.

The East London Hotel- review

The East London Hotel- review

I promised Polly tickets to see Chicago for her birthday months ago but things aren’t how they used to be and we are juggling a lot at the moment so we FINALLY got round to booking it for the weekend and planned her trip.

The lovely people at The East London Hotel kindly gifted us a night at their new Bethnal Green hotel which was only a short tube from Central London and the show. The East London Hotel is an affordable hotel serving breakfast, lunch and dinner plus the have a great stock of gin!

The rooms are compact, easy and clean with all amenities (even a little desk!). Unfortunately they had a few teething problems like the coffee machines in the rooms weren’t installed but the staff were more than happy to bring you up anything you needed. Their hotel line is operated via a WhatsApp number so it was easy to text them for anything you need! However if you was a guest without a phone or use of WhatsApp it would be tricky.

We was also lucky to be on the second floor because the lift was still being fitted. God knows how we would of coped in heels! Everything was to such a high grade despite being an affordable hotel! The soap to the jam was a good brand and no corners were cut, they even had air con in the rooms! The towels were lovely and flurry, there’s nothing I hate more than thin crappy towels at hotels.

We checked in, got ready and headed to Leicester Square for dinner and cocktails at Ruby Blue, a roof top bar, then went to the Phoenix Theatre. Duncan James was staring as Billy and Alexandra Burke had staring role as Roxie Hart. The singing performance was amazing and we loved singing along however we was a little disappointed that there was barely any acting. The staff were amazing with letting us skip the que and helping us to our seats after explain mine and Polly’s mental health problems which made it smoother though.

Once we got back to Bethnal Green we sampled some of the nightlife then headed back to our room to snuggle in bed watch Love Island on the flat screen. When we got in they had tidied our room, remade the bed and fluffed out the bed which was so lovely.

We had set an alarm for the following morning to ensure we woke up and I’m glad we did. The blind completely blacked out the room and ensured an excellent nights sleep. I was expecting a bit of noise because of the great location but we didn’t hear anything. After a week of Indiana reverting back to sleeping like a newborn I was desperate for sleep and felt super refreshed despite a little hangover.

After a delicious breakfast we checked out and left the suitcases at the hotel and got the northern line to Camden for the ‘day for Amy’, a bite to eat and a little shopping. Girl time was so overdue and it was nice to browse without having to push a buggy or trying to control a dancing Delilah.

We then called it a day, went back for our cases and heading to the tube. She went to Victoria and I went to Stratford so parted ways from my little peach. I will super miss her now she’s off to Brighton in a student house! Roll on the Christmas holidays!

You can find the East London Hotel in Bethnal Green a short walk from the tube where prices start from £85 a night!

Go Boat London- #savvysocial

Go Boat London- #savvysocial

Naturally the process, build up, preparation etc of your little ones starting school is scary. No doubt it, you could be the coolest cucumber and still shit your pants at the thought of your baby girl/boy holding a book bag. It’s also the biggest memento rushing in the morning to get everyone washed and dressed (even though you carefully organised everything down to their socks!), out the door to the gates for the obligatory first day at school snap before your baby is torn out your hands sobbing their eyes out shouting “TAKE ME WITH YOU”. You rush out the gates all teary, feeling awful for leaving them but secretly relieved to have some bloody peace, with nothing to do. It’s a bit of an “ohh shit that’s no biggie” moment.

With all that going on I needed a Mums night off (can we get an amen sister?) and I was buzzing because Hanna (@the_savvy_mummy) had arranged for the girls to take a boat trip (curtesy of Go Boat London). It’s conveniently round the corner from Paddington St and near M and S where we stocked up on a picnic of treats to accompany our Mirabeau wine (also kindly gifted).

After a welcome message, quick lesson and set up we set sail down to Camden lock.

We passed through a really gorgeous quiet part of London through Little Venice and past London Zoo (we even saw some of the animals which would be fab for kids) drinking wine, eating snacks and having a good giggle. It was hilarious when we got stuck luckily we managed to get out and had a fab little trip!

The company was fabulous and can’t wait for the next trip, now time for work and a sore head whilst I do the whole school run again eckkk!

This was a gifted experience kindly arranged by Hanna (the_savvy_mummy) in exchange promotion but we had a fab time and will be back!

The Verrill gang go to Camp Bestival

The Verrill gang go to Camp Bestival

Being a teen mum meant I missed out on a few things. I didn’t go to UNI (I just scraped through qualifying from Hairdressing college whilst I suffered with morning sickness in between perms), I didn’t go travelling to India like I planned, I was in feeling my baby dancing in my belly whilst my friends were dancing in the club downing vodka… all these things I didn’t miss at all but not going on the annual festival trip stung majorly. I was 18 and all my friends were finishing school after getting their results and heading to celebrate at Reading festival like we did every year. I had sold my ticket and was laid up in bed teary with FOMO and feeling sick. I never regretted my decision but it was normal to feel a bit of FOMO. I thought my days of visiting festival was long behind me until I discovered Camp Bestival!

Camp Bestival is a five day festival in Dorset’s wonderful Lullworth castle grounds with families in mind. There’s performances from the clean bandit and basement jaxx to the likes of Mr Tumble! They had a fabulous range of free activities, meet and greets with famous characters like Peter Rabbit right down to circus acts, big fish little fish raves, silent discos and much more! We dragged Vicki (@thehairstylist_vc) and her 2 year old Maggie with us.

Things are very thought about with them having an NCT tent with baby facilities, a child toddler play area, kids compost toilets and fun free things too do. It was totally cool and acceptable to let the kids sleep in the wagons whilst parents carried on partying.

Unfortunately in the wee hours of Saturday morning Vicki and I woke up with the horrendous storm and MAD winds. I had a huge panic attack and got totally freaked out! Luckily the girls stayed asleep but it was scary. Lots of families were packing up or leaving demolished tents! Our tent was damaged in the front but we powered on through and got glittered up as it was being fixed in the evening for us. Decorated up as mermaids we drank gin in the Gin tent, raves at BFLF, went on some rides. We headed back to get glittered up again in a sequin dress and feed the kids to find the wind was on an amber warming and going at a 45 MPH our tent wasn’t going to stay put and it didn’t feel safe to stay with the kids. We agreed that if we didn’t have the kids we’d of stuck it out and would of been too pissed to care but the kids safety was at the forefront of concern. With solid 36 hour rain scheduled we loaded the buggies up with all our stuff and made a dash for the car. How we physically managed too with the kids is nothing short of a miracle but we got loaded up and set off home with the roads clear. In the morning sadly the guys of camp bestival decided with the safety team that they couldn’t open the arena again. It was sad but ultimately the right choice to make.

Here is my advice

food + drink

Pack a cool bag with snacks, drinks and easy breakfast and lunch bits to save on forking out on food vendors whilst you are there. We brought a little gas hob to do the essential coffee in the morning, 100% bring mugs from home as it’s much nicer than a paper cup, we also bought easy breakfast bits like apples, chocolate brioches, bananas and porridge pots.  Lunches we had Chewymoon goodies, biscuits, crisps and general snacky things. For dinner we got things from the vendors like chips, pizza etc. There was plenty of organic, vegan, health choices too. It was very hard to find a kids meal as such especially since it was a family friendly festival so be prepared to split your food with the tots. On the way down we stopped for Burger King and then at the camp site we had a little picnic.

transport

SUPER unpopular opinion but pushchair over wagon. It is far easy to push than pull and they are ridiculously heavy! We rented one to transport our stuff out the car to the site and it was majorly heavy going. On the way pack to drop it back off Delilah came with me and dragging it with just Delilah was horrendously hard. On the dash home I loaded my buggy up (mothercare nanu so not particularly off road material) with ALL our stuff including Delilah in it and pushed it back to the car against the wind which was easier.  Its also a familiar place for them to nap in.

clothing

Next kindly gifted us some cool new threads to wear (anyone spot their pop up shop there?!) and anything else mermaid related, sparkly or comfy for bed was packed. I packed a fleeced onsie for Delilah because even though it was a scorcher leading up to the festival it still gets pretty chilly at night. I forgot to pack our raincoats stupidly but we survived whilst Delilah had her PomPom Poncho! I bought a toiletry bag with mini shampoos and that then another with make up and a life time supply of glitter. We got wellies and sandals too for foot wear.

camping

If you have #treayoself once in the year let it be Camping Plus. The hot shower, running toilets and guaranteed pitch of your own choosing plus a car park space. It is 100% worth it! Get a good quality tent that can stand the test of bad weather conditions too. Make sure you  pack towels, water, sleeping bags and your own pillows! Pack earplugs and a sleeping mask to ensure you have a good night sleep. We was by a pretty noisy family so it was handy! I also got Delilah ear defenders to sleep with late in the arena.

exploring

If I can give any advice it would be to MAKE A PLAN! We missed out on so much because we was disorganised! I wished we bought lanyards with times on sooner because we missed a fair bit by being unfamiliar with timings. We did have a great time seeing Sara Cox and Rae Morris though! We visited the Girl Talk mag tent where we made some snazzy glitter badges and took a selfie in their photo booth. We saw a wedding and had a boogie in the inflatable chapel which was pretty fabulous! If I had brought Paddy we would for sure be getting married there. There was lots to explore and get up too, we really had a fabulous time especially visiting the Lickalix ice lolly van to cool us down after all the circus skills learning.

additional

It is totally fine and mega easy to take kids to festivals. Much easier than what you probably think! Kids are adaptable (Delilah and Maggie loved sleeping in a tent, staying out late and being silly), as long as you are prepared camping is soooo easy and they will have a great time!

Maggie stealing my moves

We had sooooo much fun it was just a shame to cut the journey short. We will be back next year! The show goes on and they are already making plans for Camp Bestival 2019, which takes place from Thursday 25th July to Sunday 28th July at Lulworth Castle.

This coming Friday 3rd August at 10am to say thanks to all Camp Bestival-goers for being brilliant, they are starting a very special 72-hour pre-sale with adult weekend tickets available to buy for the amazing price of £150!!!

For a little bit of clarity we was gifted these tickets, the clothing, lollies etc but we use these brands already and we would of bought tickets anyway because its a fabulous event.

Indiana turns 2

Indiana turns 2

This time two years ago England was in a ginormous heatwave, I was almost 40 weeks pregnant constantly sweating and suffering with SPD because Indiana’s ginormous baby head had pushed right down my nether regions. I was ready to murder Paddy for getting me pregnant with my second child within 15 months, I was irritable and down. I’d had unsuccessful sweeps, I was told I would not go over my due date because I was in SO much pain it was horrendous and I was trying to take care of my one year old. The afternoon before my induction my in laws picked up Delilah for a sleepover, when Paddys Dad knocked on the door my tired swollen ankles dragged to the floor to answer it. “God darling you really are done aren’t you?” He said. Yes, yes I bloody was!

At 4am (the same time I went into labour with Delilah) I awoke to my waters breaking and it was like the films. It gushed everywhere! Fast forward to 10.58 Indiana Michael Joshua Verrill was born into the world weighing a lovely 7lb 10onz. Funnily enough my appointment was at 11!

2 years later he is well apart of the Verrill gang and we wouldn’t be us without him. He’s given us some grief, some laughs, tons of cuddles and amazing memories.

For his birthday we originally had booked the local village hall but we wasn’t aloud a bouncy castle and it didn’t make sense when we had a gorgeous abbey down the road with a park and ducks to feed, plus it’s free! We got party boxes from Brooke’s Party Bags with paw patrol patterns on I then filled them with a little sandwich, popcorn, raisins, a biscuit, boomf lolly and a chewy moon treat plus a little cartoon of juice. For the parents I did a tray of cheese salad rolls with carrot sticks, a tray of strawberries and shortcake with clotted cream, punnet of flapjacks with a couple of bags of crisps and bottles of sparkly fruity waters. It went down really well!

I pitched up the teepee with balloons, decorations and tons of picnic blankets. The kids played in the park, sand pit, stream and footballs whilst the mums chat and the dads played footie. We had lunch, ate cake and chilled it was honestly perfect! Indiana ran around like crazy with his besties and at the end I handed out gift bags from Truly Scrumptious Party Bags with paw patrol stickers books and sweets.

I finally feel at one and stable being a mother of 2. Yes having a 3 and a 2 (ahhh!) year old is mental because they hard work, they squabble, fight, wind each other up but they are very best friends and they do everything together with me. Indiana was never an easy baby with his allergies, lack ability to sleep and now recently the health visitors have suggested to start assessment for ADHD and autism but he is the most loving child! He’s so cuddly, a proper mamas boy, he could be so boisterous but then still ask me to kiss his bumped arm.

Happy birthday baby boy! Here’s to bringing us rainbows and glitter to our life.

Indiana Michael Joshua Verrill!

Just want to say a quick thank you to the following brands for gifting us gorgeous bits for his party;