Monday, 1 September 2014

Living Arrows 35/52.

Baby David playing with the toy cars.
Generally, John is a great big brother. He sings to David, he cuddles him, he feeds him ice cream & sweeties... But one thing he isn't so great at is sharing his toys, in particular, his cars. Which is a shame as David appears to be following in his big brothers foot steps and falling in lovely with anything that has wheels.

So the minute John is away, sleeping or his back is turned, David is into the car box like a shot. He hauls each car out, one at a time, spinning the wheels & chatting away to himself. Baby is in his element. Hopefully once David gets some new cars for himself at his birthday & Christmas, John will be more keen to play with the cars as a twosome. Either that or David's car will suddenly become John's too...
living arrows
Until next week,


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Cystic Acne

Stiemycin & Acnecide for Cystic Acne.

When I was a teenager, I had beautiful skin. It sounds a little big headed to say that but it's genuinely true. I used to receive compliments on my skin above all else. I was obsessed with skincare and having just one spot was devastating. That one big cystic spot would come only once a month though, so I just used to sulk & get on with it. Looking back, I've now come to realise those spots, that only came once a month (clue right there...) were hormonal.

So throw in two, pregnancies, two babies & 2.5 years of breastfeeding and you've got a woman in hormonal overdrive! My skin has suffered the most. Gone are the days of a baby soft face, now it's blackheads, whiteheads & worst of all, Cystic Acne. I don't suppose the fact my skincare ritual slipping through exhausting pregnancies & sleep-deprived newborn days will have helped matters but as my hormones are still all over the joint, my skin is just not settling. In fact, despite trying various cream, lotions, washes & remedies throughout the past year(+), I've given up... Coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, breastmilk, salicylic acid, clay masks, evening primrose oil... Nothing has worked, not even slightly.

To the point that last month I resigned myself to going to the doctors. Since I've yet to find a cure for myself, I was holding out for their being a medical miracle they were keeping a secret, that might just fix my face. Having already exhausted every remedy I'd encountered from hours of Googling, I was dubious there was much they'd actually be able to do, particularly for my hormone induced cystic acne. It seems the best solutions for that included the contraceptive pill but given I'm still breastfeeding, they simply won't even entertain that idea. And since stopping breastfeeding isn't going to happen any time soon, I thought there was little hope.

Thankfully, I encountered a very sympathetic doctor. She agreed that my acne was more than likely down to hormones & not once suggested stopping breastfeeding. We talked about the various other options that avoided hormones as not to interfere with breastfeeding and before going down the route of oral antibiotics, that I'd try a couple of topical creams & solutions. She prescribed me Stiemycin & Acnecide Gel, both to be used twice a day. I was to give it at least 4 weeks and if there was no improvement to go back & discuss starting oral antibiotics (obviously ones safe for use whilst breastfeeding).

It's now been 4 weeks and disappointingly, I'm making another appointment with my doctor. Despite my cystic acne not being quite as widespread, it's by no means improved. There's a few less cystic spots but that could be as much to do with the fact that the previous ones have healed, as although there's not as many, there's still some there regardless; & they're by no means any better than they were before starting the prescribed treatments. I imagine the fact I've also just had my first period in 18 months means perhaps my hormones are going into a whole new overdrive (yay...). Plus there's absolutely no improvement in the blackhead & whiteheads. I won't get an appointment for another couple of weeks yet, which will give the treatment a little more time to work but as there's been no change yet, I'm not holding my breath.

I plan to keep updating throughout my treatments though, as to help anyone going through the same. Because if you're anything like me, obsessively Googling treatments is something that comes with the territory of Cystic Acne. And yes, I do have a some rather high-resolution photos for my face but I'm not quite ready to share that yet - perhaps as a before photo when I have a after one.

Do you have any experience with Cystic Acne? Or any magical cures to share?


Wednesday, 27 August 2014


Snuffle Babe Vapour Oil & Rub.
Brace yourselves, folks! David has now started nursery. This means I'm dosing us up on vitamins & counting my available holiday days. If he's going to be anything like his big brother, the next year is going to be filled with cough, after cold, after sniffle (& in turn he will never actually be in nursery...).

There's nothing worse than a choked up wee one. Runny noses, trouble breathing, difficulty eating & not being able to get comfortable enough to sleep - it's the times that every parent dreads. You feel utterly helpless and whilst you do all you can to help, sometimes you need a bit of assistance. That's where Snuffle Babe comes in. When a cold set in, you might just pop a couple of decongestant tablets & get on with life, for wee ones though it's not so straight forward.

The obvious alternative to medicinal decongestants is a Vapour Rub and Snufflebabe have the perfect one for stuffed up wee ones. Whether it's used on the chest & back, or on the soles of the feet with socks (honestly, try it!!), vapour rubs are a tried & tested method of relieving cold symptoms. And the great thing about Snufflebabe is that it's not as eye wateringly strong as the well-known adult alternative, with the lovely combination of eucalyptus oil, menthol and thyme oil, making it is much better suited for wee ones. Plus it's suitable from only 3 months, so worth having on hand for that heart-breaking first cold.

The perfect accompaniment to the Snufflebabe Vapour Rub is the Snufflebabe Vapour Oil. A few drops on a muslin cloth, draped over a heater, or into a bowl of warm water, will give some lovely menthol vapours through the night to help wee ones get a good sleep. I also like to pop a couple of drops onto the boys sleeping bag/blankets when they're particularly stuffed up - just be sure to avoid getting it on pyjamas or wee ones skin, as like all essential oils it may cause irritation. The Snufflebabe Vapour Oil is also designed for use with the Snufflebabe Inhaler Dummy, which lets be honest, is a pretty clever invention!

Snufflebabe have a fantastic range of products for helping you get through the inevitable colds & sniffles that come with wee ones. Along with the Snufflebabe Vapour Rub & Vapour Oil, I can highly recommend the Nasal Aspirator for babies that can't yet blow their noses - something we bought for John before he was even born. In theory, it's pretty disgusting (we even call it the snot sucker!) but boy, does it work! As far as I'm concerned, Snufflebabe are by far the best on the market it terms of cold remedies for wee ones.

Have you tried any of the Snufflebabe range? What is your favourite product?


Monday, 25 August 2014

Living Arrows 34/52.

Toddler John giving baby David a morning kiss.
Gah. These two. Even when I feel like poop & can't speak (thank you, tonsillitis...), they still make me smile. Around this time last year I was hitting the worrisome stage of pregnancy - the part where I wonder if having another baby was actually the best thing for John. Did he really want a baby brother? Did he really want someone to share his Mummy & his cars with? Did he really want someone taking the spotlight away from him?

A year on, I know the answer; Worrying about such things was 100%, without a doubt, completely pointless. A year on and we - especially John - cannot imagine our lives as a family of 3. We're 4 - we've always meant to have been 4. John was always meant to be a big brother and he's taken that role in his stride.

And David, he is the doting little brother. He quite literally hates it when John's not around. God forbid he wakes up from naptime before John, otherwise we're subject to a cranky, moany baby, doing everything in his power to get into his big brothers room. And don't even get me started on those days that John's at nursery without him!

Then, on the week when I'm parenting with no voice, David starts pulling himself up on his cot, ready to greet John in the morning. John of course, is happy to see David so eagerly awaiting him, starting another day as a family of 4, with a kiss & a cuddle. As if my motherly heart could take any more!
living arrows
Until next week,


Friday, 22 August 2014

How're You?

We've hit a huge milestone. Forget smiling, crawling, walking... This one is bigger than them all. It started with the simple first word of, "car." Since then, John's vocabulary has grown at an insane rate. We're even at the stage of repeating & understanding pretty much everything you say to him. But bigger than that; he can now communicate how he feels.

Ok, it doesn't sound like a huge deal but when you've spent the past two & a half years trying to figure out what each cry, each facial expression means, to then have him tell you exactly what he feels, it's a pretty big deal.

It started with a simple, "Mummy, sore mouth," to tell me his teeth were sore (damned molars...). We now get a, "good fun!" after the park & Rhyme Time and even a, "John's not well," when he's feeling ill. Best of all he can even tell us when he's tired & wants to go to bed! Although that doesn't happen as often as I'd like...

With being able to communicate how he feels, he's also starting to pick up on other peoples emotions too, particularly David's. It's so heart warming to see him cuddle his little brother when he's upset & say, "it's ok, Day-bid. Mummy coming." And bring him toys when he's bored saying, "here you go, Day-bid, you have iss." He also picked up on me having tonsillitis after a trip to the doctors earlier this week and was on his best behaviour for his not-so-well Mummy the rest of the week. In fact, he even sees this photo & announces, "happy John there!"

This milestone makes me especially proud, to see my wee 6lbs 12oz baby growing into a walking talking, caring kid. Soppy, proud Mummy post done.

From one proud Mummy,

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