Sunday, 29 December 2013

A Very Belated Merry Christmas!

As it is quite obvious to see, the blog has been quiet this month. Actually the past few months in general have seen me slip ever so slowly away from the blogging world and back in to the open arms of my real world.

Christmas this year has been a very happy yet very sad one.

The excitement of having our first Christmas where Princess truly understands the magic of it all, helping her put out the milk and cookies for Santa and the continous "has Santa been yet!?" every morning for the whole of December, only makes us remember more those that aren't around to enjoy the magic with us.

In November, we lost a truly wonderful woman. Ross's Mum. My Mother in Law and Princess's Nana. This Christmas has been full of firsts and not all of them happy ones. The first Christmas where Princess can open her presents all by herself, and the first Christmas that Ross has spent without his Mum.

We have tried to make this Christmas as special as possible for Princess because we know that is what Jayne would have wanted. She would have wanted her to be spoilt, cuddled, kissed, sugar-frenzied and happy. So that's exactly what we did.

Overall, it was a lovely day that we all enjoyed as much as we could. We spent the morning with Princess's Grandad who came to watch her open presents. After the crazy aftermath of opening presents, Ross cooked a mouth watering Christmas Dinner that was devoured by all - including the dogs and cat. A chilled evening full of Christmas films, wine and chocolate was the perfect ending to the day.

As much as I am excited for 2014, I know it will be a sad a year. A year that will be filled with sadness as we experience those first moments that are created by losing someone you love. Her first Birthday without her here, first Mothers Day, the first time she won't get to see her newest Grandchild being born.

Despite this, I plan on making 2014 our year. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do it yet, but I know I can. I plan on showering my family with love and appreciation. I want them to know how special they are to me, because you never know when they won't be around any more. I plan on believing in myself more. The things I want to do, I will do, and I will enjoy them. I will achieve the goals I set myself throughout the year, and if I don't.. well I won't hate myself for it. I plan on building the confidence of myself and others around me.

I suppose the sadness we feel just reminds us of how much we cared. How much we miss and love someone.

Now that Christmas is over, I'm going to face 2014 head on. I don't have anything spectacular planned, but I will take each day as it comes and enjoy it as much as I possibly can.

I hope all of you had a fantastic Christmas and are all still carrying safely guarded food babies that you all plan on shedding in January. That's what Christmas is all about right? Eating yourself in to oblivion and promising come next year that you WILL be slim? Yeah, me too.

I won't promise to blog more, because we all know that won't happen. But for now, I am enjoying my blog as and when I want to. I never want to see it as a chore or a job because that's when I stop loving it. Let's just see what the New Year brings!


Saturday, 7 December 2013

Wheelchair VS Pushchair

If you are a follower of Pushchair Trader on Facebook then you may have seen their recent status about the wheelchair VS pushchair on public transport debate.

Apparently, their have been cases in court regarding this argument, one in favour of the pushchair and one in favour of the wheelchair - who gets priority?

This argument is basically about buses. As of right now, the general consensus is 'first come, first served'. This means that if a pushchair/pram/stroller is on the bus, a person in a wheelchair cannot get on. If a person in a wheelchair is on the bus, a parent with a pushchair cannot get on.

Apparently, right now, a supreme court is trying to work out who has more rights on buses public transport.

I posted on this status. Something that was true to me, and probably a lot of other parents. This is what I said:

"I had to ask a complete stranger to hold my barely 6 week old child whilst I folded my pushchair down so a lady in a wheelchair could get on the bus. I had to move my shopping bags to a seat, remove the rain cover as it was raining that day, fold the pushchair down and place it in the shopping hold and then retrieve my baby from the stranger. By the time I had done all of this, the lady in the wheelchair was in place. Next to her, there were 2 spare places where my pushchair could have fit. I had to hold my newborn baby, shopping bags and changing bag for the whole 30 minute journey. It is not about 'first come first served' or even who has more priority.. it is about the bus companies changing their policies."

What I didn't state was this - I was on the way to a midwife appointment so she could remove the staples in my stomach after an emergency c-section. The shopping in my bags was formula and nappies. I was then late for my appointment.

I can argue this case from both sides quite easily.

As a parent, it is my natural instinct to protect my child. As a newborn baby, I don't want her coming out of the pushchair in freezing cold conditions. I don't want to hand her over to a complete stranger to hold whilst I dismantle a pushchair. I don't want to have to hold her uncomfortably because I woke her up, she's now starving and I can't quite get hold of the bottle, milk powder and mix it together with one hand. None of that is fair.

 If you are sat on the bus with your child, newborn, 6 months, 1 year.. it is entirely unfair to either a) be forced to leave the bus altogether or b) struggle entirely trying to juggle basically your entire life in 2 hands. If your child can walk.. then there is no argument. You should fold the pushchair up before you even get on the bus.. there isn't a need for you to take up those seats. However, if your child cannot walk, then why should you then in turn be forced to give up that seat for someone else who cannot walk.. but is just older?

As a disabled person, it is not fair for them to have to sit out in the cold/wind/rain/heat waiting for a bus.. over and over again.. just because a pushchair is already on the bus. How many buses do they have to wait for? 2? 5? In my whole 18 months of using a pushchair on public transport, I have only ever come across maybe 15 incidents where I could not catch a bus because of a wheelchair user. Considering I used to catch the bus several times a week, that's actually a very small amount. Most wheelchair users are inable to vacate their wheelchair and fold it down to sit somewhere else.. One of my close friends is in a permanant mobility scooter and cannot get out of it. Is it fair for her to wait for 3 buses before she can get to her Doctors appointment? No it's not..

..so surely one has to give?


During this debate, there were many different opinions and comments:

"I was on the bus first, so why should I give up my space"
"Wheelchair users can't use their legs, but you can!"
"I was forced to get off a bus because someone in a wheelchair wanted to get on"
"I only have 2 arms, how can I hold a baby, carry my shopping and fold down a pushchair?"
"Disabled people ask for equal rights, except when it benefits them!"

Those are just a few. Basically, I agree with them all. After posting my comment above I was called ignorant, disgusting, a pig, bitch, discriminative.. and so forth. The rest are too insulting to post.

However, I spoke the truth.

I don't think it is acceptable to expect a parent to hand their newborn child over to a stranger so they can fold their pushchair down. I don't think it is acceptable to ask someone in a wheelchair to "wait for the next one".

Although it is apparently acceptable to tell a parent with a pushchair to "wait for the next one.."

Who is right?

In my eyes, wheelchair users already have priority. If they are on the bus already, a parent is told to wait. If they want to get on the bus, a parent is told to fold the pushchair down.

On my local bus Nottingham City Transport (NCT) there is a bay specifically for wheelchair and pushchair users. It is specifically stated wheelchair users have priority. However, they have now introduced a larger pushchair bay - basically, 8 strollers could fit in these gaps. On majority of buses, the policy is 1 x wheelchair OR 2 x pushchair. If all buses adopted these same policies, then the problem would be resolved.



A wheelchair has brakes. So does a pushchair. I see no hazard in allowing both contraptions on the bus together.

What needs to change is the policy.

Instead of batting parents against the disabled.. create a bus which accomodates both.

Most buses already can, their policy just doesn't allow them to. Drivers are unwilling to risk their jobs to bend the rules, and parents are bullied into giving their space up.

If buses created space for both - because lets face it, those of us who can walk freely without children are quite able to stand - what do we need those extra seats for? One side could be for pushchairs and the other for wheelchairs. Only 3 seats per side could accomodate 2 pushchairs and 1 wheelchair.. then surely everyone is happy?

The worst part of the argument here, is that you cannot fight against the disabled. A disabled person will always have priority over a baby, child, teenager or adult and there is nothing anyone can do to fight this, it's common decency. As soon as I voiced my opinion, I was slandered for not being respectful enough towards the disabled. I understand the meaning of disability, probably more than other people, and I am not ignorant to the difficulties they may face. However, as a parent, I am not ready for my child to be deemed "less important" than anyone else.

I could write this post for days, and as I'm not against or for either, I can't even be controversial.

What are your opinions on this topic? Should wheelchairs have priority over children?

Friday, 6 December 2013

I'll Brush And Brush And Brush My Hair..

In your lifetime, how many people will complain about the way they look? Their face, their body, their hair, their skin, their clothes.

One.. hundred? Maybe one thousand?

I am no stranger to self-criticism. I am too fat, too short, too fair and too hairy.

This stems from short parents, a chubby family, pale ancestors and what I'm lead to believe, a fairly masculine father.

This had lead to a 5ft, fair skinned, chubby, dark haired child. I have been chubby since I can remember.. Hell, look at pictures of me as a toddler and you automatically know where the Michelin Man came from.

But despite the chubbiness and the disastrous monobrow, the one thing that I just cannot forgive..?

My hair.

My hair is naturally dark brown. It is thick. It is wavy. Not curly... wavy.

I cannot create natural curls.. it is too thick.

I cannot creathe natural waves.. it is too thick.

I cannot create straightness.. it is too thick.

I KID you not.

This is my hair at 14...

 

My hair is the absolute worst nightmare of any person ever. I thought I was exaggerating. But then I observed people. I observed their hair and the way it changed. The way it reacted to products (that I always got the name of by the way). I watched my frizzy haired friends turn in to sleek, seductive creatures. I watched fellow curly haired friends turn into tamed, tidy curls.

Oh no. Not me.


Don't get me wrong, I have had compliments on my natural hair. I am also pretty sure they are taking the piss. I don't even bother having to blow dry my hair to attain ridiculous amounts of volume.

And that's where the envy lies I assume. My hair has volume. Layer upon layer of volume, no matter what spritz, lacquer, mask or spray I apply to it. It will never shrink and it will never lie flat.

 

This post is ridiculously impossible, because I do not have an answer. After countless and endless ordeals with my hair, spending fortune and fortune trying to get it the way I would like, maybe just a little less crazy.. I have come up empty handed.

To everyone else.. just be thankful. If you have flat, sleek, shiny, straight hair.. you can create my mess. But I will forever be stuck with mine.
 
So I'll brush and brush and brush and brush my hair, stuck in the same place I've always been. And I'll keep wandering, and wandering and wandering, when will my hair be tame? 


This is the straightest and shiniest my hair has ever been. As you can see.. it is not straight. This style took an hour. And lasted all of five minutes...




Thursday, 5 December 2013

The Brightest Star In The Sky

Dear Jayne,

It was nearly 5 years ago that I met you. It was a warm Summers day and you were having a barbecue in the back garden. I walked up to you reproachfully, not sure what to expect.. I was only 19 years old. You scared the absolute life out of me.

You were my boyfriends Mother. Ross's Mum. You were the soul most important being in his livelihoood, and he wanted me to meet you. That thought terrified me. Despite only looking 15 and most of my friends parents believing me to be the bad influence on them, I was worried at what you might make of me. Ross and I had been friends from the age of 13.. so already 6 years I had known him. I cared so much for him yet I was so scared to meet you and Gary.

I needn't have been scared. You welcomed me with open arms. We shared love of random Facebook games and would message each other quite regularly. I will never, ever, remember the moment Ross told me that you approved of me. He had said that you liked me so much and it was a refreshing change. I was someone he could build a future with.

Over the years, we grew much closer. We would visit you on weekends, you would come down to our house and visit us. I'd even catch the bus over to the other side of Nottingham to visit you with Princess when Ross was working. I'd sit and watch you iron whilst we would chat.

You worked so hard for everything you had. Look at all that weight you lost! I will always remember our weekly trips to Zumba and aerobics. Laughing at ourselves and the other seriously unfortunate. I can remember you saying you wanted to lose weight so you could live your life to the fullest. You wanted to get down on the floor and play with the Grandkids. You wanted to be able to pick them up and cuddle them and be involved in all that they do. And do you know what? You achieved it. A million times over. 

It absolutely kills me to write on my blog, that sadly you have passed away.

Actually, sadly doesn't even cover it.

When you were diagnosed with cancer on the 2nd September of this year - my Birthday to be exact - I don't think any of us really recognised how serious things were. I knew that your results were on my Birthday, I kept asking Ross if he had heard anything. You told everyone not to tell me, so my Birthday wouldn't be ruined. That's the kind of person you were. You cared more about me enjoying my Birthday than your own health. Even promising me a present as soon as you came out, as if that's what I was bothered about.

I remember being sat on the bed with you, crying, that we would do anything. We would support you through all of your decisions and that ultimately, your life was your own. I remember encouraging you to start chemotherapy - because if you didn't, you'd always wonder. Would it have worked?

Boy, did you suffer. I still feel guilty at being part of the reason you considered it. But do you know what Jayne? You broke UK history. Only one other person in the entire UK had suffered the way you did, slipped in to a coma.. but you came out of it. The only person, EVER. You fought it with all you had. You had a reason to live. Your Mum, Gary, Steven, Marie, your children and all of your Grandchildren. We all waited for you to come back fighting and you proved you could. It was an actual miracle.

Jayne, you are an inspiration. Just 10 short weeks after you were diagnosed.. cancer took your life. None of us will ever forget, or ever forgive this awful disease. But you have set the mark. You have proved that sometimes maybe you can be that 1%. Sometimes, when you think that all hope is lost.. maybe it isn't.

In my head, I have so many words to say to you. I want to sit across a table from you and tell you all the words I've been meaning to say but never had the chance to. I want to express to you exactly what you mean to me and how you've helped me become the woman I am today.

I want to say thank you for everything. Thank you for raising an amazing son. A son that I can share my life with and build a family of my own. Thank you for all of your words of encouragement, confidentiality and support, they will always mean more than you will ever, ever know.

I don't want to say goodbye Jayne. Not ever.

You wlll forver be a part of my life. A part of Scarlett's life. And most importantly, Ross's life.

He misses you so much.  Words can't even express the pain he is going through right now, along with Charlotte and Adam.

I know you're watching over us.

The brightest star in the sky, there is no doubt.

Love and miss you always, Jayne.

Your loving Daughter-In-Law,

Misty xxx