Thursday, 5 May 2016

More vegetables

I had a spare grobag in the garden and so asked the girls if they would like to get some more vegetable plants.  They did!  Off we popped in the car to our local Squires to pick up a few more plants.  Happily they had a deal on of 6 plants for £10.  The girls chose some peppers, tomatoes and chillis (all things we eat quite a lot of), along with some more birdseed (I didn't plant that, clearly).



We planted them once home and I decided to use a little raised 'table' to put the grobag onto as this idea seems quite successful for the other grobag that is sitting on the bug barn. I think we have lazy slugs around here who only eat things at ground level!  A little netting over the top to stop the birds having the small plants - N's sunflower seed that I nurtured on the windowsill until it was about 4 inches tall disappeared the day after I planted it in the garden - and the veg corner is looking good.  The pots behind the grobag have strawberry plants in them so hopefully we'll get a few this year (if we are fast enough to beat the birds to them).

Monday, 2 May 2016

Oral-B Frozen Stages Toothbrush Heads

I've got both of my girls Oral-B electric toothbrushes but, of course, we're now in the 'trap' of buying Disney toothbrush heads for them to go with the Oral-B App. I don't mind this really as they love using their toothbrushes so you can't knock it right?

Both brushes came with a character head on them, both princesses but different ones (fortunately). They've got a bit 'fluffy' looking now so last week I popped to Sainsburys to pick up some new ones.  Disney's Frozen was the request. I had to search around the packets as some seemed to be all the same characters and others had different heads you could see.  Cleverly, Oral-B package them so you can't see the character at all (they all face inwards) and so you have to work it out but different colours on the back of the brush head.  I ended up with 2 Anna, 1 Elsa and 1 Olaf for the tidy sum of £14.  Ouch.


Excited girls chose their toothbrush heads today and I scanned N's - who had gone for Elsa - and off she went to collect her first sticker in her new book on the Oral-B App.  Then it was S's turn.  This is where it all went wrong.  No matter what I did - including restarted the App *and* even restarting my bloody phone - Olaf would not scan. Nor would either of the 2 Anna heads. After 20 minutes (I kid you not) and a little girl starting to get upset, I scanned N's Elsa again and we were off.  S would have to live with Elsa in her sticker book on the App and Anna now on her toothbrush.

Now, as you may imagine, annoyed doesn't even begin to cover it.  Not just about the £14 for 4 heads, of which 3 won't scan, but upset children at bedtime.  These were not some cheap, imitation stuff you get off eBay. These are genuine heads sold by Sainburys.  So, what the heck is going on? Clearly it's not the App - it's the heads. I have therefore Tweeted Oral-B, Disney and Sainsburys and I need this sorted out as I'm not a happy mummy, especially paying those prices.

Oral-B and Sainsburys came straight back to me - quality service!  Oral-B pipped Sainsburys to the post and gave me a number to call their customer services.  A very polite man spoke with me about my problem.  He looked through all related fixes but nothing seemed to show for my issue of toothbrush heads not scanning.  He did suggest re-installing the App but as I explained, if I lost the sticker books the girls had already collected, there would be even more tears (probably mine!).  He totally understood and sorted me out with a voucher to buy some new ones.

I was very impressed with the service from Oral-B and will happily pop up to Sainsburys to buy some new heads for the girls' toothbrushes.  It's nice to know that when things do go wrong, even with the simplest article, some companies do still give excellent customer service.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Rusty Rockets

J was absolutely delighted to meet this young man yesterday - Rusty Rockets (aka Russell Brand). He was a real gentleman and happily posed for this 'selfie' with her.  She did, after all, lend him a hairband #longhairissues *grin*



She had always said if she met him she wanted to sing 'I can't fight this feeling anymore' to him.  I don't think she did but watching him in Rock of Ages will have new meaning now. Thank you Mr Brand. You made her day.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

The vegetables are growing

The girls were really excited today to see how big their vegetables have got.  We've removed the mesh cover now as the cauliflower leaves were pressing on it.  Lettuces are coming on well, as are carrots and onions.



I think I need to use some ties to help the peas to grow upwards, which I'll do tomorrow. Beans are flowering too.  It's all going well on the veg front.  Looking forward to picking some when they are ready.

I need to get some raspberry plants too shortly and we can grow them and some more strawberries too.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Wisley in April

We headed off to RHS Wisley today to have a nice early morning walk around.  Very quiet when we arrived at 9.30am and we headed off to see what flowers were about this time of year. S wanted to do some of her own photography with her camera so some of these shots are hers (and jolly good they are too).






One for Her Majesty's birthday




She's photographing her sister
And here's the photograph S took of N - sweet

S's photo of me






We also had no idea that there were bee hives at Wisley. We must go and look again once they are populated by bees.
Photo by S.
We ended our walk with an ice cream (in the very chilly weather) but we sat inside to eat it!

Saturday, 23 April 2016

The migraines are back

I've had just over 3 weeks of no migraines and really thought that I'd cracked it and wouldn't have any more (see my previous post).  It was wonderful to go from multiple migraines per week to nothing at all.  Surely this couldn't last?  It didn't :(

Last Friday, in the early hours of the morning (2am) I woke with an awful migraine.  I took Imigran and tried to get back to sleep. Pain was awful so after an hour or so with the Imigran not yet working, I took two Codeine tablets too.  Still no joy.  I did doze a bit but couldn't function properly in the morning so hubby took the girls to school and I stayed in bed.  Another day off work - not good!  I ended up needing 4 Imigran, 8 Codeine and 2 Ibuprofen that day to start to shift it.   The following day I had another Imigran and it finally went away.  What a lousy couple of days. Hopefully it was a one-off.
Image source
It was not.  Thursday this week I woke at - yep, you've guessed it - 2am (why?) with another migraine.  I took an Imigran and dozed off. A couple of hours later I woked up and it was better but not gone. I took 2 Codeine and dozed off again. I woke at 7am and felt pretty reasonable.  Hooray, a day I could function.  However, this was clearly no good so I called and spoke to my doctor who booked me in for the following day to try and sort this out.  The doctor said they clearly needed to stop the migraines from happening in the first place. They can't use their normal treatment of beta blockers because I'm asthmatic.  He therefore gave me Amiriptyline 10mg which I need to take nightly.  I start with 1 per night and see if the migraines stop. If not, I move steady up, week by week, to a maximum of 5 per night. That sounded a lot!  Anyway, I'm prepared to try anything to get these migraines to stop so I'll give them a go. Side effects include dry mouth and feeling dizzy but as I'm taking them at bedtime, that shouldn't be an issue (I always have a glass of water on the bedside cabinet anyway). 

I looked up the tablets when I got home and was shocked to see they were labelled an 'antidepressant'.  Talking to a friend who is in the medical world, she said it's amazing what they use for different conditions now. However, I found a very useful page about them that said they are no longer used for that but still labelled as such. Now they are used for pain.  Made me feel better (also due to concerns I had about stopping them - we've all heard horror stories of people trying to stop antidepressants haven't we). I also found this useful article on Amitriptyline (better to read that than the scare-mongering you'll find on forums around the Internet).

Fingers crossed this will stop the migraines (at the lowest dose please!).  I've another friend who is on a different tablet and has taken them for the past 10 years to stop hers successfully so there are more options if this doesn't work.  I'm feeling optimistic.  

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Cold sore and immunity levels

Poor S has had yet another cold sore pop up. She's very susceptible to them and they appear around every 6 weeks to 2 months it seems.  This has been going on since she was around 3-4 years old (see this post).  Today, I took her to a new doctor who has joined our practice and he took a good look at it today.


The problem has been that because they crust over so quickly, they've been mistaken for Impetigo (see this post) on more than one occasion.  It's jolly hard getting an appointment with a doctor during the week, never mind on a weekend when they flare up!  So, consequently, hardly any doctor has ever seen the 'blister' stage. I really must remember to photograph the next one immediately.  

S is really good about them. She recognises the 'tingle' now and we get Zovirax on straight away.  Fortunately for us, this doctor also prescribed some for her now too so we can get that on repeat.  He also said that there seems to be a secondary infection that does look rather impetigo-ish.  However, because it happens every time she gets a cold sore, it's unlikely to be impetigo itself but the crusting is more unusual.  Subsequently, because the skin at the bottom of her lip/mouth is so sensitive now, almost anything can cause the cold sore to emerge.  What's worse this time - as you may have noticed - is that she has one for the first time ever on her top lip too.  Poor little soul. She keeps catching that one on her toothbrush, towel, fork...just about everything that touches your lips.  He's given her antibiotics for the secondary infection too.

The doctor has said he would like to check her immunity by doing a blood test as well as she may have an issue there. I'm glad that he's looking at other things to try and work out why she gets these so much.  Shame we can't get a blood test until the end of next month (literally, the very last day!) but at least we have one booked and may get to the bottom of the recurring cold sores.  I just hope the top lip one is a 'one-off' occurrence.  

S is 7 now and very conscious of her cold sores.  She says people ask her at school what it is and does it hurt.  She would rather they didn't notice.  She loves to try and hide it with a Compeed patch when it's not crusty, but at this stage in it's decline, it's quite hard to hide. 

Let's hope we get to the bottom of the cold sores this time.