Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

When to Give Independence a Go!

H is 3 and a half now and I still see her as my baby, probably because there is 5 and half years between her and B, but even with Mr D’s kids round, she is much younger. B has got the freedom to go to her room which was decorated in the summer and she has started going out to play where I can see her. Thing is though, H likes to do what her sister does and as her room was also decorated in the summer I’m constantly being asked “can I play in my bedroom”.

This is all new to me, when B was that age she was the only child in a house bigger than this one and so generally played downstairs where I could see her. She never wanted to play in her room, in fact it’s only really in the last 6 months she has started doing that. So I had a dilemma, let H play in her room or not. If only I had a way of keeping an eye on her without her thinking I am watching her….

Then I got an email from Storage Options about their new range of Products, one of which being the KidCam. At first I was a little sceptical this would be what I was looking for but I was sent it to try out and I cannot sing it’s praises enough. Take a look on the website for the specifications, but here’s my view on the product. The two cameras are small and light weight and come with two different stands, one which uses suction to attach to a window or mirror, and another which can be used as a stand, or attached to the wall with screws (not supplied). Then there is the monitor unit which also has a stand or can be carried around the house as the units are completely wireless. Three chargers are included so all 3 units can be charged at the same time.

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I was expecting the pairing process to be a pain. It’s always the case, when you get a new bluetooth headset or want to sort out your wireless network, it is never as easy as the instructions would have you believe. Imagine my shock when I switched on the units and they were already paired. It is all done in the factory so it is literally power on and go. The great thing is that you can have the monitor streaming live video with sound from either camera. You can also have a split screen to see the feeds from both cameras at the same time. The also work in the dark through infra red, and it really is a clear picture day or night.

I have to say the KidCam really has changed the amount of independence I can let H have, and I am sure as she grows the use of the KidCam will adapt, for instance to cover her playing in the garden while I sort the washing. I guess the benefits are endless especially as a single parent, two kids with only one set of eyes can be hard!

Adapters are available for you to use the device in the car, and also available are the BabyCam Car and BabyCam Nursery, so whatever your child monitoring needs they have something for you.

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December 30, 2011 Posted by | Product Reviews | , , | 1 Comment

Last Minute Stocking Fillers

What to buy for those stocking filler for grown ups. You want novelty but you want practical. Well if you’re looking for someone who likes their gadgets then this might be what you’re after.

 

 

I was sent this to review and have to say I was sceptical it would work, but I am very impressed. It holds my phone securely and looks great. It would fit in the home or the office and makes a great talking point when people see it for the first time!! Take a look at this and other promotional gifts here. With 4 more sleeps you’ll find some great ideas without the hassle of queuing!!

December 21, 2011 Posted by | Product Reviews | | Leave a comment

Back to Work

This time five weeks ago I had made the decision to see the doctor about my depression and signed myself off sick for a week. Little did I know that would turn into 5 weeks off sick, but today I return to work!

I’ve come a long way in five weeks. I’m feeling much happier in myself, I’m not in tears at the littlest thing and I want to get back to normal. Five weeks ago I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, I didn’t think anything could lift the fog of depression. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “fixed” yet. Recovering from depression takes time and I know that tomorrow morning I may wake up and want the world to go away. The difference now is that I have the ability to make myself do things no matter how hard it is.  So watch this space on how my day goes!

I am worried, worried being at work will knock me back, worried I’m not yet ready and so will mess up and effect my confidence. As the doctor said though, it is a case of trying it and seeing how it goes, the reassurance I can go and get signed off again if it gets too much is like a crash net beneath me so I know I won’t hit rock bottom again. I’ve also got the benefit of it being almost Christmas, so with bank holidays and annual holiday already booked, I’m pretty much only working 7 days over the next 3 weeks. So a slow steady return to work will hopefully be the best way to ease myself back to normal!

My biggest fear is not how I will be round my colleagues, but how I will be working with the families I work with. I’ve noticed lately I will panic uncontrollably over silly little things, like being in a very crowded room for H’s Christmas Concert, or meeting friends for a meal – what if they don’t turn up, what if the food is awful as I suggested the venue, what if they ask how I am and I cry…………..

Watch this space!

Step one – shout help ~ check

Step two – take some time ~ check

Step three – back to work ~ here goes!!

December 15, 2011 Posted by | Me, myself and I | , | 2 Comments

A Merry Clintons Christmas

Regular readers may recall I reviewed Clintons back to school range in September, which only feels five minutes ago, where has the time gone?

I was contacted again recently about reviewing their Christmas range and again I wasn’t disappointed. As you would expect from Clintons, I was sent a box of Christmas cards, but also some little gift ideas. The cards were quality you expect from a top card retailer, but I was blown away with the price. There are 15 cards in the box I received, and they sell at £1 a box. If that’s not good enough value, while stocks last they are buy one get one half price!

As you would expect from Clintons, their gifts are also top quality and there is so much choice. It’s always hard to know what to buy for a new born baby at Christmas, so how about the Baby’s First Christmas range. And the soft toys they have are amazing. I was lucky enough to be sent one and H touched it once and fell in love with it! I had hoped for him to sit on my bed but he hasn’t left her bed since she smuggled him to bed the other night!!

I’ve seen a lot of debate recently about how the high street is dying in towns and city’s throughout the country. There’s so much talk of people supporting their high streets. I will hold my hands up and say most of my shopping has been done online this year for a number of reasons, one of which being cost. I think what Clintons have proved to me twice now is that it is not necessarily true that high street is more expensive. So for any last minute stocking fillers, Christmas cards or gifts to be cherrished, why not pop into your local Clintons and grab yourself a good deal!

December 14, 2011 Posted by | Product Reviews | , , | Leave a comment

Surviving Christmas ~ My Top Tips

It’s that time of year that we are “told” to be full of festive cheer, be merry, chill out and enjoy time with family and friends. It’s the time of year that all children are threatened with Santa if they don’t behave, and parents are going mad trying to get the toy of the year. So here are my top tips for Christmas, some are a little late for this year but are worth remembering for next year.

1. Plan early. Half term in our house is time to write to Santa. By this point Santa has already started on the stocking fillers and little extra’s and has a rough idea of what the kids will put on their lists, but it gives him almost 2 months to make sure there is a good chance of finding those presents the kids have asked for. Also part of planning early is to budget, allowing some Christmas funds from September onwards means once those lists are sent, Santa can get the main pressies straight away. This is a really good idea if the kiddies are asking for the years most wanted toys!

2. Use the internet. This is the first year I have done most of my Christmas shopping online and I have to say I was worried in the past that things wouldn’t arrive, or I would still want to go shopping and end up spending more. Actually, I’ve managed to get everything I had planned to, found some really good extra’s that I wouldn’t have looked at on the high street, had it delivered to my door and no sore feet and shopping rage in sight! I am all for supporting our high streets, but that said, money is tight and when the internet is cheaper and more convenient that’s where I will shop!

3. Keep track of what you have. I have really gone a little mad this year, Santa thinks my girls deserve everything he has got them. It’s just a good job I have plenty of storage space! I have tried to keep an up to date list of everything, in order to try and keep an even quantity for both girls. It’s not worked perfectly as I keep finding things I didn’t put on the list, then having to even it up again! It is important though to keep track of things because when starting in September, it’s easy to forget some of the things bought!

4. Do what works for your family. Gone are the days where Christmas is spent in one place, with one group of people. In our society of broken families, extended families and children having 2 Christmas’, it’s easy to get lost in the organisation trying to keep everyone happy. Make sure you do what is right for your family not everyone else. It’s too stressful to try and accommodate everyone’s wishes so sometimes there is need for compromise, but whatever the plans are make sure everyone knows before hand what is going to happen.

5. Time Out. I don’t know about you but at Christmas more than ever I need time out for me. I need to switch off from it all. Maybe it’s part of my depression, although I will admit I feel like this every year, that if it’s Christmas none stop for December I overload and feel slightly crazy! Make sure at least once or twice a week there is time with no wrapping, no shopping, no eating loads of mince pies etc. Just normal nights or days where you do what you do the rest of the year. For me, the Christmas season is the most important time for me time.

6. Santa’s PNP. If you have never experienced Santa’s Portable North Pole, then you really should take a look. A few minutes and uploading of photo’s later, and you have a personalised video message from Santa for anyone, young or old, naughty or nice! I have used this free service for 3 years now and it never fails to bring a huge smile to both B and H’s faces. As we get closer to Christmas B even mentions this before I have thought about it, wondering if Santa will send a message again!

7. Charitable Giving. I know charity should begin at home and in todays economic climate money is tight for everyone. Charity Christmas cards have been around for years but for the last few years I have taken it further. I no longer send cards to everyone. I send them to people around me who I see, and I send to my close family. I don’t, however, post them out to everyone in my life. I used to. Now, I give that money I would have spent on cards and postage to charity. Lets face it, I put my Christmas cards in the bin on January 5th when I take down the decorations. So does everyone I used to send cards to. I hope my charity donation will have more of an impact than my cards would have!

8. Remember what Christmas is all about. For Christians, Christmas marks the birth of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Whether you believe this or not you can still take from it the biggest of Christmas messages – Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All Men. We live in a scary world of war, economic crisis, terror, murder and evil diseases. This Christmas, take a moment to think of those, past and present, here and abroad, who make it possible for us to celebrate, give presents, sleep soundly and be with those we love. While you are out and about this Christmas season, be kind to others, don’t barge around the shops, say hello to strangers and smile, we have much to be thankful for!

 

So that’s my tips, I could go on but I fear you may already have switched off! So what are your best tips for surviving Christmas?

December 5, 2011 Posted by | Christmas | , , | Leave a comment