Sunday, 5 March 2017

Deaf Kids Rock | 2 Years of Hearing




When I fell pregnant with Harry, I was so naïve.  I had worries of course but they were for all the “normal” things, would he have all his limbs, would he even make it all the way to 9 months gestation.  I never ever ever considered that my baby would be born without something I consider to be one of the ultimate senses.  I could not have guessed in a million years that my son would be born profoundly deaf.


Being told something as significant as that can really shatter a person.  We felt broken, I felt broken.  I was absolutely and utterly terrified for what Harry’s future would hold.  Would he have a fulfilled life, would he struggle at school and the ultimate question for me, would he ever hear me tell him I love him. 
I spent an entire 42 weeks growing this little person inside my tummy, talking to him and telling him all of our hopes and dreams and the thought that he didn’t and possibly wouldn’t ever hear any of that split my heart right down the middle. 

However, we had to pull ourselves together and focus on our boy wholeheartedly and without fear.  We had to make decisions around surgery for Harry that could have put his life at risk, a decision that meant he would either hear or he wouldn’t.

Little did I know that Harry being born without hearing would be one of the most incredible experiences we could have ever endured.  It completely shaped our lives as a team of three into something really quite special. 

Harry really is like any other three year old lad.  He is a boys boy, he’s happiest when surrounded by cars, trucks and dinosaurs.  He is confident, loud, stroppy and completely pushes all of the buttons.  But he is chatting away more and more every single day and each time he comes out with a new word or phrase my face completely lights up and I couldn’t smile any wider.  The feeling of not knowing if my baby would ever hear, to him “blessing” me after I sneeze really is like no other feeling I have ever experienced.

It sounds so cliché but he really does light up something inside of everyone he meets with his charm and his baby blues.  I never look at him and feel sad or sorry that he is deaf, or has to wear equipment on his head to be able to hear.  I look at him and feel inspired, empowered and most of all insanely proud.

People like my son Harry show the world that there are miracles.

I’m forever grateful to be your Mama little bug, Happy 2nd Hearing Birthday  x
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Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Threenager.



Yeah he looks cute, but as I type this, my three year old is laying screaming at the top of the stairs because he wants to stay up and play. 
But of course this isn't the first argument of the day, no sir.  Let me list the things we have battled over with sir Harry since we woke up this morning..

  • turning our bedside lamp on way before 7am (its Sunday)
  • breakfast.  What he wanted/didn't want.
  • how the toast was cut
  • I gave him a broken biscuit
  • I gave him the wrong water bottle
  • he spilt some porridge and shouted at me for it
  • his iPad ran out of battery and shouted at me for it
  • he wanted to play with a coral red nail polish
  • he wanted to watch grandad have a wee
  • he covered his face in bum cream and didn't want it wiped off
  • he wouldn't eat dinner
  • he was really hungry
  • he didn't want a bath but wanted a bath
..actually that's probably only the half of it but I pick my battles.

Threenagers are the most confusing little people I have ever met.  When our kids hit three we get all smug and we're almost tricked into thinking that crazy year of terrible twos is well and truly over.  Don't be smug.  The minute Harry turned three he became like a teenage/baby hybrid and on some occasions i may ever describe him as devilish.

Someone wise once told me that boys get a surge of testosterone between 2 and a half and 4 and it pretty much sends them a little cray cray.  If this is true then to be honest I can sympathise as I can be an emotional wreck when hormones hit!  It kind of makes sense as my boy can be bouncing off the walls with happiness one second and in floods of unhappy tears the next over the absolute tiniest of details.

I was so unprepared for three.  I wasn't ready for the opinions they have, the almighty tantrums they throw or the physical strength they have! 

I have made a little video for Channel Mum's "Why did no one tell me" series if you fancy getting an insight into what the threenager is really like!

Do you have a threenager??


 
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Friday, 10 February 2017

ASOS Valentines Day GIft Guide

When I was at school Valentines Day was all about writing "I LOVE ...." over books, and up my arm in pastel smelly gel pens.  Whilst I still love the odd doodle I'm going to bypass graftti'ing my body and get my loved one a gift from ASOS.  They have such a lovely range of gifts this year for girls and guys and I have rounded up some of my favourites below...
















What are you buying gift wise this Valentines Day??
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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Our Wedding | Wish List & Inspirations

Scott and I have been engaged now for three months (catch the down low on his amazing proposal here!)  Which means that wedding planning has finally begun!  We have even set an actual date!!!  August 2018 I will become Mrs Houchin and I couldn't be more excited about it!

Firstly we have booked the most beautiful barn wedding location.. more about that in another post!  I knew from the offset that I wanted to get married in a barn.  There is something about the rustic, in formalness of it that I really like and I think it really suits mine and Scott's relaxed style.

Of course I have been scanning Pinterest like a cray cray person, if you follow me over there you are probably sick of the constant wedding pins!  I have chosen a copper/rose gold/nude sort of colour palette with wild flowers galore!  I want all 7 of my bridesmaids to wear different styles and shade dresses with a couple of them wearing some sparkly sequins.  

I thought I would share with you some of my favourite Pinterest finds so far...






Dress/Flowers: Not only do I LOVE these wild flowers this beautiful boho bride is holding but I actually love the dress too.  Those little sleeves are really different but cute.

Tie: Of course my man and his tribe need to match my girls and I reallyyyyyy want him to wear this exact tie!

Sequins: As I mentioned I love a bit of sparkle and I would love a couple of my bridesmaids in dresses like these!




Ceremony: This is an actual photo of my venue!!  How beautiful does it look!  I want tons of lights like in this photo so make it feel really cosy and magical

Pimp your Prosecco:  I'm going to make a cart exactly like this one as I love adding different flavours to my prosecco!

Wooden Pallet:  This is such a cheap and easy wedding DIY.  I am thinking I will do a couple of these pallets, one for an order of service and one for a menu.

Giant Lightbox:  I feel like I simply MUST have this giant lightbox in my life!!!  Think about how many different messages/song lyrics you can put on it.

Naked Cake:  Naked cakes are all the rage now aren't they.  They are so much less formal and fussy than traditional wedding cakes and I personally would much rather eat a vicky sponge than a manky fruit cake!

Place Names: I am 100% making my own name cards for our tables.  I really like these simple card ones.  I just need to learn how to write properly now!!

Centrepieces:  Wooden logs, glasses jars and bottles - I am all about that life.

Beer Barrow:  This is one for the men, and again a really simple idea for a wedding where you are able to supply your own drinks like ours!

Chalkboard:  You all know I love a chalkboard so my wedding wouldn't be complete without adding one of these!  I think its a great idea to let people know what hashtag you want them to use so they can capture your day for you on social media!



Are you planning a wedding??

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Friday, 20 January 2017

Deaf Kids Rock | An Interview with Daddy Knott

Hi you lovely bunch,

Welcome to a new series of blog posts here on Lucie and the Bump.  I have realised that Harry’s hearing journey has gone a little quite on my personal blog as I seem to write so much about it over on Phonak’s site Hearing Like Me.  So I am going to start posting more about Harry’s progress with his magic ears as well as sharing stories from friends who I have made along the way.

I’m kicking off this series with a little interview with my online friend James (Instagram DaddyKnott)
James started following our journey after his own son Nelson was diagnosed as deaf and he is such an inspiration to me with his positivity and his willingness to raise awareness for the deaf society amongst us.  Him and his wife Becky have fully embraced learning British Sign Language and are at the very beginning of their journey to possibly get cochlear implants for little Nelson.


Hey James!! Tell me a bit about you and your family..
I’m  James Knott, I am 32 years old and married to Becky.  We met through a mutual friend 7 years ago and have not looked back!  We got married in September 2013 and our daughter was born the following July.  Prudence is now two and a half.  Our son Nelson came along on the 9th June 2016.  Becky also has two older children from a previous marriage so a very busy house indeed, there is never a dull moment!



How did you find out about Nelson's hearing loss?
We knew something wasn’t quite right the day he was born, the new born screening test came back as non-responsive twice and a further test with some tiny headphones also came back the same. From here we got referred for further testing with the West Kent hearing hospital. The test was when Nelson was only 3 weeks old with a lovely doctor called Frank, who would turn out to be a regular face over the upcoming weeks. At the appointment Frank did a good 2 hours of testing and at the end we came away knowing that Nelson’s hearing loss was permanent and quite severe in both ears.   But we didn't find out that he was profoundly deaf until the end of July. 

How did you feel?
I am not ashamed to say I had a little cry in the hospital, but luckily I have an amazing wife who quickly picked me up.  Nelson is 100% healthy but his ears don’t work, it’s not the end of the world and we knew we would both embrace his hearing loss.

Did you find it hard telling your friends and family?
No, I wouldn’t say we found it hard telling anyone family or friends.  Some took the news in different ways and had different emotions.  It is a shock at the end of the day, but we both have fantastic families and a good group of friends. The support and reassurance has been brilliant.  At the beginning before our diagnosis was confirmed, people would try and reassure us by telling us that Nelson has jumped to a dog bark or startled at the sound of the hoover, but we always knew deep down that he wasn't.  I took the words of my wife "it's just ears, it could be so much worse" and we found ourselves saying this to a lot to people. 

Finding out Harry was deaf changed our family dynamics but it brought us all a lot closer.  How has Nelson being deaf affected yours?
I don’t know if it has changed the dynamics as such. We are a very close family anyway.  It has prompted other members of the family and friends to learn British Sign Language. 



Have you learnt any form of sign language or makaton and how has it helped you to communicate?
As a family we had a bit of a cheeky head start with knowledge in BSL, as Becky has been studying it for 4 years and has completed her level 3.  This gave her a good insight into deaf culture, deaf awareness and of course sign language itself.  Becky has been doing weekly classes with both of our families, so we can all communicate with Nelson.  We have been told so much that it is never to young to sign with children.  We have a weekly prop bag that has ten items in and we all try to sign them to him as much as possible. We have a family and friends Whatsapp group that we post videos and signs on, and at Christmas Becky and I learnt Merry Christmas by Shaking Stevens and posted that in the group!  That one didn’t make it onto social media…

Does Nelson wear hearing aids?  Do they work for him at all?
Nelson has two Phonak hearing aids that he has had since he was 11 weeks old.  They have now been turned up the highest level.  It is clear that he is not getting any sound from the aids, but we are encouraged to keep them in all the while he is awake for nerve stimulation and he gets a good 7 hours a day with them in.

Harry was constantly pulling his hearing aids out, chewing them and throwing them.  Is Nelson good with his?
He is now getting very good at whipping them out with one finger and yes they go straight towards his mouth!   It is a battle and we use toopay tape to keep them in place and this helps a lot. We also have a few headbands that hold the aids and these have been a godsend at times.
He hasn’t got to the throwing stage yet, we are looking forward to that.. haha!

At what point did you decide to go down the route of deciding to get a cochlear implant?
This is something that was spoke about at quite an early stage when we found out the severity of Nelson’s hearing loss.  It’s something that we have spoken about as a family and I think at the end of the day it is a no brainer, but not a decision that was made easily if that makes sense?

What stage of your cochlear implant journey are you at?
We have had one appointment at St Thomas’s to meet our audiologist and speech and language therapist, we also had a group session that was very interesting, they spoke about the procedure its self and the different cochlear implant models available to us.  Our next appointment is on the 13th February again at St Thomas’s. I have made a vlog of our trip to London if you are interested and you can find it on our very new You Tube channel Daddy Knott.  

If Nelson is a suitable candidate and gets his cochlear implants, what are you most looking forward to telling him? 
I think we are very lucky that with sign language, we can communicate well with him and haven’t really put too much thought in to what we would say to him.  I guess I’m looking forward to small things like will he be able to hear the birds in the trees or the waves crashing on the beach.

Sometimes I worry about Harry going to school and fitting in with the other children. What are your biggest worries for Nelson's future?
School is a worry with our daughter Prudence and I’m sure it will be with Nelson when we cross that bridge.  Luckily we have a good main stream school very close to us that have a fantastic unit for special needs, and has other deaf children attending that thrive.  I hope that Nelson will want to tell stories about his special ears and makes lots of friends.

What would be your best piece of advice to parents who have just found out their little one is deaf?
My advice would be to embrace it, stick with it and try to enjoy it. They are still our babies at the end of the day.  Learn BSL or other forms of sign language as it will help massively and also take all the help and advice that is offered. It is out there even if you have search for it. 

Having a deaf child is no walk in the park but there are positives in every situation, so let's end on a positive note! What's the best thing that has come out of your journey with a deaf child? 
 This is true, but having a hearing child is no walk in the park.. ha!!  However every single day we embrace the challenges that it gives us, stopping ear moulds into mouths, feedback from hearing aids, teaching family and friends a whole new language. But the most positive thing is the love that we show him and he shows us. He is who he is. We aren't religious people but someone up there gave him to us for a reason. And boy are we glad they did. 

















You can follow James and Becky’s story on Twitter (@daddyknott11), Instagram (Daddyknott) and their YouTube channel (Daddy Knott). 


If you would like to share your story on Lucie and the Bump, feel free to contact me on any of my social media channels or email me at lucieherridge@hotmail.co.uk
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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

A Review | Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment



Bepanthen is a brand that my family knows and trusts.  It is pretty much the only nappy cream brand I consistently used on Harry’s delicate little tush and we still use it now if hes a little bit sore “down there”.

Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment works by forming a transparent layer on your babys skin which can help protect again rubbing and irritants.  Its water-in-oil formulation also contains pro-vitamin B5 which aids the skin in its natural recovery meaning you really don’t need to use it for every nappy change.  It doesn’t dry out or clump like other creams can and we find a tiny amount really does goes a long way.



Bepanthen have recently changed their tube design to make it more accessible and easier to use than ever before, which I LOVE.  They scrapped the metal type previous tube with the screw on lid, for a nifty plastic one with a flip up lid that can be opened with just one hand!  I'm sure you will agree, this is a definite necessity when trying to pin down a wriggly baby!

We have been really lucky in terms of nappy rash with Harry, he has never suffered badly but of course occainsionly gets a little sore and I find this stuff a miracle worker, its like an instant relief for him!  I would 100% recommend it to new mums and dads, or if you’re current nappy cream isn’t quite up to scratch give Bepanthen a go and see if it makes a difference.



I’m also very excited to share that Bepanthen has teamed up with parenting expert Lisa Clegg (author of Blissful Baby and Blissful Toddler) to write this handy little e-book called What the Parenting Manuals Don't Tell You.  The e-book is full of tips for expectant parents which were crowd-sourced via social media.  I love the illustrations in the book by Alyana Cazalet who is also a mother.
I love Lisa, I have gone to her for advice before as well as reading her books cover to cover varous times for her tips and tricks for new parents.  You can download their e-book for free here!


What nappy cream do you use?



*this post was written in collaboration with Bepanthen.  My views are, as always, completely honest and are my own.

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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Bye Bye 2016




It's been another whirlwind of a year here in the Herridge/Houchin household.  We have had more ups and downs than a bloody theme park ride but somehow we have made it to the end of December and to the start of a fresh new year.

I love reading these sorts of posts, reflecting is one of my favourite things to do. I don't dwell and I don't have regrets I just like to review my journey and work out how on earth I got to where I am today.

In the world of motherhood, this year has been a challenge to say the least! Harry hit two and a half and suddenly all hell broke loose.  It's safe to say the threenage era came a little early and we were experiencing all the tears and tantrums.
He has gone from the prefect sleeper to the all night raver and we still aren't any closer to potty training.  However Harry's speech has come on leaps and bounds, he chats away but finally he's forming words and sentences that actually make sense. He is so close to his peers now that it's hard to believe her spent 14 months in a world of silence. He is so god damn funny, his little quirks make me giggle, however devilish he can be

In 2015 my best friend (also known as my fiancé Scott) had a life threatening brain tumour, had surgery to remove it and then spent 7 weeks back and forth from hospital every day to have radiotherapy. In fact we spent last Christmas Eve, New Years Eve and even New Year's Day there for him to have his treatment. BUT it was all bloody worth it wasn't it.. because he has only gone and had 3 scans which have all been crystal clear - most definitely the absolute best news to come out of 2016.
I hope he knows how proud I am of him. To be diagnosed with such an awful thing at 35 just isn't fair, but he was a hero and you really wouldn't have a clue what his body has been through now. 

And little old me.. I almost lost my life to an ruptured ectopic pregnancy at the beginning of the year but I'm still here to tell the tale.
I then spent an entire blurry summer with my sister in and out of hospitals caring for our very sick dad and fighting the NHS for his right to treatment.
But I had so so many highs to compensate for those crazy heartbreaking times. I saw the QUEEN aka Britney and had one of the best nights ever!  I travelled more this year than ever before. I went to Morocco for my beautiful friends hen party.  Visited Santorini for a toddler free break, and it was the most stunning place I have ever been.  Then of course hopped to Paris with my love who finally asked me the question I have been dying to hear. Getting engaged was a huge huge highlight of 2016.
I also pushed myself waaaaaay out of my comfort zone and put myself in front of the camera again. Believe it or not I cannot stand public speaking and that's how vlogging feels to me at the moment. However I am really proud of myself for jumping in at the deep end and becoming part of a YouTube network called Channel Mum.  After almost joining and backing out twice before, I was shocked when they got in touch again and asked if I was ready to be a part of their tribe.. and this time I said yes and I'm so glad I did! I've met a real great group of gals whom I can actually call my friends and not just in the online sense.
I've never really had goals as such for my blog and channel, I guess I still really don't. I just want to create content that's informative but enjoyable to watch, I have this overwhelming sense of wanting to share all my experiences in the hope that someone out there finds comfort knowing they aren't alone. 

Things I have learnt this year….
  • It's OK not to be the perfect Pinterest mum
  • I really need my sleep.
  • Chocolate bribery is essential 
  • Threenagers are WAY harder than terrible twos 
  • It's OK to sometimes think that your child is a bit of a dick
  • Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest
  • My mum tribe is awesome
  • Soft play sucks
  • I can't run 

So another weird year of super highs and mega lows for us, but I guess that's just life.  I've learnt yet again that I am strong and to make every day count. 
Sure there are things I want to achieve, I want to fill my empty picture frames, get semi-fit, drink more spinach and all that but I'm not really one to make big plans or resolutions.  I just want to enjoy life and the normal'ness of it.  I want to have way more PJ days. I want to meet new friends and squeeze the ones I already have much much more. 

Happy New Year, I hope 2017 is kind to you.  I say stop focusing on life's big plan and live a little.  Make mistakes, have crap days but learn from them. Enjoy the little things


Ta rah 2016, you're the year that was full of surprises.
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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Harry's Christmas Eve Box

I

 have never bought into the idea of a Christmas Eve box.. I thought it was a little unnecessary for children who get so many presents on the big day itself.  However now Harry is starting to understand Christmas and what happens on Christmas Eve I have totally done a full circle and decided its a fantastic idea!  Instead of cramming it with toys, I have just popped in a few essentials that I would have got him for the run up to Christmas anyway, and a couple of things we can do together as we wait for the big guy to pop down our chimney!




Festive Pyjamas (from M&S)
Everyone loves snuggling up in new PJs right?! This two pack from M&S weren't expensive but are really soft and lovely quality

Christmas Jumper (from Primark)
I couldn't resist this Primark jumper with its cute 3d carrot nose!! I really hope Harry will want to wear it on the big day!

The Dinosaur that Pooped Christmas
I mentioned this in my gift guide video, its a really funny alternative Christmas book for little ones with silly imaginations!  

The Christmas Bear Book
A good classic lift flap book from the illustrators of the Gruffalo!

Christmas Garlands (from Hobbycraft)
I remember making tons of these garlands when I was little so I felt really nostalgic when I picked up a pack in Hobbycraft!  Another little activity for us to do together before bedtime

Chocolate Coins & Chocolate Penguin
Seeing as its Christmas chocolate before bed is allowed!

Reindeer Headband 
The bells on this headband sound exactly like Santa on his sleigh and Harry is going to love running about with this on his head!

Will you be doing a Christmas Eve box?  What is in yours?!

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