We made the most of the day today and it feels good! Whilst Daddy finished off the final 13 patio slabs (which look incredible), I sorted the garden.

I pruned all the bushes, weeded the flower beds, got rid of a lot of thorny weedyness, painted the potting shed door and filled an entire green bin. 😂 I even trimmed the grass edge with grass scissors.

I am loving the garden more and more. I hope that the sun keeps on shining so that we can get it looking how we want before Summer. Making the most of #lockdown. It was lovely as our neighbours on either side, both over 60, offered advice and help today. Deano nearly ran out of sand and one neighbour dropped some over the fence. It’s nice to have a sense of community even though we are all in our homes.

We’re looking forward to playing in the garden tomorrow and making the most of this space.

#mummyphotoaday 
#myhousethismonth #mygardenthismonth

We made the most of...

We have joined the rest of the country and made a #rainbow design in our living room window. The kids have drawn one on a piece of paper and also used window felt pens to design a 🌈 on the pane itself. It looks pretty. The kiddies are very happy with them. They lit up when the neighbours asked for them to make them rainbows for the window.

I love this part of the front garden, you can just see the flowers are about to bloom any day now. Daffodils are hiding in amongst the tulips, hyacinths full of a deep purple, the Heather has come up a nice reddy purple too. By the front door there is a sea of purple from the aster (I think that’s what they are). Can you see the beautiful Camellia to the left of the kiddies too? It’s about to bloom with its bright pink flowers. The yellow Jasmine is just starting to grow on the right side of the kiddies, can you see it climbing up the wall?

There’s so much going on. It looks beautiful. I don’t remember it looking this pretty last Spring. Maybe I didn’t pay much attention. Or maybe these things have grown from random seeds I planted last year and forgot about. I can’t remember what I planted though 🤦🏼‍♀️ Does anyone else do that?

Have you seen many rainbows in the window of people’s homes?

#mummyphotoaday

We have joined the rest...

A very happy birthday to my first furbaby, Rambo. He is 13 today. I can’t believe he’s been in my life for 13 years, we’ve done so much and seen so many places. It’s gone so quickly.

He is so good, his temperament is just perfect. He’s not a yappy dog. He barks to mark his territory but that’s it. When the kids were toddlers, they would pull his fur out in clumps and he would just lay there. He cleans the other pets in the house and always makes sure the kids are safe at night time. It’s so cute. He’s such a loving, fatherly dog.

This little man is my follower at the moment; more so than normal. He follows me everywhere. If I’m on the loo, he will sit at the bathroom door staring at me. When I’m in the bath, he pushes the door open and sits next to me and stares. Right now, he’s currently snuggling under the duvet.

Let’s hope we can go and explore somewhere new in the summer, with amazing views and miles of countryside. Our favourite.

Thanks for all the adventures Rambo 🐾 and the snuggles! We love you lots.

A very happy birthday to...

I wonder what is going through their tiny minds right now? Do you think they consider things like we do? Do you think they #dream of what’s going on? The kids seem to be taking it all in their stride and albeit they are sad they can’t see their friends, they seem to be just getting on with it.

Whereas, I go through waves of different feelings. I’ve discovered I’m at my best when I just take each day as it comes. When I start to think about things globally, or the time period of lockdowns and when the kids are going back to school... that’s when I start to feel worried and glum.

I worry that my employer will soon say “sorry Sonia we’re not paying you anymore as you’re homeschooling”, or the worry that I’m not teaching my kids correctly and they’re missing too much of their education. Or the impact of isolation on the kiddies at this age, making friendships and building rapport with people.

I hope these are worries over nothing. And I know all of the kiddies in the world are in the same boat. But, as a parent you can’t help but worry.

So for now I’m trying not to think negatively. Trying not to think more than 1 day ahead (except maybe planning Easter Sunday dinner) and I’m trying to keep smiling. So my babies keep smiling.

Keep calm and carry on. Isn’t that the saying!

#mummyphotoaday

I wonder what is going...

This afternoons activity with Daddy looked like lots of fun: they gathered sticks and the kiddies built their own pile of firewood for a camp fire. They then sat around the fire pit to test whose camp fire would flame up the best!

Isla created a very structured camp fire, logical and a pattern to where she placed her sticks. Noahs looked more sporadic but covered a wider area.

Neither camp fires took fire, it was quite windy. So the kiddies enjoyed a hot chocolate and marshmallow around their piles of sticks.

They had fun though and that’s the main thing. I’m loving all of these practical tasks they’re doing with Daddy.

I’ve been waiting, all day, for someone to tell me it’s all a dream and we are still going to Dubai. But, unfortunately, no one jumped out screaming April #fool and alas, we are still at home. I’m gutted.

Lots to look forward to though and right now it’s about focussing on our main objective: stay at home at all times, unless to buy essential food & walk the dogs! I have actually loved being at home everyday. It’s my favourite place.

#mummyphotoaday

This afternoons activity with Daddy...

“We are very excited to try out this new food from Forthglade, it smells woofing delicious” 🐾 Straight from the doggies mouth!

I am very excited to announce that I am a new ambassador for @forthglade. What does that mean? Well, I get to try out the products and tell you all how good they are and get special offers and discounts for my followers too!

It’s such a strange time with lockdown, however finding out about Forthglade couldn’t have come at a better time. When I went to get our usual dog foods in the supermarket it had all sold out. So, resorting to online orders seemed a very natural thing to do to ensure our furbabies are fed.

This food is a minimum of 75% meat or fish and is free from junk. With Snoopy, he has a tummy condition which means we have to be careful what he eats, it’s perfect. We will keep you posted on what they thought! 🐾 #gifted

“We are very excited to...

🌼 April is here and along with it comes another set of photo keywords for #MummyPhotoADay photo challenge.

We should have been flying to Dubai today, so my insta squares would have been very different to what they now will be. I’m expecting to see lots of Spring colours and stay at home families instead this month.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #mummyphotoaday so I can comment and share my favourites throughout the month.

Does anyone have any creative stay at home plans for April?

🌼 April is here and...

My favourite pics from March #MummyPhotoADay - a massive thank you to everyone that took part. We have had a lot of new members this month and it’s been really hard picking my favourite 9! There are now over 4,000 photos to choose from.

All photos are tagged, but from left right:
📷 @cultivatingdelight
📷 @newmummyblog
📷 @confessionsofacrummymummy
📷 @houseofbaughs
📷 @sahrazade
📷 @otisandus.blog
📷 @_lisaslife_
📷 @socalshopgirl384
📷 @descendants_of_war

I’ve really loved seeing photos from @anywaytostayathome, @the_mummy_editorial, @freyalexandra, @becsbrewtifullife & @canonjacq.

All you have to do to join in is add #mummyphotoaday to your caption and the keyword of the day... I’m very excited to see what April has in store for us. Lots of fun “Stay at #Home” themed photos!

Thank you to everyone that joins in 📷

My favourite pics from March...

Living with a disabled dog #Cockerspaniel

To say Snoopy has been unlucky with health issues, is an understatement. You may remember last year when we had to remove both his ear canals as he would get infections every few months. This year the problem we face is his sight. Our little pooch, whom I still think of as a puppy, is our family disabled dog. 

Snoopy has cataracts in his eyes, both eyes have like a green grey cloud in them. We took him to our local vets who confirmed it was cataracts. I first noticed these just before last September when he had his last operation. We spoke to the vets around Christmas time as we wanted to find out if they could remove the cataracts. As the Winter drew in we noticed more and more that Snoopy couldn’t see where he was going. It effected his vision more so at night time. He would bump into things, not look at us when we shouted him and stand in the wrong places for us to open doors. We really wanted to give him a better quality of life by giving him some vision back. 

Our local vet couldn’t do anything with cataracts so we were referred to the Animal Health Trust near Newmarket. They were amazing. Thorough, precise and most of all caring. They all loved Snoopy. Everyone that comes into contact with Snoopy loves him. He is a happy, loving dog. 

On our first visit we went to have some tests to see if it was possible to help Snoopy get some vision back. I knew the outcome of that visit would be a “Yes, we can remove the cataracts” or a “No, sorry there’s nothing we can do”. It was the latter. Snoopy has a hereditary eye disease. Which basically means over time his retina will just fail and he will be blind. The vet said they can remove the cataracts but you are only likely to give Snoopy 6 months of sight and the risks are great. He could get terrible infections and possibly lose the eyes. It seems selfish to put him through another operation for the sake of what could be a few months of vision. So we decided to see how things go and help him to adapt. 

This week I had to take him back for a checkup. In the past 3 months little Snoops vision has got a lot worse. The vet described it as he can probably see shadows at best, almost like looking through a frosted window. She described the cataract symptoms as eventually Snoopy will only be able to see a bright light. He will not be able to make out anything else. The bad news is, this will happen quicker than we thought, within the next 6 months. 

The eye disease on his retina means that as they start to fail Snoopy will go from seeing a bright light to complete darkness. Which fills me up with sadness. The poor little thing. He has been through the wars and to be left in complete darkness is just not fair. We are trying to do everything in our power to make him comfortable. This means changing our habits and being aware of his disabilities. 

Things to do when you have a disabled dog

The first piece of advise the vet gave me was to get another dog, it will act as a guide dog for Snoopy. Voila, step in Rambo. We have noticed over the months that Snoopy follows Rambo by scent and proximity when they walk side by side. He often collides with Rambo as he is trying to follow along. One day Snoopy ran in the opposite direction to Hubby and he asked Rambo to get Snoopy. Whether this is coincidence or not, Rambo ran over to Snoopy (some 1/2 mile away) and sure enough Snoopy ran back with him. This is something we will try to train Rambo over the coming weeks, reward him for going to Snoopy for example to make sure he understands he is doing right. 

Keep the bed in the same place. When I was tidying up the kitchen in preparation for a party, I moved Snoopy’s bed and put some chairs along the wall instead. Perfectly normal, usually. Snoopy didn’t understand what had happened. He tried to get under the chair and then when that failed he plonked himself on the kitchen floor looking rather fed up. He wanted his bed. He didn’t know where it had gone. But, more importantly, he knows where he is if he is in the bed. He can navigate from there. He has memorised our floor plan perfectly. Which leads me on to the next point… 

Keep the furniture where it is. When I move things around, which I do quite often, well I used to. He walks into it. If a chair is left untucked from the table he will walk into it. So the way our furniture is now, it will remain to make it safer and less scary for Snoopy when his vision does completely go. 

Using the senses he does have. Snoopy has a great sense of smell and he responds well to touch. So we use this to help him, treats in pockets when on a walk for example. I have started placing my hands on his shoulders and using pressure to steer him. This was helpful when we went to visit a friend and Snoopy had never been to the house. He was disoriented. I had to help him navigate around until he had sniffed everything, then he plonked himself in his bed and didn’t move. He spends a lot of time in his bed now, it’s his safe place I suppose. 

Giving him plenty of hugs. This one goes without saying but we also snuggle with Snoopy. We are one of those families that lets the animals in the bedroom and this is Snoopy’s safe place at night. He sleeps at the end of my feet and doesn’t move until it’s daylight. 

These are some useful tips we have picked up over the past 6 months. Hopefully they will come in handy if you have a dog that cannot see or hear. If you have any other tips I would love to hear about them in the comments below or on social media: @mummyconstant. 

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Wednesday 16 May 2018
Living with a disabled dog #Cockerspaniel

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