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ashton08

ashton08
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Member since: 01.08.2008

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    • Looking Back at 2008 / Discussion / 42 Readings / 40 Ratings
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      26.01.2009 23:35
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      I have been too busy juggling my home and work life so haven't written any reviews in a little while. I thought I would try an easier discussion review to get me back into the swing of things.

      2008 was, for me a fantastic year. I loved almost every moment of it.



      1)What did you do in 2008 that you have not done before?

      Gave birth and boy did it hurt!


      2) Did anyone close to you give birth?

      My husbands cousin did although we're not overly close.


      3) Did anyone close to you die?

      My husbands Grandad died in December. He had been ill for a few weeks so in a way it was a relief that he was no longer suffering. It did make Christmas very different though, as they are always big family occasions.


      4) What countries did you visit?

      None unfortunately.


      5) What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

      Money! Pure and simple. I spent 9 months of 2008 on maternity leave with very little money to do anything.


      6) What dates will you remember from 2008?

      The birth of my son; 10th February.


      7) Did you suffer illness or injury?

      Not really. I suffered Sciatica in pregnancy and have had numerous colds and bugs, nothing serious.


      8) What was the best thing you bought?

      A heater for the bedroom. It was freezing and sleeping in a dressing gown, on top of pjamas and thick socks does very little for a ladies sex appeal.


      9) Whose behaviour has merited celebration?

      My husbands, he has been amazing throughout. I have seen him in a new light since our son was born, he is a fantastic and caring partner and has forgiven my many mad moments.


      10) Who's behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

      I can't think of anyone who has made me feel like this.


      11) Where did most of your money go?

      On bills! Isn't that the same every year?


      12) What did you get really excited about?

      My son being due, then my son being born.


      13) What song will you remember from 2008?

      Take That - 'Greatest day'. I just think it's an amazing song that always makes me smile.


      14) Compared to this time last year are you ..happier, fitter, more productive.

      I am much happier, enjoying family life. Definitely fitter; this time last year I was the size of a whale. Productive, um...not sure.


      15) What do you wish you had done more of?

      Nights out with friends! I only went on a girly night out once the whole year.


      16) What do you wish you had done less of?

      Work! 4 months work was long enough.


      17) What was your favourite tv programme?

      Hollyoaks or desperate housewives I think. Typical trash T.V.


      18) Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate last year?

      David Cameron, is it me or does he get more annoying each time he's on tv? Argh, he makes me mad!


      19) What's been the best book of 2008?

      I haven't done much reading to be honest. I suppose 'Wintersmith' by Terry Pratchett.


      20) What was your greatest musical discovery?

      Can't say there has been one to be honest.


      21) What did you want to get in 2008?

      A healthy happy baby.


      22) What did you want and didnt get?

      Rich! However, as I don't play the lottery and don't enter competitions I didn't really see it happening.


      23) What is your favourite film of the year?

      Didn't really see any films that came out in 2008, they were all older.


      24) What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?

      I was 24. I went for a meal with my husband.


      25) What political issue stirred you the most?

      I try to avoid politics if I can help it.


      26) Who was the best person you met?

      My son.

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        05.12.2008 12:27
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        These are my favourite websites that I use reguarly, in no particular order.

        1) hotmail.com

        I check my e-mail daily and hotmail is so easy to use. You can use it with windows live messenger and get notifications each time you recieve an e-mail. My favourite bit has to be the 'empty' function in the junk folder, saving time deleting each one seperately.


        2) facebook.com

        Facebook has been a great addition to my daily life. I have found friends that I lost contact with many years ago and as most of my friends are on it, we can arrange meet ups without spending money texting. Okay, if I am honest, I am a nosey person. I like to see what people are up to in their pictures they upload and love reading peoples 'status'. Once you are used to the layout it is easy to use.


        3) amazon.co.uk

        Low prices on thousands of products; from DVD's to childrenswear and tools to ipods. The fact that you only need to spend £5 to qualify for free delivery is why I buy alot from this site.


        4) dooyoo.co.uk

        This one is kind of obvious. I enjoy writing reviews although with a baby and work I don't get that much chance anymore. I like reading other peoples reviews and if I'm buying a new product, I will see if anyone has reviewed it first before I waste my money.


        5) google.com

        The only search engine I ever use, the only search engine you ever need to use. Can't make it simpler than that.


        6) mothercare.com

        I am always looking to buy my son new toys or clothes, even more than I've ever looked for things for myself. The website is easy to navigate round and the checkout is also quick and easy. I also like that there are consumer reviews on the products.


        7) nfl.com

        My husband has slowly turned me into a fan of NFL and nfl.com contains all the information you need to know about the sport. It contains information on all the 32 teams and players, with their upcoming games and recent results.


        8) nhsdirect.nhs.uk

        Excellent source of information, satisfy your paranoia with it's 'self help guide', look up the most bizarre conditions, also containing an online enquiry service so you can get the answer to those nagging health questions.


        9) wikipedia.org

        With over 2 million articles you will be sure to find the answer to that burning question; I constantly use wikipedia for the most trivial things, my most recent being 'who was the guy who played Zac in saved by the bell?' don't ask.


        10) mysupermarket.com

        In the current climate you have to be money concious. I don't do my grocery shop online, but I do like to look for bargains. Featuring Tesco, Asda or Ocado and Sainsbury, you can compare the price of your trolley with each supermarket. If you want your trolley contents delivered you can also gain ipoints, I however use the print out shopping list function to make sure I stick to budget.

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        • Moulinex DDH244 / Blender / 79 Readings / 77 Ratings
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          19.11.2008 09:29
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          ~*~*~INTRODUCTION~*~*~

          I bought the Moulinex hand blender when I started weaning my son. I was determined to make all his meals from scratch to ensure I knew what went in them. I started using a large freestanding food blender, but soon got fed up of taking it apart to clean after each use. Cooking lots of different meals to freeze is a big enough job as it is, without the added annoyance of washing up lots of bits.


          ~*~*~FEATURES~*~*~

          -2 speeds.
          -Detachable foot-makes cleaning extremely easy, it is also dishwasher safe.
          -Shaped to fit perfectly in your hand-making it safe.
          -Comes with wall holder to save cupboard space.
          -700ml spouted jug.


          ~*~*~PRICE~*~*~

          I bought it for £20 on sale in Tesco, however I haven't seen it in my local store for a while. You can buy it on Amazon for £24.99.


          ~*~*~CONCLUSION~*~*~

          I no longer use the hand blender for making pureés as my son is now eating proper food. I do however use it a couple of times a week to make smoothies. It literally takes seconds to blend things to a smooth texture and after a quick rinse its clean and ready to put away.

          I would definitely recommend this product to any parent starting on the road of weaning. Batch cooking can be a tedious job, but having a blender that is so easy to clean makes it a whole lot easier.

          I have used it at least twice a week for the last 5 months and it is still going strong, so at the price I bought it at, it was an absolute bargain.

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            17.11.2008 14:49
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            ~*~*~INTRODUCTION~*~*~

            The Teddys wash day highchair is the Mothercare version of the very popular Chicco Happy Snack highchair. They are infact exactly the same, the only difference being the colour and pattern.
            When we bought this highchair, we had spent all day looking at different highchairs in various shops, we really liked the Chicco happy snack highchair but weren't keen on the colours of them. We wanted a neutral coloured highchair so we could use it for anymore children we might have in the future, unfortunately all the Chicco patterns were very gender specific.
            My hubby and I were very glad when we saw Mothercare had done a version and bought it there and then.


            ~*~*~FEATURES~*~*~

            -Padded seat with Teddy's Wash Day design
            -4-position removable tray
            -5-point safety harness
            -3-position reclining backrest
            -Net basket for storage


            ~*~*~PRODUCT INFORMATION~*~*~

            -Folded: 92 x 58 x 41cm
            -Unfolded: 82 x 58 x 101cm
            -Seat height: 68cm
            -Weight: 6.3kg


            ~*~*~PRICE~*~*~

            The highchair is usually £59.99 but is currently on sale for £44.99


            ~*~*~MY OPINION~*~*~

            When I bought this highchair my son was 4.5 months and much too small for it. He didn't start using it for another month and even then he was still a bit small for it so I sat him on a towel for a while until he got a bit bigger.

            The 3 position backrest is great as my son used to struggle to lift his beaker of water up enough to drink out of when sat upright, but has he has an independant streak he wasn't keen for me to help him. It has also come in handy when my son has fallen asleep whilst eating!

            I haven't used the 4 position tray much as my son is still small enough to fit in it when it is pulled right in.

            The cream design is what I had wanted, but to be honest it has slightly stained in a couple of places so possibly not the best colour for a messy child-luckily not overly noticable.

            The 5 point harness is also cream and gets dirty extremely quickly, It is however easy to remove and I have put it in the washing machine on a number of occasions and it has come up perfect each time (I put it in an old pillowcase to protect the plastic bits).

            The net underneath is also very useful for storing my sons toys, my house is quite small compared to the amount of toys there is so any extra storage is a huge welcome. When we first started using the highchair we were finding his toys were getting covered in crumbs etc so we now put a plastic sheet over the net whilst my son eats. This has solved the only problem I have found with the highchair.

            As for cleaning, it is quite easy. The plastic padded seat is wipe clean as it the rest of it. For the stitching areas, I tend to use an old toothbrush.


            I would strongly recommend this highchair if you like neutral colours, but for more colour the regular Chicco Happy Snack highchair would be ideal.

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            • Teenage Pregancy / Parenting Issue / 82 Readings / 75 Ratings
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              08.10.2008 12:01
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              This story is a rather painful one for me, but I thought I would share my story. If people have negative comments I would rather you didn't post them.


              It all started when I missed a pill. I completely forgot about it and stayed at my boyfriends house. I remembered the following morning and tried to get a doctors appointment, I couldn't get one that day but they assured me I had 72 hours to take the morning after pill. I made an appointment and took the pills, still well within the time frame. The rest of the month I was praying for my period to show.


              My period was due on the wednesday, by Friday it still hadn't turned up so my boyfriend and I got a test. The test line popped up and almost straight away so did the pregnant line.


              I was 17, only 3 months into a relationship and was now pregnant. My first reaction was horror, I cried and cried and didn't know what to do. My boyfriend was just as upset and we just sat on the bed in silence, unsure what to say to eachother.


              We made the decision to make an appointment with the doctor to arrange a termination. I had the initial appointment at the hospital on the saturday, they scanned me to see how far gone I was;6 weeks. I had to meet with another doctor and discuss it too. An appointment for the termination was made for 3 weeks time.


              During those 3 weeks my boyfriend and I visited the CAB, council etc to see what we could be entitled to if we decided to keep the baby. We weren't sure if we could go ahead with the termination and wanted to hear all our options first. The only reason the termination was booked was that if we decided to go ahead with it, we didn't want to leave it too late.


              A week before the termination, I started experiencing cramps. Later on that day the bleeding started. I was miscarrying. I felt completely numb, that it was my fault for being unsure. The feelings of guilt were overwhelming and I was a mess. My boyfriend was a rock throughout, he let me shout at him, ignore him, basically treat him horrendously and still give me a cuddle.


              6 years on, I still have those same guilty feelings. It was a horrible time in my life and I have so many regrets. Although I was young and cant believe I was considering a termination.

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                07.10.2008 12:34
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                A fab addition to any toybox

                My husband and I bought these for our son when he was 5 months old, he was starting to sit unaided and making his way round the room on his tummy. We needed more toys for him to play with and as I had enjoyed my blocks as a child I wanted my son to have some too.

                When I first saw the blocks I liked that they were soft, anything to keep my son from harm. I liked the bright colours and the fact they had the alphabet and pictures on them.

                My son loved these from the first time he started playing with them. At 5 months he was a little too young to pick them up easily though, as the blocks are quite large and his hands small. He is now almost 8 months and a pro at picking them up. He finds them amusing when we stack them up for him to knock over. He likes the crinkle noises they make and enjoys shaking the one that contains a bell.



                ~*~*~PRODUCT INFORMATION~*~*~

                -Cost- £8.99

                -There are 6 blocks- 5 crinkly, 1 containing a bell.

                -They are machine washable- I tend to put them in a pillowcase on a cool setting and they dry quickly.

                -Each side of the block is a different colour- yellow, purple, orange, green, blue and red.

                -Each side contains a letter and corresponding picture, i.e. E-elephant and U-umbrella.

                -They encourage manipulation, movement and exploration.

                -Taste lovely; well the amount my son has them in his mouth they must do.



                ~*~*~DEVELOPMENT~*~*~


                -They recommend this toy from 6 months, we bought them for our son at 5 months and this may have been a little young. He struggled to grasp them.

                -At first they can be used for stacking/knocking over, picking up-hand-eye coordination.

                -Now my son is 'commando crawling' he likes chasing after them, picking them up, moving them from place to place and has tried stacking them. The fact he is a boy and very heavy handed means they're never actually stacked when he tries.

                -From around a year, they can be used to learn colours, letters and what the pictures are.

                -As the child gets older they can be used to spell simple words too.



                ~*~*~CONCLUSION~*~*~


                Overall a long lasting toy that is one of those toys that should be in everyones toy box.

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                  06.10.2008 17:17
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                  Whilst expecting my first child, I was advised by many (older generation) people to buy cellular blankets. They said they had all used them and were great for various reasons. I decided to buy a couple of the small moses basket/pram ones at first and I'm so glad I did, they have been an invaluable buy that I would continue to recommend to others.



                  I now have 3 small moses basket/pram cellular blankets, 1 on, 1 in the wash and 1 in the drawer. I originally used them as blankets for night times but my son has now outgrown them whilst lying flat, they are just used for day time naps and in his buggy.



                  I love the design of them, the 'air holes' are fab for the 'not hot, not cold' weather England suffers with. They are also ideal as my son likes to rub his face with his blanket when he's tired and will often fall asleep with one over his face.



                  They must have been washed well over 30 times each (babies get supprisingly dirty) and they have come up like brand new on a 30 degree wash each time, even though they are white.



                  I also have 2 large cot/cotbed cellular blankets for night time
                  use. My son is only 8 months and small enough for it to be folded in half, meaning extra warmth without extra blankets.



                  I bought my cellular blankets from Matalan, for the pricely sum of £2 for the small and £4 for the large. You can buy them from many different places for various prices. They come in a range of colours ready to match your babies outfit or nursery.

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                  • Care Home / Local Service / 50 Readings / 47 Ratings
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                    04.10.2008 20:50
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                    Lots of choices so there will always be the right one

                    ---INTRODUCTION---


                    There are 2 main types of care homes. Residential care homes and Nursing care homes with many homes offering different services. Some specialising in specific illnesses/disablities. They can be run by councils, private owners or charities and although homes and services vary, they all have to be regulated and regularly inspected by government offshoot, CSCI.



                    ---RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES---


                    Many residential care homes have a 'speciality', ranging from dementia/alzheimers disease to old age only.

                    Things that you can expect from residential care homes are;

                    -Meals and accommodation
                    -Help with personal care
                    -Staff available 24 hours a day
                    -Physical and emotional care
                    -Care through short illnesses



                    ---NURSING HOMES---


                    Nursing homes are for people with a disability or illness that means they need nursing care on a frequent basis. A registered nurse is on duty 24 hours a day.

                    Nursing homes offer the same as a residential care home as well as care for more complex conditions and terminal illnesses.



                    ---COMMISION FOR SOCIAL CARE SERVICES---


                    CSCI regulate and inspect all care homes, to ensure the service users are looked after in a safe and caring environment. They help improve standards of social care and stamp out bad practice.

                    All care homes recieve quality ratings of excellent, good, adequate and poor.

                    The CSCI are an important organisation and very useful in choosing the right care home. Their website offers advice on using care services and has a list of all registered care homes, also showing their 'speciality'.



                    ---MY EXPERIENCE---


                    I have worked in 'care' for almost 8 years now. I started when I was 16 and about to leave school, originally a way to earn extra money whilst I studied at college. I soon started to enjoy it and the satifaction I gained from helping people. The regulations have now changed, meaning nobody under the age of 18 can administer personal care. Although I understand that an elderly person may feel uncomfortable having assistance from a young person, it does mean that fewer people are choosing this as a career and an already short staffed profession is suffering further. Add to this the huge amount of paperwork

                    I have worked in 2 residential care homes, the first for 4 years where I gained an NVQ level 3 enabling me to be a 'Senior', administering medication and supervising other staff members. The home I worked in was registered for 19 and was a mix of dementia (EMI), physical disalbilties and old age. I enjoyed the variety of residents and each day was never the same.

                    The home I work in now is registered for 14, specialising in EMI only. I have worked here for nearly 4 years and although it is harder in repects of the residents, I enjoy the challege of looking after them. The people I look after can be aggressive, I have finished work on many occasions with bruises, cuts etc but I still love my job.

                    Looking after people that have so many amazing stories, with many that fought in wars for our country is a pleasure. There is no greater honour than caring for people in their last moments/days/months/years and giving them the best quality of life you can.

                    The people I work with are just as passionate about the job as I am. There are fantastic care homes out there, but sadly the only ones you hear about happen to be bad. These really are in the minority.


                    ---Extra Information---


                    For more information on care homes visit;
                    www.direct.gov.uk/en/HealthAndWellBeing/HealthServices/CareHomes/index.htm

                    or CSCI

                    www.csci.org.uk

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                    • Morning Sickness / Parenting Issue / 48 Readings / 46 Ratings
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                      03.10.2008 11:14
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                      I hope this helps a suffering someone x

                      A combination of nausea, vomiting and tiredness. What a great combination hey?



                      ~*~*~INTRODUCTION~*~*~


                      My morning sickness started at around 6-7 weeks into pregnancy and lasted until I was around 14 weeks. It came on suddenly for me, I just woke up one morning feeling nauseous and that feeling was there the majority of the time, I actually only vomited very few times during this period but I still felt awful. People didn't seem to understand that feeling constantly sick wasn't much fun and very draining. I went off the smell of tea, spicy foods and if I dared eating fish or onions, I'd soon be meeting it again. Thankfully, it went as quick as it came and I was able to start enjoying the pregnancy...that is until the aches and pains started.



                      ~*~*~CAUSES~*~*~


                      During my pregnancy I researched causes and cures quite alot, I only really came up with 2 reasons that some experts *think* could be the cause;

                      -Hormones- (I must say these blooming hormones have a lot to answer for!). Oestrogen levels rise and tend to be at their highest in the first three months and rising levels may heighten your sense of smell, which could explain that certain smells can trigger morning sickness.

                      -Evolutionary adaptation- This basically means that it is you bodies way of protecting you against food poisoning, going off certain foods that could cause you to become ill such as poultry and eggs, instead favouring 'safe' foods such as bread and fruit.



                      ~*~*~REMEDIES~*~*~


                      I found a few 'cures' which worked for a little while, giving me some relief. I thought it only right that I share these with you.

                      -Coca Cola- It was originally made as a nausea medicine so no suprise really.

                      -Salt and Vinegar crisps- Not sure what made this work, but I tried them as they had always helped settle my stomach after a heavy night.

                      -Eating a biscuit/cracker before getting out of bed- I think it had something to do with low blood sugar, if I didn't eat first I'd feel nauseous and faint as soon as I stood up.

                      -Eating little and often- I always felt worse if I was hungry, eating a cracker or biscuit every hour or so really helped. I couldn't manage meals as they made me feel worse.



                      Other things to help ease nausea I've heard are good, that either didn't work for me or I didn't try are;

                      -Travel sickness wrist bands- You can buy them from boots and are apparently fantastic.

                      -Ginger- You can have ginger in many different ways such as drinks, biscuits. I didn't try this as I can't stand ginger.

                      -Herbal Tea- Especially minty ones.

                      -Glucose sweets- Helps keep the blood sugar levels up. I didn't try this as unfortunately I only found out about AFTER my symptoms had stopped.

                      -Sleep- Everythings better after a good sleep, well thats only if you can sleep for the whole of the first trimester.

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                      • Epidural / Parenting Issue / 37 Readings / 33 Ratings
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                        26.09.2008 16:56
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                        I have recently written a review on my hospital birth, where I briefly mentioned my epidural experience. Here is my experience in full.


                        During an ante-natal class, the midwife spoke about the epidural as a method of pain relief. She told us the facts, that the needle goes between the vertebrae of your back, and into the space outside the coverings that surround your spinal cord. A fine tube is then passed through the needle and then the needle is removed. She also showed us the needle they use, which was a lot bigger and thicker than I had imagined. We were told that it was a very effective pain relief and she had only known it to fail twice. The midwife did mention the disadvantages of the epidural, that you will be bed-bound throughout labour, that it can increase the length of labour and your baby's heartrate will need to be constantly monitored. To me, that wasn't a problem as the idea of a pain-free labour was much more appealing.


                        D-DAY arrived and after 50 hours of labour I was given the epidural, I was told to sit completely still and lean forward onto my husband (not easy with a huge bump but I managed). He asked me to let him know if a contraction was coming and he would stop. It went in quicker than what I thought, only around 5 minutes and that included 2 contractions. So he cleared up and I was told it work take around 20 minutes to work. He said good-bye and I was left to it.

                        20 minutes came and went and I was still having extremely painful contractions, made worse by the fact I had to lie down. After an hour, the midwife realised that it wasn't helping. I asked if I could get up and move around seeing as it hadn't actually work, she said maybe and that she would do the 'ice test' first. She got a piece of ice and started at my feet, I couldn't feel anything until she got to my knees, at which point I felt everything. So to my annoyance I had to stay in bed.


                        I spent the next few hours sucking on gas and air while the midwife kept topping up the epidural trying to get it to work. The anaethetist couldn't come back to check as he was the only one on duty over night and was busy in theatre.


                        By the morning I was in so much pain, I couldn't stop crying. I was seen by another anaethetist and she gave me a higher dose of the epidural. This had more of an effect, but it still only worked down my left hand side. It provided some relief and I was able to sleep a little inbetween my close contractions.


                        When the pushing bit came, I was lucky enough that my crutch had been numbed. So the episiotomy and ventouse didn't hurt, even if the contractions did.


                        It hasn't put me off having it again, but I will try to go as long as I can without it. If the same happened again, I woudn't want to be lying down for too long without pain relief.

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                        • Rice & Pasta Dishes / Recipe / 49 Readings / 48 Ratings
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                          13.09.2008 10:19
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                          Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

                          ~*~*~INTRODUCTION~*~*~


                          As a vegetarian I eat alot of pasta dishes. It's always a fail safe option and I always have tons of different types in the cupboard. I like pasta dishes because you can make them as easy or as hard as you like, from the simple pasta with garlicy cheese sauce to the harder canneloni. I have added a couple of my favourite recipes that I originally got from a fabulous recipe book, which I then tweaked to suit me.



                          ~*~*~Veggie Lasagne~*~*~


                          -Ingredients-

                          60 ml (4 tbsp) oil
                          1 aubergine, sliced
                          1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
                          1 courgette, sliced
                          salt and freshly ground pepper
                          100 g (4 oz) mushrooms, sliced
                          425 ml (3/4 pt) Concentrated Tomato Sauce
                          600 ml (1 pt) Bechamel Sauce
                          9 sheets cooked lasagne


                          -Method-

                          1. Heat the oil and fry the vegetables over a low heat for about 3 minutes.


                          2. Start with the Concentrated Tomato Sauce and one third of the vegetables.

                          4. Top with Bechamel Sauce and lasagne. Season and start layering as in Lasagne al Forno, ending with Bechamel and cheese.

                          5. When all the ingredients are used, bake in a preheated 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes.



                          ~*~*~Canneloni with spinach~*~*~


                          -Ingredients-

                          12 dried cannelloni tubes
                          1 lb (450 g) frozen or2 lb (900 g) fresh spinach
                          8 oz (225 g) curd cheese
                          Freshly grated nutmeg
                          Salt and freshly ground black pepper
                          2 x 14 oz (400 g) tins chopped tomatoes
                          1-2 cloves garlic
                          2 tablespoons fresh oregano
                          1 oz (25 g) Parmesan cheese


                          -Method-

                          1. If you are using frozen spinach, thaw and boil in a saucepan over a high heat for 2 minutes, stirring all the time.

                          2. Turn the spinach into a fine sieve and press it with the back of a spoon to extract any remaining liquid. If you are using fresh spinach, wash it thoroughly, discarding any discoloured leaves or tough stalks, and then chop roughly.

                          3. Put the wet spinach in a pan and cover. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes until the leaves wilt, and drain well.

                          4. Transfer the spinach to a bowl, add the curd cheese and nutmeg, and season to taste. Beat well to mix. Divide the spinach and cheese mixture equally between the cannelloni tubes and spoon it in.

                          5. Put the chopped tomatoes into the saucepan. Finely chop the garlic and herbs and add to the tomatoes with the optional wine, and season to taste. Bring to the boil, stirring to break up the tomatoes as much as possible.

                          6. Pour enough of the tomatoes into a 12 x 9in (300 x 230mm) baking dish to cover the bottom. Lay the cannelloni tubes in the dish, side by side in a single layer, so that they form two rows of tubes that fit snugly together. Pour over the remaining tomato mixture.

                          7. Grate the Parmesan and sprinkle evenly over the cannelloni. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbling.

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                          • Music / Discussion / 39 Readings / 36 Ratings
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                            11.09.2008 23:58
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                            Thanks for reading x

                            I wonder how many of you will have actually heard of these bands!?!


                            1) Favourite last dance smoochie.

                            DJ Sammy- 'Heaven (candlelight mix)' It was my husbands and I's first dance at our wedding.


                            2) Best cover version.

                            It dies today- 'enjoy the silence' or Evergreen terrace- 'mad world', cant decide which.


                            3) Worst cover version.

                            Anything that has had a dance beat put over the top. In most cases they are completely destroying a decent song.


                            4) Best Male Vocal.

                            Matt Shadows, lead singer of Avenged Sevenfold. He has an amazing vocal range.


                            5) Best Female Vocal.

                            Candace Kucsulain from Walls of Jericho.


                            6) Best Duo + / Group.

                            Avenged Sevenfold. The best metal band in the world.


                            7) Most memorable Song.

                            Jerry C's version of 'Canon in D'. It's the song I walked back down the aisle to, with my new husband.


                            8) Your Song.

                            Killswitch Engage- numbered days. Started me off on the 'metalcore' genre of heavy metal I love. Sent shivers down my spine.


                            9) Best Female Vocal Performance.

                            Candace Kucsulain (walls of Jericho) in the song 'and the dead walk again'.


                            10) Best Male Vocal Performance.

                            Matt Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold) in the song 'seize the day'.


                            11) Most Poignant Song.

                            See number 8.


                            12) All Time Favourite Album.

                            Killswitch engage- 'alive or just breathing'.


                            13) Best Music Video.

                            Sepultura- Ratamahata. Freaky video.


                            14) Best Act Ever.

                            Avenged Sevenfold.


                            15) Best TV / Film musical piece.

                            The soundtrack to the film 'The Crow' is probably the best.


                            16) Best personal computer (any) music software.
                            Itunes. Isn't it everyones?

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                            • Smoothie Recipes / Recipe / 42 Readings / 41 Ratings
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                              11.09.2008 12:12
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                              Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

                              I only recently discovered the wonderful taste of a fresh mango. I bought one when I was pregnant as I had a bit of a craving for fruit. I have to say it is now my favourite fruit and I buy at least 2 a week. Instead of eating them on their own in their dozens each week, I now tend to make fruit salads or smoothies with them.

                              Mangoes are known as a superfruit as they are one of the most nutritious fruits you can get. They contain a huge amount of vitamins and essential nutrients; including vitamins A, B6, C and potassium (I will be here all night if I add them all).

                              Smoothies are a great way of getting your 5 a day without feeling like you are overloading on fruit. It is also a fun way of getting kids eating fruit. You can involve them in the choice of fruit and slighlty older children can even help blend them together.

                              Here are 5 yummy healthy recipes that I make reguarly;

                              ~*~Recipe 1~*~

                              2 mangoes
                              2 oranges
                              100ml apple juice

                              Dice the mangoes, cut the oranges into quarters or 8ths (depending on size of oranges). Blend (I use a hand blender) adding apple juice until you reach you preferred consistency.


                              ~*~Recipe 2~*~

                              2 mangos
                              2 bananas
                              150ml Orange Juice

                              Dice the mangoes, chop bananas into 4 segments. Blend-adding orange juice until reaching preferred consistency.


                              ~*~Recipe 3~*~

                              1 banana
                              1/2 mango
                              1/2 pineapple (I tend to buy tinned pineapple)
                              50ml pineapple juice
                              50ml plain yoghurt

                              cut banana into 4 segments, dice the mango and pinapple, add in yoghurt and slowly add pinapple juice whilst blending until reaching the prefferred consistency.


                              ~*~Recipe 4~*~

                              500ml pineapple juice
                              Handful of strawberries
                              1 mango
                              1 banana

                              Halve strawberries, dice mango and chop banana into segments. Blend whilst adding pineapple juice.


                              ~*~Recipe 5~*~

                              1 mango
                              2 bananas
                              Handful of strawberries
                              1 tablespoon honey
                              100ml yoghurt

                              Halve strawberries, chop bananas into segments, dice mango, add honey and yoghurt and blend. If a little too thick, just add a little more yoghurt.

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                              • More +
                                10.09.2008 22:15
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                                ...

                                I joined Dooyoo at the beginning of August and have written nearly 50 reviews. I haven't been on here long and am still getting used to it but I do enjoy writing and reading reviews. People may say I haven't been on here long enough to comment, but I do so here's my thoughts on the matter;



                                Q1. How did you discover Dooyoo?
                                Recommended by people from a forum I use.


                                Q2. Why did you join?
                                My love of writing! But if I'm actually honest, to earn some extra money while on maternity leave.


                                Q3. What was your very first opinion on?
                                On a Canon camera, but it got 'locked' as it was pretty rubbish. I know nothing about technology AT ALL but couldn't think of anything else to write about for my first review.


                                Q4. Did you find it easy to get the hang of Dooyoo?
                                Not too long, it's an easy site to navigate and I think my reviews have got better.


                                Q5. Did you read other opinions before you posted your first one?
                                I read one on a camera to get an idea on what to write about my own, but it was all technical and I couldn't understand it. HA!


                                Q6. Do you write no/some/many comments?
                                I write some when I feel the need. I have also started writing when I nominated someone as I noticed others do too.


                                Q7. When you click on the list of Newest Reviews, do you read your friend's opinion no matter what they're on/according to subject no matter who has written it/preferably the opinion of new members?
                                I don't really have a system as such, I just tend to read less about technical things though as they just confuse the hell out of me.


                                Q8. Do you write your opinions in one sitting?
                                No, it normally takes a few hours, if not a day to write one review. I have a 7 month old who requires alot of attention, but as my laptop is usually on I just add to it when I get chance.


                                Q9. Do you use a spell check?
                                I do now, have noticed a few spelling/ grammar mistakes when I've re-read my reviews.


                                Q10. Do you think you can improve your chances of a crown if you suck up to a guide?
                                I doubt I'll ever get a crown, I tend to keep myself to myself so no sucking here.


                                Q11. Are you a member of a forum or chat room?
                                I am, 2 infact. Both forums are mainly about babies and have helped me immensely in preparation of having a baby and in the early stages of motherhood. It's also a good place to vent when things are getting on top of me.


                                Q12. Does it get to you when members praise or condemn you?
                                Not particularly. It would be nice sometimes for people to give reasons for low ratings (constructive criticism not rudeness though). I might improve that way.


                                Q13. What did you do with your spare time before joining Dooyoo?
                                Watch more day time tv


                                Q14. What do you wish for the future?
                                The health and happiness of my family.

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                                • Hospital Births / Parenting Issue / 36 Readings / 35 Ratings
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                                  10.09.2008 13:52
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                                  Can't wait for the next one!

                                  At 37 weeks I went on a tour of my local delivery suite. This put my mind completely at ease about the whole thing. It seemed a calm place and I never heard any of that dreadful screaming that you hear in movies. I actually started looking forward to the birth, rather than be worried about it.


                                  At just under 40 weeks my contractions started, it was a Thursday afternoon and my husband was still at work. I decided to wait until he finished before telling him as although they were painful, they weren't unbearable. They were slightly irregular and only lasting approx 45 seconds. I tried going to bed that night but was too uncomfortable and was keeping my husband awake so I came back downstairs, I got roughly an hours sleep in between contractions on the sofa, getting increasingly excited about meeting my baby.


                                  The following day (Friday) my contractions were still irregular and that evening I finally phoned the delivery suite asking what I should do. I had been in labour for over 24 hours at this point and was completely shattered. I was advised to stay at home until they were coming every 3 minutes and lasting over a minute, but to call them first. I got upset and scared as I had never done this before and felt the midwives had abandoned me. I again slept on the sofa, though this time I was crying with each contraction so I ended up with no sleep at all.


                                  The next morning (Saturday) I was so tired and in so much pain so I phoned the delivery suite again. I was put on a list to be seen by a community midwife and she arrived at 11am, I was examined and found to be 2-3cm dilated. She was lovely and lent me a tens machine to help with the pain. She told me that my baby was still back to back which could make the labour longer but I was doing well. If I was struggling at any point, to call the delivery suite and go on in.


                                  At 6pm I couldn't take much more, I called the delivery suite and was met by an evil witch of a midwife. As my baby was back to back I was having my contractions in my lower back, she told me this was impossible and that I couldn't be in 'real' labour and to call back when the contractions were in the right place.


                                  At 7pm I was hysterically crying with pain and fear, I made the decision to phone the hospital again and was luckily met by a nice, caring midwife who suggested I came in for pain relief. We arrived at the hospital at 7.30pm and to my horror the midwife first assigned to me was the horrible witch I had spoken to earlier. She examined me to find I was only 3cm dilated. This was a complete blow as I hadn't dilated much since that morning. She also told me I couldn't have ANY pain relief as I needed to be 4cm dilated first. Luckily this midwife went off duty at 10pm and the lovely midwife I had met that morning came in. She asked me why I had been left standing in the room without any pain relief and couldn't believe that I was told I wasn't allowed it. The gas and air was horrible and left me feeling woozy and sick but I carried on using it as I needed something.


                                  At midnight the midwife asked if I wanted to try pethidine, I agreed and 20 minutes later the midwife returned and asked if I was considering an epidural. Apparently the anaesthetist was going to be busy in theatre for the next few hours and the other one was going off duty. I basically had to have it then or not a tall, so at 1.30am I had an epidural. I was told after 15-20mins it should start to work...after an hour it hadn't! With no one around to check it, I was left with just gas and air.


                                  At 6am, they examined me again and I was 5cm dilated. Baby was still back to back and not moving. I couldn't believe I was dilating so slowly, at this point the pain in my back and hips was unbearable, I was crying my eyes out begging them to do something. They broke my waters and put me on a hormone drip to regulate my contractions, neither worked and I was still progressing very slowly.


                                  At 10am, my babies heart rate kept dipping really low, it went down to 0 at one point so they got very worried and said it looked like I was going to need an emergency c-section. They took blood samples from my baby's head, which showed he was ok so they left me for an hour. I was only 6cm when they examined me an hour later with babies heart rate still dipping at about 40-60bpm. My blood pressure, temperature and pulse had gone haywire by this point too. They took another blood sample from baby which again showed he wasn't in distress. By this point I was getting increasingly tired and agitated with everything, still in absolute agony.


                                  At 11.45am the consultant came in and said that I wasn't doing very well and they were getting very concerned baby wasn't coping with the labour. He decided that I would be having a c-section once they had finished with another lady. I was so happy that in one hour, it would all be over and I would have my baby in my arms. My husband was given scrubs to change into but an hour later another doctor came in and examined me, seeing that I was 9cm dilated; she decided that I wouldn't be having a c-section. I was so angry with the doctor, that they had changed their minds again. She said she would be back a bit later to check on me and see if baby had turned enough to deliver.


                                  At 2.15pm she came back in and told me they were going to get me to start pushing and see how I do. After 20 minutes of pushing, they decided to try a ventouse delivery and after the 3rd contraction and an episiotomy, my son was finally born!





                                  I was upset at first by the birth; I thought I wasn't given much reassurance. I also think I was given an epidural far too early; I was stuck on a bed in an uncomfortable position and the epidural wasn't even helping to ease the pain. Before the epidural I was finding that being mobile was helping, after I had been given it I could no longer walk around as although it hadn't worked properly, it had numbed my legs. I also felt let down that I was told I would be having a c-section on 3 separate occasions for them to change their minds. As if it wasn't an emotional rollercoaster already.
                                  It definitely hasn't put me off having anymore and it hasn't put me off hospital births.

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