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chrissypops

chrissypops
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Member since: 02.08.2000

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    • Children & Divorce / Parenting Issue / 8 Readings / 32 Ratings
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      28.05.2002 06:08
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      RAW Raw, like an open wound. Hurting, like someone has stuck a knife in my heart and has turned it about. Anger, something I’ve felt only once before and ate away from me. Relief, glad that I have taken the first step down an unmarked road in which I know with be the beginning of the end. Failure, not just failing myself but friends, family and my husband. This is only some of the emotions which I am feeling write now while I am going though separation and will finally end up as divorce . I’m purely writing this opinion for my benefit. I nee an outlet, something to express myself with, words on paper so I’m sorry that it might not make much sense. Living in the reality of things, stuff like depression, separation or anything traumatic very rarely makes sense. I will try and make it as balanced as possible, as I’ve tried to be well balanced through all this. Anyone who reads my opinions regularly will probably have read my marriage opinion, if you haven’t, you can read it. Not so I get more pennies, that doesn’t matter. Log out if you like and then read it. If you do read it, and it was written about nine months ago I think, you will see that I loved my husband, well I tried my hardest to put everything I could into our 11 yrs to being together. I still stand by everything I wrote in that opinion. Now after all this time and effort its fallen apart. I’m devastated it’s ended up this way, ashamed too in a way, but I know in my heart it’s the right thing to do. My husband is a proud man but materialist and obsessed with his career. There is an old saying behind a successful man there’s a successful women. Hmm I’m not sure I’m successful in a career sense but I know out of 11 yrs we have had some good times some rotten times and two beautiful daughters. The last four or so years have been a strain on our marriage, more so then what he will ever realise and
      quite possibly after I have written this I will print it out and let him read it. For it seems no matter how much and try to tell him how much this hurts, words don’t come. I can’t seem to tell him what he has done to me and what is happening right now is ripping our family apart. The first time I thought the feelings of love for my husband was going was about 4 years ago. He came home one day and declared that he got a job up north and we would be moving soon. Ok, nothing wrong with that, but I was 7 months pregnant, we had a house to sell and very naive of me to think that I could cope. I have written an opinion again on PND which I had after I gave birth and I really feel that being left on my own for 5 months with a baby while he was working up north didn’t do me any favours at all. I started to resent him, and my daughter, which wasn’t fair on any of us. Luckily after selling our house relatively quickly (6mths), lets face it, it could have been a year, we moved. It took me a long while to get over my world of depression and never even told my husband what was going on because I thought he would push me away or call me a unfit mother. In fact its taken me nearly 3 years to tel him Id even suffered from PND and my true feeling of what I felt towards my daughter, with I blame him for. Thus a seed was planted, growing slowly. I’m not one to hold grudges, far from it. In fact after a while things was better between us, so much so when my first daughter was 19 months, I fell pregnant with my second daughter. I have a realy rough pregnancy, with all day sickness, but none the less and a lovely birth. Things were fine, better than they had been for a long time, but sometimes things are not all as they seem. I think I knew then I didn’t love him any more. It even hurts me to say that. In fact it kills, I can feel it in the pit of my stomach, imakes me feel guilty and sick. But I know it to be true. You see I feel in love wi
      th him slowly and I think Ive feel out of love slowly too. We have been through many rough patches and many might say that this could be another but I doubt that. Don’t get me wrong I don’t hate him, and I don’t think I ever will. I care for him greatly but I just cant take the emotional bullying anymore. Its almost like he doesn’t love what I have become and want the little housewife he had when we first got married. In reality Im a better person now than what I was 7.5 yrs ago. I’ve grown up, matured, I’m fun loving, I have my priorities right in my opinion. In fact, yes, he’s right I have changed, but changed in my eyes for the better. Tim on the other hand hasn’t changed, hes stil trying to be as controlling as he always been, bullying and dwindling down my confidence, my persona trying to mould me into something I’m not. Rather taken me for who I am, he constantly had ago at me about my weight. Ok I’m not exactly slim but I wouldn’t say I’m fat either. I know I’m short with a big bum and broad hips, but I feel comfortable and confident with who I am. Weight isn’t the only thing he would emotionally beat me up for, housework, having a job, sex and generally anything he could throw at me all came into the equation. The odd saying * stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me* springs to mind. But what an untrue saying that is. Emotional abuse runs deep, very deep and can affect your whole outlook in life. Was bullied at school, that doesn’t help but this 11 yrs of emotional abuse has let me with little confidence. Im not just taking about meeting people or chatting, Im talking about whether I will cope without him. Will I find someone who will love me for my children and me too? Will I survive on benefits and single persons money. Or will I fall flat on my face? I know deep down I am a survivor, I know I will give 110 %, I have to, not for my
      but for my children. Just 3 month ago my husband threatened me with a choice. Either I lose weight and get a part time job or he wanted to separate. I was dumb struck. Neither of these things I could do straight away. Losing weight takes time and the funny thing was since Christmas I had actually lost nearly a stone in weight and everyone had noticed apart from him. As for the job, we were in a little bit of debt, but I had decided that I would go back when youngest was at school, which were a few years away. I thought it would be better to cut the cost of living down for a while and see how it went. I actually went away for a few days just to make sure he had time to think about what was important in our marriage but when I came back he was the same. I was in a state of shock that he could ever think about emotionally blackmailing me like this but after trying to pull myself together, I went to see a solicitor to find out my rights. After doing this I told Tim about what would happen if we separated and I thought that he should leave the house and see if a trial separation would maybe give us a break. I also told him about if it went to court, that the house would be mine, half of his savings, pension. I could push for higher maintance for the children. Over night his whole attitude changed, he wanted to make a go of things, but only of certain terms. It was then I really questioned the reasons why he was staying. Was it because he loved me? Or was it because he knew it was financially more viable to stay. Well after about a month I had figured it out. He didn’t want to change and didn’t take long to slip into his old ways. I assure you Im not an angel in all this. I can be a bitch; I can be nasty but only in retaliation. I was away one weekend in april at the local college on an assertiveness course of all things when things started to hit home. I actually went and sat in one of the beautiful gardens they had there with one of my ma
      tes and laughter and cried as I remembered everything we had gone through. All the good and bad times, all the things we pulled though for and it ws then I realised that I haven’t loved him for a while. I had been standing at a crossroads, thinking for years whether our relationship was built on trust love and security. It had been, a long time ago, but not now. Now I was faced with the hardest decision ever…. Telling him. I did it that night when I came home. I sat him down calmly, as balanced as I could and told him that although I cared for him still I didn’t love him any more. I was amazed how well he took it. And I think he was relieved in a way as he felt the same. We discussed about what we would do about the children, the house, money and everything. I had been sleeping on the sofa for the past month, so we decided that it was time to put the two girls together and we would stop co habituating. I wouldn’t do his washing, ironing, cooking, nothing. He agreed that we would stay fro a while until he could afford to move out but in the mean time give me £175 for food. Just food that is. Nothing to live on as I have my child benefit money as well. As for as he’s concerned 275 a mouth is enough to put petrol in my car, food stopping, pay out for school trips, groups I go to with my children. At the time the first week was good, in fact we talked more than ever, the weight been lifted. But it didn’t last. The weekend we split, he had made arrangement to go on a blind date with a mate and two lass’s, which I said ok, that’s fine. Personally I’m not ready to get involved with anyone else. I need to find my feet again. Make time for my children and me. Lick my wounds and heal so to speak. He didn’t even need time. For now just over a month down the line, he’s spent a lot of time with her, stayed over her house quite a few times, even taken our eldest to meet her and take
      n her to see his mum. I know I agreed that we that we could see people but its all happened way to quick. My instincts tell me perhaps he was seeing this lady before we split. Although he denies the fact. But I’m not convinced. I just cant believe how quick I feel I’ve been replaced, or tried to be placed. I know that I came to the decision to split; to call it quits before it got too nasty and bitter like both our parent’s marriages did. It just goes to show that whatever happens in separation things always end up nasty and there’s no way you can live in the same house. Things are getting very tense. He still tries to emotionally bully me, throwing everything he can that he knows that will hurt me at me. Anything from telling me the house is untidy to telling me I neglect my children, because they are independent enough to do things for themselves. Still he wont leave, believing that its better for him to stay. Does he not realise that by staying hes actually eating away and my positively, the positive feelings that I still hold for him, that caring that I hold because hes the father of our children. The fact that we have spent 11. 5 yrs of our lives together? He cant see that by staying hes actually doing more damage than what he would be doing if he was to go. Hes so short sighted because again he is thinking for himself because he knows that if he goes he would have to pay quite a bit of maintaince as he hs a well paid job. I would get half of whatever savings etc he has. He feels that Im being greedy by wanting all this. He can’t see that its not for me, but its for his children. His responsibly to his children. If I could just move with the kids I would. I would just sell the house and go, but why should I? All I care about is the welfare of our children. To put them through a total move and unsettling them completely as well as us separating would be the worst thing I could ever do. And yet, it might even come to th
      at. Now, in a living hell, I have two opinions. I can either, give up hope and humanity and say ok we shall sell the house, half of everything and start a fresh. Or I can stay and fight, take it to court and as some people say * screw him for everything he has* I don’t to do either, both hurts; both have consequences that would devastate me. Both opinions are hard, harder than anything I have ever been through. I don’t want to take him for every penny he has, being nasty isn’t a strong point of mine but have a really got an option? I’ve written this as how I feel it.. I’m not asking for advice or what I should do, but as a piece of writing to show people what its like to go through it, an hopefully like everyone, we will come out the other side stronger. Will update this soon… I promise

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        16.05.2002 01:01
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        We all feel love in varying degrees right? Children give the unconditional love that we all need to give. We love our friends for being there in our deepest darkest moments. We love our partner for companionship, sexual needs and a deeper sense of love in which sometimes leaves as speechless. The opinion * Finding love on the net* leaves the opinion to many aspects of love that we could and some do indeed find over the net. Some people even think is weird that u could even fall in love with anyone who u haven’t seen before apart from a picture or two. Others will know exactly what Im talking about when I say that you just get to know the real person. The aspect of love I going to talk about within this opinion is the love of the friendships I have built up over the last few years I have been using the internet. Two years ago I stumbled onto a parenting website called * Mother and Baby*, run by the Mother and Baby magazine. Being a parent of a 2 yr old and just having another baby, I wanted to seek out some friends even if they were pen pals. The site now sadly shut down, but as some people from Dooyoo who used to use this parenting website… well any chat room really, will know that there are some wonderful people out there, and maybe the odd head case. When I entered the chat room is was fast and I just sat for about 20 minutes not daring to type a word just in case it was lost in the stream of sentences. I left but re-entered after about 20 minutes and typed my greeting. I was over the moon when a few people said “ Hey how’s u doing?” and within a few weeks I found myself becoming addicted. Soon I started talking to a few regulars and found out that one lived a few minutes away from a friend of mine in Kent. So next time I was down that way I took the chance and popped in for a cuppa tea. We got on straight away and chatted for a few hours. Now 2 hrs on our friendship is still really strong and although
        we don’t talk as much online, we both know that we are there for each other. Thanks debs The other really good friend I made from Mother and Baby site was Vicky, in fact she does Dooyoo to (Parsley) I’m not naming her because I want you to look at her opinions. I’m naming her because I really value her as a true friend. Again I first spoke to her through the site and then I got MSN instant messenger and we spoke mainly on there. How many days in the year? 365 days? Well Vicky and I talk for a few hours I would say 680 days in the last two years. What about? Everything. We both trust each other as if we went to school together and it feels I have known her years. We have been there for each other through thick and thin, helped each other when the other is down and sat and talked for hours. Does it surprise you I haven’t even met Vicky? But I know shes open honest, genuine I know her through her personality. Maybe if we lived near each other, I might not of even battered an eyelid. But I am so glad that we have found the compassion and the love that goes with any friendship. Vicky, I know you will read this, maybe not now, and cos I know you are busy, it could be a month down the line, but you have been there for me more than you will ever know. Thanks babe There are so many friends that I keep in touch with from the net, all of them I might not hear from them for ages, others every night but the connection is still the same as what it is in real life. We trust each other, we communicate well and we get to know each others persona without all the physical world around us. Its only been in the last 5 mouths I’ve had the courage to wander of the fairly safe worlds of parenting sites into the worlds of not so safe chat rooms. I must admit I received a frightening email a few months ago about how a young lady gave information over msn and was followed… luckily by a policeman to warn her of the dangers of the net. I&
        #8217;ve always been very cautious about giving personal information and no way would I ever give my address or phone number out to anyone. Again meeting people off the net can be great fun, but again personal safety is a must. If you ever meet anyone of the net, make sure its in a crowded place. Tell someone where you are going and always listen to your gut instincts. Ask and re-ask as many questions as possible. Most people tend to be wary of meeting men from the net but some women can have the equal potential of being weird so please be careful. So do I believe you can find love on the net? Of course I do, you can find love anywhere, you only have to open your eyes and look. Good luck with everyone who has found a relationship on the net, and the rest of you…. Keep looking… u never know

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        • Hamsters / Pet / Animal / 2 Readings / 24 Ratings
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          05.04.2002 21:04
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          One of the blessings with having a daughter at nursery is sharing the holidays with a….hamster. Yes a hamster, a furry, funny little creature, which seems to have an insatiable appetite for fresh fruit. Most nurseries and infant classes have a pet in the classroom. Sometimes it of the furry kind, hamster, gerbil and maybe a small rabbit. Or others can have fish or simple insects, but thank goodness no spiders. I know usually these opinions generally deal with the keeping of hamsters as pet, this one being the same apart from its part time so to speak, but I also want to run through the benefits of a child bringing home a pet from school as well as general care. This isn’t the first time Jessica has brought home the school pet, in fact the last half term holiday we had him for a week. Sud-nik, named after the Russian satellite, as he is indeed a Russian breed takes turns in going home at weekends and holidays. He must enjoy it because to be honest he is very tame, friendly and we have only uncounted a few nips to my daughters fingers when they are put where they are not wanted. Yes, hamsters do bit, but as a warning, usually because they are not being handled very well. Either that or a finger is poking him through the bars of the cage and he cant say * hey leave me alone I’m eating , sleeping etc* so he will nip. In general, hamster’s are an easy animal to look after with relatively low starting costs. You can get a hamster start up kit which consists of a cage, food, bedding and of course a hamster for around £10 from a pet store. Of course these are juat a very basic cage but if you want to spend a little more you can buy a Rola-stat cage which basically has tunnels, sleeping quarters and other fun things to keep your hamster fit and healthy. These start from about £20 for a basic cage but you can add bits to it and make it as big as you wish. Hamsters are very clean if looked after properly a
          nd all it takes is 2 minutes to clean out the cage and put fresh sawdust over the base of the cage, fresh food, water and bedding. It’s a really good habit to teach your child at any age to have respect and love for any animal and really bring a pet home from school/nursery, is a good starting place for any child. When I brought Spud-nik home and although hes a very friendly hamster Jess wouldn’t hold him at all. So all I did was showed her how to handle him and held him in my hands while she stroked him. After a few days of me doing this she decided she wanted to hold him, so I sat her down and told her to put her hands in her lap so I could place him there. She was beside herself and kept laughing as he sniffed and run around on her lap. I didn’t leave her alone with him just incase she dropped him or anything but she was fine. After about 10 minutes I asked her to go and put him in the cage and wash her hands. Remember with all pets washing of hands and good hygiene id really important. It doesn’t matter what pet we have, they can all carry diseases, which can be harmful to humans. So please remember to teach your child to wash their hands after handling a pet. There is no stopping her now. After the first week of having Spud-nik from being scared of him she now handles him on her own. I was a little reluctant when she asked me to have him in her room but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I knew she wouldn’t be unintentionally cruel, but children tend to be a little rough sometimes with their love. Never the less I let her keep him in her room on the condition that if she lose him or was cruel I would take him back down stairs. Some might say that they wouldn’t of done this because after all Jess is only 4 so she is a little too young. Then again I felt she is old enough to accept the responsibilities of looking after him. Each day we clean him out, put fresh food and drink in for him and she plays with
          him and puts him in and out of his cage. It will be a shame to see him go on Monday but I’m sure we will have him again over a weekend or maybe the next holidays. I think its wonderful to have my child learn about the aspects of different animals, where they come from, how to look after them. In reality as well as an extension of the learning of preschool education, its given my daughter a lot of pleasure and joy looking after spud-nik. I’m not sure if I will actually ever buy a pet for her at this present time, I would be scared as in so many home that the novelty will wear off. But you never know in the near future and a hamster is a definite possibility. So next time your child is at nursery and the teacher asks for anyone to take him home for the weekend, take the opportunity to have him.

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          • uboot.com.uk / Internet Site / 0 Readings / 23 Ratings
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            28.03.2002 05:13
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            Ever wanted to send an anonymous txt message, have a chat and a laugh, then have a chance to meet the people who u chat to in a safe friendly environment? Well Uboot.com is the place to be for all this and a little bit more. Firstly when you into Uboot you need to choose the country your from, for me it was uk and then it goes to their home page. If you are a non-member all you do is register free and follow the on screen instructions. Don’t worry if you haven’t got a mobile phone because you can still send free text messages and sms messages to other members of Uboot and your friends who have mobiles. When you register, you just sign in and it will take you to your own inbox where u can receive emails and messages, sent texts, email people and make your own address book. Not just that but you can do a member search, set up your nick page (profile page if you like), see who else is on line, and much more. I shall not tell you everything because it shall spoil it but I will tell you about your nick page. Your nick page or profile page you can set up how you like. There’s a facility to put a picture on whether you choose it to be a representation of yourself or an actual picture is up to you. Again you can put as much or as little information as you like. On mine I chose to put a representation of myself, which is like a little doll or character and a little information about me. Each person who signs your nick page you can click on their name and it links to their nick pages so you can leave a message for them too. You also have an option to add that person to your address book so it shows on your nick page that they are your buddy. The chat rooms are generally rather friendly and I’ve been using them for about 7 weeks hence why I haven’t written for a while. As with all chat rooms there are certain things you must abide by for your own safety and I will be candid about this too. You have to be real
            ly careful when talking to people whether male or female because in the end you don’t really know if they are who they say they are. Some members are really friendly which is brilliant, there are quite a few and dare I say it looking for cyber sex. Ok so many people think cybering is a bit of fun and for those out there who have never heard of it, it basically means you are describing via txt about sexual encounters. Whether you choose to divulge in this activity is completely up to you. It’s the same thing about giving anyone your mobile number, again please be careful, and never ever give out your home number. If you ever choose to meet anyone of the chat rooms please tell someone where you are going and always meet them in a busy area. Or better still wait until uboot holds there meet ups in different areas of the country which are properly organised weekends. The only thing I’ve encountered with the site is sometimes the site is real slow when busy and on the odd occasion the site has gone down. Sending texts is ok usually taking as long as 40 minutes to get to their destination, which is a lot slower, then Genie. As it,s anonymous don’t forget to include your name in the message somewhere and bare in mind that you have 50 free texts a month, which might sound a lot but they soon go. Apart from that Uboot is a fun site which offers a whole lot of useful services.

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              02.01.2002 20:37
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              Shhh.. can you hear her? Can you hear that voice inside you which says you feel sexy tonight? She says things to you in a provocative soft voice, telling you that you want silk next to your skin instead of itchy nylon. Do you hear her? Or is she drowned out by the other numerous voices that speak to you? No, I havent finally gone mad but I do hear my inner sex goddess voice. I hear her all the time. Sometimes I heed her, sometimes I ignore her telling her that the time isn't appropriate. Why do women decide to suppress their own natural allure? Most women who I have had a frank conversation about sex with have all said about that they would all love to have a better sex life. Not necessarily more often,. just better quality, more satisfying but they all moan that either they cant be bothered or they havent the time. Ok I will admit that I have felt like that from time to time. But what I have realised over a period of time that our natural sexiness doesn't come from the men we sleep with but it comes from within ourselves. It comes from finding time for what we like best, sexually and non sexually too. Olivia St Claire who is famous for her first book "How to Drive Your Man Wild in Bed " decided to turn the view point on not just how to please a man but how to please yourself. Becasue in the end. if you don't know what turns you on, what tastes good, what touch you like, how on earth is your partner supposed to know? You know as well as I do men are far from psychic are they? The way Olivia has packaged this lovely sensuous book is alluring for a start. The cover which has something like flames of fire( for passion maybe?) and a tiny little sleeve around the middle which has the title on. Its almost like its gift wrapped and waiting you to read the delights inside. Like another women's self help book I've reviewed called "How to have an orgasm whenever you want" the author has taken many view
              s of her own sexuality and other women's to come up with 227 ways to make you feel good. Exploration into your own sexuality is very important in any sexual relationship. So whether your old hat but want to find that inner goddess or your going into a relationship , this is a great book to buy. Saying that even if you are own your own, its something you can curl up with! The book itself is split into 11 parts taking it from how to awaken that sleeping goddess that sultry slumbers within you and finishing off with daily "Goddessizers" which are little rituals within the day to make you feel more sexy. How to Awaken Your Inner Sex Goddess In this section Olivia talks about the biggest part of your sexual organ ...your brain. Anything can be sexy if your brain is in gear. Your sex goddess talks from your heart but sometimes your brain cant and wont switch from work/mum/friend/ into a sexual women mode. Listen to that voice and make that switch .....its worth it! Olivia also talks about keeping an explicit diary which you can keep for your eyes only or share with your partner. You can write in it every thought, feeling, desire that your goddess comes up with. Even when that time you were standing in the station and your eyes met with a man with sexy brown eyes .....write what enters your head. You'll be very surprised when even after you look back on it, you can use it for personal use. Olivia suggests loads of things within this first chapter mainly to make you aware of yourself. Another good exercise which I did as well as the diary was imagine what your goddess looked like. If usually you go to work, hair pinned back and your are in casual but smart clothes. You goddess could be that untamed women who has her hair down, sultry makeup. Someone who whatever her size would have confidence to walk up to a good looking man and talk without feeling conscious of herself or embarrassed. Whoever your goddess is ..l
              et her be part of your life. Creating Your Sensual Garden This chapter concentrates more of being aware of your body. " Your body is like a temple, worship it and you shall reap the rewards" Do something for yourself and make time for you. Not as a Mum/ wife/ friend/ work colleague but for that inner sensual women. This includes doing the things that some women don't have the confidence to do such as dance naked to your favourate music, collect pictures or watch X rated videos that YOU like. All these sort of things build a natural self esteem within ourselves, which in turn boosts our goddess. Now I know this is a typical stereo type but I going to take just two ladies, in their 20s. One slim, the other slightly over weight. Now before you start yelling at me I know this is true. All depending on how you perceive yourself determines how people react to you. You can be very beautiful with a lovely figure but it doesn't mean anything unless you have confidence, allure and something special. I have been out on numerous occasions with a few mates who have lovely figures and I'm the only to be chatted up. I don't mean leery like but got chatting to a few lads and they have commented how lovely I am. Now as most women who know what a bit of flattery does, it makes you go sky high. Why were these lads more attracted to me then my mates? Because some women can't get into their had that attractiveness comes from within. Women can pour sexuality if they just learn to listen to that soft inner voice which tells them what they like. There is an old saying..." You can get by on charm alone for 15 mins, after that you better have something good" Self Pleasuring .....The key to the Kingdom Now this chapter is all about masturbation. Why should women please themselves? Can you remember way up there somewhere I mentioned about if you cant please yourself, you cant expect a man to kno
              w what you like? Well, its true. You have to find out what pleases you before you can relay it onto your partner and even then the communication can fail, badly. Its one thing knowing what pleases you and another to say to partner " Hey, really like it when you..." As well as re defining your communication skills with your loved one, an orgasm can be both physically and emotionally beneficial. Did you know that an orgasm can relieve period pains? In the world of HIV and AIDS , masturbation is the ultimate safe sex? Or that it can relieve stress and tension? And that there are in fact two types of orgasm, a physical one and an emotional one? Some men can tell and differentiate between a physical orgasm ( ejaculation) and an emotional climax, but most take it for granted that these two go hand in hand. They don't. You can have a emotional orgasm without the physical release. Its like floating on cloud nine. Awakening Aphrodite's Body. Well the title of this chapter says it all really doesn't it? This is all about some different techniques that you can use to please yourself. Mind you there are only ideas so you can vary them as much as you like. Remember its about exploration, a voyage of discovery, waiting for your hidden treasure. Remember though that as well as your mood changes from day to day, so does what you like. Don't expect what turned you on yesterday will do it for you tomorrow. Listen to your body and that sexy voice of your inner goddess. Fantasies from the Cloud Damsels We breath, we eat, we sleep so why shouldn't us women fantasize. Its natural, healthy and can do wonders for your sex life. Olivia gives some basic suggestions on what sort of things that you can fantasize about. One I think that most women can relate to. You see a man, not necessarily sexy or good-looking but he catches you eye. All of a sudden you get a vision in your head what he might look like n
              aked or what he could be doing with you. You check yourself and you fell yourself go red and flushed. This is just a typical daydream or fantasy but they are so many variations from just having sex with a passing stranger to all out total over the top taboo stuff. These fantasies are a release of thoughts and scenarios that we would might or would not do in real life. Anything goes in fantasies, you are in control. Bear in mind though that although that although you might think that having next door around one night to do a swapping party might be a good fantasy. In reality if you choose to act out a fantasy it doesn't always turn out the way you want. Why? Because you are no longer in control, you have 4 individuals who have their own minds. So be careful that you remember the boundaries of fantasy and reality and where they meet. Saying that some fantasies are brilliant to share with your partner can spice things up. Domineering games, light bondage and food games are all good fun to share. The Secrets of The Divine Orgasm This chapter deals with why an orgasm isn't a goal but how to achieve one when you want one. Sometimes some women don't care for an orgasm because the shear pleasure of love making is enough for them to have an emotional orgasm. It's how we bring ourselves to the peak of pleasure rather than the orgasm itself. Some women can have an orgasm as quick as it takes to say " Does this feel good.." For those who think lucky devils...... think again. I'm pretty sure that these sort of women don't really enjoy their orgasm. Its a physical response and it has nothing to do with how fast she was stimulated. Think about what your orgasm would feel like if you brought yourself to the very brink, only to turn about or change the method. Do this a few times, spend time on what you like and after a time your body will build up on the sexual tension, which can mean an explosive orgasm. This is wh
              at Olivia tries to get across within this chapter is that you shouldn't rush yourself to a goal and as she says " Ride your state of mind beyond orgasm" There are a few more chapters within this book like Cleopatra's Pleasure Toys, The Goddess With Her Consort which are pretty self explanatory. Then there's the Daily Goodessiers. This section asks even if you are the most busiest women alive just try and find a minute to do a few of these a day. Some of them are explicit and involve brief masturbation, others are just to boost the self esteem. Here are a few of my favorites : Whenever you look in a mirror tell yourself. " I love you, Your intelligent, powerful, sexy, beautiful and irresistible" Dance to your favorite music. .naked Choose your food by colour, texture and taste Move through your day by being turned on by smells, sounds, beautiful scenes, awareness of yourself and of others. If you have a bit longer or can kick the kids and partner out for the day try these : Have an hour long bath with scented candles, music and wine. Reading or even write some erotic literature Right at the back of the book there is a very helpful list of Erotic literature you can read, Art books which have beautiful nude poses. Different types of music from Classical music to modern music which you can use for your explorations. And of course adult videos ranging from soft porn to a few self help videos. * deep breathes * So if you are still with my ladies, oh and I see a few gentlemen have sat down to have a read too. I don't even have to explain why I need to recommend this book. The way Olivia has based all the information she has gathered up is real. Its not scientific rubbish, its what real women have found their own sex goddess' love. There is some facts within the book about different cultures but that's
              a benefit as its only the western countries that make sex a physical activity rather then an emotional and spiritual one. If you buy this book, its like holding the key to your temple, and you have to unlock it, step in side and explore. We all need to learn that what we put in life we get out of it ..our sexual nature included. If you don't put the time in, you wouldn't get anything out. But, if you give a little time in this rushed world we live in, the rewards are wonderful. So next time you hear a voice calling softly that its the afternoon but you fancy some sex with your partner but the kids are in, the washing needs doing ..etc. etc. Stick a video on and lead your partner by the hand and enjoy

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              • Once - James Herbert / Fiction Book / 1 Reading / 48 Ratings
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                02.01.2002 17:12
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                Being a James Herbert fanatic, I had to put down my current reading material to start reading this new blockbuster book called Once.. What a mix eh? Going from Chicken soup for your soul which is an inspirational book full of short but heart tugging stories and putting it down to read a horror story. You think that's weird, my sister reads two or three books at once. Know wonder she's so confused!! Once.... by James Herbert was newly released horror novel in September '01. In fact I picked it up over the weekend as part of my Christmas present from my husband. Does any other wife buy her own pressies??? Umm perhaps its just a man thing. Anyway after paying 9.99 at Asda ( Retail hardback is 16.99) plus a nice 20 % discount as Tim works for them, I took it home, put kids to bed, ignored Tim and the PC and delved into the world of Faeries.. The story is held around a man called Thom ( short for Thomas I think and said that way too) Kindred and his childhood home, Castle Bracken. After being away for 16 years, Thom returns to the Bracken Estate after having a stoke to convalesce and recuperate. On returning to Castle Bracken, his old friend Hugo and his spooky manservant " Bones" were waiting to greet him. Thom stayed at Little Bracken which was a small cottage inside the huge grounds and this is were his childhood memories start to appear. Hugo was privately tutored by Bethan, Thom's mum and they used to live in Little Bracken, until 16 years ago when she died. Strange things start to happen after a few days after Thom goes back to his childhood home. Why did the mysterious Nell Quick want to seduce Thom? What's the connection with the fairy folk (faerefolkis) and the evildoers ? . A true horror done as an erotic fairy tale just for adult. Erotic? Not like Mr Herbert to be erotic, thought he was a horror writer? Well, yes James Herbert is one of the best Horror writer around in my opinion but Once..
                . has something more. In all of James's books there is always some sort of sexual tension between one or two of the main characters. Usually keeping the tension strong but only including maybe one explicit scene to tempt the readers imagination. In Once... there must be at least 4 or 5 sexual scenes. Did I mind? Of course not. James is a very talented writer and none of these scenes were smutty or over done. Obviously he is just experimenting with his writing and that's fine by me. Another unusual thing that James has done and I don't think he's done it in any of this hard back books, is that he has included 4 colour plates. I have only a few of Herbert's books in hard back and I know on occasion he might include the odd sketch. He often puts a map of the place that he has based his book on in the front pages as this helps feel your way around the book itself. But I don't think he has ever included colour plates. Illustrated by Steve Stone, these colour plates are beautiful. So rich in colour and texture, it gives your imagination a leap into the book. The first one of a young lady hidden behind some bushes, naked but only a taster of flesh showing. The colours are soft, yielding and very well illustrated. You could almost be there. As you are reading the relevant part of the story, you turn over and see this picture and bang. ......you are not just a reader of the book. You are an onlooker, there in the trees. Soft wind on your face and you can smell the flowers in the air. The other colour plates, and I wont describe them because it would spoil the story are equally exquisite in their own right. As the mood of the book deepens so do the illustrations. The use of colour changes from soft, sultry to dark, hateful and it really sets your mind on fire. You know what they say about colours and the imagination. I felt that although the first illustration was relevant to the part that you were reading, the others didnt come
                like that. Which I felt was a shame. They came after you had read the part, so I feel that they could be moved slightly. On the whole the illustrations are a good idea and certainly added plus to the book. James's writing is supassable. In all this books, he pays attention to incredible detail. Making everything in the book leap out at you in 3 dimensional writing. Unfortunately sometimes this can make the books, especially the first few chapters a little slow. If you like detail, then it wont bother you, but sometimes you feel like skipping a few pages. Don't. Part of reading a book, a good book is about not just being a reader, but seeing the situations within the book unfold, like you were in that persons life. Once.. is a little slow in the first few chapters but stick with it. The book is worth it. The story itself is a little predictable but it still didnt stop me from enjoying the book. There are some twists to Once.. but not as many as some of his earlier books. I really love the fact that all of his books are based on a place in England. Many of them down the beautiful west coast of England. This is an added bonus as most people have seen if not heard about the beauty of the west country, so you really visualize where you are. Funnily enough most of the places that Herbert's books are based on I have been and have some fond memories. I think all in all I was a little disappointed with Once.. Mainly because the horror within Once .. isn't about the gory stuff that he used to write about. In many ways this book reminds me of the Magic Cottage. The horror within both books are similar. The constant fight against good and evil, the balance of life and what happens when someone delves into something that they don't know anything about. Its more subtle but still has the impact of making you think. Perhaps this is the true horror. Horror of nature, of reality, of truth. If this is the way that James is going, it
                s going to take a little getting used to but I think I will still like it. So if you like subtle horror about fairies, love, passion and belief, get this book and sit under the big toadstool in the garden. But remember, take the heater out there... .its cold!

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                • Nativity Plays / Archive General / 0 Readings / 54 Ratings
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                  21.12.2001 16:11
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                  Its a cold afternoon two weeks before the end of the winter term, standing in a church with a camcorder in my hand. I cant stop my hands from shaking, not because of the cold. But because my eyes are that full of tears, I cant see. Not tears of pain, or worry but tears of joy, happiness and a sense of pride. Now you might think I gone soft, but no I havent. Your child's Nativity play is one of those precious moments in which you cant miss. They only do it for a few years as by the time they go into Juniors they don't do nativity play as such, its more of a carol service. A nativity play is usually the first time in which your child comes in contact with the religious aspect of Christmas. Usually is very simplified and has many variations to the story but the children play out the basic story of how Jesus was born to Mary. With children starting nursery as young as 3 years of age and going through to school, I feel the Nativity play is a very important aspect for any child and parents alike. Regardless of whether, as a parent/ carer, you have no religion, you should still make sure that your child knows the true meaning of Christmas. Even those how havent got a Christian faith but another, should open themselves up and let their children know that there are many religions and beliefs in this world. Children are very open to ideas and if guided the right way, can have an open mind with this world we live in. Any child shouldn't be forced to take part in an acting role in the play but even if they are an angel. cattle or a star, they are involved, building confidence and most all they will enjoy it. Jessica had come home one afternoon mid November after nursery and told me that they had Been singing and practicing a play about Mary and Joseph. I asked her about Jesus and she promptly got told " Jesus hasn't been born yet!" Out of mouth of babes and innocence .Umm maybe. Anyway, she also told me she was a wise kin
                  g and she had a camel to go trot trot trotting along the stage with. I thought aww bless her, but I didnt think that she was actually doing anything in the play as although she is very confident, she plays shy. That night in the bath I could hear her singing "Twinkle Twinkle" and various other songs and my heart started to melt. For two weeks I kept hearing this angelic, but slightly out of tune voice floating about my house. Singing songs and playing with her toys reenacting what she had learned that day. Tim took a half day from work to come to the church to see Jessica in her Nativity play. He wouldnt of missed it for the world. Tim had Lucy on his lap but if the younger ones do start making a fuss there is a small play pen at the back with a few toys in to keep them occupied. Lucy was really good though so she stayed on his lap for the hour. I'm not surprised she stayed still, she wasn't well and came down with a cold that morning. Lucy was streaming and could of done with going to bed but she snuggled into Tim's coat. I took Jess around the back of the church were all the children were gathered to slip their customs on. Some had already got ready and I could feel the tears welling by looking at them. Being a deeply emotional person, I'm easily touched, but this sight would of made an ogre's heart melt. After kissing Jess good-bye, I went back to the pews and got the camcorder out. If you want to video your child's nativity play, the best place is to sit about 3 pews back but right against the wall. This gives you the fullest sight range without being one of those annoying parents that moves every time a child moves. I was so conscious that I was in someone's way but most other parents are ok as long as your not standing in their way. Most church don't mind videoing inside the church for the Nativity. But if the church that yours is held at doesn't allow it, try not to make a big deal of it.
                  Respect the decision and just take photos instead. Some schools ( ours didnt) ask someone to video the nativity and then reel them off so you can buy them. They are usually cheap to buy if they do this and the money goes back into the school funds. The whole church went silent as the children came out of the vestry. The reception class first who were dressed up in blue and had banners which looked like a lake. The nursery class followed. some dressed as stars, shepherds, snowman, kings and of course Mary and Joseph. I could feel the lump in my throat already and now as I'm recalling this sweet memory, I'm almost in tears. They all sat down facing the stage while a few of the reception sang a song about stars. I fact Jess is sitting at the table singing it now. The whole story was a little boy called Jack who saw a star, wanted to catch it but it lead him to Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. At the end there was also a little play about Santa and snowmen and then they all sung, " Wish you a Merry Christmas." Most children of this age can be very shy, not because of their personality but mainly because they can see all these people and even this young age they are conscious of "performing" Make sure when you sit a watch a nativity play, you clap after each part. You can see their whole faces light up when they know you appreciate their play. I know its tempting but try not to wave at your child as they are performing, it can put them off. Saying that I lovely smile works wonders in telling your child that you know they are there. Jess, was indeed a King, on a hobby-house, which was pretending to be a camel and she sang her heart out with the two other lads. I have no idea why she wanted to be a King, her teacher told me that she just wanted to be one, so I think that was lovely to see them for filling that. I can't believe that my daughter, once a helpless dependent baby, is now a confident three and a half
                  year old who looked so grown up. My heart swells with pride everything I picture her there on the stage. I even set off crying, when one of her friends at the start sang on her own. Josephine who is four and a half and goes full time after Christmas, was wonderful. Needless to say when I got home and watched my recording, it was shaking in some places but that didnt matter. Its a lovely keepsake to have and I've watched it many time over the last few weeks. Of course the nativity play doesn't just bring tears of joy and a swell in the hearts but it brings laughter too. There is always something that happens which provokes some rumbles of laughter. Usually its something unplanned, something spontaneous and that's what having children is all about. What made me chuckle was when Santa came to the snow covered fields to take a snowman home for Christmas pie. They all said Ho Ho at the end of each line. Well Zoe who was Santa, shouted an extra Ho Ho on her own. Rumbles of laughter came from the parents then she did it every time. I can't really do this justice on paper or opinion but to see them all chuckling is so sweet. After the play was finished, the head of the school came on and praised the children up even further. It was lovely to see that the head actually talked to the children, not down at them. Each section of children, the stars, the snowman, the kings etc. stood up and was applauded. W were asked to go around the sit of the church when we were ready to collect our children, that way they would know each child had found their parent. So you see the true meaning of Christmas comes not from giving and receiving presents, but from the shear joy of seeing others enjoying themselves at this time of year. Some times as an adult, you lose sight of what Christmas is all about but you do gain it back when you have children At the top on my profile page there is a saying which I found on the net.. "Its your p
                  resence that children need at Christmas, not presents" Remember this .....the true meaning of Christmas. I hope you all have a brilliant Christmas and an even better new year.

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                  • friendsreunited.co.uk / Internet Site / 3 Readings / 45 Ratings
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                    03.12.2001 22:49
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                    "As I pulled my car into the station, there Jenny was. Wrapped up in a thick black coat, it was hard to recognise if it was really Jenny or not. Until I saw her smile and those grey /green eyes which always showed the wisdom of her life. As I got out of the car, I panicked. What do I do? Should I hug her? Should I take her bag? I decided to follow my first instincts and hugged her. The tears pricked at my eyes as I said " Its lovely to see you again" " No, this isn't an exert out of a book, this is real life. My life and what I have just encountered over this weekend. Its been eight years you see when lost contact with my step sister. Well Infact when my dad and her mum got together many years ago, we hit it off from the start. From that day on it wasn't step sister, it was sister. Even though we lost contact for all these years, I still referred to Jenny as my sister. So how did I get back in touch with her after all these years? By a very long shot I thought, but because I had heard so many people talk about friendsreunited, I thought I would give it a go. Its always interesting to find out what the people you went to school are doing now. Even if you hated their guts, it gave me a chuckle to have a look through profiles and photos. Its easy to register and the site is free to browse around. You just fill in a Internet form with your personal details on, like date you left your school you want to put your name under. Surnames, nickname, password and some information you can put about yourself. You can add as many schools that you went to as you like and you don't have to just look at the schools you went to. You might know someone who went to another school! If, like me, you want to get in contact with someone specific, then add the full name under your profile. You never know if someone might look at your profile who knows this person. After moving away from my home town, Jenny and I had lost contact,
                    which was a loss one my part. We were so close at one stage but things drifted off. I had no idea about were to start looking for her. I've always thought about contacting Jenny again and before I knew it, eight years had past. So after registering and putting Jenny's full name within my profile, I waited for a reply. I also had a look under her schools too, but no sign. After a few months and a few emails off of a few people who I knew, which was a bonus, I began to think that I wouldnt be able to find her. Incidentally I havent yet become a full member of the site. If you want to upgrade your membership at any time but it will cost 5 pound a year. You can then, Send e-mail messages to addresses of both Full and Standard Members; Post to any message boards which may be available on the FriendsReunited Service; Upload photographs Enter any reunion details for their schools and colleges. This is additional to the part membership which you can, Browse the FriendsReunited Service Post their name and some other details in the schools and colleges which appear on the FriendsReunited Service; Receive e-mailed messages, which will be sent to the e-mail address contained in Your Details (which are provided during Registration and may be updated subsequently), sent by Full Members; and Opt to receive emails selected during the Registration process (as added to, or deselected, subsequently), such as notification when a new pupil has registered for your school I think it is worth while having full membership if there are a few people who you want to make contact with but like I say, I recognized a few names but I didnt really want to contact anyone in particular. As well as looking at the schools, there is a message board, name search, trying to find board as well as a guest book and some other full member boards. One night while I was on my PC, I think actually I
                    was reading on Dooyoo funnily enough. My instant messaging service flashed up telling me I had a new e-mail in my mail box. I didnt take much notice of it until Id finished what I was reading and then went and had a look. The heading of ...Information about Jenny ( friendsreunited). It made me shake from head to foot. I quickly opened the e-mail and there was a quick message from Jenny. It read as follows Hi Chrissy, long time no hear! My sister-in-law told me about the message on the site. It would be great to hear more about how you're all doing. E-mail me soon. Love Jennifer You know, I must of read that e-mail about a dozen times. I couldn't get into my head that it was my sister. You see when you want to e-mail someone on the site, you have to become a full member. You can pay either by credit card or postal order and then when your payment has been taken you can start emailing as many times as you like within the year. For security you don't get the e-mail address of the person you want to contact. You fill in a form and then it gets sent via friendsreunited. The only way you know this person wants to get in contact with you or that its the right address, is if they reply to your e-mail. Your e-mail address is of course included with your message. I got all jittery All this time and Jenny still wanted to get back in contact with me. She had obviously paid for full membership to get a message to me. After reading the e-mail for the umpteenth time, I decided to e-mail her back. It was quite a long e-mail about what I've been doing, why we lost contact and finally a picture of my two daughters. I was going to include my address and phone number I was that excited but I had a thought. What if this isn't Jenny? What if someone was playing a prank on me? I was about to delete the whole e-mail and just include some minor details but I decided against it but left my address and phone number out.. As I sent it, I hop
                    ed it was my sister and that everything was ok. A few nights later, I got another reply from Jenny, which was detailed. After all we did have eight years to catch up on. It was lovely to hear about what she was doing but I was so unhappy that I couldn't see her. Jenny told me that she was still in our home town so I thought that I would go and see her next time I was down after Christmas. I had not been back to my home town for over a year. Its a five hour drive from Rotherham to Hastings, so its time, money and inclination with two kids in the car. Of course there is the train, but that's 8 hours and crossing London with two kids and suitcases, its easy by car. Can you imagine my face when after just a few weeks, Jenny e-mailed me to ask if she could come up the following weekend. She asked, not informed or told but said that because it was short notice, she would understand if the answer was no. NO? NO? My goodness, I was leaping about the living room and crying my eyes out when I told Tim, my hubby. I just couldn't believe it. It all seemed so surreal. Of course I e-mailed her back and told her that the answer was indeed yes. I would pick her up from the station as soon as she got in. As Friday drew nearer, I became to get nervous. By Thursday night, my tummy had that many butterflies in it I thought I would fly off! Friday morning got here and I received a text message telling me Jenny was on her way. At 11.35 am I got a call on my mobile, it was Jenny. She had arrived at my local station. As I pulled my car into the station, there Jenny was. Wrapped up in a thick black coat, it was hard to recognise if it was really Jenny or not. Until I saw her smile and those grey/green eyes which always showed the wisdom of her life. As I got out of the car, I panicked. What do I do? Should I hug her? Should I take her bag? I decided to follow my first instincts and hugged her. The tears pricked at my eyes as I said &qu
                    ot; Its lovely to see you again" After talking non stop for virtually for 13 hours with the exemption of dinner and cold tea, I came to the conclusion that it felt like we had only not seen each other for months, not years. Even now looking back on our reuniting weekend, it seems a blur, gone like a flash and so surreal. I was so frightened that because we had spent that time apart, we would be different people and find it difficult talking. You know, the uncomfortable silences, strained conversation and side glances at each other. It wasn't like that at all, we just clicked into place like an old, familiar jigsaw puzzle. Our conversations did trail off on Saturday but I felt it wasn't strained between us. Just trying to think of other stuff that's happened within the years we havent been with each other. The saddest thing was that Jenny could only stay until Saturday evening as she had to get back and sort some stuff out for work for Monday. I dropped her at the station but she begged me not to wait with her for the train. As we hugged each other good-bye and the tears started rolling, I knew this wasn't good-bye, but a "see you later". I wasn't sad as such. I was sad to see her go but I was happy that we had found each other again. Hopefully we will be keeping in touch via phone and e-mail even if we don't see each other more than a few times a year. Hopefully I shall be going down in the early part of the new year to see my family, including Jenny and her future husband. So just to wrap this opinion up on friendsreunited it definitely worth checking out. Even if you only register for part and not full membership. You never know who might contact you. Hey, if you don't want to contact whoever it is, you don't have to. Then again it could be someone you have longed to here from for ages. The only way you will find out is to try it.

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                    • Body Piercing / Archive Lifestyle / 7 Readings / 37 Ratings
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                      28.11.2001 23:02
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                      Did you know that some peoples opinions on ear piercing are quite dramatic? Some people don't batter an eye lid when they see a 5 month old with gold studs in, while others put it in the same category as child abuse. Well hopefully in this opinion which is about baby and children having piercing, I would like to give my view. I trained several years ago as a Beauty Therapist with Ear piercing as part of the extra within my Diploma. I have 3 ear piercings myself, the last one funnily enough I had done to help one of my mates pass her assessment. Most people think that ear piercing is easy, nothing to it and are easy to care for. Well, to a child, it isn't and even to some adults the risk of infection is high. Why? Most infections come down to basic hygiene but others can be caused by allergies and accidental injury. Most ear piercings that are done professionally are done with a ear piercing gun. This gun is the most sterile way to pierce ears. So 99.9% cases of infection are from the recipient and their handling of their ear rings. Lets face it, the gun has to be sterile because we have a lot more than basic infections to worry about which are HIV and Hepatitis HIV....... the risk of contracting HIV through ear piercing is small because the virus dies after a few seconds once it has come into contact with oxygen. Hepatitis - studies have shown that hepatitis can be transmitted through ear piercing. Hepatitis can survive for more than a week on an unsterilised ear piercing instrument, it is not even necessary to have any traces of blood on the instrument for hepatitis to be present With an ear piercing gun this has been minimized by the fact that the ear is pierced not by a needle but by the stud stem itself. The studs also come in blistered packaging which is only opened when the studs are going to be used. They are within a plastic container which makes it possible to load the gun with the stud and the
                      back without handling the stud at all. Most professionals also wear gloves during this procedure again to minimize the risk of infection. The gun has to be cleaned EVERY time it is used. Either by through an autoclave, with uses UV rays to kill bacteria or is scrubbed using an anti bacterial spray Normally the ears wiped over with an antiseptic swab and are marked with a small dot so the client can see where the stud is going. If the client is ok with the mark, the gun is lined up with the mark and then the trigger is released. It doesn't even take a second and your stud with the back securely on is in your ear. Like I said before it looks easy but it isn't. You have to make sure the gun is at right angles so the stud goes into the ear straight and not at an angle. The other big problem with ear piercing is whether the stud goes through the ear lobe. I have seem many clients with fat and thin ear lobes and you have to make sure that the stud is properly placed in the gun. Once I had a stud which had only gone ¾ of the way through the ear. I did ask my client whether she wanted to wait till the hole had healed and I would redo it or to push it through. She said it would be ok to push it through. Now has anyone tried to do their own ears with a needle or anything? Well I did when I was 11 and it was really painful. Goodness knows what this young lady felt but she insisted she was ok throughout. Usually you are given a care leaflet and some anti bacterial spray to help the healing process. Most places include the anti bacterial spray within the price, some don't, so remember to ask. You are asked to just turn your studs 2 x daily for 6 weeks and wipe the back over with the lotion of stray. No more or less, just twice a day and this is wear people go wrong. Young children and many adults fiddle and play with their new fangled jewelry which leads to infection. Also if you or your child has long hair as it needs to be tired back as it will get
                      twisted in the back of the stud and again cause infection. Now having run through the basic procedure of ear piercing and boring you silly. I want to tackle the issue of children and baby ear piercings. At this current time, the government hasn't got an legislation on and age for piercings, including body piercings, providing the child has parental consent. This means even a baby of 4 months old can be taken into a salon and have their ears done. Keep in mind that that consent can come from a 14 year old brother, sister, friend or anyone! Ear piercing has continually been the subject of controversy. Should you be able to make the decision of having your child's ears pierced? Or should your child make their own decision when they get older? Those who believe that parents can make the decision to have their child's ears pierced feel that it is better to perform this particular piercing at a young age. They believe that as the child gets older, the piercing will hurt that much more. If it is performed at a young age, then the child will forget the pain relatively quickly. A few parents can remember getting their ears pierced and they want to spare their child the pain of having it done when they get older and can remember more. Some parents also believe the ear piercing will forever end the problem of gender identity when a child is young. A baby girl with her ears pierced will no longer be mistaken for a baby boy. Those who are against piercing a child's ears until they can make the decision for themselves believe that the pain caused by the piercing should be a definite argument against piercing the ears at a young age. When an infant or young child has their ears pierced, the people performing the piercing each take one ear and pierce them at the same time. They believe that if they performed the piercing with one ear at a time, then after the first ear was done, the child would never sit still for the second ear. Hav
                      ing both ears done at the same time causes even more pain then if one was done at a time. Those against young piercing believe that the pain of the piercing can cause a baby to go into shock. They feel it is a barbaric ritual that is forced upon a child because the parents feel the baby will look cute. The piercing of a little boy's ears is also becoming more and more common. Though not usually seen as a baby, it is not out of the ordinary to see a young boy with one or both ears pierced. Did this boy make the decision to have his ears pierced? Or did his parents decide it was in fashion? Now with the decision making out of the way how about hygiene? Basic hygiene. You know wash hands before and after toilet, before eating and if you play in the mud. Tell me, honestly, can anyone tell me that their toddlers hygiene is over 90%? Of course is isn't and to be honest most adults hygiene is much to be desired. So toddlers and even children to about 9 or 10 years of age, will twiddle with their studs with dirty hands, microbes are transferred and next think you know you have a pus filled, sore, bleeding ear in which your child is yelling "get it out! " Children also can't clean their own piercings, which leave you do it . Twice daily. The trouble is that the piercing will be for at least 6 weeks while the wound is fresh, so your child is hardly wanting you to sit and clean it are they? Back when I had my ears first pierced ( I was about 5), the studs were not safety studs. This means that most stubs have a small groove at the back which stops you from pressing the butterfly back to far onto the ear. As with all children, and its the adults fault really, once they have their new stubs, they are petrified that they will lose them. Mainly because they have been told that they were expensive. So what does that child do? Presses the back in really tight to the ear. Now although most stubs are safely studs now, I can remember about
                      7 years ago, my step mum had to go into hospital for a minor operation on her ear. My dad had brought her a set of Tigers eye studs from a jewelers. Over a period of 6 months, she had pressed the back on so tight, she had forced it over the grove and it had imbedded into her lobe. They had to cut her ear from the hole straight down to get the stud out and then stitch her lobe back together. What you like your young child to go through that? If you do choose to have your child's ears pierced, whether they are a boy or a girl, there are certain important things to remember. Look for a place that specializes in infant piercing and uses sterilized equipment. It usually is better to have your child's ears done at the same time to avoid problems. Buy earrings that are specially made for infants so that the back of the earrings will not injure your baby's head. Always follow the directions that you are given regarding the cleaning of your child's ears and earrings. What about choking? If I child can get an ear ring or stud off who knows what they could do with it. There's is a risk of choking, sticking it up their nose or in the ear canal. This might sound over the top but when all things are said and done, its these things that you expect you toddler or young child not to do, and they go and do it. Hey, I was playing with my nanny's wedding ring as she pasted over when I was 11. Was messing about with it one day tried to get it off my finger. put my finger in my mouth and "pop" down my throat it went!! Luckily is was 22 carat gold and GP said that I was lucky I had a big gullet???!!! and it would pass through the system. With earrings and studs, the ends are blunt, just think what damage it could do if swallowed, or stuck somewhere were it shouldn't be. Allergies are quite a common complaint with any piercings. Its not usually linked to the studs which are used for ear piercing but due to the cheap earrings whi
                      ch replace them. Ear piercings have to be done with gold plated studs, which are strong enough to cope with the force in which the stud is sent through the lobe. If a piercing was done with pure gold studs, they would bend or break. The most common allergy is cheap costume earrings which contain nickel. You might think that an allergic reaction can be detected right away but sometimes it can take years of wearing these cheap earrings before all of a sudden you start to get a reaction. This reaction might be just a minor itch to a complete rash down the side of your neck. If you find a certain pair of earrings or studs brings a reaction on DON'T WEAR THEM. If they are drop earrings you can ask you jewelers to change the post that goes through the ear. The EC is introducing regulations to restrict the amount of nickel in jewelry which can get in contact with your skin. From January 1996 all wholesalers' supplies must meet these regulations so nickel allergy has calmed down a lot in these resent years. If your child gets a reaction to any stubs , again remove them and try and buy hypo allergic studs. On rare occasions some children and adults are allergic to gold or silver and again can make wearing earrings uncomfortable. So again switch to hypo allergic studs and earrings. They might be slightly more expensive but it saves the money in the long run, and of course your ears. So explaining all that I will put forward that for the last 6 years, when I have been working within a salon or outside ( you have to have authorization by local authority to do mobile ear piercing). I refuse to pierce any child's ears under the age of 6 years. Some salons and jewelers will do toddlers and young babies but I feel that apart from the health and safety aspect, you could damage the development of the ear lobe. To pierce a young babies ears is taken away their right to make their own choice about ear piercing later in life. I know some cultures have their children
                      ears or nose done but this is mainly out of tradition not religion. I feel although that the parents in general might think their child looks " sweet, cute " and "girlie" I feel that a child under the age of 6 is just too young to understand the implications of hygiene, safety and looking after them. I have even witnessed a few days ago in Claire's Accessories, a mum pinning her child down while the lady attempted the pierce the young girls ears. If that were me, any sign of squirming and I would of refused to do it. As it determents health and safety. What would of happened if the lady slipped and it had gone through the upper part of the lobe? Yes you guessed it, the mother would of blamed her and Claire's would be in a court in next to no time. I know some children do ask for their ears pierced but I would still be inclined to wait until they were at least 6 or 7 years old. At least they have a fairly sensible attitude were hygiene is concerned as well as looking after them. The choice is yours but remember just because your 3 yr old has asked for her ears to be pierced doesnt mean you have to jump to it, it is ok to say no afterall.After saying all this when it comes to ear piercing the choice is down the parent and child.

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                        26.11.2001 20:06
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                        The cinema was packed, packed because my husband and myself were late. After much fumbling around during the trailers, managed to find a few seats but on different rows. Oo that means I can keep the sweets to myself. Anyway after settling down and watching a few previews on the new Starwars movie and Lord of tthe Rings, which incidentally looked good, on came the feature presentation. Harry Potter. Harry, for all those who have been either oblivious to all the hype, news and previews, is a very special boy. After losing his mother and father, he was placed at a very young age with his Uncle and Aunt. As he grew up, he was treated like a slave until on his eleventh birthday, he was sent a letter. This letter contained a secret which Harry never knew about. Harry was a wizard and his uncle and Aunt never told him and tried on several occasions to avoid giving this letter to Harry. When they got drowned by letters coming threw the letterbox, the chimney and windows, they up and move to a boat in the middle of a remote lake. I must admit it was very unsuccessful and soon a personal messenger named Hargid came to Harry to tell him the truth. Harry was shocked when he found out he was a wizard but was even more shocked that he had been accepted into Hogwarts school of Wizardry. Even though I would say all this happened within 20 mins of the film, I was riveted to the spot. I will confess I have read all the Harry Potter books and was expecting the worst from the film. In actual fact I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not going to tell you any more about the plot about I will tease you in certain places. Chris Colombus directed the film and I must say he did it well. There is no way that you can squeeze every single detail of a book which would probably be 12 hrs of reading back to back into a 2 ½ hr film without losing some description. Sometimes it takes a few pages to describe a certain places, person or a simple action whic
                        h is replaced by a few minutes of the film. Sorry this shouldn't be comparing film to book but I feel the film does do the book justice. Chris has directed many a good films from Bi centinal man, Step mom, Nine months and Mrs. Doubt Fire only to name a few. With these great movies under his belt, its no wonder he was chosen to be part of Harry Potter. Maybe when Steven Spilberg fired him on the set of Indiana Jones and the Last crusade, it led in on to bigger and better things eh? The film in general stuck very closely to the story line which we can thank Steve Kloves, the screen writer for adapting story line from the famous Rowlings book. Steve who has directed films like the Fabulous baker boys and Flesh and Bone, again some good films under his belt. Steve told Warner Bros. when he went to screen play Harry Potter that he loved the characters and way the books was. This really shows within the film. The passion he laid down and including the best bits from the book runs smoothly throughout. At the beginning of the film, I thought it might of been rushed a bit and doesn't link up well, but it was a false thought. The beginning has to be cut quite a lot otherwise the film would of been 5 hrs! The music and soundtrack to Harry Potter was superb, but wait. Was that a slight memorable symphony I can hear? Just a few bars? What was it? I couldn't quite put my finger on it until half way though the film and it swooped on me like one of the owls at Hogwarts delivering letters. Was it a tune from the depths of Star wars I could hear? Nah. But surprisingly William Johnson who composed the music for Harry Potter did indeed compose all the Star wars films, as well as Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan and many more. I didnt think my ears were deceiving me so if you go and see the film, see if you can recognise just a backing tone of Star Wars. Now down to the cast. You know imagination is a funny thing. Imagination is so unique
                        , its what gives us dreams, fears, hopes and expectations. The cast that Columbus choose for this film fits the bill. Either I have an incredibly boring imagination or he actually looked for the cast to fit well into the book, only those who see this film will tell me. With the help of Rowling herself, Daniel Radcliff, a young English lad was picked for the part of Harry Potter. Although he has stared in one other film called The Tailor of Palama, this part in Harry Potter suits him down to the cupboard that the Dursleys kept him in for so many years. Daniel has a funny quirky smile which works well with his character. Tall for his age, skinny but smart Daniel takes the character from the book to new heights. He is exactly how I would picture him in my minds eye as I read. There is also something about his facial expressions which add to his character. I don't know if its acting or an natural thing but he has got a funny eye. I'm not pocking fun at him, but one eye closes more than the other when he blinks. Its something that caught my eye and really adds to his character. Robert Grint who plays Ron Weasley again takes the character to new heights with his acting.. Ron who is a red head and comes from a long line of wizards. His brothers, Percy and twins Fred and George Weasley have handed down cloaks, books and wands. Some people pick up on this but Ron who finds himself making friends with Harry on the way to Hogwarts, is truly likable. He reminds me of my husband in photos when he was younger, Fresh faced, cheeky but had a heart of gold. Robert plays Ron very well without being too over the top. I must say throughout the film, the acting of all the actors were as natural as it could be. Now on reading a few reviews in which Emma Watson played an over done/over acted part of Hermone, I really have to disagree. I feel Emma played a wonderful part. In watching the film she does come over as self possessed, bossy, know it all young lad
                        y, who has nothing better to do than resight the whole of Hogwarts History in the first hour of the film. As the film moves forward, you can see that she's not over acting at all. This is exactly what Hermone is supposed to be like. Cast you mind back to Secondary school or Comp' as its known to many now. Remember what some 11 year old girls were like? Umm I certainly remember a few girls in my year in which they were the same and they didnt know ANYTHING about magic!! One thing that struck me about Alan Rickman who played Professor Snape was his voice. Alan has a very distinctive voice and in this film his voice just purrs over the big screen. In fact it sent shivers down my back at one point. No, I havent got a crush on him but his voice certainly made the part of this serious, sultry and evil person. I'm not all that sure on his appearance in the film though. I know he was supposed to look mean, greasy long hair and sinister, but I did feel something was missing. Still, if I go again to see this film ( I shall be taking someone's children this time!) I can always close my eyes and dream to his voice... puuurrrrrrrrrr ! I feel that all the people who was cast for their positions fitted the bill perfectly and like I said either I have a unimaginative imagination ( try saying that when you are drunk) or Chris Columbus wanted to for-fill the book to the brim. The Sorting Hat which sorts all the new Hogwarts pupils into their houses is voiced by Leslie Phillips, which although I didnt recognise his name I did recognise his voice. See if you can place him. The special effects within this movie is spell binding within itself. The Quid-ditch match over a huge sand pitch is amazing, fast acting and my favourate peice. What out though for those flying owls, letters and some other jumpy stuff. Although most of the special effects are computerized, you cant actually see where they have dubbed and spliced into the film. Its
                        all just so well put together. The whole film has a bit of everything, good and evil, humour and sadness and special effect that will make you clap your hands to your mouth in amazement Anyway go and see this film for yourself, whether you have read the books or not. Whether you have been in middle earth (opps that's Lord of the Rings sorry) and don't even know who Harry Potter is, go and see this film. I don't think you will be disappointed. Oh by the way if you are wondering out the title... Quid-ditch is great! If you want to know more about the film have a look at these great links http://www.harrypotterrealm.com/ http://harrypotter.warnerbros.co.uk/home.html http://movies.go.com/filmography/Credits?movie_id=42895 ( for full list of cast)

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                        • Desserts / Recipe / 0 Readings / 40 Ratings
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                          21.11.2001 15:06
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                          Isn't it funny how when you have a dessert, there's never enough for a second helping for all of you. In my household, it causes a fair few squabbles too. I'm lucky enough that I found the husbands heart-----through his stomach. Like most men, he loves his food and although I must confess I wasn't a dab hand in the kitchen 11 years ago, I can't be doing too bad now as we have quite a few friends for dinner. Including ( drum roll please..), his boss. Arghh I know, alternate suck up eh? Well not really because over the last few years Tim and his boss, have become good mates outside work. In work, they aren't so hot and are always at each others throats. In fact I'm not going to repeat any names either but I'm sure you can use your imagination! Anyway back to the recipes.... These three recipes are simple enough and are great if you have a sensual dinner for two or a dinner party. Each one has a twist of my home made Baileys but if you are too lazy to have a go at making it, you can always either leave it out or just go and buy a bottle any one will do as even the cheaper versions of Baileys work well with these recipes too. To start of home made ice cream. "Ohh no, not ice cream", everyone says. I've tried to make ice cream in the past and its gone horribly wrong. That is until I stumbled on this recipe a few years ago. After the first attempt I was very surprised that it turn out lovely , soft and light. I think I must of made and ate a ton of it while I was pregnant, even though you are supposed to be careful about eating home made ice cream or undercooked eggs. This is just in case of Salmonella poisoning. So if there are any pregnant ladies here, please wait till after you have had your babe! So here goes for Home made Baileys ice cream 6 egg yolks 4oz (125g) caster sugar 18 fl oz (500ml) milk 1/2 pod vanilla, split 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) extract of vanilla 2 fl
                          oz (55ml) double cream 2 fl oz (55ml) Baileys In a bowl, beat the eggs with 1 oz (30g) of the sugar with a whisk, until the mixture lifts from the surface in ribbons. This usually takes between 5- 15 mins all depending on what your elbow grease is like. Grease? In Ice cream? No what I mean was how much effort you put into it. An electric whisk it far easier but if you havent got one, that's Ok too it just takes a little longer. Put the milk, the remaining sugar and the vanilla in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour over the egg mixture, beating well. Return to the saucepan and heat gently to thicken the mixture until it coats the back of a spoon. Don't heat too fiercely or it will turn to scrambled egg. Now we don't want that instead of ice cream do we?. Strain through a sieve and leave to cool. Beat the double cream and Baileys into the mixture and put in a 1 litre freezer container and freeze. Remove from the freezer every 15 minutes to beat out any large ice crystals that have formed, until the mixture is mousse-like. Freeze until set, about 2 hours. After its set you can either use it straight away or gradually use it up but please save a little bit for the next recipe!! You can keep ice cream in the freezer for up to 6 months but each time I've made this its never in there for more than two weeks. If by any chance, and a slim chance too that you leave it in there for more than six months, I would be inclined to throw it away. Mainly because it has got lightly cooked egg in and the last thing you want from a dinner party is to have a phone call the following days from solicitors suing you for food poisoning! Mini Baked Alaska Serves 4 3-4 tbsp (45-60ml) ground almonds 4 scoops Baileys icecream 4 square madeira cake slices 1/2 inch (1cm) thick 2-3 tbsp (30-45ml) brandy 9-12 mandarin segments 3 egg whites 6oz (175g) light muscovado sugar icing sugar, for dusting <
                          br><br><br>Place the almonds on a plate and roll the ice cream scoops in them. Make sure when you do this, your kitchen isn't too warm, or you could end up with melted balls of ice cream. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes until firm. Place the cake slices well apart on a baking sheet. Drizzle with brandy and arrange the mandarin segments end-to-end to make a ring in the centre of each slice. Place an almond-covered ice cream scoop in the middle of each ring. Return to the freezer while you make the meringue. Pre-heat the oven to 230C/450F/gas mark 8. Place the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl. Whisk in the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition until the mixture forms soft peaks. There is a good test for meringue but I'm not sure if I should tell you. Umm ok stop twisting my arm up my back. ouch, that's better. To test if your meringue is whisked enough, slightly tip the bowl up to one side. If the meringue slides, its not quite whisked enough. If it doesn't slide and you tip the bowl over and it stays at the bottom , its whisked enough. This makes a great party peice too. As long as you know that it wont come out of the bowl, you can do it over some poor unsuspecting person sitting in your living room. The looks of terror you get and the howls of laugher is astonishing. Once the meringue is done, spoon it over the ice cream and spread to cover. Make sure there is no holes and the whole thing is completely covered. The meringue acts like an insulator for the ice cream so it doesn't melt while its in the oven. This is especially important if you decide to do a big baked Alaska with a sponge base. Bake for about 5 minutes( 35 if doing a big one) until the meringue starts to brown. Transfer to serving plates, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately. To have two sensations of warm meringue and cold ice cream is exquisite. Last but not least is my fa
                          vorite of all desserts Tiramisu. I can just eat this all to myself. So as the title states.. its mine Tim ..all mine!! A Tantalising Tiramisu 3 egg yolks 2oz or 50g caster sugar 9oz or 250g Mascarpone cream cheese 2 egg whites 4 fl oz or 120ml very strong espresso coffee 2tbsp or 30ml dark rum 2tbsp or 30ml Baileys 24 sponge fingers/boudoir biscuits 2oz or 50g dark continental chocolate (75% cocoa) 1tbsp cocoa powder Put the egg yolks into a medium sized bowl with the sugar and beat with an electric whisk on high speed for about 3 minutes or until the mixture forms a light, pale mousse. In another bowl, stir the Mascarpone with a wooden spoon to soften it, then gradually beat in the egg mixture. Beat each addition of egg well until the mixture is smooth before adding more. In a third bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Now lightly fold this into the Mascarpone mixture and put to one side. Break the biscuits in half, then pour the coffee, rum and Baileys into a shallow dish and dip the sponge fingers briefly into it, turning them over - they will absorb the liquid very quickly. Layer the desserts by putting 3 of the soaked sponge halves into each long stemmed glass (7 fl oz or 200 ml capacity), followed by a tablespoon of Mascarpone mixture and a layer of chopped chocolate. Repeat the whole process, putting 5 halves in next, followed by Mascarpone, finishing with layer of chopped chocolate and a final dusting of cocoa powder. Cover the glasses with cling film and chill for several hours. Serve straight from the fridge. So there you have three easy desserts which will tantalise every taste bud you have on your tongue. There are a few ingredients which you might have to take a small shopping trip out for but non the less its worth it when the people at your dinner party or even your partners eyes light up as they say " Did you make this?", " Its wonderful! " Any one walking away with any of my tiramisu w
                          ith have more than a light in their eyes, probably a kick up the bum too. Goodness I didnt know I could be so possessive about food. Oh well back to napping in my bed with my arms around my desserts, while Tim's studying for his Accountancy exams.

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                          • Homemade Cocktails / Recipe / 0 Readings / 30 Ratings
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                            18.11.2001 04:21
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                            Now winter's drawing in, there's nothing better than to huddle up in front of the fire, with the dog cat or partner? on you lap, and a nice alcoholic drink to warm those cold places the fire cant get to. Baileys is one of my favorite liqueurs and although there is Baileys, country satin and a few other cheaper brands knocking about on supermarket shelves. Nothing is more heart warming than making your own special Baileys. Although Baileys has been around since 1974 and a staggering 1,600 glasses are drank every minute of the day. They cant count mine in with that because for the last 3 years I have been making my own from a recipe I pinched from my sister. I usually decide to make it around Christmas, mainly because its the only time I really drink liqueurs. But this drink can be made time and time again, to the strength you want and I think it does work out cheaper as you do double the volume from what you started with. So make sure you have an empty screw cap wine bottle handy. You can either buy a bottle an drink the wine at one sitting ( sounds good to me!) or if you have a half empty wine bottle in the house ( not likely in my house!) finish that off and give it a good rinse. Remember it has to be a screw top wine bottle not a cork one as you will be using it to store the finished Baileys. So apart from an empty bottle what else will you need? Well one of the main ingredients for home made Baileys is whisky. Now its up to you want sort you get. You can buy a cheap whisky or a really expensive one but I tend to aim mid range? and go an buy Grants whisky which can be found in most small/large supermarkets, wine stores and some garages if they are licensed to sell alcohol. The other main ingredient in Baileys is cream. Real Baileys contains about 50% fresh Irish cream which is responsible for its rich, creamy and smooth taste. In our home made Baileys we can use UHT double cream 10 fl oz tub and condensed milk. Why UHT and not the rea
                            l thing? Well what gives Baileys its uniqueness is the fact that Whisky and cream are not usually compatible. You can add fresh double cream but even I, a lover of Baileys can not drink two bottles of Baileys in a week.. Its better to use UHT cream, so at least you have 2 month shelf life. And hopefully that's what you should get, two bottles of pure warmth when you have finished this. The only other thing you need to buy but I can guarantee you already have it in your house. Its instant coffee. You only need a little so if you havent got any in, just get a small taster jar of mild coffee, like Nescafe. You can use Camp coffee essence too but I find using instant coffee better as its less bitter.. All that's needed is just a teaspoon of Vanilla, which again should be added to taste. Now you have all the ingredients, just get a big mixing bowl and empty the whole bottle of whisky into it. Give it a quick rinse and make sure you have your empty wine bottle on stand by. Gently whisk the UHT double cream in and then pour in the condensed milk. Add a tablespoon of instant coffee and again whisk until smooth. At this point, you should taste your Baileys. This way you can see if a tablespoon of coffee is enough. If it isn't just add to taste. Once you are satisfied with the taste you just need to transfer to your bottles. You can do this either by tipping contents of the bowl into a jug, and then pour in or if you are lucky enough you might have a rim on your bowl in which you could try and pour it straight in the bottles. Either way stand the bottles in the sink, then if you do spill any, its less mess for you to clean up. Unless of course you like licking clean your surfaces!!! You should more or less have two litres of home made Baileys and what you want to do with it is now up to you. You can keep it up two 2 months either in a cool dark place or you can keep it in the fridge. Of course you don't just have to drink it
                            , you can marinate with it, add it to coffee, even add it to you potatoes! I just love my home made Baileys, on the rocks curled up in my big comfy chair, low lights and the warmth of the fire. Ummm certainly warms the heart on a cold winter night. Watch out for some of my recipes which have a touch of my home made Baileys coming soon.

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                              14.11.2001 04:42
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                              Isn't that the truth. The title I mean. Life isn't what you see in films is it? Real life is hard, cruel, bitter and twisted. Life can also be joyous, ecstatic, meaningful and full of love. Love. Love that lasts. Can love really last for eternity? Well this is what Harry Silver is about to find out just as he hits his thirtieth birthday. What it is with men and middle age? Well thirty is hardly middle age is it, I thought fifty was nearer the mark. Why is it when some men hit thirty and all of a sudden they want to recapture their youth? Harry has what he wished for in life. A beautiful wife who gave up her dreams of going to Japan to be with him. A wonderful son, with a cheeky manner and a passion for Star wars. And a great job in the media, something which he had always loved doing. So why did he need that MGF sports car? Why did he need to throw it all away... for a one night stand? A one night stand which was a product of a disastrous night on live T. V when Marty Mann flips out at hits his interviewee, who also turns out to be a bit of a nut case himself. Silly silly man eh? Harry wasn't even going to tell his wife and who could blame him. It was a one night stand. A silly one night stand, which was meaningless. So it was a very big shock to him when he got home that his wife, Gina already knew and was packing her bags at the very moment he walked in. Tears. Hate. More tears. Heart rendering. Separation. But what about their son, Pat. Where would he go? Gina had decided to follow her dreams and head back to Japan but Harry wanted him to stay, even for a few months until she got settled. It was decided that Pat would stay while his mum got herself sorted in Japan. It was now that Harry would learn what life is all about, especially in the middle of all this mess, he loses his job. As Harry takes on his new role as a full time father, you can see him make mistakes, you can see him change, swell, become a
                              different person to what he used to be. Harry has to learn that parenting is the most hardest job in the world and his priorities shift as he realises what he has been missing from his son. Harry also learns that he is not his father. Harry's father was married to a wonderful women and his only partner. Harry from a young age was aware that he was opposite to his father and through this book, it becomes imminent that Harry has always secretly been envious of his father, his achievements in life and how strong he is. But looks can be deceptive cant they? After his wife, Gina, heads to Japan to find the self she lost in their marriage, he meets a new love, Cyd Mason, a feisty waitress from Texas. He takes a part-time job with an anxiety-ridden Irish comic and briefly hires an inept nanny with a mind-boggling method for cooking soup. Adapting to single parenthood leads Harry to reassess the wobbly relationship with his own caring father, a World War II hero. It says on the front of this book by Tony Parsons, " Book of the Year" and " I cried five times and laughed out loud four" J.Brown, Observer. Two very apt statements which will carry this book on and on in the book industry. Tony parsons has definitely surpassed himself writing such an in-depth, true to life, heart rending book about life and love. Believe me, it is very true to life. Not having been through a separation or divorce as an adult and although the book is from the view of Harry, the father. I can see this book through the child's eyes, Pat. I have seen through my own eyes as a child how hard it is for a child to understand why two people cant love each other anymore. Or just say sorry and make up like most kids do. Adults make things so much more complicated don't they? Children love people unconditionally, whole heartedly without a question asked. Adults love on conditions, terms and commitment. You know I must be behind wi
                              th the times as Man and Boy was published in 1999, then in 2001 it was published in America and its only then I have heard of Tony Parsons. You see this book has been written very close to Tony's heart. Why? Because Tony has had first hand experience of separation and divorce and when Tony Parsons was 29 years old, he was awarded custody of his four-year-old son. It wasn't until I read this on a web site, that I realised why the book is so real. Tony Parsons portrays each character with such vibrancy, with such life, you could almost see yourself within that book. A person that knew him, a neighbour, anyone who had contact with Harry, Pat, Gina you could taste the tears, hear the laughter, feel the pain and anger. But in all this mess, things might turn out for the best? I found the novel really easy to read, even though in a few parts I was actually crying. with both laughter and sadness. In fact a few nights ago when I was lying on the sofa sniggering away to myself, my husband asked me why I was laughing. Well he must of been intrigued because I finished the book last night, he has picked it up today and started reading it. Its sharp, witty and even if you have no or little imagination you can picture everything as its so detailed. Man and Boy is a great book about the intimacy which builds between father and child, in this case son. Unfortunately so many career minded men miss their opportunity with their children to have quality time with them. Is this the way forward for novels for men? I hope so because there are rumours that this brilliant book will be made into a film. I just hope they keep the sincerity of the book in the film.

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                                09.11.2001 07:00
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                                Nine months ago, in a Sports Centre near my home. A five year old drowned in the swimming pool after leaving his father and jumping back in the pool while he should of been getting dressed. Now there are several people, that could of prevented this tragic accident. The life guards who happened to be chatting and his father who was trying to get his younger son. The two life guards in question were suspended and then sacked for incompetence. The Sports Centre is paying out compensation to the family and I feel that the father is suffering more guilt then I could ever imagine.. Since that dreadful day, there is a new rule that every child under six years of age must be accompanied by an adult, one to one. A child over six years of age still needs an adult with them, but the adult can take another child in with them. No child under ten years of age is allowed into the swimming pool without adult company. Why am I telling you this? Well up until that day I took Jess who is now 3.5 years swimming every week. It was cheap enough, the pool offered 1 pound a session on a Monday and Thursdays all day because it was Mother and Toddler group. That's 1 pound for the child, not me. If I were to go swimming at any other time, children under 5 years are free but I would have to pay for me, which is about 2.25 pounds. Even when I had my second daughter Lucy, I took them most weeks with a few friends who also had children. Lucy would be in my arms and Jess would be playing in the baby pool with arm bands ..Safe? Its never safe around water. Because I could no longer take both of my daughters swimming on my own, I had two choices. I could wait for the weekend and make a family outing out of it. Or I could enrol Jess into Ducklings ( swimming lessons) when she turned 3 years. I could then take Lucy either while Jess was at nursery, to the mother and toddler session in which I still paid a squid, oppps a quid for. Or again wait till the family
                                outing. Well, my Tim has good intentions but we never really got out to go swimming as regularly as I wanted. So after a few months, I opted for the swimming lessons. So I phoned up the very local swimming pool, which is about 5 minutes away and booked her into Ducklings. There's is usually a waiting list for Ducklings but usually you get a phone call at around 6 weeks after you enrol. When you enrol will you be giving a selection of days and times when you prefer to take your child and then you will be told a fee. Mine cost 14 pounds for a 6 week block and they do like you to pay up front. Obviously you can carry on with Ducklings as long as you need to, not just for six weeks. Once you have had your phone call and hopefully getting the day and time you want, you can think about how you are going to tell your child about it. Most of you thinking about swimming lessons will of already said to your child that they are going for swimming lessons, but have you told them that you are not going in with them? This they might or might not be happy with but reassure them that they are in good hands and they will have fun too. The lessons are 30 minutes long, which is long enough in the main pool. Unlike the baby pool, which is usually warm, the main pool is cold. When you get there, you check yourself in and then take your child to the changing rooms to get into their swimming gear. Most pools supply buoyancy aids which are known as "hamburger" arm bands, rather than the blow up kind( remember to ask before hand). These hamburgers are like slim rings of foam that fit around the arm. Usually they start off with 4 rings and then as they progress, the instructors slowly remove one from each arm. This makes them better than the blow up arm bands as some children can become quite attached to them and are reluctant to try and swim on their own.. Children may become too dependent on their support, and that can slow their progress. Wh
                                at is more important, flotation devices often give children (and their parents) a false sense of security in their youngster's ability would/ could quickly place a child in a drowning situation. With children under five years old, it's very difficult for you to reason away fear. It's better to acknowledge their feelings and reassure them that you would not put them in any danger. Standing Fast With Older Children .With children five years and older, you need to be committed to helping them overcome their fears. Be ready to stand fast no matter how much they protest. You don't want them to "cry their way" out of swimming. It's unfair to children to have them work partially through a fear and not experience the pride that comes from conquering it. And once they conquer it, they'll be ready to have fun swimming. You are not allowed to enter the pool and you never let your child get into the pool either without the instructors there either. Once they are in, have warmed up by doing a few lengths, they will come to the steps and ask the children to come in. There are several stages of Ducklings. Ducklings one, Ducklings two and then they go onto getting their badges for 10 metres, 20 metres, 50 metres and so on. Ducklings one is down the shallowest of the pool and is where all the new ones or the ones who can't swim with buoyancy aids. Ducklings two is around the middle of the pool and is slightly out of the children's depth. This is why the children who can swim are progressed into the second one. When I took Jess to her first lesson, I felt really guilty. I knew that not going swimming for quite a while would of knocked her confidence in the water but that's half the reason why I thought it would be great for her to take up swimming lessons. I told her to walk down the steps to the instructor, Dave, but she didnt want to go. At this point she suddenly realised that I was not coming i
                                n with her, even though I had discussed it with her. I knew she was frightened but I also knew if I took her out, then I wouldnt be able to take her back. I told her that mummy would be watching through the windows and how proud I was of her. As I went, the last thing I saw was her clinging onto Dave, shouting for me. I can tell you, it broke my heart. I felt awful, but after talking to a lady about it outside, I felt a bit better. She told me that her son had started 12 weeks ago and was exactly the same. After the 3rd session he had calmed down and really liked it and after just 10 weeks was down the other end, swimming happy with his hamburgers. After 25 minutes, I went back though just to have a peep at what they were doing. Jess was still in the arms of Dave but had calmed down. They ( 12 children) and 3 instructors were playing "Ring a Ring a Roses" and at the end they had to dip their faces in the water. It was so sweet watching Jess but I hoped she was okay. When she was given back to me, say said' Mummy, I was crying for you" I felt horrid, but I asked her whether she had enjoyed it and would she want to come back. Jess replied that she had enjoyed it but she missed me. I gave her the reassurance that I wasn't far away and would be watching her all the time. When we got home, she did tell her dad all about it and was quite eager to return. Until the following week. Again, I had tears and the yelling, but again I walked away. When I came back through, I was surprised to see Jess out of Dave's arms and swimming on her back with his arms underneath her. When she had finished, she even stood at the side on her own. Now there was progress. In the weeks that followed, I could see that she was gaining confidence in the water. She has always loved water and its a nightmare getting her out of the bath at night! Now since June, she has been going to Ducklings most weeks and is now just this week been moved to
                                the middle of the pool to Ducklings two. Jess was wearing 4 hamburgers but now she's down to 3 and can swim a width on her own. Well its more than a width because she cant swim straight!!! I can see she has a lot of fun while learning and has built up respect for the water and her teacher. Dave and the two girls that teach with him always make sure that there is no messing about in the water and if they don't listen, then whoever it is, has to get out. They make the children understand that by messing about, they are putting their own lives and others at risk, without scaring them. I know this because Jess has relayed all of it back to be, which shows she does listen, even if its not me! Its not just the enjoyment the children get out of learning to swim, its an exercise and more importantly, its a life saving skill. Your child can go though ducklings and once has learned to swim, he can go for medals, competitions and learn about lifesaving techniques to. One of the young lass's who teaches, its 17 years old. She didnt learn to swim until she was 10 years old, but with determination and support from her nan, she has become a trainer for the centre. Swimming is brilliant for strengthening and toning the body all round and kept a child fit and healthy. This keeps the body supple and strong and that's really important for a growing child. Some people have asked me why don't I teach Jess to swim. Well I've tried. She wont do it for me even when we go on our own. She clings onto me and I'm not a very strong swimmer either. I have adopted some very bad habits as I taught myself to swim at 11 years of age. My brother also took his children to swimming lessons simply because he cant swim. In fact he even has a fear of water, which is weird because he is a commercial fisherman. Sometimes its better that someone else teaches them to swim as some children tend to listen more to teachers rather than there parents. If y
                                ou do decide to go for Ducklings or you want to teach your own child make sure you do the following. The teachers and yourself know C.P.R and first aid. Make sure that are trained and have certificates from a known organisation Never let a child into the pool unsupervised or alone Always insist on wearing swimming aids if necessary A swimming costume must be worn for hygienic reasons Never swim less then an hour after a meal or on an empty stomach as it causes cramps Pool must be clean and hygienic Although I think swimming lessons are a really good idea, its handy to bear in mind that most parents of young children are anxious about water safety - and for good reason. For children under the age of 5, drowning remains the second leading cause of accidental death. Many parents believe that infant swimming classes will safeguard their preschooler against the tragedy of accidental drowning. Over the past decade, numerous infant and toddler swimming programs have emerged that promote a variety of benefits, including "waterproofing" infants and teaching small children water safety and swimming skills. While toddlers can learn to propel themselves in the water, parents cannot expect young children to learn the rules of water safety or to know how to act in an emergency. Furthermore, no one can be "waterproofed." Toddlers can easily drown even if they have had swimming lessons, and parents can be lulled into a false sense of security believing that their infant or young child can "swim" a few strokes. Parents considering lessons for their young child should remember that motor skill development at this age is unpredictable, so avoid the "hurried child" syndrome. Any pressure from parents, beyond providing the exposure to swimming, will ruin the fun and cause the youngster to become anxious and resistant. Parents should remember that the water
                                is a new element that their child must slowly get used to with supervision. When encouraged, but not pushed, all children will learn to swim when the time and place are right.

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                                • Massage / Archive Lifestyle / 0 Readings / 30 Ratings
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                                  06.11.2001 05:11
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                                  Did you know that minutes after the birth of a baby, they can recognise their mother by smell alone? The next thing they recognise is touch. The feeling of skin next to skin. Whether its from a mother nursing her baby or stroking their face, a mother's touch is sure to calm a crying baby. If I were to ask you as a loving parent what are the fundamental factors that you provide for your baby which are vital to his survival?, you would probably say : the need to give your baby enough to eat, the need to protect it from extremes of heat or cold. There may well be other factors that spring to mind. How many of you though would consider that touch would be so important that without it your baby would not survive. Post World War II studies into the infant disease, Marasmus (as it was called then) or Infant Debility, found that mortality rates for babies in institutions dramatically improved when each baby was picked up, carried round and 'mothered' several times a day. Baby massage can generally be done after baby has had their 6 week check and is a lovely way to end a day. Massage has so many benefits and can be built into a daily or even a weekly routine. You don't need an special experience or equipment, just a loving touch. I first came across baby massage when I went along to my Parent Craft Classes when Jess was about 7 weeks old. In this particular session our Health Visitor was talking about Baby Massage and all the benefits. I must admit, I did have a little background knowledge of massage as I had done Beauty Therapy at college, but it didnt even cross my mind about performing massage on Jess. The room was quite small anyway so it was warm and there were mats with towels on laid out on the floor. We all took a mat and was asked just to take our babies outdoor clothing off but to leave vest and sleep suit on. Because newborns hate being dressed and undressed and pulled about, its best to work from the leg
                                  s up and slowly undress them as you go. This stops them from getting too cold, too quickly and helps them to feel a bit more secure. We were all given some baby oil but you can use a nut free oil ( to avoid allergies) oil if you prefer. After a demonstration from the Health Visitor, we all had a go. I made sure that I had taken all rings off and that my hands were clean and dry. Jess had been a bit niggly that morning and was still a bit grumpy. In theory, as I know well, if you yourself are niggly, tired and grumpy, the best thing is a massage. I was hoping that it would be lovely for Jess and I because we hadn't got off to a great start. With breast feeding day and night every 2 hours, we were both getting to the end of our tethers. After unpopping her sleep suit and unhooking her legs, I warmed a little oil in my hands and started on one of her legs and feet. We were told to support the lower leg and just gently but quite firmly stroke up the legs in a sweeping motion. This was too warm the leg up and evenly distribute the oil. Next I made small circular movements, like mini rainbow shapes from the bottom of the ankle up to the knee. I did this a few times and them repeated the same motion to the upper leg from knee to the nappy. I finished off the leg by making small circular movements from the heel to the toes, where I found some fluff between her toes. Umm must of come off her socks as she had a bath the night before. Again after repeating this movement to the upper leg a few times, I did the whole thing to the other leg. If you ever do a baby massage, you can either leave the nappy on or you can take it off. When I did Jess's I did leave the nappy on until I came to the back. The reason is that as soon as the bladder has liquid in it, there is no control and of course it comes out. The last thing I wanted was a wet patch in the middle of the massage and we would have to change the towel etc. By the time you get back to massagi
                                  ng, the moment is lost. Its up to you, but take heed, especially ones with little boys. They always have a habit of sprinkling at very appropriate moments, as I found out last week when I massaged my friends baby who is 10 weeks old. Put it this way ....he has got a good shot!! As I said Jess was quite unhappy that morning, but as soon as I started to massage her, she became very still. All the time I was massaging her, I was watching her face too. You could see her relaxing, that angry little face that some babies get when they are whinging, seemed to lift. Don't get me wrong, Jess wasn't an unhappy child, she just needed constant attention. As I massaged the second leg, she started to smile and gurgle at me. I can tell you, this melted my heart. At last, I thought to myself, I have found something which pleases her. When I finished doing both her legs, I took her sleep suit off and her vest and did her tummy and chest. By this time the room very warm, Jess was relaxed and happy enough for me to undress her. Look at your babies tummy and think of it as a clock face. A clock face? Well you should always massage the tummy or stomach in a clockwise direction, as your large intestine goes around the outside and small is packed inside of your tummy. The whole aim of massaging the tummy is to aid digestion, and help relieve trapped wind, so it wouldnt do any good massaging the other way. Again I warmed a little oil in my hands and placed my hand just below the sternum or top of the tummy. In a clockwork direction and using gentle pressure massage in small circular strokes across the tummy , down the left hand side, across the bottom, and up the other side. When you get back to your starting point, go back around but moving into the tummy a bit more. Once you have gone a few times you might end up circling the bully button, but this means you have done the whole of the tummy. Finish off with a few light strokes but again make sure y
                                  ou go in a clockwise direction. Talking of wind, after you do this baby massage, be prepared for a windy spell. We had the rainy one, now the windy weather might set in. Windy weather? Chrissypops, what are you talking? Well as said, massaging the tummy can help digestion and trapped wind. If your baby suffers from colic or just have trapped wind, it has to go somewhere doesn't it. Up or down is anybody's guess but you might be saying, "It was not me, it was babe "....A likely story... Looking at Jess, who was looking at me rather intently at this moment in time brought a smile to my face, she in turn smiled back, which showed me she was enjoying this moment of intimacy. Again I was please with myself that I had found a new way of bonding with my baby, because lets be honest here, bonding with your child can be very hard. Some women get this overwhelming flow of love for their new born baby, most have to work at it. I had found a wonderful way to please my baby, and bond with her at the same time. After taking a little more oil. I started on Jess's chest. using quite big sweeping movements, I covered the chest, shoulders and arms with oil. With small circular movements I worked my way up her breastbone and out over her shoulders. Jess wasn't very keen on this part, so I only did it once but if you baby is happy with it, then you can do it 2 or 3 times. The arms are massaged very similar to the legs. Just gently spread the oil in large sweeping movements up the arm and then work in smaller circluar movements from wrist to elbow, then elbow to shoulder. Again when you massage you baby's hands use small movements and massage the palm of the hands, their seem to really like that too. Its really nice if you can keep you hands fully in contact with your baby's skin so when you want to do the other arm , just glide it over the shoulders, across the chest and onto the other arm. Last but not least, the back and
                                  the bottom. Its at this stage if you feel comfortable taking your baby's nappy off then that's fine. If you don't, then you don't have too. If your baby is really young or can't support their head then the next stage can be done over your knee or you can hold then facing downwards in your hand. They will automatically curl their knees up so don't be frightened that you will hurt them, they will soon let you know if you do. I massaged Jess with her on the mat still because she seems quite happy laying flat on the mat. Poet and I don't know it. Cat in a hat ..oh dear. Back to massaging. If you are massaging on your lap, then just drape a towel over your knees to protect your clothing from the oil. Using the flat hand, working in circular movements around the buttocks from inside and the outside. Then work from the base of the spine, using small circular movements up one side of the spine. Gently work your way up until one half of the back is finished. You can massage over the shoulder, side of the neck and the upper arm. Instead of taking your hand off your baby and coming back down to the base of the spine again, use one movement and come back over the arm, shoulder and back down the back to the base of the spine. Slowly work up the other side of the spine, shoulder, neck and arm. When you have finished, just make large sweeping movements over the back. Its important at this stage that your baby doesn't get cold, so if you haven't taken his nappy off you can either wrap babe in a towel or you can get babe dressed. Choice is yours. If you have taken nappy off then you will need to put one back on and either you can get babe dressed or wrap them in the towel and give them a cuddle. Well after I had finished Jess's back massage, got her dressed, and she went back in her car seat. Within 5 minutes she had gone to sleep, even though she was actually due for a feed. I was really impressed with the intim
                                  acy that we had built up within those 5 minutes of baby massage. Any relationship you have is based on intimacy, trust and love, why should having a child be any different? Of course depending on your baby you can make it as short or as long as you like, just as long as your baby is happy, warm and comfortable. I went home, still feeling rather please with myself and after 2 hours, Jess decided that she was going to wake up for some feed and even slept well that night. Since that day at Parent Craft Classes I have built baby massage into my life. For 6 months I gave a massage to Jess every single night after a bath. After 6 days I saw a marked improvement on her feeding routine and even her sleeping. Before she was getting me up every 2 hours in the night to feed, she was now going from 11 pm till 7 am without a feed. Before she was feeding 2 hourly during day and now after the massage she was going 3 maybe 4 hours between each feed. Jess's temperament improved, she was calmer and more contented. I was more relaxed with her and we started to bond. Even though I had Post Natal Depression, I knew that this was the beginning of the end. It would be the time I set aside for us to bond that would pull me out of my depression. And it did. Baby massage brings many benefits not only for the baby but also for the massage giver. Contrary to popular opinion not every mother or father finds they bond instantly and deeply with their baby at first sight. Mass age can help to deepen and strengthen the bond between a parent and his or her baby. Massage can be particularly helpful if the bond has had difficulty in establishing for example in such cases as separation or illness. Massage helps babies feel loved and secure. There is also substantial evidence to suggest that the benefits of baby massage are much longer term - massaged babies make secure babies make secure adults. Studies show that in societies where it is normal for infants to
                                  be held, massaged, rocked, adults are less aggressive and violent, more co-operative and compassionate. Helps both parents and babies to relax. Helps parents to develop understanding of their baby's non-verbal cues. Makes the parents more confident in handling their baby. Helps to develop, strengthen and regulate the circulatory, respiratory and digestive system. There has been extensive research that consistently shows that when babies both full term and premature, if massaged regularly, show improvements in weight gain, are more active and alert and show greater neurological development than their non-massaged counterparts. Relieves the symptoms of colic and wind. I even did the same thing for my second daughter, Lucy who loved every minute of it. Now I give them a massage once a week and I still find on that particular night they sleep really well. Not all babies will take to massage, some hate it, but most will love it. Just remember there are some things to bear in mind before you think of doing a massage. Gently does it... Baby massage is not just about soothing, its about a dialogue of touch that is done "with" you baby/child not "to" So always be sensitive to their reactions. If they don't like what you are doing, Stop. Try another part of the body. If they still don't like it Stop completely but don't give up hope. You can try again another night. Keep warm... The room that you are doing the massage needs to be warm and draught free. You'll need a clean comfortable surface, like a changing mat, covered in a towel. If you are going to use a bed , never leave baby unattended as they can roll off. Even if they cant roll yet, its better to be in the habit of not leaving them, than leaving them and hearing a "bang" and baby is on the floor. If you are thinking about doing a massage on the floor make sure that y
                                  ou do it away from radiators, fires or direct sunlight. Which oil?...... To avoid allergies, use a nut free oil. Baby oil or organic sunflower oil are idea. You don't need a whole bottle, but a few teaspoons in a small bowl will do. Don't pour unused oil back into bottle. .urggghh. Please avoid massage if...... Your baby hasn't been for 6 weeks check. You can still do a small amount of massage but not on the main body. To help a very young baby to sleep, gently stroke baby's forehead from the brow to the tip of the nose. Even stoking baby's head is a type of head massage and will both sooth and calm down an anxious baby. If your baby is unwell, has a fever, or is on medication. Also be aware that although massage around the abdomen can sooth colic, make sure that your baby isn't suffering from any other sort of abdominal pain.Ask your GP if you are not sure. If your baby has just been immunised by injection. Wait a week, or until side effects have passed and don't forget to avoid the injected area. Either of you have a rash, skin infections or broken skin, although some babies with mild eczema do benefit from massage ( ask GP or Health Visitor) If you baby has just been fed, wait 1.5 hours after before massaging. If your baby isn't enjoying it. Above all enjoy it too. There's no reason why a dad can't do this for his baby either. I know some men are afraid that they will be too heavy handed, but you aren't honest. Massaging your baby would also be a great way for you to bond with your baby. Spend precious time with them, and relax yourself. After all look at all the benefits. Massaging is a form of communication between yourself and your child which goes deeper than any word you will ever speak. Gentle touching can soothe a crying, uptight baby. It helps tones the muscles, making them stronger and more able to do what
                                  they are supposed to do. The circulatory system will run better and more efficient and endorphins are released into the body making your baby more relaxed. A relaxed baby, leads to relaxed parents, which means you can enjoy parent hood. What more can I say.. try it

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