Joanne

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Driving to Disneyland Paris.

 

We chose to drive to Disneyland Paris July 2017 and go on the Eurotunnel as we could make as many stops as we needed to for wee breaks.

I drive a Motability car and I’m so glad I found a Facebook page called Disneyland Paris for Brits or I would not of known I would need to get a certificate to take the car out of the country, also If you have a car on finance you need this certificate to.

I took the following in the car with us;

  • Passports
  • car insurance certificate
  • certificate to take our Motability car out of the country
  • AA European kit which includes a Contains: Hazard Warning Triangle, GB sticker, Universal Bulb Kit, Reflective Emergency Jacket, First Aid Kit, Headlamp Beam Converters, AA European Driver’s Handbook, Canvas Carry Bag, PLUS AA glove box Atlas Europe, £10 off AA European Breakdown Cover.
  • Lease of the Motability car
  • A print out of our booking details
  • Blue badge

I had packed the car the night before to save time in the morning as it was a big secret surprise for the kids  and we wanted to enjoy their excitement when we told them we was going right now!

Also take a lot of snacks with you when driving with kids. we prepared a bag each with sweets, colouring books, crayons and colouring pencils, magazines, we also charged their Kindles and brought them headphones.

We took the following snack;

  • Crisps
  • biscuits (not chocolate as they would melt)
  • sweets
  • bottled fruit shoot water
  • bananas, grapes , strawberries, apples
  • raisons
  • cereal bars

We left at 4am and I was driving to Folkestone which took us about 4 hours to get to the tunnel as we had stopped for a maccyd breakfast on the way and a pee stop.

We was late as per usual and luckily just got on the next train which meant we missed the shopping, Never mind. As we went through we was given a Letter on a card that we had to hang on our mirror and was easily directed where to go, They checked our passports and scanned the car with a wand to make sure there was no explosive hidden on it.

When we got there we was directed to the disabled users line and was first on the tunnel which meant  first to the clean toilets as we was all bursting.

The tunnel took about 30 minutes to get to Calais and it went so quick it was hot in there and they do ask you to open your windows and switch your engine off and put your gear into 1st ( with your hand break on and the car in gear it will stall which is a extra safety measure) As we drove off the train into Calais I got confused with time as my phone had automatically changed to a hour ahead. (France is 1 hour ahead)

There is a petrol station as your driving away from the Eurotunnel so you can fill up. We used our phones sat nav to direct us straight to the hotel. David drove in France as I was to scared to and at first I thought we was going to die, not because of David but because of the other drivers , They’re Looneys! they indicate but then literally just pull out , they don’t even give you chance to see them indicating, so be careful.

We went on a toll road which was lovely and it was just a straight ride through and the roads were smooth with no traffic. Luckily we had cash on us as we wasn’t expecting a toll we didn’t plan that far ahead haha. we went through the first set of machines which gave you a card which was all in French so had no idea what it said so I tried to translate it on google. It said to keep hold of the ticket until we get to the next gate where we need to pay which was 21.70Euros if I remember correctly and its the same on the way back. Worth paying to drive straight through as its a lot quicker and a lot easier than all the back routes and bumpy roads.

We started to see signs for Disneyland Paris and it was so much fun listening to the kids yell with excitement every time they saw a mickey mouse sign. It wasn’t long before we saw  Disney hotel signposts and we stopped twice from Calais to our hotel, I’d say the second part took us about 4 hours.

As we got to the Disney hotel roads it got busier but only because we saw a lot more cars  and not because of traffic, we found our hotel really easy and as we approached the barrier a security guard came out and asked to see our booking documents, we presented them and he let us through.

We saw a Disabled/VIP carpark and presented the attendant with it and he let us in to park close to the hotel.

If you have any questions about my post please send me a email and I will try my best to answer it Jo@theknighttribe.co.uk

Thank you.

 

Leos Diagnosis of cerebral palsy- Part 1

Leo’s Story Part 1

I was 17 when I found out I was pregnant, and 18 when Leo was born. I didn’t know what gender he was until he was born so it was even more exciting.

Labour was 6 hours long and towards the end my mum said that his heart rate dipped and mine went through the roof, I opened my eyes after a quick blink and there was a room full of doctors and nurses who told me I had 10 minutes to push or I was going to theatre to be assisted. I gave birth to my gorgeous boy 2.36am on 29th December 2005 weighing 6lb 14oz.

A few of my online friends were pregnant at the same time and we used to chat every single day. One lived in Northampton and the other in Oakham.

When we was talking about milestone’s online i soon realised Leo wasn’t doing the same things my friends babies were doing and by 9 months he still wasn’t sitting unaided, I took him to my health visitor and got told he will catch up, give him time, boys are slower then girls. doesn’t really help as both my friends babies are boys!

I took him back at 10 months and 11months and 12 months and he still wasn’t sitting up. My health visitor then referred me to the hospital with him and we received our appointment for April 2006 Leo was 14 months old by then and still not sitting up.

We literally went in to the appointment dumb thinking it would be something as simple as casting his legs as originally we thought it was his hips. A Few reflex tests later and the Consultant asked us if we had a occupational therapist ,physiotherapist and a social worker in place?

I replied quite confused and asked why I would have all them involved? and his reply was ‘well that’s normal procedure for children with cerebral palsy to have the teams in place.’

And that my friends was how my boy got diagnosed with Spastic diplegia cerebral palsy.

I remember asking if he would walk, talk, eat on his own using a knife and fork etc and his reply was I cant answer any of them but please don’t look on the internet, and wait for the referrals to come through.

I rang my health visitor devastated as I knew nothing about CP and she had everything in place within a hour and Leo had his first physiotherapy session at 15 months. This is when we met Jayne who has been with Leo from the start and still is now.

Within 4 weeks at 16months Leo sat up unaided, I will always remember that day.

It wasn’t long before he also got measured up for his first pair of splints to help him get on his feet they were so tiny. At 3.5 years old Leo started to use a walking frame and got his first wheelchair so no more being judged for having a 3.5 year old in a pushchair!

I remember asking Jayne when he was 2 when she thought he would walk and nothing can prepare you for what she said next.

‘It’s really difficult to tell as every child with cp is different, I think if he does walk it would be by the age of 7-9years old and it might just been too hard for him and he may favour his wheelchair more.’

What the actual f@!K was she saying to me? I understood but found it incredibly hard to take in that my son would most probably never walk!

As Leo got older he got heavier and I had a tiny frame so lifting him in and out of the car got increasingly difficult, I used to get filthy looks when using the blue badge with him.

When Leo got to about 4 years old he was really good at high knee crawling and that’s how he got about.

I also remember one particular day, it was a lovely warm day and loads of children were playing in our car park and leo was desperate to join in so I thought sod it .. go on and play but stay just outside the garden gate so I can see you. (car park was a secured locked one with slow opening gate that creaked). Then I heard crying that sounded like my boy so I ran out and he was crawling towards me with tears streaming down his face and muddy hands and cut knees where he had tried to crawl  fast to keep up with everyone but just couldn’t.

I’ll tell you something now, My heart SHATTERED and I just cried for him.

I remembered registering to the Scope website a few months back as they had a forum for parents with cerebral palsy, I remember seeing a lady post about a operation in America that could help children with cp walk. At first I thought it was a load of bollocks, its brain damage so I just browsed past it.  After experiencing what Leo had just gone through I was more desperate now to try anything and I remembered the post. so I messaged the lady and she sent me through all of this information and I forwarded to my mum to read too. My mum called me back but she was speechless and explained it all to me and said its definitely worth a go. So I emailed St Louis Children’s hospital in Missouri and they sent me a form to fill out and send back with a video if leo trying to do certain things like crawling, rolling, standing if he could ( leo couldn’t stand or walk unaided at all )

We did everything they asked us to do and sent the forms. In the mean time I had spoken to Leos consultant who was against the operation as she had never heard of it before and that it was in a different country. well I went against what she said as I wanted to look my son in the eyes when he was older and tell him I did everything I could to help him walk.

I remember the day I received the email from the hospital saying Leo would be a good candidate for the surgery which is called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy. I literally couldn’t of been any happier I finally had some hope for him.

But now the hard part ….we had to fundraise £70,000

Part 2 coming soon…..

Puppy training

Labrador puppy training so far.

Rosie, our beautiful golden coloured pupster.

This little girl was born June 16th, 2017 and came to live with us Knights Friday the 18th of August at 9 weeks old. We have had her for 5 amazing days and I am not going to lie it is tiring.

She has settled into our madhouse so well with no crying at all in this short space of time and I am relieved she didn’t cry it would have broken my heart. I already felt bad taking her away from her mummy, daddy, sisters and brothers.

My oldest son Leo never got to see Rosie when we went to choose her so the first time he saw her was when we picked her up and his face was pure love, I have a photograph 🙂

He has always wanted a puppy dog so me and my partner started secretly looking online.

Leo has Cerebral Palsy and requires daily physiotherapy and we thought it would be a great idea for him to have a therapy dog to take out on walkies and keep him as active as we can. Leo also agreed on poop duties can you believe haha.

So day 1 we let Rosie settle in and we all decided on her name which is Rosie or Duchess Rosie may according to Lyddy.

Day 2, My partner had spent the evening of day1 online, researching how to train Labrador puppies and what we would need for successful training. He and our daughter Lyd went to pets at home and the range and brought dog toys and treats and a puppy pen. puppies can only hold their bladder for 90 minutes at 8-9 weeks so we decided we would first take her out every 30 minutes into the garden and say ‘make wee’. we knew she wasn’t instantly going to know what to do so we waited around until she did one and made a big fuss of her and gave her boiled chicken as a treat every time she did it.

The haul (her favourite toy is the fox)

Of course she still had accidents in the house, its only day 2, she’s still a baby and it’s going to happen but when we saw she was sniffing around we picked her up and ran her either to a puppy pad or outside, whichever we got to first and If she had a wee wee or poo poo we made another fuss of her and gave her a little treat.

We persevered with this consistently all day and introduced the puppy pen which is big enough for her bed, toys, a puppy pad at the furthest end of her bed, food and water.

We also brought a large dog crate and kept her in there for an hour or until she started to whinge at the gate but didn’t just put her in there we made it so she wanted to go in by putting treats inside and praising her when she went in and getting her to come out and play. we didn’t want her to feel we was just shutting her in there.

After an hour we would take her outside without boiled chicken or treats and lead her to the grass and say ‘make wee’ and if she did we would again give her chicken or kibble and praise her, Same with poo poo’s.

Then she would play in the room for a good 20 minutes and this was also training time which is very repetitive.

The first and 2nd night my partner slept on the sofa to keep her company with a radio on low as that is what she was used to before.

On the 3rd night, we put her crate upstairs and faced it towards the bathroom door where a little bit of light Shon through from under the door. She slept through from 1030pm until 2.30am where I heard her fart and then poo splat out. I woke up thinking Shit! (literally lol) there is no puppy pad in there and my alarm was set for 3 am to take her to the puppy pad.

Anyway, there was smelly poo all over her bed, blankets and legs which was making me gag so I tried my best to clear her up and took her poo poo bed out and put it in the shower to hose down later. she went straight back to sleep and then my 3-year old woke up GRRR.

In the morning David (my partner) took her downstairs at 6am and let her out and feed her.

Day 4 after continuing consistently with the poo and wee routine and training things were looking up, she now is holding her wee longer and then going outside straight away to do her wee and poo followed by her treats and over the top praising.

We taught her how to sit on day 2 she took to it so easy and was just doing it everytime she had her 20-25minutes playtime out of the crate/puppy pen. I had a appointment day 4 and David was back at work so it was the first time Rosie was being left alone. we moved the crate to the kitchen and left the door open with her food and water left out along with her toys and puppy pads we didn’t just leave her we closed the door at first for 5 minutes and sat the other side to see how she would react and then went back in there and gave her a treat. then he waited a bit longer and then went back in until we felt confident she was going to be ok. I wasn’t gone long at all and she did great. wees and a poop on the pad.

We have also taught her now to sit, stay and wait as we walked back a little and then called her over for chicken.

Last night she slept in her puppy pen in the living room with the radio on low and she didn’t cry, we keep her active an hour before bed playing which tires her out.

Day 5 today and she has nailed the toilet training she is holding her bladder longer and she is pooping and weeing outside or going to her pad when I am in the kitchen or upstairs.

She has also learnt to sit and then lay down today.

so far so good 🙂

Astonishing

Astonish Grease buster

Why I love astonish grease buster and I love to clean so much, I find it therapeutic.

When my house is a mess, I feel like my head is a mess and I get really moody and irritated. But when my house is tidy, clean and organised my head feels amazing I feel so cleansed and organised and it just makes me feel damn good!

I have been buying even more cleaning products recently and my latest purchase was the Astonish grease buster 99p from QD, it is no doubt AMAZING! I used it today to clean my cooker and all you need to do is give whatever you are cleaning a few sprays, wait a minute and then it wipes off with hot soapy water just look at this result below.

Check this out.Astonish grease buster Astonish grease buster Astonish grease buster Astonish grease buster

Astonish do a huge range of cleaning products and I am a total addict to buying their products, there are so many different products from floor cleaners, Limescale removers, mould and mildew, daily shower shine, HANDSOAP and they even do car care.

If you haven’t tried it then you are definitely missing out. It’s cheap, It works, it’s vegan-friendly and cruelty-free which is a huge selling point for a massive part of our population.

I honestly love this product and I do not feel bad at all that my cupboard under the sink is ram jam full of it If I had it my way I would have more cupboards filled with it but unfortunately there has to be a line drawn somewhere and I do not need the amout of cleaning products I have. At least if there was an apocalypse or something my house would be spotless.

 

*Astonish grease buster was purchased and reviewed by myself and is not endorsed by Astonish.

We’re getting a puppy

Our new puppy

Now we are finished having babies we decided now is a perfect time to introduce a new pet into our family home, so we decided on a little labrador puppy so the children could grow up with her and we had read about their good temperament around children.

We found the most beautiful little Labrador pup which we are picking up very soon and I am so excited but panicking as I am not a very outdoorsy person and I don’t like the smell of poo nor do I like pet hair so what the hell am I doing! Luckily I have my trusty Dyson which I use 3 times a day so I am really relying on that bad boy.

I originally only wanted a smaller dog to get me out the house as I am a hermit but my god when I met this little one I fell in love and just had to have her, not even thinking about how big she will grow or how smelly her poo would be.

I am now searching the net for any hints, tips and puppy training, so any advice people can give me will be gratefully received, please.

Here is our little Duchess Rosie May but Rosie for short. (Lydia added the may part on).

Isn’t she just the cutest little puppy in the world. I think to myself what the hell am I getting myself in to and the commitment needed for a pet but then her cuteness takes over me and I think I dont care I want her and I will do everything and anything to make sure she is happy with us, even if that means going out in the cold and walking her 3 times a day and picking up stinky poops.

 

Make sure to come back for updates on how Rosie is growing up.