The Minimum Stress Practical Guide to moving house

Welcome to my ‘Minimum Stress Practical Guide to…’ series of blog posts. After a complete rollercoaster of a few months when we had the stuffing knocked out of us, I decided to turn my journey into something positive.  Last week I addressed the subject of coping in a medical emergency.  This week I’m looking at how to move house with minimum stress (with and without children!).

minimum stress practical guide to moving house with children stress trauma settling in survive new beginnings packing organising

 

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The first piece of advice would be to have a plan.  Being organised can really help in the build-up to the big day, obviously.

Know who needs to be where, doing what and when…

My next piece of advice would be to remain flexible!  With us, it was all planned out, pretty much to the minute.  Hubby had the day off work to move everything, using Dad’s van, Dad and Mum’s helping hands.  I was going to finish up early and meet hubby at our little girl’s school while she was at after school club, we were going to parent’s evening and then back to the old house to ease bribe the cats into their carriers (we couldn’t move them until that point because of moving things into the new house!).  Then it would be onwards to the new home for fish and chips, obviously.

And then hubby was struck down with acute appendicitis around a week before the moving date with strict instructions not to lift a thing!  It was all turned on its head and we had to make a plan b.

We didn’t know who needed to be where, doing what or when anymore…!

We had to build another thing into the equation.  Hubby had a doctor’s appointment to have his wound re-dressed, it was in the ‘old’ town where we moving from and the logistics were, frankly, laughable.

So, up we got on moving day at 5 am, looked around at boxes, and boxes and boxes of ‘stuff’, convinced ourselves that yes, we did really need to take it all and so the fun began (to coin a phrase Sam!)

Without boring you with the finer details of loading, plenty of ‘right said fred’ moments, managing all of 10 minutes to grab something to eat and getting our little girl’s bedroom ship-shape, we just about managed it between us.

  • Hubby got to his doctor’s appointment
  • We got to parent’s evening
  • We bribed the cats
  • We only went and bloomin’ well did it!

By around 9 pm, I sat down, looked at hubby and said words along the lines of, “what happened there then?!?!  I’m absolutely exhausted!!” – this is a family blog after all 😉

As a conclusion, I suppose the one thing to say about moving house with minimum stress is that anything can (and does!) happen, so be flexible and above all, have a sense of humour.  We moved with no chain, with no keys to handover at this point, no incoming occupier that same day and no one moving out of the new house.  It would’ve been an interesting post to write if the latter had been reversed 😉

Next week I’ll talk you through how to help your little one to settle into a new school with minimum stress … but for now I’d like to ask about your experience of moving house when you had to revert to plan b?  I’d love to hear in the comments below.

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“Look through the windows” ~ poem #WonderfulWorldofWriting

“Look Through The Windows”

As you read this poem, I believe that the words speak for themselves…

Wonderful World of Writing blog writing linky poem look through the windows and see demolition school learning knowledge

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Once upon a time someone took a brick,

Some cement and a trowel and then bit by bit…

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They stacked one brick, then two, then three bricks then four,

On top of each other and then took some more…

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They built some more walls until there were four,

Added a roof, some windows, a lockable door…

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The building was ready, but who had the key?

They looked at each other saying, “not you or me!”

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“How do you get in?” they wondered aloud,

And looked at the building standing tall and proud…

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Then someone came along with a book and a pen,

Opened the door and said, “Let’s get started then!”…

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And then there followed a sight to behold,

More people walked through the door, I am told…

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It was a doorway to learning, a place to strive,

To do your best, be your best from the age of about five…

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The adults were teachers at the school called “South View”,

Mr Price, Mrs Hoy, to name one or two…

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They had a yearning to teach all that they knew,

Mr Hunt, Mrs Croxford, South View grew and grew…

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Mrs Hucker, Mr Salton, the school was still growing

With a thirst for knowledge and appetite for knowing…

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Mrs Duckmanton, Mrs Molesworth and others no doubt,

My memory’s foggy, who have I missed out?

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Friendships were cemented, the knowledge was too,

Now the digger’s in the playground and the rubble is too…

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The skyline is changing, it’s a moment in time,

“Do not enter – demolition site” reads the sign…

Wonderful World of Writing blog writing linky poem look through the windows and see demolition school learning knowledge 2

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Now we look back but ahead to the future,

As the school welcomed a new Head called Miss Luter…

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And through the years we’ve seen staff come and go,

The school moved to a new site “as we learn then we grow”…

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It’s seen so much learning, this building half crumbled

“The end of an era” the old school has mumbled…

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But look through the windows not yet broken and see

Happy memories belonging to you and to me…

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By Carol Cameleon 2016

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Got some writing to share? Tweet your post direct to me @AllSortsHere using the #WonderfulWorldofWriting or #www hashtag and I’ll retweet!

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Learning a new life skill ~ Makaton sign language

Mr Tumble a.k.a. Justin Fletcher does it, our little girl’s school does it and now our little girl does it too.

No, they don’t all wear spotty dungarees and paint their noses red!

They all know Makaton sign language.

learning a new life skill and what it teaches us makaton sign language deaf communication

Shortly after our little girl settled at her new school, she began to greet us in the morning by saying and signing, “good morning”.  What a wonderful life skill to be able to master.  Along with her class, she also signed her way through her Christmas production.  Although she (thankfully) doesn’t have any issues with her hearing, learning this skill is teaching her so much.  At 6 years old, it’s a vital life lesson:

no matter what our abilities, we can all communicate with each other, we can all be included

Even more interesting, perhaps even more important at the age of 6 is that when she began signing at home, I asked her if there was a child in her class who couldn’t hear very well.  She didn’t know.  In other words, it’s not a big deal in the sense that no child(ren) has been singled out.  It seems it’s just being taught as a way of communicating.

Hubby and I absolutely embrace that our 6 year old is learning this skill and what it’s teaching her.  To encourage her even more, we’ve asked her to teach us how to sign now that she’s going to Signing Club.  Look out for a post soon to see if we’ve been doing our homework!…

What are your thoughts?  Has your little one been introduced to sign language?  Have you learnt to sign?

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The Minimum Stress Practical Guide to coping in a medical emergency

Welcome to my ‘Minimum Stress Practical Guide to…’ series of blog posts. After a complete rollercoaster of a few months when we had the stuffing knocked out of us, I decided to turn my journey into something positive.  Last week I addressed the subject of helping your child through bereavement.  This week I’m looking at how to cope in a medical emergency.

minimum stress practical guide to coping in a medical emergency stress trauma first aid hospital recovery

 

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It’s approaching midnight.  Our little girl is tucked up in bed and dreaming of fairies/princesses/being a vet/singer (or a singing vet – a blog post for another day!).  We’re tucked up in bed and I think I’ve just dozed off when hubby calls out, asking if I’ve just jabbed in the stomach.  Apparently it’s not uncommon for me to do this if he’s snoring!…

On this occasion though, I’m not guilty.  Hubby can’t get comfortable and says he’s in excruciating pain.  So when I ask him if I need to call an ambulance and he says, “not yet”… I know it’s not going away with painkillers alone.  Bearing in mind that we’ve just gone through the shock of a family bereavement, there are all sorts of scenarios vaguely flashing through my mind in my I-had-just-dozed-off daze!

So, after speaking to NHS direct and then the out of hours doctor, hubby is advised to go to the walk-in centre for further assessment.  It’s at this point that I ask if I should drive him because I don’t want him to get a taxi.  But our little girl was tucked up in bed oblivious (thankfully) and we didn’t want to stress her out with a post-midnight adventure.  So hubby drove himself slowly and promised to pull over and call 999 if it all got too much.

A short while later, hubby rang me – he had to go to A&E within the hour.  He had suspected appendicitis.  While he was driving home, I rang Grandma.  At gone 2 am, there’s no easy way of asking someone if they could possibly come over to babysit.  In the 30 minutes that it took her to shake the sleep from her head and drive over, I was grabbing a few overnight essentials for hubby.  I even managed to make our little girl’s packed lunch to save Grandma the job!  Funny how your mind works in an emergency…

…like making sure the ‘go-bag’ that you haven’t got ready to ‘go’ is packed with the essentials of toiletries, ipad and earphones to drown out the inevitable (often unpleasant) noise of A&E/ward.

…like making sure that while you’re driving, you go round the houses to avoid the speed bumps…

…like making sure that you’ve packed a couple of snacks for yourself because chances are you’re in for a long wait (eaten discreetly while hubby is nil by mouth of course!)…

…like making sure that when your hubby needs you most, you’re there for him when he dozes off while waiting for obs to be done in A&E…

…like making sure that the house still runs as it should the next day, including the school run, because the patient doesn’t need that added stress…

…like making sure you get an early night the next night, having been in A&E until gone 5am.  Because sleep is really not overrated and lack of it causes stress…

…like making sure that when your patient has their appendix out and are told they must rest up, recover and not lift a single thing… that you make sure they do just that.  Even if they are really not the words you want to hear when you’re about to move house! (grateful as I was that he was okay, obviously!)

With that in mind, next week I’ll talk you through how to move house with minimum stress (and a hubby who can’t lift a thing)… but for now I’d like to hear how you’ve coped in a medical emergency?

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How the seed was planted for my childen’s book series ~ The Friendly Little Trolls

I recently launched my ‘The Friendly Little Trolls’ funding campaign and now I’d like to share with you all how the seed was planted for my children’s book series…

The Friendly Little Trolls FLT Fizzle and Wizzle children's book series reading learning Long logo 300 dpi

My passion for writing, particularly in rhyme, has never left me.  Once I get in the flow, I often feel that there’s no stopping me!

‘The Friendly Little Trolls’ was much the same.  After countless occasions of reading to and with our little girl (6), not to mention the children’s books I read when I was younger, one day a little vision (a little seed) came into my head.

The Friendly Little Trolls Fizzle and Wizzle morals childrens stories books book learning educational kickstarter planted a little seed

There are 2 friendly little trolls,

Do you know their names?

Fizzle is the girl and she likes to play games.

She has fluffy pink hair which is curly wurly,

Fizzle the troll is very, very girly!

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So, there were the characters (or one in the rhyme above in any case).  I played around with the names for the Trolls and settled on Fizzle and Wizzle because like looking for a new home, the names just felt right.  Also, the idea was (and still is) that they zapped germs with a ‘fizz’ and a ‘wizz’.  A few of the other names just didn’t flow…

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The next stage in my creative process was the adventures they could have.  It was important to me that they couldn’t be seen by grown-ups and that they were friendly with a little bit of cheek thrown in for good measure :)

Seeing as my artistic abilities are generally limited to stick people (and I didn’t see Fizzle and Wizzle as stick people!), I approached an illustrator with my brief to create 2 friendly looking ‘trolls’.  It’s amazing how she just ‘clicked’ with my brief and created Fizzle and Wizzle (and other characters besides).  This was exactly what I was looking for and you can see one of her later illustrations on the front cover of ‘The Dentist’ book…

Fizzle and Wizzle The Friendly Little Trolls book series for children visit the dentist

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Let’s have a recap.  We have:

  • The initial idea, you could call it a ‘concept’
  • The stories in draft
  • The visual characters

Next, we have a plan which is all encompassing of a major project and too much to share in a blogpost.  I’d like to hold some of it back to keep a surprise element for future blog posts.

Although I will share that the first book in the series of 6 includes a ‘brushing teeth’ ditty :)

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I’d be interested to hear how this compares with writing projects that you’ve had or have on the go.  I found that F&W just clicked into place in the creative process.  It was difficult to stop the flow at times!  What have you worked on where the flow keeps flowing?

If you’d like to get involved, just follow this link.

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Give yourself a boost … relax with #TheZenZing

Welcome back to #TheZenZing, where I help you put the

zing back into your life.

This time I’m going to tell you how I’m getting a boost with a touch of colour.

#TheZenZing energising rejuvinate products benefits health wellbeing makeover colour confidence pamper boost
I’m a firm believer in external influences making you feeling ‘meh’ or ‘yay’!  And usually I’m pretty good at being positive but of late, I must admit that I’ve been needing a bit of a boost.  I put that down to our recent rollercoaster ride.
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I feel the need to point out here that this isn’t a sponsored post tucked between 2 others and this isn’t a post focussing on cosmetics that the majority of men (and some women) would probably overlook.  I’m not a beauty blogger and don’t intend to be.
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You see, I don’t often wear make-up (I find it quite pricey in all honesty – particularly for how much I wear it), I rarely wear nail varnish and as such usually flick through the Avon book absent-mindedly until I find one of the favourite non-cosmetic items that are on offer.
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However, this time around I stumbled upon some trial size lipsticks and something grabbed me.  I decided there and then that I needed a splash of colour, a bit of a boost.  I’ve found in the past that colour can really affect your mood. The truth is that I’ve got out of the habit of putting mascara or eyeliner on… until the last few weeks.  Now I needed a bright splash of colour and I was going to buy some trial lippys!
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I chose colours that I wouldn’t usually go near (although they don’t look very bright in the pic!)  When my friend handed me my bag with my order inside, I was all giddy!  I’ve even bought myself a proper lip brush so that I can apply it properly in the hope that it won’t have completely faded after my first de-caf!
#TheZenZing energising rejuvinate products benefits health wellbeing makeover colour confidence pamper boost lippys
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I’m very excited and will be choosing my 3 retail size  colours out of the 6 trials that I’ve got!  So far, I’m very impressed because as promised, it doesn’t ‘cake’ and glides on smoothly… I’ll tell you which ones I’ve chosen in a coming blog post :)
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In the meantime what do you use to give yourself a boost?  Do you consciously use colour therapy?  
I’d love to hear from you by way of comment (below) or tweet me @AllSortsHere and use the #TheZenZing hashtag.
Thank you :)
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This post is not sponsored or affilliated… I simply wanted to give myself a boost and wanted to share the love :)

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People won’t have time for you if… ~ #PositiveThinking

positive thinking law of attraction gratitude vibration focus grateful happy

… you are always angry or complaining.

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Hello and welcome back.  It’s time for more Positive Thinking.  We’ve recently been on a rollercoaster ride which could have left us angry and could have left us complaining. Admittedly at times, it did!  But aside from those ‘wallowing’ moments, we scrubbed up and got on with it, being grateful for all the things we did and still do have.

What positive, happy thoughts are you going to have today?

I’d love to hear from you. Tweet me @AllSortsHere using the hashtag #PositiveThinking.

Let’s create a virtual wave of positivity!

#PositiveThinking is my monthly blog linky and twitter party.

Join me on the last Sunday of each month ~ link up any blog post with a positive and happy theme (and it’d be great if you could copy my badge below into your post).  Perhaps your positive thought could be connected to a goal you have in mind, something funny you’ve heard or something funny you’ve seen.  If it’s got a PositiveThinking theme, it works for this linky.  Old or new posts, it doesn’t matter – link up as many as you like.  The linky opens at 0600 GMT on the last Sunday of each month and stays open until midnight the following Saturday.

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Also join me on twitter from 0900-2100 GMT on the last Sunday of each month.  Tweet anything positive and/or promote your positive blogpost (the one you link up!) with #PositiveThinking and include a direct tweet to me @AllSortsHere… I’ll share by retweeting.

Let’s get the positive vibrations going good and strong :)

And join me on the 1st of each month for #TheZenZing, putting the zing back into your life :)

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The Minimum Stress Practical Guide to helping your child through bereavement

Last week I told you briefly why there hasn’t been much going on in the Virtually All Sorts camp from a blogging perspective over the past few months. We’ve had the stuffing knocked out of us…

minimum stress practical guide to helping your child through bereavement stress trauma death survive

… but I’m turning my rollercoaster ride into something positive: a series of blog posts to hopefully help others who may be experiencing some of the same events, like a family bereavement.

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Yes, unfortunately, we recently had an unexpected family bereavement and all of mine and hubby’s energies have been focussed on keeping life as normal as possible for our little girl (who is now 6).

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Yet right at the beginning of this challenging event, we asked ourselves if ‘normal’ is good for our little girl.  At some point, we all have to experience grief.  At some point we all have to experience the rollercoaster of emotions: anger, sadness, shock, exhaustion… and so it starts all over again.

…but not too young, surely?

We asked ourselves: Do we simply tell her that someone has died?  Or do we use phrases like ‘gone to sleep’ or ‘passed away’?

We found the Marie Curie website really helpful and reassuring.  And we approached the subject in a black and white, simplistic, age-appropriate way.  So far it seems to have gone as smoothly as can be expected.  Of course, there have been emotional days when our little girl, “can’t stop,” her crying, to which we’ve told her that it’s her feelings finding their way out of her body and she must let them out by tears if they need to come out.

It’s heart-breaking to see her go through this, heart-breaking to go through it with her but vital that she must go through it, in equal measure.

 

Next week I’ll talk you through how to cope in a medical emergency… but for now I’d love to hear how you approached this sensitive subject with your little one?

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A novel book storage idea

When our little girl unwrapped a cushion from her Grandma and Pop for Christmas, she was really excited… and so was I!

Book cushion a novel book storage idea reading nook library organisation

Having been to a Christmas Fayre, my lovely Mum saw these brilliant cushions that double up as a novel book storage idea!

When our little girl saw that her cousin had a similar cushion, she was even more excited.

When she unwrapped 5 new Rainbow Magic books, she slotted a couple into the little pockets on her new cushion.

What a neat idea!

The cushion now flits between her reading nook and her bed, as do the cats most days.  I’m convinced that the cats enjoy a read when she’s not there!  She’s even been known to take it in the car with her over the Christmas break!

Our little girl chose to spend some of her Christmas money on a Rainbow Magic bookmark, which arrived just after Christmas.

What I love is that our little girl is being so very patient (mostly) because she’s pre-ordered another Rainbow Magic book for delivery in March…

Whereas I… well I haven’t got a lovely book cushion but I have managed to explore our new (to us) library and brought a couple of books home :)

To be perfectly honest, I was really disappointed with ‘Shadows of the Workhouse’ by Jennifer Worth.  Having devoured a couple of her other books, I had high hopes for this one but just couldn’t get past the first couple of chapters which seemed more like character studies than the interesting insight into history that I was expecting.

So I tried a different genre, recommended by Maddy at Writing Bubble.  This one is by Liane Moriarty ‘Big Little Lies’ and I am enjoying it.  It’s hard to put down and I’ll hopefully report back in a few weeks :)

 

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Introducing ‘The Friendly Little Trolls’ ~ a book series for children

The Friendly Little Trolls Fizzle and Wizzle morals childrens stories books book learning educational kickstarter planted a little seed

…after months of growing and picking out the weeds,

I checked them every day and tended to their needs…

My metaphoric plants have names, just like you and me,

They are Fizzle and Wizzle and are very friendly.

Welcome aboard, come on in and you will see… :)

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Hello lovely readers!  And a special mention to the lovely blog linkers that are reading this.  Namely the #WhatImWriting linkers.  Why an extra special mention for them?  Well, they are the ones who I kept in suspense with my F&W project.  I couldn’t reveal anything at the time but was so excited that I had to say something!…

And here I am, launching my F&W campaign on my blog!  Or ‘Fizzle and Wizzle’ as they are called in my series of books for children.  Yes, ‘The Friendly Little Trolls’ are ready to go, go, go :)

Fizzle and Wizzle The Friendly Little Trolls book series for children visit the dentist

I had the idea a good few years ago and that’s when I planted the metaphoric seed that I speak of in the little ditty above.  Having read to and with our little girl (now 6), I’ve had time to do plenty of research!  The result is my labour of love, my 6 books written in rhyme, my Little Trolls :)

The project was put on hold for the past few months because of my rollercoaster ride but now I’m more determined than ever to seize the day and just go for it!  If you’d like to learn more or get involved, just follow this link.

And here’s the little video for the funding campaign to show what I’m talking about 😉

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