We started our car search as our car was becoming more and more dangerous to drive. Our search had been going for months, sadly we were finding it hard to find a reasonable sized car for our family at a reasonable price.
In the end I turned to auto trader (https://www.autotrader.co.uk) which was the best decision I made. I saved 3 cars from the selection they gave me. Really didn’t think there would be one I would like. But my favourite was a 11 plate Citroen Picasso.
Ringing and speaking with a gentleman who was helping due to a family funeral. He was very friendly and as helpful as he could be on the phone, especially when I said if we were happy we wanted to collect on the Saturday.
We arrived on the Friday, to 2 very friendly staff members. We were passed the keys to have a look on our own, looking at the car and all it’s special features, I’d never seen something so smart. For someone that loves technology the thought of finally having a car with all this technology was exciting. But more than that, knowing we would finally have a car that would last us a few years and if we look after it right would run perfect.
Even more amazing it’s going to be cheaper to run! As a working class family, building a business and husband working as much as he could, this brought so much relief. Shaking hands on the deal and we transfer the money for this beautiful car, was exciting. But then our bank decided to put a push on security making us all worry that the money had disappeared into thing air. I rung and spoke to the bank, who lifted the security and sent the money through.
Even though Andy would of preferred to have the car valeted etc before we collected, but for us it was more important to have a reliable car.
If you follow us on YouTube, Facebook or anywhere else you will see we love playing games*. One of our favourite ways to play games is through cards. There are many different card games out there, so I’m going to explain our couple of our favourites. There will not be full rules of the games here, but if you do like the sound of them comment below and I will do a post on how to play that card game.
I don’t think there’s many houses that haven’t played this. But it is our favourite to play, also we find it a great way for Bella to look at numbers and make sure she recognises them. Also this game teaches our children to listen carefully to what the other person is requesting as they never know if they will pick that card out of the deck next or if they have asked from someone else in the group. This also helps their memory as they have to remember who they heard request for that card.
With many things in life we are taught the winner is the one to reach the finish line first. With Go Fish this is not the way to win. As you have to collect the most full same numbered set, so for example all the 8’s or all the 4’s. This means for a simple game of barely any rules apart from if you cannot be provided the card you have ask for off the player you have to collect from the deck. Or the simple rule of, if they request the card and you have more than one you have to give them all, this game has so many lessons with simple rules that most children can play. Well apart from the ones that don’t like to lose and we know who they are.
So Brag is a very old British games of cards and I love it!!! This game was what I grew up on, from being little I remember my mum and my aunties sat round the dining room table with their penny pots out putting the world to rights. There would be the rare argument, as with every family, but there would also be a lot of laughs and smiles. The children would be running around the house grabbing food, adults telling us to behave and most of all loads of fun. This game for me brings back so many treasured memories, didn’t matter how far we lived apart, or what family argument was going off, this game would bring us together.
This game is very similar to poker (yet, I cannot play poker) there is different levels for the order the cards can go in. The highest being a Prial which is the highest hand, this is 3 cards all of the same NUMBER not suite, so 3 queens or 2’s. The lowest is a high and this is any range of cards, regardless of suite or number. There are many different forms of brag, including chuck a card away to swap a card and you can play up to 15 cards, depending on the amount of players.
Does this game even need explaining, it has to be one of the first game any family plays and learns together. From using a deck of normal cards to the ones with the animals, to using the children’s own made cards. These are great fun for the family and teaches the children to be keep, ensure they are concentrating and to know what is the same. Again like go fish they have to wait to see who will be the winner.
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As you can tell by the title, I’ve been looking deeply at myself just lately. To be honest since this started and I’m slowly changing things about myself, the happiness has been rising. After reading another blog, sadly I cannot remember who wrote this amazing blog.
It made me look deeply at why our girls could have separation anxiety and is there a chance it started with Anth or myself. Well Anth like our girls is extremely comfortable being alone, apart from for sleeping. He is fine to be on his own, to be honest like Jennifer prefers it. The only one of our girls that does experience this is Bella, our youngest daughter. For myself it is very hard to see her this way when I am leaving her. But since removing her from school she has got a lot better, she will now stay at families houses and even go and spend time at friends houses.
Yet, your laughing, you know Amy Carney, you’ve seen her filming in the street, you’ve seen her acting stupid, you’ve seen her big mouthed. Yeah, a lot of this is covering my worries about how much I’m sweating, that I’m not out with Anth beside me, that the girls are not with me. The best way to think of separation anxiety is to look at a child with a dummy, when that dummy is not there they don’t know how to comfort themselves. Well, this is separation anxiety, for me it’s being separated from Anth, he is my protector.
Your now likely thinking that I had separation anxiety from a child, actually no! When I was younger my mum left me with my grandparents due to going through a rough patch after I was sexually abused. My grandparents gave me everything they could afford, but I was passed around the family so they could work. Now I’m older I can understand this, but knew this wasn’t the right way of bringing up children. As my girls got older I noticed similar things about them that I did, like talking a lot when they got chance, being in their rooms a lot and not sure when we were going to be around (asking questions like “is it our day with you mummy?”). When social services got involved, they confirmed what I knew in my heart.
For me though never having security when growing up I was always looking for someone I loved. Until meeting Anth and I never realised what love was, you may think that is why I don’t want to be away from him, but no. Then when our girls came a long all I wanted to do was protect them, but sadly I was never quite strong enough. Then there was Anth, “Amy said no, so that means no”, he became my backup.
Having always been on my own to stand up for myself and now there was someone else. When people tried to tell me it was in my head, he would listen to me and not say straight away “well I know what your like”. We would discuss how it made me feel and he would remember things that I’d forgotten. Then tell the person, “no that wasn’t how it was”. This did lead to behaviour of them trying to do it when Anth wasn’t around, I said to him “I don’t know what I did to deserve them being so cruel”, he would always pull me into his arms.
But he wouldn’t always tell me what I wanted to hear and would be truly honest with me. Being someone that has always only ever seen the bad in herself and would be loud as she just wanted someone to tell her she was a nice person. That could be hard, but he would always say that is why he loved me. This is when I realised my separation anxiety was more linked to my confidence and the fact he was the one that even though I did wrong, it’s ok someone is still going to love me. So when he leaves me even for work I wait for that day that he decides he has had enough of me going off my head for the smallest thing, his had enough of my proving someone is wrong, his had enough of my weird ways.
Yet, 15 years later and I still wait for the day he will walk out on me. This could all lead back to my blog about never feeling accepted because when you think about it that’s all we want from the people around and to be honest this is what makes social media dangerous. But then what are we doing for them children that in life don’t feel accepted. When they grow up if they didn’t meet the amazing man like I did they could end up in a lot of trouble. Because separation anxiety can make them feel like they are loved and cannot live without that person when it is not true.
Social services come under many names and depends what area of the UK you are from, it also depends on the department. So there is children services, this also includes things like the LA (Learning Authority) and EWO (Education welfare officer). These are the people that possible you have had contact with for schooling issues to do with your children. There is also a department called early help (Voluntary so you can opt out), these are also apart of the social service department.
In non urgent matters you are likely to get a phone call from the mash team, these will be to discuss what you have been referred to social services for. Due to a lot of misunderstanding of what home education looks like, and the fact a lot of people see it as a form of neglect there is a possibility that due to this you will get referrals. Referrals are nothing to worry about, they can be upsetting, especially if repeatedly done or if done by family and friends. But remember as long as your children are happy and you are ensuring they are in amazing health you have nothing to worry about.
In urgent matters the social worker will not even call, they will arrive at the door. If you are not home, there will be a letter left. This part is important, you must engage with them, if you do not they will see this as you have something to hide. This will also be the second step in non urgent matters, but they will not just arrive they will make an appointment. During this they will discuss with you the steps to move forward, this will depend on your attitude with them and whether you are showing them you are working in the best interest of the child/ren.
From the moment of first contact they have 6 weeks to decide the approach they are wanting to take. This could be that they will decided on doing a CIN (children in need) meeting or CIP (children in protection). CIN is where we were placed and this for us was because we were being made to feel guilty about the decision Social services wanted us to make. This meant we had to have a CIN meeting, this included all our children’s schools, health team, social workers, Anth and myself. Decision was made to further investigate the situation and some allegations that were made.
During this time they requested to speak with our children, for us this was not an issue. But that is because they respected that we wanted them to speak with Bella, whilst Jennifer was in the room. Jennifer and Jasmin they spoke together with them, they then noted everything down and discussed it with us. You are within your rights to ask for an advocate to be present to support yourself and the children at this time. If you refuse and fight against this, they may take this as the children know stuff they shouldn’t. For us there was many blood relatives that were saying that we were wrong to allow them to talk with the children. Our social worker admitted this worried them about what was happening and makes them want to speak with the children more.
They will then have different meetings over a time until they feel the children are your first priority. For us the last thing we had to do was agree Anth or myself would leave work and be at home with the children. This is now what we are doing, and we have ended up with our beautiful girls at home to, enjoying every moment with them. They will then have another CIN meeting to close.
Due to our children never being on CIP, it will be hard for me to advise. To be honest my understanding and knowing of people on this more often than not this doesn’t end well. We have known some children go into part foster care or full foster care, my advise would be work with them before this happens. As this is distressing for the child and parents.
Stood in the shop and a child is kicking off, adult is giving in to what the child requires. Eyes are rolling, “Well their making a rod for their own back” comments have started. The adult just wanting to hide in a hole, thinking why is my child always like this. There is always reasons for a child kicking off, if you check out my easier to blame the parent blog you will understand. This blog contradicts that one by the ever so slightly, but I am hoping to help parents see that a child isn’t a spoilt brat for no reason.
When I was little all I heard was, “what an awful child she is?”, “someone needs to give that child a slap”, “if that child was mine” and the most hurtful “will you just shut up for 10 minutes”. When you watch our YouTube channel you will see we have turned these terms into a less hurtful term. This is to ensure our girls don’t get offended by certain tones, but they know the tone when to actually stop.
When growing up we were giving holidays, clothes and days out, yet for us to get this family had to help to bring us up. My grandparents would work most days, only getting holiday or christmas time off. Then they would work shifts so as I got older their maybe weeks that I barely saw them especially, when they worked 2-10pm as I would see them for only half hour in the morning and that was it. My mum I would only see at weekends or school holidays and the rest of my time was spent with my uncle and auntie. So yes I had everything apart from someone to listen and my emotional needs would be put to a side and replaced with money.
I’m grateful for everything I got, but it was hard and has left a lot of effects by being classed as the spoilt brat, when all I wanted was someone to listen to me. There was a lot that confused me as growing up, being caught drinking in school and no one seemed to care. The acting out then got worse, caught fighting on many occasions, no one seemed to be bothered. Stopped eating food and wanting to be slimmer, a teacher finally realised I needed support and it was amazing.
I wish I could say that I have never made these mistakes sadly I can’t. Jasmin is my one that is taking after me, I try to listen to her as well as I can and that is key. She is the one that holds her heart on her sleeve and she gets this ripped often. For me to see any of our girls in pain is hard, as all I want them to do is have a better mental health life than I have. Saving them from many harms that I have had, there is still the fear of will they have any of it. Unlike some we will not lock them away and allow them to have as much fun as they can. Even now at Jennifer’s age we allow her to fly with friends, Jasmin will go around town with friends and Bella, well she never wants to leave me. No parent is perfect but my advice to anyone is put your child’s emotional needs before their financial needs.