Trying out the S+ by ResMed, A New Sleep Tracking System

I used to be a fantastic sleeper, I would go to bed and fall asleep pretty much straight away. Then I had children and my quality of sleep took a nose dive. Since then I've had some good nights and some terrible but I always feel better when I've had a good night's sleep. The problem with that is how do you get a good night's sleep?

There are lots of devices out there at the moment that monitor your sleep and can give you information about how well you slept. Some you have to wear during the night, others are simply apps on your phone. Out of the ones I've tried none of them have helped me work out how to sleep better.

Enter the S+ by ResMed, a new device you don't have to wear, that features patent-protected SleepSensor technology. It monitors every stage of your sleep patterns and makes it possible for you to analyse and improve your sleep at home. 



Over the last few weeks I've been trying out the S+ and I've been keeping a sleep diary to help me work out if the device is working.


5 Outfits I Like To See The Hubby Wearing

When getting dressed every morning there are certain outfits you love right? You have your favourites, as does your other half. You may or may not agree with your partner's choice in clothes but most of the time it doesn't matter. If you had the chance though, how would you dress your partner?

I had a think about it and came up with 5 outfits I like to see the Hubby wearing.





1. A great suit




Nothing screams sexy like a good suit. Black trousers, black jacket, a crisp white shirt, and a tasteful tie. I love the James Bond (think Daniel Craig) movies because all the best characters wear suits. It may not be practical day-to-day wear but I love seeing the Hubby wearing a suit.


Coping with Chicken Pox

Since last Thursday LP has had chicken pox, he's been uncomfortable, tired, coughing and sneezing, and sleeping. It's been a while since I had to cope with chicken pox, BP was just two years old when he caught it and it was so easy.

BP slept the majority of the time and he didn't get many spots, it was easy to cope with and as a result I was lured into a false sense of security! 



When LP caught the chicken pox I thought it would be just as easy, he'd sleep a lot of the time, I'd give him paracetamol and it would be a breeze.

What I Read Break

With it being Easter Weekend and LP having chicken pox I am exhausted. At night I'm up numerous times trying to console an uncomfortable LP and during the day I'm finding it hard to get the motivation to do anything but take care of LP. That's why I've decided to take a week's break from What I Read. 



Things are far too hectic and I need to concentrate on my boy right now. What I Read will be back next week as usual. 

Post Comment Love 25 - 27th March 2016

Welcome back to another Post Comment Love and I just wanted to say how much I love hosting this brilliant linky. I get to read your fab posts, comment, and share them and I get to learn more about you. That's what makes hosting so great!

Yesterday I got up, as I would usually do, all ready to get the boys off to school on time. On Wednesday evening LP had gone to bed early because he wasn't feeling well and I ended up giving him some medicine in the middle of the night too. I was hoping he would get over it fast but he didn't want to get out of bed yesterday and I felt really guilty about making him get up but I had to make sure he was ready for school.

What You Need To Know About Chicken Pox

Last night LP went to bed early, he'd been coughing and sneezing most of the day and he was complaining about having a headache. At 7:20pm he chose to go to bed (his bedtime is 8pm) and he was asleep within minutes. 

He didn't want to get up this morning and was still coughing. When he got out of bed he said he wanted to show me some spots he'd got because they were "annoying" him. At first it didn't dawn on me but as I examined his body and spotted more spots on his back I realised he had Chicken Pox.

LP is almost 7 (his birthday is in two weeks!) and I'd been hoping he would get chicken pox before he got any older. BP had it when he was 2 and he slept through the worst part of it, I'm not sure how LP will cope, only time will tell.


About Chicken Pox


Chicken Pox is a common childhood illness and is most common in children under 10. The rash presents as small fluid-filled blisters that can be itchy.

chicken pox blister


It is usually contracted during Winter and Spring, particularly between March and May.

A child who has chicken pox is infectious from 1-2 days before the rash appears until all the blisters have crusted over, usually 5-6 days after the start of the rash. 

You should keep children off school/nursery until all the blisters have crusted over.


When to see a GP


GP/Doctor





You shouldn't need to see a GP about chicken pox as it usually clears up by itself but you should seek the advice of a GP if:

-  The blisters become infected
-  Your child complains of chest pains or has difficulty breathing





Who is at special risk?


-  Pregnant women
-  Newborn babies
-  People with a weakened immune system

Chicken Pox is a mild illness but anyone with it should avoid places where they could come into contact with people with a weakened immune system (pregnant women, people having cancer treatments, taking steroid tablets).


So over the next week or so I'll be dealing with chicken pox, luckily everyone else has had it so we all have immunity. Poor LP however is going to be feeling rough for a few days.

I have a stash of paracetamol and am going to buy some calamine lotion if we need it. Supermum mode has been activated and I'm currently writing a blog post while monitoring/entertaining LP and cooking lunch!!

Isn't it amazing what we manage to cram in when we have to?

Stuffed Crust Pizza The Easy Way

Pizza Hut's stuffed crust pizza is one of the best takeaway pizzas there is but it is also expensive. If you were a whizz in the kitchen you could probably make your own, but alas I'm not so I turn to others to do it for me, and that's where Tesco come in. They can help me make my own stuffed crust pizza, the easy way.




Tesco sell a pre-made stuffed crust pizza base that you add your own toppings to and bake at home. It's not as big as a Pizza Hut pizza but it's just right to share.

Top 10 TV Detectives

I love watching a great murder mystery, whenever a new Detective series is announced it always piques my interest. I'm great at solving the mysteries too (even if I do say so myself), more often than not I'll know 'whodunnit'.

As I love detective series so much I thought I'd put together a list of my favourite TV Detectives, so here are my top ten, in reverse order.

10. DCI Tom Barnaby Midsomer Murders



If you're after an easy watch without much tension at all then Midsomer Murders is for you. There's always something suspicious going on in the county of Midsomer. DCI Tom Barnaby is on hand to solve the murder with calm and collected thinking.




9. Jane Tennison Prime Suspect



Helen Mirren played the strong female character in the main role, I loved Prime Suspect - I have the box set. Jane Tennison is assertive, intelligent, and forceful (at times), as she battles sexism in her profession. She is one of the first female detectives and I loved watching her matter-of-fact approach to case solving.




8. DCI Lewis Lewis



After Inspector Morse dies Lewis becomes DCI and takes over as the lead. The series, now called Lewis, is similar to Morse but with a modern (sometimes) twist. With Sergeant Hathaway's help Lewis solves the mysteries surrounding murders in Oxford. Lewis is a dad, which I thought was great, and he's 'normal', he didn't attend Oxford university but is still intelligent (proving to us all that you don't need a fancy university to be clever).




7. Inspector Morse Morse



Although the series is a lot slower than its modern spin-off I loved Morse. Inspector Morse was an intelligent man who liked his cryptic crosswords and would often use them to help him solve his cases. He always came across as snobbish but occasionally showed sympathy. Morse wasn't a series with a lot of action but it was always entertaining.




6. Special Agent Hank Schrader Breaking Bad



Hank Schrader is the main Detective character in Breaking Bad who tries to solve the various drug cases in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From drug related 'hits' to the new 'blue stuff' on the market Hank is eager to solve the mystery. He encounters dangerous drug lords and suffers as a consequence of his brother-in-laws antics. Hank Schrader is brash and conceited but also shows a softer side (sometimes) when it comes to his wife and family. I started out not liking Hank much but towards the end of the series I was rooting for him.





5. Lester Freemon The Wire


When I first watched The Wire most of it went over my head, I struggled to follow the stories and didn't enjoy it much, that is until later on, series 2 and 3 were definitely better. Lester Freemon starts out as a quiet man who sits in a corner building dolls house figurines and furniture but as the seasons progress Lester becomes a bigger part of the story revealing that he is in fact very intelligent. Not only that but he is older than the other detectives and so has experience and contacts that help him.





4. Jimmy McNulty The Wire



Although Jimmy McNulty is an alcoholic, annoys his bosses, and generally messes up everything in his life, he is an intelligent man. He knows how to talk to people (some of the time), he has compassion, and genuinely cares. Despite his constant issues with his bosses he still manages to solve cases. Jimmy McNulty is played by Dominic West, I had no idea he was British until I saw him in on a talk show!





3. Sherlock Holmes Sherlock


I don't know what it was about this show that I loved so much because I usually don't like the Sherlock shows. With the current one though, with Sherlock being played by Benedict Cumberbatch, appealed. I haven't watched all of them yet but I do enjoy them, especially when Sherlock goes off on a tangent when he's meeting someone for the first time.





2. Jack Frost Frost


I always love watching Frost, we have all the box sets and we've watched all 14 series lots of times. I can't even remember how many times! The thing I love about Jack Frost is his attitude, he's tenacious, intelligent, and straight-talking. He doesn't claim to be better than anyone else, he cares about his co-workers (at the same time as ordering them about!), and he always gets his bad guy.





1. Leiutenant Columbo Columbo



My all-time favourite detective has to be Columbo. With his "just one more thing", the clever ways he traps the criminals, and his general attitude Columbo is, without doubt, the best TV Detective EVER! He drives an awfully old car, has a wife who you never see, and always catches the killer. The thing I love most about the Columbo series is you always know who did it. There is always that classic "oh please let me know how the investigation gets on", and as soon as they say that I'm sure Columbo knows they did it. Starring fantastic actors like Dick Van Dyke, Leonard Nimoy, Faye Dunnaway, Honor Blackman, and of course Peter Falk as Columbo, it will always be my favourite TV Detective Series.

Who is your favourite TV Detective?

What I Read 42

It's Sunday, and you all know what that means right? Yep, it's time for some sharing. I've read some great posts lately and am sure you'll love them too so let's get on with What I Read.

What I Read 42 - badge



Cardiff Mummy Says
As a blogger you may come across some strange attitudes, parenting bloggers are often looked down on. I have no reason for this other than jealousy, I mean we get to do what we love and still stay at home to take care of our children. On this subject though I loved reading Cardiff Mummy's post Why do people look down on parent bloggers? In the post she gets views from other bloggers too and it's a great read.

Post Comment Love 18th - 20th March 2016

It's time for Post Comment Love again and I can't wait to see your brilliant posts this week. So many of you continue to link up every week and Stephanie and I are grateful to each one of you.


The chore list is still going strong, and my house is getting tidier and tidier, I'm liking it!

As for everything else, because the house is so tidy I feel more motivated to write and am getting lots of posts drafted. Always a good thing! I enjoy getting the majority of a post written before I want to post it because I have time to go back and edit if I think it needs it. Also it gives me a chance to think about the topic a little more.



We've been enjoying some family time over the last week with board games (Ingenious, on of our favourites pictured above) and the boys are still enjoying playing with the drone outside. LP loves it at the moment because the lighter nights are coming which means he can play outside when he gets home from school. He's been waiting for so long for this to happen and he's fully taking advantage of the light. For a few days now he's been out until dusk and complained when I called him in.

Why You (and your kids) Should Be Listening to They Might Be Giants

If you haven't heard of They Might Be Giants first let me educate you, because you need to know who they are before you learn why you (and your kids) should be listening to them right?

Formed in 1982 by John Flansburgh and John Linnell, They Might Be Giants is an alternative rock band, but don't be put off because more recently they've been known for their children's music and TV/movie theme music.

One of their songs I'm absolutely certain you will have heard (if you're of a certain age) is Birdhouse in Your Soul.




I remember loving that song when I was a kid!

So why do I think you should be listening to them?

The Importance of Eating Breakfast Together

How often does your family sit at the dining table at breakfast time?

Given how hectic mornings can be this was never a priority for me, I just wanted to feed the boys and hurry them along, getting them ready for school. I'd let them sit in front of the TV, watching Pokemon or some other nonsense while they ate their toast, and then once finished I'd nag them to death to make sure they weren't late for school.

This routine resulted in lots (and lots) of arguments. BP didn't like switching off his TV in the middle of a programme, LP didn't want to move from the sofa, there was always something, some reason for "5 more minutes".

A plaque that says "Good Morning, Let the stress begin..."








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Each morning before the boys got up I would sit and have my breakfast, I'd watch BBC News, find out what was going on in the world, and drink a hot coffee. Once the boys were up my relaxing morning was over and it was time to get started rushing around.

All the arguments, and horrible mornings got me thinking "there must be a better way".

And there is...


Have a morning routine.


Over the last few weeks I've got up at 6:30am, done some chores, and woken the boys (all of them, including the Hubby) up at 6:50am. At that point they have 10 minutes to get out of bed, I have breakfast ready for them by 7am. 

At 7am we all sit down in the lounge, with BBC News on the TV, and eat breakfast. 


Brown leather sofa, in our lounge


We *could* sit at the dining table but I think we're all still waking up at this time so it probably wouldn't work very well.

Sitting together, eating breakfast, while watching the news has had a surprising effect on our mornings.

For a start BP has said he enjoys watching the news, something I never thought I'd hear him say. A few weeks ago we ended up having a discussion about the EU referendum. It was a lovely talk and I was pleased because I felt like he was actually listening to us.

LP isn't quite as interested (he is only 6) but he does comment on some things he hears, like the weather. He spotted Nottingham on the map once and got all excited because that's where we live! It was quite amusing.

Some mornings we sit, watch the news, and don't discuss anything but I think the point is that we're all together enjoying breakfast. If the boys want to talk they can, if not they don't have to.

The other thing is that they're seeing what goes on in the world.

People may disagree with me allowing my children to watch the news, after all there can be scary stuff on there, and it's real. But for me that's the point, it's all real, they can ask all the questions they need to. I don't want to keep the real world from them.


Our new morning routine has had a great effect on the boys and as long as we keep it up I think things are only going to improve.

I'm looking forward to more interesting discussions with my boys over breakfast.

Linked to Weekend Blog Hop


Life Love and Dirty Dishes

Blogger Showcase 5 El from The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback

Being a writer at heart I feel an instant connection to other writers, whether they're bloggers or novelists or authors. Someone's writing I fell in love with is El, from The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback. She has a unique style that is entertaining and engaging, but don't take my word for it, here's El...



The Secret File of Agent Spitback


Blog Name : The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback

What I Read 41

Welcome back for another What I Read, this week back to regular programming after last week's roundup.






Zaz wrote a brilliant post about loving yourself, about how we need to be kind to ourselves before we can love others. I couldn't agree more and making time for yourself, time be alone or just enjoy things for yourself is really important. Please check out A love letter - send love to you.


Post Comment Love and Newbie Showcase 11th - 13th March 2016

Welcome to another week of Post Comment Love and Newbie Showcase, I hope you're all looking forward to linking up, reading posts, and 'meeting' our newbie!

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This week we're still using our chore lists and they seem to be doing the trick, the house has been fairly tidy all week, something that is unheard of here! The boys come in from school, do homework, get on with their chores, and then play their games. Some of the complaining has even stopped, some... not all.


cleaning products in a tub


My chores are getting done too, again something unheard of! I am glad to have my list, it reminds me of the things I need to do and sometimes I can skip things because they've already been done. 

It might sound boring going on about a chore list but it is quite exciting for me, I've never really been able to keep up with all the housework, I'm just too lazy for that. This chore list is making my house tidy, turning it into a place I don't mind people seeing if they just 'drop by'. 

I used to hate when people did that, I never had the time to tidy up before they arrived, but now it's okay because the house is at least respectable most of the time. 

But here I am going on about cleaning, again, gosh you'll all start to think that's all I talk about! 

Another new obsession of mine is flowers, I've recently found that buying them and putting them in my house is making me happier. It brightens up the place, particularly when the sun is hiding behind rain clouds. I live in quite a dark house, it doesn't get much natural light in places, so having some flowers around is lovely. I even bought a new vase for them to go in!

Peach and white roses with pink flowers


Have you made any changes at home recently that are making your life easier?


Newbie Showcase Katie from Mummy in a Tutu

Katie, who blogs at Mummy in a Tutu


Hey everyone, I am Katie and I write the blog Mummy in a Tutu with my daughter Alyssa. I was so pleased to be invited to feature in #POCOLO this week. For those of you who haven’t seen me around, Mummy in a Tutu focuses on Lifestyle, Parenting, Food, Vegetarianism and a whole lot more. I am fairly new to the blogging world, as I am only 4 months young, but completely addicted hook line and sinker and couldn’t imagine not doing it now! I have had some great highs in the past few months and they have come from some of my favourite posts: “Personal Ad: Blogger Seeks Tribe!” “Get Your Boob Out...No Wait!” “My Soulmate: The One I Loved & Lost,” “Please, Don’t Take My Baby!” and so many more. They haven’t always been easy to write but publishing them has felt amazing every time. 

The blog Mummy in a Tutu


Thanks so much for making me your newbie this week... #linkysrock!

You can find Katie here:


Katie has started a new Live Chat group for people looking to make friends online, it's called #TribalChat. Every Tuesday at 8-9pm she invites you to join in and make new friends, find her here: http://www.mummyinatutu.co.uk/#tribal-matters/yc1dl. She also has a Facebook page and a private WhatsApp chat group. Be sure to check it out!

Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked. The rules are still the same; your post needs to have been written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

The Newbie Showcase is continuing and you'll find it alternating between us. Please do pop over and say hi to our Newbie, you remember what it was like being a new blogger right? It's always nice to get a comment or two.

If you'd like to be featured in our Newbie Showcase please do get in touch - our list currently runs until June 2016.

Thank you for popping by.


I also wanted to give a shout out for my dear blogging friend Catie, who blogs at Diary of an Imperfect Mum. She's started a new linky called #FamilyFun and she'd love you to join her! The linky runs from 6am Thursday to 12pm Saturday. Please do pop over and check it out.


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A Car Ride, Music, and Joy

Every weekend we travel for more than an hour in the car to see family. Since the beginning of the year we've spent a lot of hours in the car and it can get dull. Recently though, with me trying to keep joy in mind, I've noticed the special, joyful things about those car rides, things like our love of music.

The Hubby and I love all different kinds of music, ranging from Rock to Classical. I can quite happily listen to the Sunset Boulevard soundtrack, then switch to Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP2 (not while the boys are around though). With all the travel we've being doing we listen to a lot of music, it helps with the boredom.

What I've noticed recently though is that our love of music is contagious and the boys are starting to enjoy a wide range too. 


Early Influences




Our boys' music education started early on, like while they were growing in my tummy.

When I fell pregnant with BP everyone thought that by playing Mozart to the baby would make them smart. I thought I'd try it, I mean what could I lose right? He responded to it really well and began to recognise the music, he would even kick when I played it.

With LP I didn't have the time to sit and play music for him because I had a 4 year old at the time too. Instead LP was exposed to nursery rhymes, TV programme music, and our voices.

As babies they both got to listen to classical music while they fell asleep. We rigged up a player so they could listen to gentle music to fall asleep to and I think it helped them settle easier. By twelve weeks old they were both sleeping through the night (at least 6 hours), without interruption.


Current Influences


Throughout the years our boys have been exposed to all sorts of music. What kind of music we play really depends on what mood we're in. 



From Meatloaf to Ella Fitzgerald, from Mozart to Jean Michel Jarre, and everything in between. My boys have listened to a lot of music, some they enjoy, others not so much. They're not big fans of Michael Bublé (I blame their dad! Yes Hubby I mean YOU!), although LP does love the Spiderman song.



When we were in the car a few weeks ago we were playing one of our jazz playlists that I particularly enjoy. On the list is a track from The Talented Mr. Ripley soundtrack entitled Tu Vuo' Fa L'Americano, it's sung in Italian (I think) and it is one of my favourites because it reminds me of the movie. 

Anyway, this song came on as we drove along a particularly boring road. The great thing was the boys began singing along, in Italian-ish. They love the chorus and really try their best to sing along with it. They both sang at the top of their voices with giant smiles on their faces, and I grinned.

You see it was in this moment that I realised that we have influenced our children in a good way. We've taught them that there's a wide range of music to be enjoyed.

My boys singing their own version of that song made me laugh and filled my heart with such joy. 

It really is the smallest things that can bring you the biggest joy.

Linking to:

Lovin' Life Linky

Post Comment Love

A Bit Of Everything

Time Together Alone

Last weekend the Hubby and I got to spend some quality time together, alone. The kids were staying with my sister, for 2 nights (!), so we tried to take advantage of our time together.

time-together-alone-pin


Usually when the kids are away for a night or two we end up being lazy and watching movies all day, or just lazing around the house doing nothing. While it's okay to do that occasionally we thought this time we would actually do something.