At least she is believed.

Written by Emma. Posted in Uncategorized

Hypermobility syndrome, benign hypermobility syndrome, elhers danlos type three. Call it as you will, it is the silent illness, the hidden disability and I hate it. I struggled as a teen. I battled with joint pain, with low blood pressure, with passing out. I saw the look of disbelief in peoples eyes, I heard their whispers. I was ignored, not listened too.

Thankfully things seem to have a changed a little. My girls are hypermobile and they have that acknowledged by medical professionals. I wonder if Erin’s hip is to thank in an abstract way as that too is a sign of hypermobility in the extreme.

Chloe has always had growing pains, she was diagnosed with osgood slaters at age 8. I rubbed her legs as she grew and dosed her with calpol. In recent years she has broken. Broken ankle, metatarsals, fingers, suffered whiplash and aches and pains. Right now she is in pain.

Both wrists.

It hurts her.

Thankfully she is listened too and the GP quickly referred her back for more physio.  We saw a hand specialist who quickly identified how weak her wrists are, below expected and if you know Chloe, if you know my strong, athletic, county hockey player this may surprise you.  It surprised me.

Physio shows that at the moment they cannot begin exercises to strengthen her, she needs to get through the flare up and pain first.  She is wearing metal splints to help her heal, to help her rest.  It’s all abit rubbish.

But at least she is believed and listened to.

@_chloebradley_ rocking splints for a few more weeks #hypermobility

A photo posted by Emma Bradley (@emmaand3) on

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Do you know what computer games your child is playing?

Written by Emma. Posted in Uncategorized

Really interesting research has come out of  Game this week and as it is the prime buying season I think that it is a timely reminder to be aware of the implications of gaming.  We are raising a generation of children that have been born playing consoles and having an online existence from a very young age.  Many children are more aware of games and consoles than their parents.  My own gaming experience came from a spectrum zx and chuckie egg on the old BBC computer.  Hardly comparable to today’s plethora of consoles and games available.

Whilst there are many great things about gaming and there are great games for children of all ages I was surprised that many parents are not aware of PEGI ratings.  We have many devices  in our home and it is definitely Dylan who is the most attached to gaming.  I think it is a boy thing and whilst girls are often influenced by teen magazines and the media I think games are the boys equivalent.

GAME  have introduced a GAME Junior area on both the website and in store to help consumers know what is age appropriate, this is a great move in my mind especially when faced with the following points:

1. Nearly half are unsure what to buy – meaning the purchasing power lies with the children

2. 40% make excuses not to play games with their children

3. Parents who play video games with their kids are more likely to see the benefits compared to those that don’t who feel more cautious

To give that power back to parents, and alleviate concerns that most families can relate to, GAME have worked with family gaming expert Andy Robertson on a video which gives advice on how to manage gaming in the home.


How we manage responsible gaming:

1. Dylan is allowed to play but we have agreed time sessions.

2. There must be an hour switch off before bed, otherwise he struggles to relax before bed.

3. No games are to be played that are not PEGI suitable.

4. We do not use any online features at his age.

5. At weekends we ensure that Dyl plays outside (he plays football Saturday mornings anyway.  This is a challenge as he would often prefer to spend the day gaming.

6. Line up other activities, we find that if there is something else to do he will gladly join in, but if nothing is on hand he would ask to game.

7. Dylan always has to ask to turn on the Xbox.

8. We do chat about the games and he knows that he has to be responsible.  to be fair he only really plays Fifa!! He is football obsessed!

I would be really interested to know what your house rules are on gaming as I do think it is an issue.  Do you let your children play games that are older than the PEGI ratings?  It seems some of Dylan’s friends do as the parents don’t see it as a behaviour influencer.

However as a teacher I am very aware of how the media affects us.  I think gaming can desensitize children or give them a distorted view of reality, therefore it our responsibility as parents to moderate what they play.

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First half term reflections.

Written by Emma. Posted in Uncategorized

Half term is nearly upon us and for us as a family,  this past half term has been very different to what we are used to.  Not only did I leave the hum drum of teaching to have a go at freelancing and working from home, but Erin started school.  Everyone knows how much I worried about Erin staring school and on some fronts I was right but like everything Erin has approached the term with determination and guts.

She is tired, like utterly exhausted tired.  So tired that weekend naps on the sofa with a blanket have returned and at times putting each foot in front of the other is a challenge.  We have had enough notes in her book bag about trips to Mr Bumps room whilst she attempts to run around the playground and keep up with her new found best friends. I have resorted this week to driving her to school just because she is so tired and she complains of leg pain.  When walking I can feel that I am dragging her along.  We still walk home as I enjoy the fresh air and we can take our time.

I have watched both Chloe and Dylan learn to read but I cannot remember them being as keen as Erin is.  Maybe it is a result of being the third child, maybe it is because she is older in the school year with her birthday next month, who knows!

Phonics have started and she is in the stage of sounding out words and making up rhymes.  She is constantly calling out to us from other rooms when she has thought of yet another word beginning with ‘t’ or ‘a’.  Yesterday Lee was greeted at the door by an eager Erin who wanted to share that she can blend.

On the walk home from school she had blended ‘sat’ ‘pat’ and ‘tap’ , she bubbled with enthusiasm.

As Lee scooped her up in his arms she told him she can read and immediately sounded out ‘P i s’ You could see her blending as she said the sounds faster.

Dylan’s attention was grabbed as he watched her with a smile forming around her lips.  We all went silent as we waiting.  There was no stopping her as she shouted ‘Pis’ into her daddy’s face.

Dylan’s shoulders were shaking as he stifled the laugh that had built up in his belly and both Lee and I kept a straight face as we said that no, unfortunately that wasn’t a word but what did ‘t a p ‘ blend.

Working from home and Erin’s enthusiasm to learn is wonderful.  We are having a few tears when I leave her each morning but a sticker chart with the promise of a lolly if she achieves stickers has meant that today there were no tears.  The first half term is nearly done and it has been quite successful all around!


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Taking dad to Grand Designs LIVE!

Written by Emma. Posted in Uncategorized

Last Friday I zipped up the motorway to Birmingham to the Grand Design Live Show at the NEC.  I like watching the TV show and often dream of how I would have an amazing home if I won serious money.   I mean I love my home now – but if money was no issue there are other plans I would make! I took my dad with me as he is a man of all trades and loves nothing better than designing and mooching about looking at homes and interiors.  This is the man afterall, that drew the plans and built my above garage extension he then went on to do the the plumbing, electrics and everything else.  He is very talented.  He did make me promise not to let him near any section that encourages you to build your own home from a scratch and a kit as he just doesn’t have the time or the land to do it!

We arrived and liked that everything was split into zones with similar products grouped together.  We first wandered through the food and home areas which were full of new products and dad even gave a powerplate a try out!  As driver I also watched dad whilst he got to sample some toffee flavoured vodka!

Grand designs

Afterward snacking on plenty of samples of cheese we went to have a look at the new inventions section.  There were some beautiful designs from cars, to lamps and taps.  Dad being dad did point out that although the tap looked shiny and was very clever he did point out to me just how many things could go wrong with a tap that had so many wires and tricks!  Typical dad ever the practical!

I adored this light fitting and really want it in my lounge which I hope to decorate next year.


By then I was searching for coffee and thankfully British Gas were on hand not only giving great advice about smart meters and being more environmentally friendly they were also making coffee!  They had a great lounge area where you could rest for a while and just chat with their team.

Grand designs 2As we looked in the interior section I was glad I didn’t have Dylan and Lee with me as there were some beautiful dining tables that sswiveled to become high quality snooker tables.  Anyone that knows my boys knows just how much they would want this!  Thankfully I also found the massage chairs where I could have stayed for hours had I not needed to get back to pick up the children from school!

Going to the show was a great day out, it was inspiring and makes me think about what I’m buying when I win the lottery!


Disclosure:  I’d like to thank British gas for the complimentary tickets.


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