Period Charity Project

Last year at school Miss B learned about periods and as a naturally curious 9 year old she asked me lots of questions. I believe in being open and honest with kids so I answered everything that she asked and tried not to be too graphic. We have looked at towels, tampons, liners and she knows where they are kept incase she needs them. We also talked about personal hygiene and how important it is especially as her body is growing and developing.

I was alerted to a Glasgow based charity who are working with and supporting homeless woman and doing amazing work. One of the projects they are running is a Period Friendly Program, helping woman in a homeless situation to regain their dignity and provide them with sanitary products, help, support and information. I was sent some information on what they are doing which I have put below, PLEASE take the time to read it, I would love if the woman being helped felt comfortable enough to talk to someone, anyone, the way Miss B feels able to talk to me. They need help, support and care, not judgement.

The crux of it is that you can help in one of two ways, the first is by donating some money to help the Simon Community provide much needed products. A 5 day period pack costs £15 and includes; 5 towels, 12 tampons, 3 pairs of pants, travel wipes, disposal bags, information and advice. If you want to provide that level of support to a woman in need and donate £15 today then please text PFPR28 to 70070 with the amount you want to donate – £5 or £10. I’ve donated and will forego my McFlurrys for a month and you all know how much I love those!

The other way you can help is with time. I know most people have very little free time, but I’m hoping that now Miss C has started nursery I will be able to spare a few hours a month to help out.

If you have a couple of hours to spare a month or a week they need their P.F.Pals to do the following:

  • Visit the period friendly points and restock their supplies
  • Collect and sort donations into Pax and refresher packs at our warehouse in Glasgow
  • Help raise funds and products to maintain the period friendly points and pax.
  • Support, promote and raise awareness of the issues homeless women experience.
  • Be a listening ear and a support to the women we reach out to.

Go check them out here

About the Project

Every year the Simon Community supports over 500 women experiencing homelessness. Their journey to being out on the street more often than not, begins before they are even 10 years old. Their experience of trauma often leads to substance misuse, high risk behaviours, mental health and physical health problems. The trauma they experienced as a child can be replayed through domestic violence, sexual violence and exploitation. It’s no wonder the life expectancy of a women on the street is 43. The Simon Community reach out to women through their street team in Glasgow, they provide gender specific services that support women to recover their lives and emergency accommodation to help them be safe and off the street. Launching a Period Friendly program against this background might seem like a drop in the ocean but it’s always been about more than free sanitary products. It’s about dignity, about people and services that listen, understand and care enough to do something a little extra. No woman should ever have to make her own tampons, wear the same pants for a week or change behind a bin. The Simon Community believe that the smallest bit of generosity can go a long, long way.

In order to give these women the support they need, Simon Community Scotland are launching a new project on the 23rd August 2017 in Glasgow called Period Friendly Point (PFP) which supports homeless women to have a period of dignity.

It works like this – the Period Friendly Points (PFPs) are locations that are catered specifically for the homeless. However, it is hoped over time that more organisations e.g. coffee shops, will want to become a PFP themselves. The PFPs will have a bespoke display containing free and easily accessible sanitary products, wipes, pants and disposable bags, along with information leaflets to assist the women with using the products. Pregnancy tests and infection tests will be on hand to give the women peace of mind – often homeless women don’t live a healthy lifestyle so their period may stop or become irregular. As well as this, it’s been researched that around one in four female rough sleepers have been sexually assaulted which can also lead to pregnancy queries.

In the PFPs the women will have the opportunity to chat to any member of staff about any issues or queries they may have or if they simply fancy a chat. Simon Community have found that homeless women in particular often didn’t have anyone to talk to about periods and feminine care when they were younger due to institutional care and traumatic childhood. Therefore the women tend to be very closed and embarrassed about the topic so they want PFP to be that level of care and support that they have missed out on, Simon Community believe no woman should have to go through their period without having someone to talk to. These PFPs can be identified by stickers of the 28-day calendar logo being placed on windows, doors, walls of a fully functioning PFP!

In addition, Simon Community’s Street Team will be handing out Period Friendly Pax – these are discreet and compact bags, specifically designed for women sleeping rough, containing: tampons, towels, pants, wipes and disposable bags. These bags can be refilled by our Street Team or at their nearest PFP. There will be a small card in these bags explaining to the women what the project is about and where the PFPs are located.

Simon Community believe this project can change the lives of many women. Women experiencing homelessness already have to deal with lack of sleep, no access to cleaning facilities, an unsafe environment and lack of food & drink. You’d think this couldn’t get much more challenging, but then her period comes.

Simon Community Scotland facts from recent study:

  • 78% didn’t know how long a tampon should be kept in for
  • 61% have had to go without sanitary products multiple times – instead used newspaper, toilet roll and old rags
  • 70% of women have never spoken to anyone before about their period and don’t even know what a period is.

These figures show exactly the need for a project like Period Friendly Point.

**Period Friendly Point isn’t just about providing free sanitary products, it’s about providing people that are willing to listen, care and understand. **

Period Facts!

  • On average a normal cycle lasts 28 days and a period lasts on average 5 days.
  • You should not keep a tampon in place for more than 8 hours
  • If your passing large clots, bleeding between cycles, soaking your tampon/pad two hourly or seeing dramatic changes in your period you should see your GP.
  • The Average women will spend 3500 days menstruating during her lifetime.
  • Periods are often heavier, longer and more painful during the winter.
  • Tampon is french for plug and around 70% of women prefer tampons to pads.
  • The average period releases 35ml to 50ml of blood. More than 80mls is regarded as a heavy period.
  • When a woman’s fat percentage drops to under 10% her periods will stop as it’s the fat cells in the body that supply the estrogen needed to trigger menstruation.
  • Common and less common names for your period include: Aunty Flo, On the Crimson Time, Monthlys, Shark Week, The English are coming, on the rag,

How you can help

Simon Community will continue to support women in need and help them have a ‘period of dignity’ and for that we need your help.

A 5 day period costs us and our suppliers £15 and includes; 5 towels, 12 tampons, 3 pairs of pants, travel wipes, disposal bags, information and advice.

If you want to be that level of support to a woman in need and donate £15 today then please text PFPR28 to 70070 with the amount you want to donate – £5 or £10.

Period Friendly Pals

If you have a couple of hours to spare a month or a week we’d welcome your help. What we need our P.F.Pals to do is:

  • Visit the period friendly points and restock their supplies
  • Collect and sort donations into Pax and refresher packs at our warehouse in Glasgow
  • Help raise funds and products to maintain the period friendly points and pax.
  • Support, promote and raise awareness of the issues homeless women experience.
  • Be a listening ear and a support to the women we reach out to.

Thank you very much for making it this far and I really hope we can work together to help this fantastic cause.

Cx

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Miss C is 3!

Well here we are. Miss C has turned 3! It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating her second birthday, but here we are.

Things She Likes

Her Siblings

She became a big sister at 17 months old and instantly fell in love with her little brother. She is fiercely protective of him and they are the best of friends. She loves playing with him and is mostly good at sharing with him. She has her moments particularly with her favourite stuff but she is very patient and considerate with him. It took her a while to remember how little he was and how gentle she needed to be, but thankfully she is.

When it comes to her sister they have an interesting relationship. She adores her big sister, wants to be just like her and follows her about like a puppy. They fight like cat and dog and their personalities couldn’t be more different. When they play nicely together it is pure bliss but when it goes off, it is mayhem!

Music and Dancing

She started street dance classes this year and absolutely loves it. She was in their summer dance show and I was absolutely bursting with pride. To have the confidence at 2.5 years old to stand up on a stage in front of 200+ people baffles me. There is no way I would have been able to do that at her age. Dance class has been off for the summer and she is desperate to get back and I can’t wait for her to go back and let some energy out there!

She loves music and just now her particular favourite is Little Mix. She also loves the Foos, Biffy Clyro, Taylor Swift and 90’s dance songs! There is something so amusing about seeing your toddler standing doing all the moves and she is word perfect on everything. The way she retains information is astounding.

Stuff in bags and pockets

She is still obsessed with sunglasses, but now she also loves a handbag, play phone, Mr Men Books, Moshi Monsters (When she manages to steal them from her sister), toy cars, pretty much anything she can fit in her pocket or bag. She is going through a phase of putting stuff in her back pocket, I assume it’s because she sees her Dad and I putting our phones in there, but it is really funny seeing her stick her Bing mobile in there.

Food

I’ve written about her food allergies before and I’m glad to say that despite the fact she can’t eat certain things, she is still a wee gannet! She will eat anything and everything I put down in front of her and is at the stage where she likes to help me prep and cook. I was probably about 2 or 3 when my Mum and Gran taught me to cook and it was brill. She has her own apron which she loves because it’s like mine and she is very good at taking instructions.

Being a Joker

She loves to make her wee brother giggle and watching the pair of them belly laughing is one of the best bits of my day. When I try and take pictures, she is the one pulling funny faces and looking the other way. She can’t help herself, at all!

Stuff She Doesn’t Like

At the moment she mostly doesn’t like being told what to do and because of that the last 6 months have been pretty tough. She is head strong which I love about her, but at the same time the threenager has been emerging with fury. It’s not just the tantrums, if it was I could deal with that, it’s the emotional break downs. She’s been like a stroppy, hormonal teenager for the last 4 months and it’s really wearing. Thankfully, I have noticed a difference in the last few weeks so I’m hoping that she is going back to her usual lovely wee self.

She is one of the kindest, loving, caring, well mannered little girls I have ever met and I am proud to be her Mum. She is starting nursery on Thursday and she is more than ready for it. She needs more stimulation and I can’t wait to see where it takes her next. Just keep being yourself my little Star because you are amazing!

Cx

Three Minutes Old

Three Days Old

Three Weeks Old

Three Months Old

Three Years Old

 

 

 

 

 

Miss B is 10!

Double Digits! 

How the hell did that happen? I swear it was only a few minutes ago she was born after the longest labour known to man!

She has grown up so much in the last year, but the last 6 months in particular I’ve really noticed a big difference in her. We are really alike in a lot of ways so obviously we clash a fair bit but I am honestly so proud of her and the person she has become.

Things she’s been upto

Learning the flute

In primary 5 our local council provide children with free music lessons if they passed an audition. She was really interested in playing the flute and thankfully she showed some potential so started them in October. She was invited to her local high school to play with their band in their annual summer concert. For 6 weeks after school on a Wednesday, she went to the high school to practice for the concert. The concert was brilliant and all the kids were amazing. I was so proud of her and her pals, they had all practised and put so much effort into their songs. I’m not a gushy Mum but I actually had a lump in my throat watching her. She’s asked to keep up the lessons next year and has asked people for money for her birthday so she can buy a flute so she’s in full on saving mode just now.

Brownies

She joined the Brownies just over a year ago and this year she went to her first Brownie camp. They went away for a weekend at the start of the school holidays and absolutely loved it. They had so much fun and it rounded up the year for them. She has really missed her weekly meet up with her six and thankfully only 5 weeks left until she starts back. They are a lovely bunch of girls and she is really enjoying working towards her badges.

Big Sister Duty

Since she had us all to herself for 7 years and we did wonder how she was going to take having a sibling, never mind 2 of them. On the whole she is great, she really needs to try and be more patient with her little sister (but lets face it, toddlers are pretty annoying) but is great with them. They both adore her but her brother in particular seems to have a soft spot for her. They both follow her about and try to emulate her. She loves to read them stories, play with Lego, do jigsaws and her most favourite, dancing and singing.

Gymnastics and Swimming

She has recently completed her level 3 swimming and is working hard on her level 4. We took the kids swimming a few weeks ago and I was amazed at how comfortable and confident she is in the water. She has also really progressed in gymnastics too. It’s been off over the summer holidays for the first time in 6 years and she is really missing it. She’s also spent any dry day there’s been out on her trampoline trying to perfect some moves. She won’t walk anywhere, always cartwheeling or flipping all over the place and how she hasn’t done herself an injury is beyond me!

School

She will be starting Primary 6 in 11 days and it’s so crazy how fast it’s flying in. She had a brilliant last year and really excelled in all aspects even spelling which is her weakest area. Her teacher went on maternity leave 3/4 of the way through the year and she had a few different teachers until the end of the term which she handled really well. I was also really proud of her for taking on a couple of bullies. There were a few boys giving her a bit of hassle and instead of avoiding it she confronted them and put them back in their place. She told me that she felt sick the entire time but she was proud of herself for standing up for herself. Next year she has her favourite teacher in the world which she couldn’t be happier about. She was actually smiling for a week!

Like I said, I am so proud of who she is growing up to be and the person she is becoming. She is polite, well mannered and I can take her anywhere. She is funny and smart and we can have really important and heartfelt conversations as well as having a giggle about what she has found out in Health Class. She is growing up and is emotionally mature but still has a nice balance of just being a kid too. Miss B, I love you, please stay awesome 🙂

Miss B through the years

10 Mins old

10 Weeks old

10 Months old

10 Years old

Every birthday so far

Swimming with Kids

Last week Mr B had a few days off so on Friday we decided to take the kids swimming. Due to the age restrictions I can’t take all 3 on my own, so with Mr B being off I thought it would be a good idea.

I feel really guilty that this is the first time that Little D has been swimming. It’s really awful how time slips away and before you know it months or years have gone by and you haven’t done things you’ve wanted to.

Anyway, at first D was hanging on to his Daddy for dear life, his little chin wobbling with fear and generally just unsure of what the hell was going on. I had Miss C for the first wee while then we swapped and I took him deeper in the water and bobbed him about a bit and he was soon splashing, sticking his face in the water, playing with his sisters and constantly kicking me in the stomach.

Miss C was actually buzzing out of her tights! It’s been over 18 months since she’s been (bad Mummy) and she loved it. The kid has no fear. It’s brill but scary.I’m glad she’s like that though, and I’m going to enrol her in swimming lessons as soon as she is old enough. Being able to swim is such a life skill that I think it’s really important that kids learn as soon as they can. I was also told by the Physiotherapist that swimming could help to strengthen her muscles and help her hypermobility so I really want to try and take her more often and help those wee bendy ankles, knees and hips.

Miss B started swimming lessons in 2012 and she is amazing. She is almost finished all the levels and her couch was talking to her about starting the junior lifeguard programme which she is quite keen to do. She has a lot of activities so we will need to have a look and see what it involves and where she can fit it in.

I can tell you though that taking 3 kids swimming was so tiring. Just getting the 2 wee ones out of the pool, showered, dried and dressed was mental. We went at 9am and it was quiet, so no lack of family changing room or showers and everyone was shattered afterwards that we had a really chilled afternoon.

Hope you all have a good week.

Cx

Allergy Testing

When Miss C last saw the dietitian in December I asked if she could be referred for allergy testing. I wanted the tests done so that if any other allergies showed up we could be prepared, especially with her going to nursery in a few months. I’m feeling a little apprehensive if I’m totally honest. I’ve been able to control all the environments she’s been in up until now and even though it has been drilled into her about not picking up anyone elses food or drink, she is still really young, plus one of us has always where ever she is to oversee what’s going on.

She had her appointment with the Specialist last Friday so I thought I would cover off what happened and let anyone else about to go through the process know what to expect. We are in South Lanarkshire so we went to Wishaw General Dietetics Department where she was first seen as a baby.

To date, we are aware of 7 allergies/intolerances and the reactions they cause:

  • Cows Milk Protein – tummy trouble, diarrhoea, blood in her stool
  • Soya – vomit
  • Tomatoes – rash around the mouth and sore stomach
  • Peppers – rash around the mouth and sore stomach
  • Strawberries – rash around the mouth and sore stomach
  • Bananas – rash around the mouth and sore stomach
  • Oranges – rash around the mouth and sore stomach
  • Beef – sore stomach

We went to the shop and I let her pick a magazine, this is the best treat in the world for Miss C, she spent ages choosing one and then managed to drop the entire shelf of magazines all over the floor. The man working there was not a happy bunny and when I tried to pick them up he nipped the face off me! Anyway, we paid and walked to the Outpatient clinic and were taken pretty quickly. A lovely nurse took her height and weight and was chatting to her about her magazine and who was in it. While she was being distracted, I filled in a questionnaire about allergies and what to do in case of reaction including anaphylaxis. We waited for 5 minutes and went in to see the Consultant. He was lovely and I’m fairly certain that I have seen him before about her allergies. We talked through what she was allergic to and what kind of reactions she had and if I had any other concerns. I told him that I had a good handle on her allergies but that with her going to nursery, I wanted to make sure we were 100% on everything. He sent us back outside to wait and then would be sent to the nurse for the test to be applied.

After a few minutes we went next door to see Angela who had laid out all the things that Miss C was to be tested for. She explained it would be a sick prick test and then itemised everything that would be administered. I told Miss C that Angela was going to put some medicine on her arm and she had to sit nice and still until she was finished, then I sat and chatted random nonsense to try and distract her.

Angela then drew on her arm, a letter for each item that was going to be tested for and a little smiley face 🙂 Angela was great, she told Miss C that she had a to put special bubbles on her arm and then C had to guess if she could pop the bubbles or not. She worked quickly and Miss C was brilliant until there were about 4 to go and then she started to get a bit upset. Once we were finished we were sent to the waiting room for 15 minutes when we would be called back in to see what reactions we had.

So we toddled off to the waiting room and had a drink and a snack and before we knew it we were being called back in. The Consultant had a look at her arm and confirmed that everything we thought she had issues with had shown up. Soya was the most red and inflamed and milk didn’t show, but since her reactions are all tummy related we wouldn’t have expected to see anything show up on her arm for milk.

The good news is that there are no new reactions, especially to nuts or sesame seeds so we talked through the next steps. I am going to gradually reintroduce everything that is on the list. I started a few months ago with tomatoes and after a few tries and a couple of reactions, she can now eat them cooked. This week we are going to tackle them raw and see how we get on!

So I can relax a bit about her starting nursery in a few months although we will always need to be on the look out and keep drilling into her that she can’t lift other peoples food or drinks. The Consultant was very reassuring that I have been doing well to  manage the allergies and was happy with my plan for reintroduction. While I was there I also mentioned to him about Little D and his reactions to egg and he is going to get him seen as soon as he can.

All in all, it was a great experience. The staff were all lovely and everything was done quickly and Miss C was absolutely brilliant through it.

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Soya Free Bread!

Miss C is allergic to soya and it’s in so many products and specifically in most breads. I have only managed to find 1 bread that didn’t contain soya flour, an oaty bloomer loaf from M&S and at £1.40 for 8 slices it’s a little pricey. Every time I go to the shops I always pick up bread and check labels incase ingredients have changed and yesterday we had a eureka moment! Lidl had a loaf of seeded bread which was a may contain for Soya but so far she has been fine with it. As an added bonus it’s 65p!

The only problem I’ve found is that often you don’t get great long lasting dates but since the bread is so nice I’ve been having it too there isn’t much wastage.

Firsts And Lasts

Today is the last day of the school year here in Scotland, so Miss B is finishing up for 7.5 weeks of holidays.

She’s had another great year academically and has had great reports in all areas. She has always done well in school but two areas she’s been working really hard on are spelling and handwriting. It’s fair to say that she isn’t a natural speller so she has really been putting in the effort to get better. 

We’ve also noticed that when it comes to test situations she goes into panic mode and forgets everything she’s learned. Unfortunately she gets this from me, it never mattered how much I had studied or prepared, as soon as I was put in a formal exam situation my brain left the building so we will need to work on some coping mechanisms for her to help.

She’s also done really well out side of school too. She started taking flute lessons in October and really flourished. So much so she is saving her birthday money to buy one and has asked to keep the lessons up next year. She’s also done well with her swimming and gymnastics too, gaining more awards, badges and certificates. But more importantly skills and confidence.

Speaking of confidence she made me so proud when she tackled a couple of wee dudes who were giving her stick. She said she felt sick to the stomach but wasn’t going to let them away with being horrible about her. She marched over to them to find out what the problem was, she soon realised that they were just wee eejits but I’m so proud she had the confidence to do that.

I’m looking forward to having her around for the next couple of months and hoping that spending some quality time with her little sister will help them to stop fighting although this is more likely wishful thinking!

Dad and I are really proud of you and everything you’ve achieved in Primary 5, enjoy the summer and I can’t wait to see what you get upto in P6!

First and last day of Primary 5