Sunday, 27 December 2015
This year hasn't Traditionally gone to "plan". Plans were made to be broken and the bigger plan of life was ready to kick the tribe up the bum and give us a good shake up
So we will start in January when we were told having more children would take fertility treatment for us to get pregnant and keep the baby. It's not the best thing to hear and the tablets we got were not the most pleasant things to take, hormones and my body don't mix!
February brought excitement and apprehension... I decided to do an intense driving course and resulted in passing my test on the 9th. One hurdle we had to get through that week was the all important Ms neurologist specialist appointment, which my darling M had. The 11th came and we faced the inevitable news that what was going on was indeed Multiple sclerosis. Tears were shed but what was to follow during the next week or so was unexpected and hard to deal with.
the week of the 15th M has a relapse leaving him unable to walk. His leg felt heavy and unable to work in the way it had done for the last 35 years. what followed was a test of family strength which we were yet to understand we had. M under took a course of steroids and was able to function with his leg in a way which was a bit easier. After some intensive physiotherapy M was back to full strength minus his occasional tired/bad days. That week we found out he was in that 50% of people who were most at risk from his intended treatment, a blow which hit us hard. That month I must add at this point was only gotten through by a beautiful soul of a lady whom was M's MS nurse called Barbara, she brought new hope with every blow we were dealt, being positive that this would all be a distant memory of scared times. She recommended M started a treatment called alemtuzumab which he started within a month of his diagnosis.
March Brought M's treatment and a blow that we had to stop trying to extend our family, the hurt of stopping the fertility treatment was dulled with the hope to have a better over all outcome for our family. Nine months on and our forfeit of more children seems small as M's relapses stay away and our boys blossom with a father able to build his strength up to what it had been.
April ,May, June and July brought changes to our families way of life. We couldn't have take outs or eat out and every meal had to be monitored to reduce the risk of listeria as M's treatent left him with a reduced immune system..
End of July brought the end of the four month strict diet, we kept to it as much as possible after but a holiday was quickly booked and having lobster by the seaside in North Berwick has to be up there with one of those most life changing experiences of appreciating everything we have, and the face value of beautiful family moments.
August brought My birthday one more birthday now until the big 30! I feel I need to use the, now, last year and half wisely and for fill some pinterst goals I long to complete.
Our Biggest change happened in September when Master Wardle the elder started Reception... I'm sure I was holding him saying "Oh wow, look at what we created" merely a blink in time ago.
One of the most uneventful months was October not much to report but that was fine by us!
Now November was a shake up month, lets say, a month in which like February/ March made us reassess life as we lived it. M was made redundant and as they go I wont go into it but it made us realised we need to see what would make M most happy. Two months off and looking for the perfect situation to make him happy, it was!
In those two months we have reconnected as a family, M has bonded one on one with II our youngest in a way which wasn't possible when he worked full time and we had another child around (B at school meant one on one time with II).
December brought a beautiful meaningful Christmas run-up which included activities with the kids and a few date lunches so me and M could find our feet as a married couple again which can get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
So we are going into 2016 ready to fight another round of treatment for M in March a little wiser about the way the world works and a little more realistic on what life can hold for us.
Realistic isn't a scary word, the world still holds no limits but as a family we know what our limits should be and to be honest that is more than OK with us!
2016 bringing the hope that we will stay connected as a family in the busy day to day running of our lives and know when to stop and enjoy the now.
We have learnt who is by our sides every step of the way, people we least expected and of course our loyal friends which we did (this will have no hatefulness as we believe everyone has been so kind this year).
So thank you for sticking by us and we hope you are around in 2016 to see the bigger plan in which we believe is the next step of our road in this life.
"He has made everything beautiful in it's time" - Ecclesiastes 3:11
Monday, 13 July 2015
The boys are growing quickly and we are spending every spare minute at the moment making sure the garden is at the best for the boys for summer (we will do a blog on what we have done so far)... we are in the process of preparing and sorting B for starting school in September! How he is 4 already is anybodies guess, but if you can tell me why these four years have been the fastest of our lives, please share!
C (me)- I have been spending all my spare time in the gym trying to get into shape and trying to get the house in to order.
Now the update people really want... M is coming to the end of his four months in which his diet can go back to normal, I wouldn't say his diet has been the easiest of things at times and we have had more waste than we usually do but we are getting in to the habit in which we have less waste again.
M is finally feeling the effects of the lemtrada and has had to admit defeat (rather a strong word but not the less defeat, even though he isn't going down with out a fight) he has had to slow down on a lot of things, cycling mainly and has in the past month had to take time off to rest. With the Lemtrada treatment wiping his immune system it has finally wiped a bit of his energy though his long restful weekend did include gardening in which he lost his wedding ring for the second time this year! He is doing amazing and hasn't let anything stop him, I always look at him and think how can i be a better wife for him as he is the best husband and still, even with his lack of energy, lets me have lies in and will do anything for me (and the boys).
So we haven't blogged because we have been finding our feet as a family after this life changing news and treatment. We have also had a lot going on in our wider family, both bad news and good news, but all things balance out in the grand scheme of life.
Tribe Wardle is so ready for summer! Six weeks with the boys, B is ready for the long break and am ready for some quality time with him. I can't wait for our adventures.
Well that is all for now, but I promise it wont be so long until we post again.
Monday, 27 April 2015
Shipton mill flour can be purchased in the northeast from mmm... Situated in the Grainger market for £4.95 per 500g.... Expensive compared to your bog standard plain flour but you will not be disappointed.
Firstly we made Chilli and salt flour coated prawns to go in with other sea food... our favourite Saturday night treat.
You salt and pepper your prawns drop them in some whisked egg then drop in the flour... deep fry, then add to some garlic, onion and chilli into a pan... so yummy and quick and made at home for a fraction of the price you pay in the take away. normally we use cornflower but i wanted to try it with this flour, we were not disappointed!
Then I made an apple and blackberry crumble.
Using the chestnut flour for the topping... I found on trying it to be sweet. So I added coconut oil instead of butter and no honey or sugar.... We used honey on the apple and blackberries so it was all round sweet enough.... It came out delicious a softer type of crumble almost cakey... M and me both agreed it was a lovely alternative...
next up I tried making a family favourite... Brownies!
melt 1 tablespoon if coconut oil with ten dark chocolate buttons(which we also picked up from mmm....)
once melted add one egg two teaspoons of honey and a quarter cup of chestnut flour.
bake at 180 for around 20 minutes.
They came out all fudge-like, so moreish, and my boys exclaimed mummy should never make brownies any other way! I say that is a win!
Without the high sugar content that brownies pack I think that in itself is a mummy victory!
Whilst eating our brownies on our walk from Souter to Latimer's in whitburn (please wait on next post)we ate the brownies... They are a lot richer so satisfied quicker.
From Latimer's we picked a pack of hollandaise sauce up which on getting home I made a chestnut pasta, turning it into crab lasagna.
To make, I used one whole egg and one egg yolk. A cup of chestnut flour and a quarter cup of pasta flour and a tablespoon of olive oil.
The pasta definitely needed the pasta flour to make it a bit smoother.
I mixed all these together worked it a little while then left it to rest for twenty minutes then ran though a pasta machine...
To make the crab lasagne I put some hollandaise sauce then pasta layered four times with the second and third layer having a good portion of white crab meat added... On the top I smeared the hollandaise sauce and added asparagus and baked until cooked...
It was amazing... The nutty taste with the sweet crab worked well and then the fresh hollandaise sauce and crunch of the aspargus added to a perfect dish... It was a lighter lasagne and definitely one I will be making again as it went down well with everybody in Tribe Wardle.
So all in all, we love chestnut flour. It was an easier alternative to work with. Plain flour is fine but chestnut flour seemed lighter and has a moreish texture.... It did everything we tried with it very well, proving it is a good versatile flour, I think it will be firmly staying on Tribe Wardles shipping list....
But which flour should we try next?
Thursday, 9 April 2015
Easter weekend was glorious, at least the Sunday and Monday, but after a relaxing Sunday with the only gardening being the planting of some more seeds indoors (rainbow chard, courgettes, marrow and a variety of squashes) we decided to spend Monday in the garden.
The lawn had its first mow of the year, its now looking a lot better from a distance, but up close there is another story to tell. Yes its nice and green, only a couple of bare patches in the shade, but on closer inspection it looks to be mostly down to the even coverage of moss! There arent too many larger weeds, a handful of dandelions but nothing more. So something need to be done about the moss before it chokes out all of the grass. I will aim to rake it this week so long as the weather stays dry, then it will be a prescription of regular weed and feed. This helps to strip out the moss while also providing nitrogen rich fertilizer to enhance the appearance of the grass. It will be a long road to a healthy lawn, but so long as I treat it every 4 weeks or so, keep it mowed and rake it to remove the dead moss it should be looking good by the time summer begins for real.
Our lawn does not get as much sum as I would like, and doesnt drain too well as there is a slight slope on the garden that means one side of the lawn collects most of the rain water, and that side is in shade most of the day and only get real sun in the high of summer as its too low later in the day the rest of the year. It all amounts to a difficult to manage lawn, sounds like a challenge we can meet.
News on the seedlings planted last week is that the majority of the peas have sprouted and are growing well.
The runner beans are not fairing so well, with only one having made an appearance so far, that one being one of the unidentified beans I harvested from the 2013 crop, it was larger than the scarlet runners I planted, reddish brown in colour with black mottling, and it has grown fast, about 3 inches high now having only appeared 3 days ago.
|Runner Bean, cabbage and kohlrabi|
The cabbages and kohlrabi are both coming away well, and will need splitting soon, similarly with the leeks and one of the other seedlings which I am uncertain of which it is. It could be kale of spinach, but whilst currently only about a half an inch high, they are difficult to identify and I foolishly did not label these as I presumed I would be able to tell the difference once the sprouted, as only one has done so I cant tell what it is! If you review the post about planting these I don't even mention the kale, but it was in there. The tray with leeks has either kale or spinach in, the other tray has the turnips, celeriac and the missing plant. the turnips have sprouted, no sign of celeriac, and nothing of the mystery seedlings yet. Hopefully this week everything will start and I'll be able to tell what is what.
|Turnips, no sign of celeriac and what is that single tiny shoot?|
|Leeks to the right, is it kale or spinach at the left??|
Tuesday, 31 March 2015
With the help of B and I 4 trays of seeds were started. Some would say it is best to plant one type of plant per tray so you know what is what when it comes up, no such wisdom here. We planted a tray of peas, half a tray of runner beans, filled this tray with cabbage and kohlrabi then two other trays with an assortment of leeks, spinach, turnips, swedes, and celeriac.
These trays are now situated in underbed storage boxes on the dining table. The boxes serve two important functions, you can move them easily, and any water will not reach the table and damage it.
The hope is in a couple of weeks we will have a load of seedlings ready to separate into pots, which will similarly find themselves in the storage boxes. This lot can then easily be taken outside to be hardened off during the day, and brought in to be protected overnight until I am happy the weather is good enough to plant them outside.
The compost used was a basic all-purpose compost from Aldi. Many people suggest that a richer potting compost is better for starting seedlings away in. And it may be true that these composts will provide more nutrients in the early development of the plants. For the additional cost I don't see that it will have a major effect over the lifetime of the plants when they will spend most of their lives in what is currently not excellent quality soil in the garden. We are looking to improve the quality of the ground soil in the garden through composting, but this will be a long process,
Monday, 23 March 2015
I did plant a couple of rows of onions a fortnight ago, but today started the ball rolling properly.
Sunday, 22 March 2015
Saturday, 21 March 2015
As a family we have had a hard two years but are trying to use it to help others.
MS is a scary Disease, which people don't understand and it gets bad press... We as a family are trying to get it out there so people get quicker diagnosis and don't feel alone and over whelmed like we did when M first got his diagnosis...
Thursday, 19 March 2015
This week has flown, not that am surprised. Everyday I have been up between 6-6:30. If you know me, you will know M normally has to drag me out of bed, but i guess i always had a reason to stay in bed all warm and snug. So every morning this week I have got myself showered, hair and make up done then the fun came. two boys up and ready (with breakfast in them)before 8am to get II to my parents and then B to school... i can gladly say I've normally been out and up at parents by 8 with time for a cuppa with my parents before my busy day.
After I drop B at school I nip down the by pass on to the A19 and down the chester road, some days it hasn't been an enjoyable drive. Once at the hospital armed with magazines to keep M from going crazy and food so he doesn't starve I have a good few hours with him before nipping to town for lunch if going back or home for lunch and cuddles with the boys... In the afternoons i have been doing housework and getting things for M before getting back through Sunderland for 6pm visiting... 8pm comes and I wizz home to B asleep and II on the way. I do not know how I would of managed with out my parents this week, once they head home i grab a bite to eat and sort things for the next day.
So much respect goes to single parents, I have found it hard making decisions alone and sorting the boys on my own. I think it boils down to doubting myself and relying on M to encourage my decision are right. I think I have grown in confidence this week so it has its plus points! But roll on M being home, without hospital visits it will make life easier.
So Friday M should come home, Infusion for four hours then obs for a few hours then I get to bring him home... I will be wrapping him in cotton wool and be making him rest.
But most of all I can not wait to see the boys faces when they see their daddy, their hero is home!
Tuesday, 17 March 2015
As many people know me and M knew each other a while. Then on a night out he kissed me and time stood still and changed forever... now that sounds romantic and very movie like but none the less so very true. We were engaged with in three months and had signed for buying a house together... It felt right! at five months M had decided he wanted children with me (at the bottom of the Eiffel tower!) and by the time we had been together just over a year i was pregnant. B came and we got married ... life didn't stop there as we went on to extend our house and when the extension was complete for a month we welcomed II into our family...
Yes things could of went wrong, but with a lot of work and dedication to each other our family works. We make sure we respect each other and serve each other.
Looking back on the past six years I can't believe we have fitted so much in.
Sitting in bed though tonight am so very grateful we have, two boys asleep (one cuddled into me), a life in the fast lane for sure but no regrets .
Talking to a friend about things and her saying it put life into perspective what Tribe Wardle is going through has hit something deep in side me. We were a young family living a normal, maybe quick and filled life. The morning M had his relapse, that has triggered his treatment this week, We woke up, got ready , I kissed M goodbye at the end of the road he went off on his bike and i walked B to school... We did not want this to happen , these things happen to "other people", whom ever they are! but those "other people" that day just happened to be M/us.
So dear readers, Live life like you mean it, Don't put off until tomorrow and most of all LOVE, Love like you mean it and never go to bed on a cross word and without telling your loved ones you love and adore them.
All this is wrote from a person who cant turn over in bed and cuddled up to her husband and say "I Love you," before turning their light off for the night like I normally do, Roll on Friday to get M back home.
Tuesday, 10 March 2015
I don't know how but we are so very proud of the way he has turned out.
B was born on my Dads birthday and both of these guys are absolutely amazing!
This is going to be short and sweet a simple post of gratefulness and luckiness in equal measure, M should of been in hospital this week, He should of been admitted yesterday , yet some how there wasn't any bed for him to start the treatment... I have never been so grateful for it being put back a week , Yes it means an extra week of thinking it over but and it is a big BUT my boy , mine and Ms world didn't have to be with out his hero and his daddy on his birthday. We had a lovely family day full of Chinese food,cake and time with my parents on my dads birthday, the added bonus was our friend and B's Godmother popped by and it was lovely to see her.
I do believe in this bigger plan and people reading the blog will be sick of me banging on about it but I do believe things happen for the good , even if we don't see it at the time.
Here is a picture of B & My dads Birthday cake:
Friday, 6 March 2015
The last three weeks have been a blur of hospital appointments and dropping the boys off with my parents or B at school then driving to appointments or dropping M at work.
Today how ever was normal... I've craved for a "normal" day in so long.
These last three weeks have been a strict schedule, one in which we have had to stick to. Today how ever was a free day. Tribe Wardle has never ran to a timetable as much as we have in the last few weeks. It felt nice to be organised but the free spirited girl inside of me screamed out to be given a little free reign.
Today we have shopped, visited family, had some television time and cooked. It felt amazing!
During the last three weeks we have tried to keep things normal for the kids, but lets face it our lives possibly wont be "normal" again.
So here is my big question, I ask daily, How as a mother and a wife do i keep family life normal when our world we have known is falling apart?
I doubt I will ever know the answer to this and am sure many nights it will keep me awake.
A week on Monday M goes in for Lemtrada treatment. It's scary in the fact he will be patient number 4 But on the other hand exciting for what it declares to offer. The wife in me is desperate to find the answers of how to keep M up beat and positive, the mother in me is worried about a full week of the children at nighttime without M's support and how to keep the children happy without their Dad who is their world and hero.
It is so hard being a wife and a mother so I ask this of you Please keep Tribe Wardle in your Prayers and please send all good vibes this way. Please pray that I find the answers to do my family proud, when the biggest motivator our family has is receiving treatment. M isn't just a dad or husband he is all our best friend and the head of our family who we look daily to for guidance.
And finally please pray our family finds its new normal, which we find comfort in.
Tuesday, 3 March 2015
So it has been quiet on here as and as I've blogged about before we were, before Christmas, going through a lot with the miscarriages, As a couple we felt it was important to have it out there that it was happening and we were trying to find a solution. The wonderful consultant decided it was best I went on some tablets to sort my hormones out and it was all put down to two pregnancies close together and breast feeding for 14 months after last pregnancy knocking my hormones all to pot.
I started on the tablets and during this time we got the news my beautiful husband has MS.
We were told to live life as normal and they would do their all to help keep it that way.
So when M was struck with a relapse and it affected his walking, resulting in needing a walking stick to walk, it was decided he would have some treatment called Lemtrada.
So here is the nitty gritty of it all... M will have 5 days of Lemtrada which will need a hospital stay, A year later he will need the same but only 3 days worth. This should make the relapses subside, but we need to stop trying for more children as it is not safe to do so whilst on the treatment or for 4 months after the last treatment.
Everything is not on hold its a simple situation of we won't be trying for another child for the next 16 months. We aren't saying we will be in 16 months but we will see how our situation is going. At the moment though these last months have been painful. It's not every year you lose 3 babies and have a husband diagnosed with MS.
As a family we have stepped back a lot in life and regrouped. We are OK though and we will be OK.
We believe that our family is on a journey, an open ended road trip like journey, we take different paths and we may hit bumps, But the main thing is We as Tribe Wardle will not stop or give up, There is a bigger plan to life which we do not know what will happen but we do invite you to stay with us and keep reading our blog as we go through this journey called Life.
Friday, 27 February 2015
My hope is this will help other people in a similar situation and those close to them, giving hope and what I now hope will be a positive outcome to what started as a very scary and negative time.
Coming soon will be the story of my journey so far from obliviously symptom free (as far as I can tell) through diagnosis to where I am today, waiting to start disease modifying treatment in 2 weeks.
Ms is a disease with a very bad reputation, but bear in mind you only hear the extreme cases, people who have it deal with it and get on with life you will probably never hear about and will never know they have ms. Please follow and read this blog to get another viewpoint.