The Stages of Mum

Sometimes, reading other blogs can make you feel alienated. They have such a perfect life, taking perfect photos on their perfect outings with their perfect routines. Whereas your life is full of mishaps and parenting fails.

Sometimes, my life is that perfect image but most of the time I am the imperfect Mum. Here are the many stages of Mum that I am or have been:

Zombie Mumimg_0169

Sleep? What’s that? Your child wakes every hour demanding feeding or insists on playing ‘Spit the Dummy Out’ every time your head hits the pillow. Now you’re at Zombie Mum stage. Your eyes are peeled open, your feet drag along the floor and ‘sleep’ is a foreign word.

You go about your day adding salt to your coffee and putting gloves on your feet. You even manage to lose a slice of toast and it later turns up in your dressing gown pocket. The cogs just don’t work in your once active brain!

Accident Prone Mumimg_0166

You pick up your phone to read a text. Bop! Your phone slips from your hand, hitting your little one. Cue blood curdling screams. Luckily, they’re not hurt. Just shocked.

Then there’s that time that we cut their nails and accidentally caught their skin. Or the time when you pulled their zip up, catching their chin. Not to mention the time when you walked through a door and managed to somehow bounce them off it. And the time when the swimming teacher tells you you’re drowning your child…

Social Media Mum

Mummy is just going to read this one tweet…. You strain your neck over the top of your baby’s head, trying to make out the text. Waiting was not an option.

Your child has become so familiar with this sight that they decide they’re going to be helpful. So whilst you’re quickly typing up a post, Little Hands is helping out by swiping their hands across the screen and deleting the post. You raise your arm, holding your phone at arms length with Little Hands furiously twisting and turning to reach it.

Octopus Mumimg_0168

You’ve waited an hour for your little one to go off to the Land of Nod. It’s not happening. Now, you know you’re going to have to negotiate your daily jobs with a baby that requires your attention.

You pop them into a chair, fill the sink and turn on the music. And you’re off. Bottles are being washed, child is being entertained by you boogying and kettle is boiling because you really need that coffee. Child then gets bored of your boogying so you bribe them with toys. Now we’re adding Picking up the toys to the mix.

During this time, the washing machine finishes so now you’ve got bottles sterilising, a coffee on the go, child playing shotput with toys (and expecting them to be brought back) and a load of whites that need hanging. Then goes the door…you know the feeling.

Snap Happy Mum

You’ve got the perfect post and now need the perfect photo. You pose your child and snap! photo taken. An examination of the photo shows they were moving. Grr! Back you go, placing your little one back into the pose. However, this time Little One isn’t playing ball. They wriggle and squirm, and you take bursts of photos hoping that one might be decent enough. It’s no use. Off you go to take a photo of an inanimate object instead. At least it will co-operate.

Play date Mumimg_0167

Or should I say ‘Lack of Playdates Mum’. You picture the perfect scene of dressing your baby up, meeting with friends and going off to some baby related class where you’re going to have lots of fun.

The reality is that your baby pukes on your well planned outfit and decides they’re going to have a meltdown in public which gains you stares from other mothers, making you feel like the worlds worst Mum. You mutter to your baby that you’ll take them home if they don’t behave to which your baby stares blankly back as they’re 5 months old and don’t have a flipping clue what you’re saying! You then decide that you’re hibernating for the next week as you need to recover.

So as you can see, life isn’t picture perfect for me and I suppose I’ve come to realise that this doesn’t make me a bad Mum, this makes me human!

Which one are you?

– Tee 💜

Petite Pudding
Pink Pear Bear
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1 Month Bloggiversary and Liebster Nomination

Can you believe it’s only been one month since I began this blog? I feel like I’ve been writing much longer. I had always planned on doing a 1 month post and sharing a little bit about me (since I’ve never really told you who I am) and then I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Adventures of Mummy and Me (thank you for this!) so this tied in nicely. Please take some time to read her fab blog!

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The Liebster award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers with a rule of giving it to somebody with less than 200 followers on their blog. The idea is that it will help new bloggers connect and engage with the blogging community. The rules, as stated here, are as follows:

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10 Random Facts About Me

1) My blog name originates from the many comments I received of people telling me I would “have no life” once baby comes along and how I would “just be Mum”. I like to think that I’ve just added another title to my belt; wife, daughter, teacher…Mum!

2) I despise the sound of running/pouring water. It gives me the chills!

3) I’m partially deaf. Many people IRL don’t know this as you would never notice since  I’ve adapted pretty well. I will eventually have an op to correct this but for now, I manage.

4) I suffer from terrible night terrors so I’m usually found trying to get rid of the bugs, searching for Little One who has disappeared into our bed covers or my personal favourite, climbing up the sinking bed! Hubby has learned to ignore me so let’s hope I’m never actually in trouble!

5) Tee is a nickname that my hubby calls me which sounds nothing like my first name.

6) I used to run my own cake business but I used to hate charging full price so hardly ever made a profit!

7) I live my life as if I’m in a musical, singing about anything and everything.

8) I love the Les Miserables soundtrack and managed to fit it into our wedding, much to the dismay of Hubby.

9) Speaking of weddings. I, along with friends, set up my full wedding. I made the cake, invitations, table centrepieces, chair brooches, everything! The only thing I left to somebody else was the photography, flowers and our hair. You could say I’m a control freak.

10) My mouth works faster than my brain and I’ve been known to say some pretty stupid things. My best one was asking why the moon was out so early whilst looking up at the sun in sunglasses…😎 🙊

My Questions from Adventures of Mummy and Me

What inspired you to start blogging? I am the world’s worst for remembering things so to begin with it was somewhere to write all of those little memories. But whilst setting up my blog, I discovered that there was much more to blogging than I realised and now I’m hooked.

What is your favourite blog post that you have written? ‘You Know You’re Getting Old When…’. I love the nostalgia!

What’s your favourite movie? Mulan. I know practically every word. Sad, I know.

Marvel or DC? No idea!

If you could live anywhere where would it be and why? Somewhere with dry heat! I am terrible in humid places but I am desperate to live somewhere hot and sunny!

What’s your favourite place you’ve ever been to? London. I love it there. There’s always somewhere new to discover which is why I keep going back!

Name an item on your bucket list. To ride a horse. First, I have to be brave enough to get near the horse!

What’s your favourite Disney character? Merida from Brave. She’s not a helpless princess that needs rescuing!

Cats or Dogs? Dogs. Cats are evil.

My Nominees

So the rule is that I nominate people with less than 200 followers (note, I just looked on WordPress Reader for the number of followers so I might be mistaken). So here we go:

Mommy and Madness – I love her drawings that she includes in her blogs and her very honest, to the point posts.

Chummy Mummy – Great crochet creations and she has a chocolate flapjack recipe I’ve been wanting to try!

A Dad’s Life – It’s always refreshing to see a Daddy blogger. I’ve enjoyed reading about the adventures with his new baby. It has brought back some great memories for me!

Mummy 123 – I enjoy reading her blog and her most recent Playlist post brought back some nostalgic memories.

Now I’m meant to ask them 10 questions so…

  • What inspired you to start blogging?
  • Is there a story behind your blog name?
  • What is your favourite blog post that you have written
  • What’s your favourite movie?
  • If you could live anywhere where would it be and why
  • What’s your favourite place you’ve ever been to?
  • Name an item on your bucket list
  • Coca Cola or Pepsi?
  • Cats or Dogs?
  • Fiction or non-fiction?

How to Make Children in Need cupcakes

I have a confession to make…this time, I didn’t bake the cupcakes. I completely forgot that Children in Need was this weekend so I ran out and bought cakes as I knew that I wasn’t going to have time to bake. In a way, it’s worked in my favour for showing you just how easy it is to make these Pudsey cupcakes. As always, I will put alternatives for making the shapes in brackets for those who do not have the equipment. So look out for the these!

Before I begin, two points to make: 

Firstly, I find that yellow sugarpaste is extremely sticky so I recommend leaving them for 24 hours before you apply them to your cupcakes. You should really do this for all toppers but sometimes you can get away with not doing it, however yellow isn’t so easy. As you can see, I did not do this to my toppers and it shows.

Secondly, Dr Oetker have a ready to roll pack which includes all of the colours you need, apart from white, which is available in most supermarkets. You may want to buy some extra yellow if you plan on doing a lot of cupcakes.

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Okay, let’s begin!

What you will need:

  • Sugarpaste – yellow, white, red, blue, green, black
  • a large circular cutter (cookie cutters are available in more supermarkets)
  • two small circular cutters, varying in size (you could use your fingers if you don’t have them)
  • Craft knife (or sharp kitchen knife)

Instructions:

1) Roll out your yellow sugarpaste using a rolling pin (you could use a glass bottle or flatten with your hand) and cut out a large circle to your preferred thickness. I prefer 2-3mm thick.

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2) Next, cut out 2 smaller circles which are going to be the ears (if you don’t have a smaller cutter then roll two balls which are just under 1cm wide. Place it onto your surface and press your finger gently onto it which will flatten it into a circular shape).

3) Take each circle and gently nip and fold the circle in at the bottom, creating an ear shape.

4) Attach the ears to your circle using edible glue or water.

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5) Roll out your white sugarpaste and cut out your bandana. To do this, cut two lines angled slightly towards each other. Use your large circle as your guide. If it doesn’t look right, reshape it.

6) Once you are happy with it, stick it to your circle using water or edible glue and then using your craft or kitchen knife, cut around the edges, shaping it to the larger circle.

7) Now, it is time to make the spots for Pudsey’s bandana. Roll out your blue, red, green and yellow sugarpaste and using your smallest circular cutter, cut out several spots (if you don’t have the cutter then you could roll little balls of sugarpaste and press them between your fingers to create a small spot). Then, attach the spots to the bandana.

8) Our final step is making Pudsey’s face. Using your black sugar paste roll out two small balls and a small sausage shaped piece of sugar paste. You will also need a tiny amount of white sugarpaste.

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9) Starting with the nose, take one of your balls and press between your fingers to create a triangle for the nose. Stick this in place on Pudsey’s face.

10) Now his eye. Take the other ball and roll it into a slightly oval shape and press between your fingers to flatten it. Again, stick this to Pudsey’s face. Using the white sugarpaste, roll into a small ball and stick this to the upper right of Pudsey’s eye.

11) Finally, we need to make his mouth and eye brow. Take a small bit of the sugar paste you have left and roll into a tiny sausage. Stick this above the eye. Then, roll the remaining sugarpaste into a slightly larger sausage and use this for the mouth. Sometimes using your knife or a cocktail stick is handy to manipulate these into the shape you want.

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And there we go, Pudsey Bears for your cake sales! Here are some other ideas:img_6331

Please don’t forget to donate to Children in Need! You can find out all the information you need on the Children in Need website.. They even have a fundraising kit available!

Don’t forget to Tweet me any of your cupcakes you manage to make with this tutorial! @thenibecamemum

 

– Tee 💜

Milestone: 5 Months Today

Today, we are 5 months old! How time flies!

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We are always reaching new milestones and developing just that little bit more so we thought we would reflect on what we’ve achieved in Month 4.

Highlights of Month 4

  • We found our voice. Now we spend our time squealing and making high pitched noises, especially, when we’re out in public!
  • Reaching our feet is easy peasy and now we’re able to give them a little suck too!img_6012
  • Our first family holiday was in Month 4. We travelled 330+ miles to Poole to visit Auntie Rachel, Uncle Kev and Puppy Logan. Read about it here and here.img_2439
  • Month 4 was also when we celebrated our first Halloween. Unfortunately, the costume only lasted 15 minutes as somebody needed to poop…
  • Our Jumperoo got better use this month. No longer do we resemble a Dalek!
  • We can roll from our front to our back and have almost mastered back to front. It’s just that tricky little arm which keeps getting stuck!img_6032
  • Somebody got too big for their Moses basket so now we sleep in our cot. We love nothing more than poking our arms and feet through the bars and peeking at sleeping parents. We’ve also developed an annoying habit of spitting our dummy onto the floor and demanding Mummy goes and fetches it!

So much has happened in one little month! We’re excited to see what Month 5 will bring! Tune in next month.

You Know You’re Getting Old When…

Although Little One isn’t old enough to start making me feel my age yet, being a teacher means that I’ve had many conversations with children that have made me think ‘Am I really that old?’. Often, we get stuck in time and assume things are the same way they always have been until one little young’un pipes up and reminds you that times are changing!

Here are 6 things that might strike a nerve with you:

1) Blackboardsimg_0104

Back in the day, it wasn’t unusual to find a blackboard in the classroom. You loathed it if you managed to somehow rub against it resulting in a lovely zebra stripe, or loved it if you managed to get your hands on the blackboard rubber (bless the poor soul who fell victim to the rubber attack). We shudder when we think of the chalk screeching against the board, yet it was the best thing ever if you got picked to come and write on it.

These days the children have classes equipped with state of the art Interactive Whiteboards. The board does tricks, plays music, the full works. So when Child A asks how you “Put pictures on it” or Child B proudly announces that they had seen one at a museum, you can’t help but wonder ‘Am I old?’.

2) Musicimg_0094

Humming away to myself in the classroom, a child looks at me and asks, “What are you singing?” How could they not know that I’m singing ‘Wonderwall’? I explain that it’s Oasis to which the penny drops.

“Oooooh! That’s my Grandad’s favourite band.” Excuse me? Grandad?! Then I realise that his Grandad is only 45!

I begin to list other popular artists from my childhood. Backstreet Boys? Nope. Spice Girls? Vaguely. Avril Lavigne? Err. Boyzone? Oh, never mind. It’s plain to see that music moved on without me.

3) Using the Landline to Meet a Friend

Telefon / phone

These days technology is rife. Our children prefer to play computer games rather than be with nature (although not through lack of trying for Parents!) and our babies are experts in the art of the iPad. Heck, if you’ve reached the age of 4 and don’t own a mobile phone then who are you?!

If you can remember the time before this then you, my friend, are old. Gone are the days when you would ring your friend’s landline from your house phone to arrange a time to meet. Precision was key here.

“Under the big clock at Woolworths at 11:30am. I’ll be wearing my white and blue Kappa tracksuit.” (as was the style back then!)

The clock strikes 11:35am and panic sets in. What if they don’t turn up? 30 minutes was the general rule for waiting. After that, with no way of contacting them, you make your way to a public pay phone to check they’ve set off.

Who needs a mobile phone when you’ve got this clever little set up?!

4) Pogs in Walkers Crispsimg_6193

Back in the day, playgrounds were hunting grounds for trading. Marble collectors in one corner, football stickers in another, and then came the Pog (or Tazo).

For those who don’t know what a Pog is, they were small circular disks found inside Walker’s crisp packets which came in an assortment of themes – Loony Tunes, Star Wars, etc. Once you had collected enough, you would play other people by each piling up an equal amount of Pogs, face-down. You would then use a ‘Slammer’ (a much thicker plastic disk) to throw down onto the pile to try and flip over the disks. If you succeeded in flipping the disks to face upwards, they were yours for the keeping.

There have been many school riots on the back of foul play in the Pog battles!

5) Remembering a Time Before Facebookimg_0141

Although you may find it hard to believe, there was a time before Facebook.

Remember when we would run home from school, dial up our internet and connect to MSN chat? We’d only just left our friends yet we were desperate to speak to them because so much had just happened in those 15 minutes it took to get home.

Then Broadband came along and our MSN addiction grew. MSN then introduced photo and file sharing…mind blown!

Over time, MSN waned and MySpace took its place. Now we could upload hundreds of photos of ourselves pretending to be models and perfecting the signature “MySpace” pose. Nights would consist of hours spent stalking random profiles, tweaking our Bio and adding friends – because you’ve only made it if you have 1000+ friends.

I do remember the day Facebook came along. My first thought was why would anybody want to write a status of what they’re up to? What a silly concept! But how wrong I was. Facebook is now the norm. Declaring that you don’t have Facebook is like telling people you’re from Mars. And, “Oh I saw it on Facebook” is a common reply when you share an exciting story you’ve been bursting to tell somebody.

The days of MSN and Myspace are long gone!

6) Recording on VHS and Cassetteimg_0093

A discussion was had in our house a few months back about upgrading our TV package. At that time we could “only” record one programme whilst watching another. We thought that we needed to be able to record much more and that recording 4 at a time would be ample (because we clearly have nothing better to do with our lives than watch TV…).

Kids have definitely got it good these days. There was a time when recording television was not so simple. We would put our VHS tapes in and set the timer to record our favourite shows. Every now and then you would accidentally tape over something of importance – that recording of you as a baby, your Mum’s episode of Eastenders that was going to reveal who the killer was (no online spoilers in those days!) or your sibling’s favourite movie resulting in tears and a breakout of World War III.

And, what about music? When pocket money could only stretch to buying one or two cassette tapes at 99p each, the cassette player was genius. On Sunday afternoon, we’d settle ourselves down waiting for the charts to start on the radio. In goes the blank cassette tape and our finger hovers over the record button. If we had time on our hands then we would sit through the full show stopping and starting the recording to avoid the advertisements.

So here I sit wondering did I just get old? If you’re a spring chicken who doesn’t remember one or more of these then I promise you, your time will come!

Did any of these strike a nerve with you? Is there something your children have said to you that made you feel old? Comment and share it!

– Tee 💜

Petite Pudding
One Messy Mama

£25 Amazon giveaway and ‘Father Christmas Needs a Wee’ review

As I have mentioned previously, we love books and think reading offers so many benefits so it will not be a surprise to you that we are championing another book. This one is in time for Christmas! As well as this, we are offering one lucky person the chance to win a £25 Amazon e-gift card to allow you to buy some books of your own (or whatever you fancy spending it on!). This is our very first giveaway so we’re excited about this. If it’s successful, we might run some more giveaways in the future!

So the book…

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As you can see, the book is hilariously titled ‘Father Christmas Needs a Wee’. I was first introduced to this book when I was teaching and I needed a book which would introducing counting backwards. This book, being near to Christmas, was perfect.

The book follows Father Christmas on his rounds delivering presents. Counting to 10, the book begins to outline how many drinks he has drank which results in him desperately needing a wee.

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Unfortunately, in his haste he forgets to leave the presents so he has to retrace his steps. This is where counting backwards comes in.

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I won’t spoil the rest of the story but Father Christmas has a hellish time trying to make it to the toilet in time!

The book is extremely attractive as each page is filled with colour and illustrations. The illustrations also display a row of the given item which allows the children to practice counting them, further enforcing their counting skills.

What stood out the most for me is that the book was larger than average and the text was displayed well. The author has included both the numeral and the number word which is extremely useful to children, i.e. 5 and five.

I also especially liked that there was a page at the front for the children to personalise the book.

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When reviewing, I try hard to not get too carried away with what I love and try to think if there are any areas for improvement and I really struggled to find any. My one disappointment is that Little One isn’t old enough to enjoy it properly but it’s on his book shelf and I can’t wait to read it with him when he’s a little older!

Do you want to own the book? We’re giving away a £25 e-gift voucher for Amazon which you can use to buy your own (or just spend it on whatever you fancy!). If you can’t wait to purchase the book then you can buy it here.

This is not a sponsored post.

Enter via Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize = 1 x e-voucher for Amazon.co.uk
UK only.
Ends 23rd November.
If winner does not respond within 7 days then a new winner will be selected.
All entry methods are optional. However, the more you complete, the more chance you have of winning.
All entries will be checked and any not completed fully will be disqualified.
Prize will be sent via email in the form of an e-voucher within 3 days of the giveaway ending.
No cash alternative.

“It’ll never happen to me”: Preventing Clots in Pregnancy

On 17th November 2015, just into my 10th week of pregnancy, I received the shocking news that I had a Pulmonary Embolism (lung clot). After being diagnosed of a genetic blood disorder, Factor V Leiden, years before I was always slightly higher risk so it should not have been a surprise. However, I had the attitude that it would never happen to me. I knew I would need to inject anticoagulants but that was not until later in the pregnancy so until then, I was of the mindset that I was going to be okay.

I remember not feeling great on the Sunday. I’d had a cold for over a week and I felt as if it was turning into a chest infection. By the Monday, my chest was tight and I remember going into my classroom, putting my head on the desk and just crying out of frustration. I soldiered on, mentioning to my colleague that I had an “annoying chest cold” and laughing about it.

By Monday night, I was starting to feel a bit of pain in my shoulder blade. I told my husband that I felt like something wasn’t right and immediately shrugged it off as “muscle pain”. That’s exactly how it felt, like I’d been pulling shapes in my sleep and was suffering a pulled muscle. By bedtime, alarm bells should have rang. As I laid down, I felt as if I was suffocating. In a panic, I told my husband that I felt like I was going to “stop breathing” and he reassured me I was just worrying myself. Again, I convinced myself I was fine. But early hours on Tuesday morning, I woke up screaming in pain. Breathing in sent a searing pain through my ribs. Despite being in a lot of pain and crying, I knew my husband was at work in 3 hours so I refused to go to a medical centre. I would see how I was in a few hours. Had I not been forced to go by my husband, things could have turned out a little different.

Am I at Risk?
My issue was that I thought “it’ll never happen to me”. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘She has Factor V Leiden’. Did you know that most people are not found to have Factor V Leiden until after they’ve been diagnosed with a thrombosis? Between 3-8% of Europeans are thought to have the genetic disorder. There are no signs and symptoms.

The NHS list those most at risk of a clot as:

  • having a clot previously
  • being over 35
  • being obese
  • having thrombophilia
  • having twins
  • having a parent, brother or sister who has had a thrombosis
  • being a smoker
  • being inactive for a long period of time i.e. Long-distance travel

Other than Factor V Leiden, which no healthcare professional was concerned about, I didn’t fall into any of those categories.

How to Reduce Your Risk
Due to my mindset of “it’ll never happen to me”, I was guilty of not taking enough care of myself. It wasn’t that I was ignoring advice given, it was just that I was careless.

There are many simple ways to reduce your risk:

Keep active
When you are heavily pregnant, it is so easy to confine yourself to the couch to take the weight off your feet. Your hours rest becomes a full day and you convince yourself that it’s fine because you’re pregnant.

If you can, try to get up every hour and have a walk about. If you can’t then wriggle your toes and move your legs. You could even prop your legs up on a cushion. Compression socks, although not the most flattering, are also fantastic if you know you are going to be immobile for a while.

Take regular stops when travelling
People often think of long-distance flying when thinking of clot prevention but you need to consider it for any long-distance travelling. You should aim to stop for a stretch and walk about every two hours and again, if you can, wear compression socks. Yes, it’s inconvenient but it’s going to be even more inconvenient if you develop a clot.

Uncross your legs!
This is my worst habit. Even during my recovery, I was constantly being told off for not sitting correctly. Ensure that your legs have free flow of blood. You should not have one leg over the other nor should you be sat on them.

Drink water
Like the title says, keep hydrated. You should be anyway, you’re pregnant. Carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go and try to drink the recommended limit which is around 1.5 – 2 litres of water per day.

Other ways
There are other recommendations for preventing clots and I am putting them under one heading. The reason for this is that the above suggestions are very simple to follow, everybody can do it without much effort. The following are much more difficult:

Quitting smoking.

Losing weight if you have a BMI of 30+.

I am not going to go into any more detail than this because if you are one of those people, I am sure you have heard it so many times since becoming pregnant as these are causes for much more complications in pregnancy. However, they are still recommendations by Health Professionals so I feel as if they still needed a mention.

Symptoms
Symptoms of clots can vary greatly depending on the size and position of the clot. Pain can vary from mild to severe, and sometimes no obvious symptoms can be seen at all. The below is the NHS’s list of symptoms we should be aware of:

For Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT):

  • cramping pain
  • redness
  • warmth in muscles
  • swelling

For a Pulmonary Embolism (PE):

  • breathlessness
  • chest pain
  • fainting
  • coughing up blood

As mentioned, you can develop a clot with little to no symptoms. I did not see any of these symptoms until a lot later on so if you feel unwell, always get checked out.

 
We are almost a year to the date that I was diagnosed and I am still recovering. The road to recovery was difficult and I felt as if I was never going to get there. I would wake up several times through the night in pain and could only sleep upright. When I became more heavily pregnant, this became an absolute nightmare as I fought to find a comfortable position. I had no energy and walking a short distance took it out of me. My fitness might never go back to how it was but that’s a small price to pay when you look at what could have happened, death.

I am also learning how it will affect other areas of my life; life insurance, travel insurance and a reoccurrence of a clot will land me on lifelong anticoagulants. I was also surprised to find out that I was unable to become a stem cell donor after trying to apply last week.

So if like me you are thinking, “It’ll never happen to me”, remember it can and start making changes 😊.

– Tee 💜

This post is merely sharing my experience of having a clot and is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Please contact a Healthcare Professional if you have concerns!

One Messy Mama