Monday, 26 January 2015

DIY Birthday Chalkboard

If you saw my post a️bout Harry's first birthday party you would have seen the birthday "chalkboard" I made all by myself *smiles a big chuffed smile*! It was actually super easy to make but took some planning and careful calligraphy!
If you would like to make your own birthday chalkboard, rather than paying the £25+ that Etsy demands, then keep reading!

You will need:

*a black foam board (mine is an A1 from Hobbycraft)
*metallic pens (mine are Papermania Fluid Metallic Pens that are specifically for writing on dark backgrounds)
*a ruler
*a pencil
*a rubber
*some scrap paper for drafting

Firstly you want to jot down some ideas for your board, things like what your little one is loving right now, how many teeth they have, favourite book, what they weigh or measure, what they dislike, things that they can do etc etc etc..

Secondly you want to draft your design on a plain piece of paper. Use a pencil and rubber as you will need to play around a bit to see which bits you can fit where

Font styles from
I used a website called da font to copy various fonts onto my board although you can just make up your own or doodle it in your own handwriting!

Once you are happy with your layout transfer it carefully into your foam board, again with pencil so you can correct any mistakes - unless you are brave enough to go straight in with your pens!!!
Then go over your wording with your metallics adding little drawings, stars, hearts, crowns or whatever fits with your theme! Use a ruler to section off your writing but be careful making sure its straight!

 It really is as easy as that! I plan to do one every year until Harry is like 21.... Hmmm!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Will you be making a birthday chalkboard??!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

What is a Cochlear Implant?

If you've seen my latest vlog you will have seen that I did a short video about so BIG EXCITING news! Harry finally has a date for his cochlear implant surgery - Tuesday 3rd Feb 2015!  But what even is a cochlear implant...

What is a cochlear implant?!
A cochlear implant is a tiny and very complex electronic device, that can help to provide sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing (Harry is profoundly deaf which means he has no natural hearing) The implant consists of an internal part that is surgically placed under the skin and attaches to an external part via magnets.
The Cochlear Implant is made up of the following componants:
·         A microphone, which picks up sound from the environment.
·         A speech processor, which selects and arranges sounds picked up by the microphone.
·         A transmitter and receiver/stimulator, which receive signals from the speech processor and convert them into electric impulses.
·         An electrode array, which is a group of electrodes that collects the impulses from the stimulator and sends them to different regions of the auditory nerve.
An implant does not restore normal hearing. Instead, it can give a deaf person a representation of sounds in the environment and help him or her to understand speech.
At present around 10,000 people in the UK are fitted with a cochlear implant and the number is increasing each year.  You see a lot of cochlear implants around where the external part sits behind the ear, much like a hearing aid, however for the first 5 years Harry won’t have the behind the ear part and instead that part will clip onto his clothing.  We mainly chose this option because we felt his ears and head were too small to have that sort of hardware and also because the brand we have gone for is waterproof!
Advanced Bionics Neptune  |  Source

How does a cochlear implant work?
A cochlear implant is VERY different from a hearing aid – which simply amplifies sound so they may be detected by damaged ears. Cochlear implants however bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Signals generated by the implant are sent by way of the auditory nerve to the brain, which recognizes the signals as sound.
Hearing through a cochlear implant is different from normal hearing and takes time to learn. However, it allows many people to recognize warning signals, understand other sounds in the environment, and enjoy a conversation in person or by telephone

During the operation the surgeon makes an incision behind the ear being treated in order to gain access into the middle ear and cochlear. The operation lasts between 3 and 4 hours per ear - Harry will be having both done at the same time so a mega long operation
The operation is delicate and intricate rather than dangerous because no vital organs are disturbed. There are no serious attendant risks with the operation beyond those normally associated with major surgery

What does the future hold for someone with a cochlear implant?
With advancements in technology and continued follow-up studies with people who already have received implants, researchers are evaluating how cochlear implants might be used for other types of hearing loss.
Other studies are exploring ways to make a cochlear implant convey the sounds of speech more clearly. Researchers also are looking at the potential benefits of pairing a cochlear implant in one ear with either another cochlear implant or a hearing aid in the other ear

So there you go I hope that answers any questions you may have or improves your understanding of what Harry's going to have done! Here's my latest vlog if you fancy seeing a little snippet of Harry and to hear my thoughts and feelings on him undergoing this massive operation..


Friday, 2 January 2015

A Royal First Birthday

Invitations by Forever Your Prints | Etsy
I can't believe this past November my little baby turned into a toddler and celebrated his very first birthday! Where on earth does the time go?   If you have a stationary newborn hold on to them tightly guys!!!
For his borthday we threw him a Prince themed birthday party at The Tea Bar in our home town and it was PERFECT!

Firstly I had to get invitations printed and handed out so I went with a pre-made template from a company on Etsy called Forever Your Prints, who were amazing and tweaked it to perfection! I would highly recommend them for invitations

I decided to get a bit creative and made a few felt crowns and a first birthday "chalkboard" (a tutorial will be up soon for both of these if you want one?!)


Seeing as there would be a whole age range we decided to hire a small soft play area for them littluns to get stuck into and it was a huge hit! We hired ours from Little Softies who have suppliers in various areas of the UK

The cake was handmade by my beautiful friend Jennie (she also organised my fabulous baby shower!) it was huge and oh soooooo chocolatey!!  She used a crown shaped cake tin to bake it and i think its totally GBBO-worthy! I got totally emotional when we all sang AND signed Happy Birthday around it!!

We were so overwhelmed and delighted at how many people turned up to celebrate Harry turning one, it was hectic but in a good way!!

Thank you to everyone who came to Harry's party and to all of you who sent gifts and left him birthday wishes!! He had the most amazing day!
OH and thank you to Sarah for taking such gorgeous photos for us!!!

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