The Oliver's Madhouse

When Life Isn't Complicated Enough

The Oliver’s Madhouse 2012 Breakdown (not bad for a newbie!)

I started my blogging adventure in October of 2012 after many moons of being a secret reader and cant believe how rewarding this has been. Not only am I starting the New Year with some degree of sanity I am also having a great time!

I am sending all my best wishes to all my followers new and old and to all those people in my life that help me be me!

(The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog)

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


A New Me? .. or Maybe Just a Half Sized Version?

January 2012

At this time of year we of course think about what bad habit we are going to change in the upcoming year and we make resolutions to improve ourselves.

Last year I made a resolution to lose some weight. After a rather traumatic experience in Boots on one of those electronic scales that prints you your weight and BMI for you to keep for posterity (as if!) I knew that being 18 stones and only being 5 foot tall was very very bad news and I could no longer hide from the fact I was seriously overweight.

One of my main problems was the Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction I developed when I was about 6 months pregnant with Joshua and I was hiding behind the pain and used it as excuse not to do anything. I hoped that after giving birth to Joshua it would improve like all the books said, however my pain never got better (read about it here)

So with my battle with constant on-going pain I had presumed that I would never shift this weight. However since I was in pain anyway I thought I would just take pain relief and have to do what I could.

This year I have improved the families eating habits by including more veg within the meals I cook as well as buying smaller dinner plates to stop me from over eating. I upped my exercise to walking every day and doing aqua aerobics. Then once the weight started to go down I took up Zumba and then Hockey (all with the aide of my trusty pelvic support).

This has not been an easy journey it has been pure hell since my pelvis is so unstable the pain can be excruciating but I know that the only thing I can do to try and relieve the pressure and to lose the weight. The only other option is surgery to have my pelvis pinned and plated back together however the surgeons don’t want to do this until I am in my 40’s and the chance of this working is only 50% effective so I want to do everything I can to not have to go down this route however some days I just wish I could have the surgery and hope that it worked.

This year I have lost almost 4 stones and my weight now fluctuates at the 14 stone mark. Which although I know some people will be able to lose more weight in a quicker time frame I am glad I have lost it gradually and its staying off.

The coming year I will be increasing the activity and will be getting back to Zumba and Hockey and I am hoping to try and get out every day for the 2 mile walks I first started to lose weight with too.

I will be setting myself a target for June to of lost between 1 ½ stone – 2 stones as the Oliver’s are going on their first holiday aboard together so I would love to fit in an aeroplane seat comfortably  and although I won’t be wearing a bikini I do want to feel more comfortable in my own skin.

I am really nervous about the next stage of my weight loss journey but I know I have to do this for the sake of my own health.


Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (Pelvic Girdle Pain)


This condition has now been in my life for approximately 3 years and it’s the one thing that reduces me to tears on a daily basis. I developed this condition in my second trimester of pregnancy with Joshua and throughout I was told this condition will rectify itself after birth.

My son is now nearly 21 months old and this condition is still with me and is more painful than ever with no signs of reprieve.

SPD is not only a pregnancy related condition it can be developed in men and women that have previously had a fall or damage to the pelvic area.  Although the majority of cases are brought on by pregnancy hormones, which work to loosen the ligament that holds the pubic bones together (Pubic Symphysis) in order to allow babys head to pass through the pelvis when giving birth.

In my case I had trauma to the pelvis a few years back along with extra weight before my pregnancy. That added to excessive weight gain throughout my pregnancy and the hormone changes in pregnancy .. bingo.. unstable pelvis at the sacroiliac joints and the Pubic Symphysis joint.

I was signed off work by my 7th month of pregnancy due to the condition as I worked at a desk all day and found it unbearable to sit for any length of time; I was having physio weekly and was advised that unless I gave up work and started to rest more I would damage my pelvis permanently.

I wore the pregnancy support belt I was given day and night along with 4 layers of bandaging I wore all the time to try and correct the instability in my pelvis. Nothing worked; I barely slept and was in constant pain.

After my son’s birth by elective section I was looking forward to the pain subsiding and for things to get back to normal but with each passing month my hope disappeared. I was informed by the physio at my local hospital that I needed physio 2-3 times per week but they could only fit me in once every 3-4 weeks.

Running out of options I visited a chiropractor and found this and acupuncture helped for the following 2 days after an appointment, but at a cost of £30 per visit and 1-2 visits per week we could only afford this for 6 months so I have now been without physio or a chiropractor for nearly 2 years

Joshua slept through the night from 5 weeks old and even now I do not sleep solidly through the night as I wake up 3-6 times a night with excruciating pain in one or both of my hips and or legs. My hips, pelvis and lower back all crack and crunch and I can feel both sides of my pelvis moving independently.

Last January I finally had my appointment come through after waiting months and months to see a specialist at the hospital.  On seeing the Consultant he sent me for X-rays and confirmed that I had this condition (really, I never would of guessed) and was told to lose some weight and once I am in my 40’s they would consider me for surgery (I am only 33 currently) He also told me that the surgery is not always effective and at only a 50% success rate it may not be worthwhile doing.

I feel like I have a body of a 90 year old and although I am doing everything I can to help myself I am increasingly disheartened and I am beginning to think things will never improve.

I do have incredibly low periods with this condition whereI can’t stand to keep taking all the pain killers but know if I don’t I could have days where I am in such immense pain it hurts to make any movement at all.

I took voluntary redundancy last year from work while on maternity leave as I knew that sitting at my desk will be excruciating and I would not of been able to maintain it in the long term. This does get me down thinking about the pain I will endure if and when I have to return back to work as some days I can’t even manage the most basic of household duties without bursting into tears.

I want to play with my kids; I want to carry out normal life without having to fit in things while I am having a good day.

Don’t get me wrong I know there are people out there that are far worse off than me and I try to think about this when I am getting down, although it doesn’t always work at keeping me positive.

I cannot tell you how debilitating this condition actually is, it affects every aspect of my life and that of my family. Maybe one day I will be old enough for the surgery and my health and quality of life will improve, until then I will continue down the weight loss route and keep taking the pain killers.

Useful Websites:


A Big Blogging Shout Out!

thank you
This year has seen me finally take the plunge into blogging after a long time of just being a snooper and hider on other people’s blogs.

I want to give my first shout of thanks to Vicky  from Verily, Victoria Vocalises and Emma from The Cycling Mummy  who were my very first contacts from the BritMums Newbie Group, they have held my hand and shown me the way through the maze that is blogging and they continue to inspire me. Ladies I will be eternally grateful!

Ember from Purple Crazy Mum’s Blog, you are my cyber sister and are most avid commenter and liker of my posts (even the rubbish ones!). I am looking forward to seeing you at Britmums and if we end up sharing a room you have been warned …. I snore!

Now after months of being a ‘Newbie’ and after seeing many linkys there are 2 people I have to say a massive thank you to for their support when I first joined their amazing linkys (by support I mean my continual email/twitter questions about what I needed to do to enter) Mummy Barrow I LOVE your Ranty Friday linky!! And I would be lost without my weekly rant! Charlotte from The Crumby Mummy your Fun Photo Fun linky is great! And thank you for adding me to a new group on Facebook recently for bloggers in my area! With your linkys I have gained many new followers and received lots of lovely comments from your followers too (big hugs ladies)

Karen from Woman Wife and Mum thank you for always being the one person I can tag in a Meme and you will complete it in a flash! Your blog is amazing and inspirational! I don’t comment enough and will endeavour to comment more in the New Year!

Talking of Memes I would like to thank Suzanne from 3 Children and It who has tagged me recently in some great Memes. I love them and when having a bit of a block on what to post next they are great at taking the pressure off and allow me to talk just about me! (BONUS)

Thank you Leyla from This Day I Love for being my partner in brussel sprout crime! I still have yet to think of a sprouty name for our gang! You’re on going tweets and blog comments are fantastic and really cheer me up. Your blog concept is lovely too you’re always so positive!

Mocha Beanie Mummy, thank you for hosting Silent Sunday, by linking up not only have I received some lovely comments I have been able to show some blog loving to others.  I have also been able to take some time to reflect on the pictures I have taken in the week and to show one off!

Sarah from The Puffin Diaries and Nichola from F.A.B Forty Mum you both have such amazing blogs and are so honest and all your posts come straight from the heart! No matter what crisis you may be going through you both amaze me! Although I do visit I don’t always comment and I will certainly make a New Year’s Resolution to spend more time over on your blogs and to comment more! (I am a bad follower, you may disown me if you wish *hangs head in shame*)

Although I am going to pretty much end all my blog loving there, I do have many followers that take the time to comment on posts, as there are way too many of you I cant really name you all as I will still be here tomorrow! I want you all to know that I am so grateful that you take the pity time and you come across and comment, tweet or email me, without your comments and tweets I have no doubt I would be lacking in the sanity department! SO LOVE TO YOU ALL!

My final shouts go to my kids for just being them, my mum for her continued blog support (and not thinking I was mad to blog in the first place) and to Ollie who even when he intermittently became a blogging widow he is very patient! Ollie I make a promise to you to  organise myself better so you don’t become a blogging widow in 2013!

I am going to use this opportunity to say THANK YOU TO YOU ALL and to wish you all:


This is to be my final blog post until the New Year so I can spend more quality Christmas time with my family (I am sure you all understand). I will no doubt still be flitting round commenting on your blog posts, tweeting or trying to build my Facebook blog page (shh don’t tell the hubby)

This is a blog hop from the lovely Angie from Cakes Photo Life  if any of my blogging chums would like to enter please click here


Fun Photo Fun – Cuddles

I have been linking up with the lovely Charlotte over at The Crumby Mummy for the last few weeks for her linky Fun Photo Fun and Joshua and this week we are back with Cuddles!!

Although my little man has always been fairly cuddly, his cuddle giving this week has gone into hyper drive!  (maybe its the festive season effecting him?)

We love cuddles they are so much FUN!



The Day I Became Jaime Oliver


I know this happened a few months before my blogging ways kicked in but I wanted to enlighten my lovely followers at just how mad the Oliver’s are!

Throughout my pregnancy with Joshua Ollie proposed several times, mainly with Haribo rings and at the insistence we should be married before our new addition arrived. I have to say I was not elated over the thought of wedding pictures when I was the size of 2 houses!  So we kind of joked about it but left it well alone.

After the birth of Joshua we went away for a few days to Whitby where an idea was formed. We both loved Whitby and thought of getting married there was quite exciting! However neither Ollie nor I actually like being the centre of attention and after much deliberation we decided to do it but with no one knowing!

I know some of you may think we were a little cruel, however the thought of being the centre of attention made us both sick and we had both been married previously and had the big white wedding that neither of us wanted.

So in June/July 2011 we planned our secret wedding! I have to say it was a logistical nightmare as we are approximately 2 hours away and we needed accommodation, photographer, hair and makeup!

I have to say that once we had our fantastic photographer in place (Rob Smith) and my hair and makeup artist (Helen Guy) we were rocking and rolling and they were so helpful!  Without these 2 we would have been lost, not only did they do a fantastic job they were also our witnesses (who we still can’t thank enough)!

Fitting Beth for her outfit I have to say was the scariest moment of all for me, I measured her in March for her custom made dress and made out I was taking measurements for any reasonably priced school uniform I could find (as she started secondary school in September) The dress arrived in May and then I was in total melt down! .. How was I doing to get her to try it on before we travelled to Whitby without letting the cat out of the bag??  It went something like this:

Me “Beth can you remember me telling you about that very posh wedding we are going to in August?”

Beth “No”

Me “you must remember it’s going to be very very posh”

Beth “No”

Me “Well never mind, we are going to this very very posh wedding and instead of a boring dress off the rack I have had a dress made for you. Do you want to try it on?”

Beth “OMG YES!”

Once the dress was on:

Beth “OMG it’s gorgeous”

Me “it is very beautiful”

Beth “it looks like a bridesmaid dress!”

Me “No it doesn’t!”

With that she was excited about the POSH POSH wedding in August!

We Left for Whitby on Saturday 9th June and on arriving we finally told Beth that we were going to get married while we were there! To say she was gobsmacked would be an understatement!

The Sunday and the Monday I was struck down with a tummy bug so didn’t move from the apartment and I did think at one point getting married wouldn’t be an option, however when I woke on the Tuesday I was feeling much better!! (I could have cried with relief)

The whole day was fantastic! I was so calm and Rob and Helen were amazing! After getting married we then went to the beach and had some picture taken. Once finished we went back to the apartment and phoned our parents (who took the news fantastically well!)


wedding120612 1

wedding 3

wedding 5

We finished off with Fish and Chips at the Magpie and it couldn’t have been more perfect for us!

The Oliver’s certainly don’t do things conventionally and once again proves the Oliver’s house is certainly a MADHOUSE!

Please feel free to pop over to our lovely Photographer Rob’s Post about our Wedding 🙂 click HERE

All These Photos are copyrighted by Rob Smith


The Fairy At The Bottom of The Garden Has Gone!

That’s right! I swear she must of moved into the house, as no human could of accomplished what I have don’t so far today with a toddler in tow.

After planning my pre-Christmas deep clean for last week and then tearing my calf muscle playing hockey I can honestly say I have done naff all for the whole of last week. So today I got my butt moving and I have finally started the deep clean.

Now while I have been cleaning the kitchen this morning I wondered if it was just me?

………… where does all the cack come from on top of the cooker hood? It’s quite vile!

I am a fastidious cleaner and I religiously clean as I have OCD tendencies (so Ollie would say). So where does all the sticky crap come from?

Other jobs I have tackled today that I hate are the shower drain! (gag gag gag), crumbs out of the toaster (I am sure there were enough in there to make 3 slices of bread),  kitchen cupboards and kick boards, cleaning and polishing the tiles in the kitchen, the windows and cleaned the hob!


If there really is a fairy at the bottom of the garden and she has come in, I am nominating her to clean the washing machine rubber seal and to clean the grot from round the kitchen bin!

To be fair I have had enough so think it’s time for a fag, a can of Pepsi Max and a long overdue snuggle with my boy.


Silent Sunday

silent sunday 161212 2


The Oliver’s Finally Start Christmas

Now as some of you already know from my previous post 53 Days Till Christmas  I am anally retentive when it comes to being organised for Christmas. Yes I have bought, wrapped, tagged and done my Christmas cards weeks/months before the big day, however this year our tree is still not up!

Every year previously we have got the tree up and decorated on or near the 1st December. This year we decided to leave it till nearer the big day as Joshua is a little monkey and we would find him swinging from the top branches with fairly lights wrapped round him to boot!

My intention was to crack on and get the tree up last weekend but that idea died a death when I ended up injured playing a hockey match last Saturday in which I tore my calf muscle so I have spend the week hobbling. So the big clean that was due this week has still not been done and the Oliver’s Madhouse is utterly bare of its gaudy festive decorations.

This weekend we made a start, we ventured off to our local garden centre on Saturday in search of the big man himself and some of his helpers.

It seems we were successful:

santa day out 2

santa day out 1

santa day out 3

On finding Father Christmas Joshua was … unimpressed! Not only was he not that fussed he continued to keep giving his gift back!

santa day out 4

Oh well there is always next year!


Ranty Friday – Dr’s Appointments

It’s that time of the week again where I am linking up with the lovely Mummy Barrow for the Ranty Friday post and by god it couldn’t have come at a better time!

It actually started last week as my little man suffers with eczema and has regular flare ups at the backs of his knees and the crooks of his elbows.  Up until this point we have always been able to control it so it hasn’t really affected him greatly. This time it has been so bad he has scratched till he was bleeding little rivers!

So last week I booked him an appointment with our local GP and off we went (to even get an appointment is a bonus) Joshua’s appointment was for 10.10am and we arrived at 10.05am. Now the first 15 minutes over our allocated time slot he was starting to agitated and was beginning to get louder  … by 40 minutes late  he was terrorising the other patients and his behaviour  ranged from giving them a cuddle to trying to steal the magazine’s they were reading.

By the time Joshua went in to his appointment 55 minutes late, to say I was stressed would be an understatement and as the Dr is so nice it made it a whole lot harder!

I had to take him back this week so the Dr could see how his eczema was doing. I was nervous about the possibility of the Dr Over running his appointment time again.. could he?? .. it seemed he could!



45 minutes late this time! During this time Joshua threw the toys across the waiting area, too many times to count, ripped 6 magazines, pulled another toddlers boot off, slide up and down the seats like a slide over 100 times, knocked on 4 different Dr’s doors, threw himself on the floor in a fit of rage a dozen times and then finally after strapping him back into the pushchair we were called in, to be greeted with I knew you must be here as Joshua is my last patient and I could hear him outside…..


Yes my son was loud and boisterous and thoroughly pissed off, he was due for his sleep at 12.30 and wasn’t seen on time which meant he was beyond fed up!

Why do we bother fighting to get an appointment in the first place only to be made to wait an excessively long time to see the Dr! thank god my step dad is a Pharmacist so don’t go to the Dr’s that often as any minor ailment we head to our local Chemists for help!

Yes you are Dr’s that does not mean you time is more precious than mine; it does not mean you can be rude to us for our children losing the will to live and becoming frustrated.

No doubt if we were all late for our appointments with you, you would be pissed off!

So please please please stop treating us like idiots and treat us with a little more respect.



Exquisite Digits & Beauty

Qualified Mobile Nail & Beauty Technician In Nottinghamshire

Faded Seaside Mama

When Life Isn't Complicated Enough

My Lifestyle, Food & Interiors

The Oliver's Madhouse

When life isn't complicated enough ..

Alice & Amelia

new young mum sharing my stories......

Death Valley Cycle 2014

3 novice cyclists raising money for Great Ormond Street Children's Charity

Old Road Apples

A Magnificent Fountain of Gurgling Wit, Wisdom, and Intriguing Insights. Some Other Stuff, Too.


A Work in Progress

Bark Time

I don’t want a perfect life; I want a happy one.


Bringing parenting back to basics, helping mums to use their instincts!

Sceptical Mum

Questioning the wisdom of modern parenthood @scepticalmum

%d bloggers like this: