09-01-12  Love Mummy Weekly Showcase

What a difference a week makes!

This week we have seen an incredible start to this website, with unprecedented numbers of bloggers visiting the showcases, and signing up to the Love All Blogs Community network. Already there have been some great discussions on there, with bloggers new and old chatting about everything from technical issues to gin! And of course lots of these chats have instigated some cracking ideas, like the 366 and  52 Photo Linky over on Photo Blogs.

Now, the inclusion of other blog categories means that Mummy bloggers can win in so many more ways with the new site. Personally I tried to submit to every single category this week, but I was a bit befuddled by how to break into Daddy blogs! Rumour has it that Here Come the Girls has managed it, so next week I am hatching a plan to enter a guest blog post from Actually Daddy!  The point is, you needn’t be a Photo blogger to submit a post to the photo showcase. And anyone with a great recipe post can submit it to Cookery.

Annie has put together a fantastic team of people, and we are all here to help you and each other get the most out of your blog and the blogging experience. I know I learn something new every day and the Community Site has introduced me to more great bloggers, as well as bringing new readers to my own blog. Pretty compelling reason to be there, really!

Anyway, here I am rambling on about all the other categories, when what I really want to do is highlight the Mummy bloggers. Because of course we are the champions!! (Aren’t we?) *Checks with the boss* Yes! We win the battle for most posts linked in the showcase (are you listening Dear Beautiful Boy?). Well done ladies – I am proud of your participative spirit! Tell all your blogging friends, bribe them with biscuits/chocolate/wine/gin *delete as appropriate* and bring them on board to join forces with the nicest bunch of bloggers you will ever find! And nice is a nice word 😉

Please read as many of the blogs as you have time for, and let them know you have visited. This is how you will grow your readership too, and develop a wider community. We will be talking about commenting in the Mummy group over the course of the next week, and I would welcome all of your thoughts on it. Take it away Mummys!

Dear Beautiful Boy – Saturday is… My Last Post for 2011

Saturday is... My Last Post for 2011

2011 has, in many ways, been the hardest of my life, but also the easiest; the scariest and the most exciting, the most exhausting, the most beautiful and the most fulfilling.

2011 started with me at home with my husband and my fluffy babies, oh and a huge bump.

2011 lay ahead of us full of promise. Excitement lay ahead of us. We couldn’t wait to welcome our baby into the world but we were anxious too, because until they’re here you can never really know what you’re letting yourself in for.

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Mummy from the Heart… – A Short ‘n’ Tweet Trip to London for New Years

A Short 'n' Tweet Trip to London for New Years

Dh had to work New Year Eve and very luckily his work give him a room to stay over as he does not finish until the early hours. Stroke of luck he could only get a room for a 2 day minimum so off we go as a family for a trip to London for 2 nights and with no cost for the accommodation! Can’t be bad… Check out our stay in London by my imaginary Twitter updates.

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An Essex Wife – An Essex Wife Loves……The Land Of Make-Believe

As an only child I could play alone for hours quite happily in a land of make believe growing up. Now as an adult I find that I can amuse my self quite easily with just the thoughts in my head. I can sit for hours people watching and making up back stories for their lives and tales of what they are up to.

Bearing this in mind I’m not sure why I was so surprised at the wonderfully vivid imagination my little lady has. It’s brilliant! Everyday she has a new game or activity

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Boo Roo and Tigger Too – I hate my birthday!!!

I hate my birthday!!!

Today is my birthday, that day in the year I dread coming around. Now it’s not because I don’t want to be another year older but due to the lack of interest and bad luck my previous birthdays have encountered.

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Mammasaurus – Scary-ass childrens programmes (shame on you CBeebies!)

Scary-ass childrens programmes (shame on you CBeebies!)

Then came ‘Let’s Celebrate’ on CBeebies, celebrating different cultures celebrations, brilliant idea yes – the main mans name in it though -WRONG WRONG WRONG ! The exec. who thought that ‘Tommy Tickler’ is a suitable name for a kids presenter was surely off his/her tits on crack at the time. At best ‘Tommy Tickler’ sounds like a pleasure enhancing device for ladies and at worst an ageing kiddy fiddler…

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Our Pea Green Pod – Damn Sentimental Me

Damn Sentimental Me

An important journey that I embarked upon last year & shall be continuing on this year is one regarding my mental health. I’ve been suffering from anxiety & the subsequent depression which has been ruling my life for the past year or so. It was only about half way through that I realised that it was a real problem. I thought for years that this feeling was just me…

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Bot Bot Mama – Sleep: lack of, deprivation, training…

Sleep, my old friend, my love. I am filled with such regret that I didn’t appreciate you when you were mine. And oh how I miss you now that I can no longer have you. Please come back to me. Please.

Ok, so it’s a bit dramatic but I can’t help it. I am fooking knackered. As I sit and write this I’m thinking of my lovely king-sized bed, clean and fresh sheets, soft, spongy pillows calling out to me, “Jen, come to bed…”.

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Mummy Big Bum – Protect against Paedophiles (‘Unforeseen horrors’)

(Posted as a warning)

My baby; my sweet, innocent child, who knows nothing of the evils of this world…has been viewed by a paedophile.

It is truly horrific to imagine; yet I am unable to get it out of my head. I have no words to describe the revulsion I feel: you are supposed to be able to write at your best on subjects that are close to your heart…but any attempt at describing this horrendous discovery would fall so far short of expressing my feelings; that to attempt to do so would detract from the horror of the situation.

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Cheetahs In My Shoes – 2011 according to the Cheetahs

2011 according to the Cheetahs

So 2011 has been the year that the Cheetahs and their keeper found, ahem, fame. From small beginnings (ie just being annoyingly in shoes when it was time to put them on) and the odd Facebook status update they’ve now got their own blog (ta daaaaaaaaaaa – yes I know you’re reading it) and their keeper’s mother has met, via the wonders of the bloggesphere and Twitter some super lovely people

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Trouble Doubled – 2011 – an achievement in itself

2011 - an achievement in itself

What a difference in my life between last Christmas and this. There is no doubt that 2011 has been a non-stop roller-coaster ride. I am proud of what our family has achieved this year, and especially proud of what I, myself have done. I deserve a medal. A great big one.

The year started off with me being massively pregnant. My parents were taken up with my very poorly Nan, and my husband was trying to work as much as possible to buy himself as much time off as he could around my due-date.

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expatbabyadventures – Poop with the pope

Of course everyone was there to watch him. He then decided to go for wander with me chasing (trying to Holy behind him). We find statue of “Our Lady” Hiya LPV says, waving. When he was sure he wasn’t getting a response from her, he decided to raid the money basket beneath the candles for lighting. At this I was praying that he hadn’t spotted the communion wine!!

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Yellow Days – What changed in 2011?

What changed in 2011?

Now Christmas is over it seems like I should take stock of the year before it’s gone. 2011 has whooshed by but, when I think about it, life this New Year’s Eve is very different to the last.

Last New Year’s Eve I watched the fireworks propped up in bed in a delivery room feeding T who had arrived an hour before. I was really nervous about having to go up to maternity and Hubs and my mother going home but T spent the night feeding, dozing and quietly staring at me. Perfect.

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from fun to mum – Farewell Unwanted Advice

Farewell Unwanted Advice

My Mum! She has raised two kids on her own, said kids, me and my brother, are 35 and 33 years old respectively, but we are still treated like 7 years old! Advice on all matters, from eating to clothing, from manners to hairstyles (I swear) is dished out at us every 2.5 seconds! I am not joking at all!

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Mummy got heart and soul – A peak of my heart

A peak of my heart

If I can truly grasp and believe this, then I can achieve anything. Like a butterfly I hide in my cocoon, awaiting the time to show off my captivating colours and fly, however unlike a butterfly I lack the confidence to leave my cocoon, when all around me shows me that I am ready. I cling to my safety net and close my eyes dreaming of my great escape, dreaming of that someone who will save me. The truth is, I can only save myself and the question is, when will I deem myself worthy of this freedom?

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Hello Wall…. – Lights, Speed Camera…..Action.

Lights, Speed Camera.....Action.

Here I am at my driver aware course. You would think that having to go to the Gatwick Holiday Inn would be punishment enough. I have fought my way down the M25 through the hideous stormy weather and seem to have eaten my way through half a family sized pack of minstrels. I am half an hour early and it’s a toss up between waiting in the car or the hotel foyer…not sure which is better. I’ll have another minstrel whilst I decide.

To top it all I forgot my new kindle to while away the time. Bejeweled it is then.

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Feisty Tapas – Working from home with kids (linky)

Working from home with kids (linky)

There are a lot of brave people out there considering starting their own business, freelancing, etc. but they can’t afford crippling childcare costs and are overwhelmed by the guilt of having their child in nursery when they could perfectly be looking after them (I fall under both these categories myself). Even those of us who already do it need tips as our children grow and learn new things such as walking or climbing on things (yes, I’m speaking from experience!).

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Johnson Babies – #oneborn every minute: #dads

#oneborn every minute: #dads

I asked Him what He remembered most about Seren coming into the world, I had a random response- “It all became real when I went to buy a pint of milk and realised by the time it reached the expiry date we’d be parents.”

What do I remember of Him? I remember seeing my other half as the biggest nervous wreck ever. Admittedly we had no experience with babies, and we skipped the antenatal sessions after attending two, we didn’t go on the hospital tour so weren’t exactly following the boy scout rules.

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Butwhymummywhy – But mummy, where do babies pop out from?

What a stupid idea, leaving the house with two small children amid torrential rain and merciless wind. This was all because I felt guilty that Noo had watched TV all morning and so therefore we needed to balance it out with a trip to the library. So while navigating the bad weather and telling myself that we needed to do this so that I could feel as if we had accomplished something with the day and therefore was not a bad mother or failed parent, 4 year old Noo talked and talked and, well, talked..

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love . inspiration . style . happiness – Independence days

Independence days

After 2 or 3 of these epic tantrums I’ve learnt to accommodate this desire for independence by giving her control where I can, listening to her requests, respecting her desire to be a big girl. I’m sure to some outsiders it looks ridiculous (I feel like they are thinking but she is a child and you are the adult) but she has always been strong willed, independent and I find the best way is to work with her and to listen to her. She might look little but she’s got BIG plans.

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Adventures of a Middle-Aged Matron – Facts of Life

My daughter is staging a show in the sitting room. Usually she swirls one of my winceyette nighties to the Hits of the Monkees. Today, though, she is wearing a black mini skirt (bought by her grandmother), a black crop top (bought by her grandmother), strappy black high heels (ditto) and a black leather, metal- studded waist clincher (ditto ditto).
‘I am a hard girl,’ she sings, ‘and I need a man who likes it rough.’ On the sitting room stereo, Lady Gaga decides that she can’t sleep with a man who dims her shine.

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(Nearly!) Perfect Mother – From 10 to 1 and back up again…

So, I’ve decided to start the New Year by introducing some more rigid boundaries for my children. I announced this proudly to a good friend the other day, who politely pointed out that as my eldest is four, perhaps four years ago would have been the time to start thinking of boundary introduction. A fair point.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have some. Like they’re not allowed to eat upstairs and they can only….

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Looking for Blue Sky – Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

I love my kitchen. But I don’t want to live in it. Yet this Christmas it has often felt as though I was doing exactly that.

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Little Dudes – Back to work: new skills learned from maternity leave

Back to work: new skills learned from maternity leave

It’s tough going back to work after maternity leave. But after looking after a baby for the last nine months, I’ve discovered that it give you loads of new skills and really polishes up the skills you always put on your CV.
1. Multi-tasking
Right, you have a baby, which needs constant feeding, rocking, jiggling and entertaining. BUT you also have to get a wash on, make the tea AND do the washing up. Oh, and you want a shower at some point during the day.
You thought you were good at multi-tasking before? Well now you’re a true expert.

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MotherWifeMe – Make way for the Mum Dancer

I have always loved to dance. I took my first dance class at 2.5 years old and my last dance class at circa 17 years old – the only reason I stopped was that the bank of mum and dad mischievously shut down my account.

Luckily, the last dance class coincided with my first foray into hitting the clubs. I’m proud to say I was never an unpaid podium dancer, but I did spend a good few years waving my arms in the air like I just didn’t care. Big fish, little fish, cardboard box had nothing on my moves…

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Natural Baby Shower – Is there a link between teen drinking and how we care for our babies?

Post NYE, the news as usual is full of doom over binge drinking – especially teenage binge drinking.

It’s a grim thought to imagine that a decade down the line, our beaming babies will be rebellious teens ready to swipe the contents of our drinks cabinet if we dare turn our backs.

But a BBC report I read this morning put a smile on my face, “high levels of parental attachment when children were aged under five significantly reduced the chances of them drinking excessively later in life.”

A big thumbs up then for breastfeeding, co-sleeping and baby carrying…

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Mummy’s Busy World – Bilingual at three? ¡Si, señor!

Bilingual at three? ¡Si, señor!

“¡Mira mami! Look!” I yell out as we walked along the gravel path near grandma and grandpa’s house.

“¿Qué mi lindo? ¿qué es?” She says as she stops walking and looks over to where I am standing.

“Mira, arriba. Es un butterfly…mariposa” I say watching it float away to rest on a leaf.

“Si, es una mariposa. Es muy linda, ¿no es cierto? ¿De qué color es?” She asks, even though she knows what color it is.

I look up to see where it has landed and tell mami “BLUE…¡azul!”

“Muy bien mi niño, es una mariposa azul”

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bluebirdsunshine – Wee Willie Winkie

Wee Willie Winkie runs through the lounge.

Sun has been toilet trained for about 4 or 5 months and until now pants have stayed on at all times and hands have stayed out of said pants, but I knew this day was coming. You see I’ve read about this. Young boys and girls throw off the shackles of their nappies and discover that there’s a whole new world to explore. New appendages in my son’s case.

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Kamel – The Choice

Tijm pulls his green jumper out of the wardrobe. ‘Look mummy, for my new school!’
I nod, the jumper is just like the uniform of the primary school we visited yesterday. Tijm is ready.

Now we have make a choice, the incomprehensible English school system is slowly starting to unravel. Not that there is much choice. Well, there are public schools, off course. That is, if your four year old passes the entrance exam and you manage to get together over eleven thousand pounds, per child, per year. Not a choice everyone can make.

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Babybudgeting – In 2012 I resolve to spend less money. Here is how.

I’m keeping my resolutions short and sweet as I think this will make them much more do-able.

My first resolution is to spend less.

How I will do this;
1.I will meal plan each week so food is not wasted and money not spent unnecssarily. I will diary this in to do each Monday morning after dropping the kids at school.
2.I will make all our gift cards this

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Mummy..Mummy..MUM!! – Travelling with children

Over Christmas we travelled from Hampshire to Manchester, to North Yorkshire to Cumbria and then home again. A trip we have done many times before. You’d think by now I’d be an expert when it comes to travelling with children. I am not. What I can tell you is what NOT to do when going on a long car journey with three under 5′s.

Do NOT under any circumstances ‘lose’ one child’s taggie blanket, having to spend three hours being asked for it and then swapping the remaining taggie between two girls so as to alternate the crying is not recommended.

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Here come the Girls – Top Baby Names of 2011

Top Baby Names of 2011

It’s so hard choosing baby names. We spent hours and hours pouring over the top baby names and ticking off the names we liked and the ones we couldn’t stand. It’s one of those things that you think will be fun before you have children but is actually a nightmare. You have to choose something which both parents like, which matches your surname, which sounds good as a baby, child and adult and which isn’t the same as anyone you know too closely.

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Chloe Witters – Dear Arlo, you are fourteen months old

Dear Arlo, you are fourteen months old

Dear Arlo, I last wrote when you were ten months old. I feel like we are a world away from that now. You have changed and learnt so much, I’m not quite sure where to begin…

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Simplyoutnumbered – big boys need big beds

big boys need big  beds

It feels like a few weeks ago that he turned one and I breathed a sigh of relief that I hadn’t gone into labour yet with baby sister! She was due only 3 days before this birthday and I was convinced I was going to miss it! This is the only time I can say I was happy to be over due! In the end their birthdays are 9 days apart and land in different months too – small mercies!

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The Wonders & Scary Thoughts of a Crazy Mummy – Happy Days

A normal blog post for a change as all I seem to do is memes, photo challenges and such like! I wanted to write a post about how happy I am because it is so rare for me to say this!
What has brought this on? Its winter, its dark and cold and I should be miserable!

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Tired Mummy of Two – Challenging Children

Why are they called terrible? I myself am guilty of using that label when it comes to Alison but that is because people understand what I mean. Alison is not terrible she is a very loving and very pleasant child 95% of the time. I have to say I believed the “terrible twos” were a myth and whenever Elizabeth had a tantrum at that age it was just that, a tantrum. Then again Elizabeth always knew how to have a good old tantrum so turning two didnt have an impact.

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Tricky Customer – The first post

The first post

I am mum to the most special and beautiful boy in the world, Samuel Luke, who was born on 10 Nov 2010. He is the most beautiful baby I’ve seen in my whole life. He has the most amazing blue eyes and the most riduclously long eyelashes any woman would be proud of. My son has an extremely rare genetic disorder called ARX which causes severe epilepsy.

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The Diary of a Lagos Mum – Arabia’s Wildlife Centre

We FINALLY went to the zoo today! I’ve been singing ‘We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo’ for two days now!

We went back to Sharjah to Arabia’s Wildlife Centre. It cost only Dhs15 for each adult (£2.50) and Vinay was free. It’s not a ‘proper’ zoo… It was all indoors and the animals are all natural to the Arabian Peninsula. So no elephants or giraffes or anything. But we had a great time 🙂

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Child-Led Chaos – Making Paint

Making Paint

I’d been letting the readymix paint get used up in order to replace the bottles with mixed powder paint that I’d bought “to save money” and we now had 5 empty bottles to fill. This is an excellent activity, and if properly planned (which of course I didn’t!) covers spooning, measuring, counting, pouring, funnelling, shaking – lots of motor skills for small children plus maths and science activities for older children. In Chez Chaos, what you usually end up with is mess!

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Housegoeshome – Carbs, caffeine and charades

Carbs, caffeine and charades

School holidays are a struggle without carbs and caffeine. Especially when Sprog 2 wants to play charades. Seriously? Charades? I’d rather be locked in a room with a gang of rabid anti-abortion activists and their scary photos; give Rupert Murdoch a tonguey; watch James Franco hack off his own arm in 127 Hours …. on second thoughts, those examples are a bit extreme. If they were my actual choices, I might go for charades.

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DorkyMum – One Born Every Minute: The Dad Episode

I have a confession to make. I’ll whisper it.

*I’ve never actually watched One Born Every Minute.*

When the last series aired, my Facebook news feed was chock-a-block with people’s thoughts on it – from midwife friends who loved it, to hippy friends who hated it, to childless friends who were terrified by it. I think, for me, it was just a little too soon after DorkySon’s arrival and I wasn’t quite ready to reacquaint myself with the workings of a maternity ward.

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Mummy Cool – The Prom Diaries, Part 1

The Prom Diaries, Part 1

And The Prom? THE PROM … what on earth possessed us to transport that event into our lives. WHY? FOR GOD’S SAKE, WHY?

What was wrong with the traditional school disco … a school hall, a sixth former with an extensive record collection and a teacher in the corner doling out plastic cups of orange squash. You wore what you wanted, smuggled cider into the toilets and got a lift home in your Dad’s bright yellow work van with “Climax” emblazoned down the side …. It never did me any harm.
(Disclaimer, I have no official paperwork to prove that).

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Oh Mammy! – My Child is Perfect

My Child is Perfect

I’m still reeling from watching parts one and two of ITV’s My Child isn’t Perfect.

Recently, A’s anxiety levels have been on the rise. With all of the excitement of Christmas he is, like all other children, quite high anyway but Christmas is always a hard time for him. I say anxiety because people with autism or an ASD have higher anxiety levels than those without.

For some unknown reason, at this time of year is always when his annual paediatric assessments are held…

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Mummy is a gadget geek – It’s raining, it’s pouring

It's raining, it's pouring

The Other Half is snoring.

As is Bubby D. And, whilst he isn’t actually snoring, the Wee Man is sound asleep too.

Irritatingly, given this perfect sleeping opportunity, I however am wide awake.

Whilst I do love the sound of heavy rain whilst I’m tucked up warm and snug in my bed at night, I’m not so keen on the wind. Hearing screeching, grinding noises from downstairs I idly wonder if it is just the catflap caught in a particularly virulent windy gust, or in fact burglars trying to saw their way through the back door…

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Ramblings Of A Suburban Mummy – The Best and Worst of This Week

The Best and Worst of This Week is your chance to sum up your week.

The Best thing for me this week has been that Christmas and New Year are over and we can start getting back into our nor

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A Mummy Too – How did you choose your children’s names?

How did you choose your children's names?

Even though some of the names he suggested were lovely, none felt right. Why is that, I wonder? What makes a name fit? We’re undoubtedly, often subconsciously, influenced by the names of those we’ve known. TV programmes, books, poems, songs, rumours and jokes. But it feels like something more elementary. A feeling. As if choosing a name is a psychic endeavour and you send a message telepathically to your baby – “Who are you?” – and they respond with their name. Silly really.

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Alicia’s hiding place – Kids & crafts: Javier and his monster

Kids & crafts: Javier and his monster

Today I want to share with you this little christmas story, if we could call it that way, it made me learn something about what should be our roll like moms.
Javier is my 5 years old nephew and one of the things he asked for christmas was something to sew. My sister in law, Julie went out to toystores and crafts stores searching for a sewing kit for Javier. She didn’t found one, the few ones she find was all girly stuff. So she had the great idea of making a “Monster Kit”!!!

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The musings of a slightly nutty self employed 30 something mum – A Rare Brainwave

A Rare Brainwave

There I was sat in traffic when I peered over to Little J noticing that he’d fallen asleep in his car seat, the relief was immeasurable considering he’d woken an hour and a half too early that morning and for the last 45 minutes he had been crying hysterically. The relief was followed by the realisation that I would have to wake him up in a few minutes time as we were on our way to Tesco. Sat there I had that lightbulb moment…

See the rest of the post on my blog……………………………

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