The Halloween Weekly Showcase! 4-7 months

Ramblings Of A Suburban Mummy

The Curse Of The Blog

Every time I have written about things either going right in the parenting stakes The Curse of The Blog has struck. It seems like I can’t say anything about either sleep or potty training without things going really wrong! But saying that sometimes you just have to tell the story anyway!

Potty training is a pretty big thing in our house at the moment. Last weeks Best and Worst Of The Week revolved around it. Well after that we had a horrendous day, we had NO successes and lots of accidents. I was exhausted and so tempted to revert to nappies again but I decided to persevere. So far I’m glad that I did.

Firstly, since the day from hell we have had a run of really good days. C went to preschool two mornings and I was amazed to find that he had stayed dry on both occasions. At home he was doing well too so then came our first HUGE potty training test

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Chloe Witters

Not such a little thing – birthday reflections

Chloe Witters

In my very first post on this blog, I wrote that this year was about the little things. One is a little number, but my baby is not such a little thing anymore.

I feel like this year has been as momentous for me as it has been for Arlo. I have given birth, nurtured, protected, and grown my boy from my own milk for one year. For one whole year, I have been his constant, and that, in turn, has had a massive effect on me.

It’s been one year since my life changed in the most complete way. Arlo may not have realised that it was different to any other day, I, on the other hand, spent every hour of his birthday thinking, ‘This time last year…’.

I think a first birthday is a massive milestone for a mum. One year of babyhood, done. Blink and you’ll miss it.

With this post, I want to reflect. To remember Arlo’s babyhood. So here are my favourite little moments, the stand out moments from this year – good and bad.

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Music For Baby

Singing For Happiness

Music For Baby

Singing can make you happy. I don’t mean just a cheery sing song is a bit of fun (although it is), I mean singing can really make you happy, and there are many indicators of this, so much so that research has now been conducted on the subject. So lets look at what the indicators are, and the ways in which it can create happiness. For a start, we use music to enhance our existing mood in many ways – just think of how important a soundtrack is to a film, creating that tense atmosphere in a thriller, or tugging at the heartstrings in a weepy movie. And we create our own soundtracks. I have music I love to listen to if I’m getting ready to go out, or music for hoovering, I’ll choose music to set the right mood when having friends for dinner, and music to help my baby get to sleep.

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Who would have though it: social networking might just change the way we birth!

If you’ve had a homebirth you’ll know that leading up to ‘the happy event’ you put together a birthing box of tricks – towels, a torch, candles, chocolate and the birthing matt. Now it seems, there’s another vital addition: the twitter account.

Anyone searching #homebirth in the early hours of the 6th June would have found: “@marytwocats:Martin and nana are making me laugh so much that I’m ‘squirting’ water and contracting simultaneously.” Gosh.

A few re-tweets later and soon thousands were following the live birth tweeted by Mary Wycherley and her partner, Martin Carr (yes, he of Boo Radley’s fame) . Most were supportive. A few thought it was a step too far:“@Gossipgirl1983I love Twitter, I really do but tweeting during your #homebirth – Really?!!!??”

Yes, reading about amniotic fluid and leakage is confronting. But it’s refreshing that, at long last, the general public can access a real-life birth instead of one filtered through a Hollywood screen writer or reality TV producers’ prejudices and misconceptions: Channel 4’s One Born Every Minute may have been fly-on-the-wall, but I doubt the protagonists had much say over the final edit.

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You’re not from round here.

I don’t want to.

I really don’t want to.
Not one bit.
Please don’t make me.
I don’t WANT TO.

But it’s going to happen, as with all that is inevitable, it will come to pass.

I could try and stop it, but I think messing with time is a trick for the Doctor, and the Doctor alone. I’d love a TARDIS. Then it wouldn’t happen.

Or maybe it would?

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Life, As I Know It

Man Oh Man… What a Week…

Life, As I Know It

I have been a bad ‘Social Media-ist’ (yes, there is such a word in my world) this week.

It has been a HECTIC couple of weeks. I mean… HECTIC. Count those Capitals.

We have made the heart-breaking decision to leave our lovely pub…

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The Diary of a Lagos Mum

Our First Diwali

The Diary of a Lagos Mum

Yesterday was Diwali. Diwali is the Hindu new year. It is also known as the Festival of Lights. I won’t go into detail about what it’s all about, etc. But you can read here, if you’re interested.

Growing up, it was a very exciting day for us. Various aunts and uncles would send gifts to my family – sweets, chocolates, fireworks, whiskey, champagne (for our parents, of course) and all beautifully gift-wrapped. Of course this meant that my mum (dad had nothing to do with it) was also busy wrapping and sending gifts to their friends and family.

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Feisty Tapas


Feisty Tapas

Tara Cain at Sticky Fingers hosts The Gallery every week, I had never participated but I do love reading everyone’s posts every week. A couple of weeks ago she announced the theme for this week, Faces, and I immediately knew that I wanted to take part but what photographic face would I choose? First I thought of the faces I miss, faces that have played a big part in my life and that appear in plenty of my photos but that unfortunately are no longer with us. I thought of a particularly special face I lost at the beginning of this year, my grandad’s. I also thought of our happy faces at our wedding, of that ecstatic first photo taken when my baby was born and handed over to me for the first time… I even considered unknown faces that I have photographed in my travels, fantastic faces that hide mysterious stories. Then I looked in the mirror and realised which face I wanted to write about: mine. I am, after all, a woman of many faces.

{Keep reading, this post might just surprise you}

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The Princess and The Pickle

An Autumn Poem by The Princess

The Princess and The Pickle

(Inspired by a day in the New Forest)….

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Half Term Treats

I worry that as a parent I don’t do enough for my children.

I worry that because there is such a difference in their ages, I don’t provide for all of them.

I worry that because I am on my own with them a lot, they miss out.

Today was a bit different. Today I did something that I have wanted to do for a long time but have never been able to.

Today, the boys and I went swimming.

Okay, so I had a bit of help!

So there were eight of us, four adults, four children.

Beanie and his cousin I, were off and gone, both confident swimmers.

Monkey stayed with Nanna, he loves swimming and is growing more confident. He wears his Roll Up arm bands, and his googles around his neck! He kicks his legs and moves his arms, and Nanna even let go of him for a split second and he remained above water!

Worm, is very different. Worm hates the Bath, so I was concerned about how he would react to the pool.

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Having Fun – Spending Less

Making Fat Cakes For Birds – October Half Term Activities.

Having Fun - Spending Less

This is an activity that my girls really enjoy doing – it’s both fun and educational. My girls are very interested in nature and wildlife and making fat cakes for birds is an activity that prompts lots of discussion. It’s a quick and simple task too, meaning that younger children won’t get bored and older children can complete it with minimal supervision.

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Dear Beautiful Boy

Wishing and Hoping and Dreaming

Before he came along I had lots of hopes for my unborn child.
I wanted my unborn baby to be bright,
to go to university,
to have a good job.
I wanted my unborn baby to live in a lovely house,
with everything they could ever need,
and go on exciting holidays and wonderful adventure.

But when I looked into those newborn eyes
none of that mattered any more.
I can honestly say,
with my hand on my heart,
that I want only one thing for my son
and for me,

If he’s bright, that’s great.
If he’s not, I’ll help him to find a place where he can shine.
If he goes to university, then fine.
If he doesn’t, then that’s fine too.
If he has a good job that pays him well, that’s fantastic.
But I would much rather that his job fulfilled him and made him happy.

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Mummy on the Edge

Swimsuits & hell

No! Before you start wondering wondering, whispering and speculating – IT’S NOT ME !!!!!
But it does go hand in hand with what’s been happening my way lately, ie swimsuit shopping.

Have you ever had that ‘omigodcan’tbelievei’vejustswaminthat’ kind of moment? You know the ones, you pass the mirror, you’re lookin’ fine girl ! Then you get out after your (energetic and calorie burning) swim, feeling pretty virtuous (even if you do say so yourself) take off your costume and – shock horror ! – yes the slim feeling you had whilst wearing said suit was not (unbelievably) your weight loss (half a pound???) but – wait for it – the elastic has gone, truly, no postcard no nothin’ ! and you have been flashing a couple of inches of bum crack through your (now) transparent cozzie!….. we’ve all been there at some point. Hopefully with a well meaning friend whispering ‘I’d bin that if I were you’ or ‘my god ! look at the state of you?’ or something a bit more polite ‘ we’ve not been shopping for ages, fancy Decathlon?’. Thing is, when you have no well meaning friend or swim partner you have no clue, absolutely nada!

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Mum of 3 Boys

16 week check up and first scan

Last Thursday saw me attending my 16 weeks check up with my community midwife. It was lovely to be able to hear baby’s heartbeat again and know everything was okay. I had been feeling a few flutters for a few days prior to my check up but wasn’t quite sure. I had a bit of a shock though as the midwife discovered I was actually measuring four weeks bigger than my dates. As I hadn’t yet had my first scan she was unsure if the bigger measurement meant I was further along than we thought or if I was possibly carrying twins! Eek we’ve twins in the family but I honestly felt shocked when the midwife mentioned the possibility of twins. My scan was booked for today (26th October) so my midwife said I would just have to wait for the scan to find out.

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Cols Blog

The Bump of Knowledge

When I was pregnant with my first son I read two pregnancy books. The first – “The Yummy Mummy Survival Guide” by Liz Fraser. This was bought for me and was a great read.

I eagerly read through all the early pregnancy text nodding my head in agreement whilst patting my bump, knowing that I had joined this elite “Mummy Club”. I skimmed over the giving birth bits with my legs crossed, and sighed with content reading about how my first days will be with my baby.

The second book I bought for my husband, in the vain attempt not only to get him to read, but to also get him prepared for the impending birth of our first born. “Your Pregnant Too Mate” by Gavin Rogers was a brilliant read, and made me realise that even though I was going through the pregnancy, that my husband needed to feel involved too. The book covered lots of practical things in a funny and witty way. I don’t think my husband ever did read that book….!

Both books were written by perfectly qualified and credible authors.

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Minibreak Mummy

Review: tinyme labels and a pencil case

Minibreak Mummy

We wanted a Welsh name that was easy to spell and pronounce, so we decided to name our son ‘Aled’. This name can be shortened to ‘Al’ if he decides to do that when he’s older. I also like the fact that the name simply means ‘offspring’ so it doesn’t have any historic or religious baggage attached.
It also seems nice to have a name for our son which is relatively rare. People seem to be more conservative when choosing names for boys than for girls. From our NCT class there were two boys called ‘Luke’ and we’ve also come across more than one boy named ‘Edward’ and several boys named ‘Thomas’. When I was at primary school, there were four boys named ‘Steve’ in my class. But so far our Aled is the only Aled we have met.
The only slight downside to this is that when shops sell things like pens, keyrings, mugs, door plates and suchlike with names on, there will not be any items with the name Aled. There is a small selection available in Wales, but even there I haven’t seen any personalized items I liked.

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Here come the Girls

The Gallery: Faces

Here come the Girls

I love to photograph faces. It’s my favourite thing. I have so many pictures of the family. Happy, sad, silly excited: the full range of expressions and emotions. I love to photograph the children, so much so that they get bored with me taking pictures of them. The twins are so interesting to photograph. They are non identical, so it’s interesting putting them next to each other and seeing how the look the same or different. I like to look and see which of their features remind me of someone else, eyes like their sister, or ears like their uncle.
On high days and holidays and staying in the house in your PJs days, I’m always there, with the camera out, snapping away. So I had files and files to choose from to pick a favourite set of photos.
But there’s one face missing from all my photos. My own.

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Tiddler on the Loose

Physiotherapy and the Nature of the Beast

Why do I feel so devastated?

I had thought Tiddler was doing really well- a growth spurt, almost sitting, fashioning her own crawling, mastering bite/dissolve foods.

Why then, why did I drive home from her latest Physiotherapy appointment hurting and fighting back the tears?

T’s lovely physio gave her the fab patent hot pink Piedro boots to try on. Mummy would have liked a pair in size7. Seriously, they rocked. Due to T’s Chicken Pox we are a little later than intended, and so they only just fit. Oops. Size 2 and ½!

Tiddler went ballistic. Screaming and screaming, real tears, she was NOT happy. She hates socks / bootees anything on her feet so I suppose it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Eventually, with my holding her and the Physio battling, we got the boots on. Still the screaming ensued. She tried T standing in them, I meanwhile was desperately trying to distract/ cheer her up. In the end I had to intervene and ask for us to take them off. I couldn’t bear to hear her upset any longer. It really didn’t seem worth it.

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Contraception – Are You Happy With Yours?


I had it put in when Iyla was three months old, it wasn’t exactly enjoyable but compared to THIS, it was nothing. Well it would have nothing if it hadn’t have been for the annoying doctor who kept insisting that I ‘relax a bit more’. I relax on the beach, I relax in the bath, I do not relax when I am lying on a cold couch with a lamp shining up into my destroyed privates while a speculum is wedging open my cervix in preparation for a foreign object to be pushed up into it. Is anyone relaxed in that situation?!

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Tuesday truth… I’m rich!!


It true I really am!

Sometimes I forget I am.

Sometimes I wish I was richer in money.

Sometimes I wish I was richer in patience.

Sometimes I wish I was richer in talent.

But today and this week and this month I’m going to remember that I am rich in the ways that really matter!

I’m rich in family!

I’m rich in love!

I’m rich in friends!

I’m rich in children!

I’m rich in Christ!

And no matter how much else I don’t have those are the things that matter most.

So I scrimp and save, and shop in inconvenient places to save money, so I (attempt) to dye and cut my own hair, so I up cycle things and buy second-hand. Those things don’t really matter in the grand scheme of life do they after all…


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Dazed but Enthused

Domestic ‘Ninja’ Goddess

Maybe it was the constant talk of all things ‘ninja’, but as I faced a draining board with a well constructed, but lethal stack of washing up, I immediately determined that I did not possess the ninja like reflexes necessary to tackle it.

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The Wonders & Scary Thoughts of a Crazy Mummy

Day Zero Project – Meeting David Tennant

The Wonders & Scary Thoughts of a Crazy Mummy

I just happened to stumble across the next event, and couldn’t believe my eyes when it mentioned David Tennant would be doing photo shoots with the public! He is one of my all time heroes, an amazing actor and someone who I also definetely fancy! So it was a no brainer for me to go straight on the booking form, and thank goodness this was before I lost my job as it cost me £35!
I still did not believe I would be crossing this off my list as it seemed too good to be true, but it wasn’t until an hour before I met him that it really sank in! The nerves kicked and I felt physically sick! I took my little boy in with me for moral support as Dean did not have a ticket, and I almost hyperventilated in the queue! The staff were great as they could see I was so nervous, and as I approached my hero everything went by in a blur!

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But Why Mummy Why?

Bad dreams, carrots and a Little Legacy from my mummy

But Why Mummy Why?

On Saturday Little E woke up early, and being the amazing wife and mummy that I am, I took her downstairs and let ButWhyDaddy have a lie in. Not long after Little E and I were settled downstairs watching a Grey’s Anatomy re-run (bliss) I could hear Noo padding down the stairs. Her little head popped round the door looking rather forlorn.
She’d had a bad dream.
Of course I asked her what it was about.. but was not quite prepared for what she told me..

Firstly: “There was a really wicked witch.”

OK pretty standard bad dream territory, I thought, I’ve got this covered.

She carried on with a very upset expression and confided the scary bit about the dream.

“There were lots of children and the witch turned them, turned them, into… carrots.”

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We Are Wild Things

Boys are allowed to sew too!

We Are Wild Things

I personally don’t consider any activity to be gender specific and so long as Kit enjoys doing something it doesn’t matter whether that is something that society says is a ‘girl’ thing or a ‘boy’ thing. When I look for things to do with him though, I frequently find a divide between genders and it irritates me enormously. So when I was procrastinating from studying researching fun activities for children on the internet, and I came across some lovely ideas for teaching toddlers to sew (all, bar one, of which were with girls) I thought how great it would be to teach Kit. It is a great aid to dexterity afterall!

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Lulastic and the Hippyshake

Why the Occupy LSX protest is the perfect place for kids

Lulastic and the Hippyshake

I really believe in activism. I am absolutely sure that protesting changes things, so bringing the baby on board was always gonna happen. But today I realised that sometimes a protest is the perfect place for the baby. Not just as there is an extra amount of people she can woo and then phones she can steal and chew.

We had a wonderful time with the nippers up at St Pauls for Occupy LSX today- facepainting, parachute games, poetry, juggling, one of the dads even turned up with a bouncy castle. While some of the older kids reflected on and drew their ideas of utopia all around us debate, speeches and conversation took place about how we can change the utterly bankrupt society we live in right now.

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Battle of the Thermostat

Historically the World has has many wars and battles. The World Wars, the Battle of the Somme and Battle Royale to name but a random few.

But now it’s getting colder it’s time for the fiercest battle of the year – Battle of the Thermostat!

The rules of Battle of the Thermostat are simple –

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One comment on “The Halloween Weekly Showcase! 4-7 months

  1. Are you still doing Bloggers favourite blogger? I vote for Feisty tapas. Fab fab fab post. I loved it!

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