Packed lunches for parents who have better things to do

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When my daughter started pre-school last September the thing she was most excited about was her lunch. Ironically, this was also the thing I was least excited about. Making a packed lunch regularly was never going to make it to the top of my list of favourite things to do with my time.

pre-school

This is her this time last year, on her first day at pre-school. The night before I’d made her a packed lunch to take with her. It was my first foray into the realm of lunchboxes and it’s fair to say I didn’t enjoy making it. Call me a bad mother, but I think there are SO many things more exciting than putting together a packed lunch. Continue reading »

Why losing my baby weight is the last thing on my mind

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36 week pregnant bump

At 36 weeks pregnant I’m feeling pretty huge. As you can see from the bulging belly, my baby’s getting bigger and, by dint of being pregnant, so am I. My feet are puffy, my backside is wobbly and my hips are full. I also have bigger boobs, a bigger pocket of flesh under my chin and bigger thighs.

It’s fair to say I am big with a capital B.

But you know what? That’s OK. BECAUSE I AM GROWING A HUMAN.

The other day I got a press release. It was just the latest in a long line of bombardment about body image and guilt that made me roll my eyes before waddling off and eating a piece of cake. The press release started something like, “If you’re pregnant or have just have a baby and are worried about losing that extra weight then….. ” and there it lost my attention. Because, you know what? At 36 weeks pregnant the LAST thing I’m worried about is losing weight.  Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 16 #BloggerBumpClub

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Blogger Bump Club

There are some things about being pregnant that I’ve only just recently remembered since last time. The feeling of wanting to “do it right” is one of them.

I didn’t want to be a moany pregnant woman. I wanted to be a pregnant woman who got on with it and looked glowing in the process. But towards the end, when I started to worry about the birth bit of being pregnant, and my feet were swollen and I couldn’t sleep for longer than two hours at a stretch, that “perfect” pregnant woman kind of disappeared.

I’m remembering that aspect of being pregnant now. Up until a couple of days ago I was still feeling pretty good. We went to a wedding and people were kind, saying I looked well. I felt it too. And I felt it for most of our trip up to see the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine’s family. Continue reading »

My School Meal Memories

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I can still remember my first day at school. I was almost a whole year older than Frog will be when she starts school, having been born at the other end of the academic year. But I was still nervous, gripping my mum’s hand tightly on the short walk up the road.

As we sat on the floor for registration our new teacher asked us who was having school dinners. I had my lunch money in a special coin holder. I’d been given it on a family holiday to North Wales on a day trip to Anglesey Zoo. It was bright red and had a cord that went round your neck. My shiny coins clinked as I walked to the front of the classroom and handed the cash over. “Bring it in an envelope with your name on tomorrow,” said my teacher.

I wasn’t too bothered about school dinners. I can remember soggy pizza and semolina and being told to “eat it all up” by stern dinner ladies. We didn’t have the “clear your plate rule” at home, so it all felt a bit… scary. My prevailing memory of school includes packed lunches made lovingly by my mum, often including notes or stickers. School dinners became a rare occurrence, and I was OK with that.  Continue reading »

How to enjoy a wedding when you’re eight months pregnant

Wedding guide for pregnant women

On Saturday we went to a wedding. A beautiful wedding. It was a bit of a special one, as the couple getting married are good friends that go way back to our pre-parenthood days in Reading. But I’ll admit, before the wedding I didn’t know if I’d really enjoy it. I mean really enjoy it – like you can when you’re free to drink as much bubbly as you like and make the most of all that Pimms.

But I did enjoy it and, what’s more, I remembered it all afterwards. Despite not drinking or being able to eat the delicious camembert on the cheese board, I had a brilliant time. A few things made it that bit more special…. Continue reading »

Possibly the biggest milestone yet

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Uniform for schoolSchool uniform. Whatever your opinion about it, if you’re a parent of a child going to school in the UK, chances are you’ll be knee deep in it right about now.

When I went to primary school many moons ago we didn’t have a uniform, so I still find it a bit weird to see little kids dressed up in such smart gear as they trot off to school.

The thing is, these little kids have always been strangers to me. I’ve just passed them in the street or seen the First Day At School photos their mums and dads have posted on Facebook. Until now. Because, in September, that will be me.

I blame the pregnancy hormones, but the photos in this post made me shed a little tear. This definitely feels like the biggest milestone yet… Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 15 #BlogBumpClub

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Blogger Bump Club

Organisation takes on a new meaning when you have a baby. I remember, with Frog, spending a while sourcing decent second hand baby stuff, buying new bits and squirrelling stuff away so I felt “ready” to be a mum. As if the very fact of owning a car seat would make me fully prepared for the adventure ahead. I think it’s the psychological aspect to the whole nesting thing. The more you clean or sort through stuff, the calmer you feel about the chaos that’s about to erupt. Or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, things haven’t been that different this time around. The last week has been spent getting the baby’s room in order. We’re nearly there – the walls are painted, the new cot is up, my late grandmother’s rocking chair is newly upcycled and in the corner. We just have to put up some shelves and accessorise it all with a few last pretty bits (baby mobile, the odd print, a cute lamp).

I’ll be blogging about it properly once it’s done, but here’s a little preview…  Continue reading »

The best thing about four year olds

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Dressing up

I can still vividly remember the games I used to play as a child. We had an old battered suitcase stuffed full of old clothes – including my mum’s wedding dress – that we used to dress up in. My friends, sister and I would pretend to be teachers, hairdressers, doctors, fairies, witches – the list was endless. Some of those imaginary games still seem so real that I can remember the pretend names I gave myself (Fifi was a favourite!) and the names of my dolls and teddies.

Frog has been immersed in her own imaginary world for a while now, but it’s only been recently that I’ve had a proper glimpse into it. This summer has seen her start to tell her own stories, featuring her new friend “Leo Lion”, along with a whole host of other made up characters. Every bedtime she literally quivers with excitement because, after we’ve read her a story, she gets to tell herself her own story. I walk downstairs to the sound of her talking to herself about fairies and frogs, dragons and Peppa Pig.  Continue reading »

A Family Babymoon in Cornwall

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A Cornish babymoon new

Back when I was pregnant with Frog, four years ago, we didn’t have a “babymoon”. The idea of going on holiday just before we were about to face the rather large expense of a baby seemed like too much of an indulgence. Plus, we had so much to do!

This time, however, things are a little different. In the autumn our family of three will become a family of four. Although this is hugely exciting, it’s also a tiny bit scary. Our family dynamic will totally change and things are likely to be even more hectic than normal. So we considered a family babymoon this summer a necessity rather than an indulgence. Our destination? Cornwall.

Crantock Beach

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My husband and daughter, the rock stars

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Baby Banz

I can’t be the only mum who has serious clothes envy of their kid. My daughter has a pretty rocking wardrobe. From cute handmade dresses and knitted jumpers, made by both of her grandmas, to bright t’shirts and colour clashing leggings and skirts, she certainly doesn’t want for clothes. I regularly wish I had outfits as fun as hers…

Pregnant on holiday

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