Changing habits – the No Junk Challenge

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Healthy eating

We like food in our house. Food is right up there with sunshine and holidays, as far as we’re concerned. We also rather like cooking, and the odd bit of baking too.

When Frog was tiny we went down the Baby-led Weaning route. She’s always been fiercely independent and wouldn’t even let me put a spoonful of medicine in her mouth, so the thought of battling with purees terrified me.

This means that Frog has always eaten what we’ve eaten. The idea of cooking a separate tea for her and then cooking again later in the evening did not appeal to my lazy side.  Continue reading »

Quick Beauty Tips for Busy Mums

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Beauty products

Fancy face creams and a bit of pampering have taken on new importance now I’m pregnant. It might sound shallow, but taking care of my skin and painting my nails gives me a boost that I really need at the moment.

Thing is, when you have a demanding three (and three quarter) year old, work deadlines and a million and one other things to keep on top of, it’s not always easy to prioritise a beauty routine. So I’m pleased to share this guest post crammed full with handy beauty tips for the busy mum.  Continue reading »

On accepting (and trying to love) my changing body shape

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I think it’s one of life’s great ironies that the two periods in my adulthood when I have treated my body as a temple have been when my stomach has absolutely no chance of getting any flatter.

With this pregnancy, just as when I was pregnant with Frog, I’ve found myself eating more healthily, getting more exercise and making sure I go to bed at a reasonable hour. It seems I need the excuse of growing another human to take proper care of myself.

I’ve never been a massive health freak. I find the gym boring and conversations about diets dull. At university I joined the Yoga club and did three sessions of Yoga a week (the relaxation bit at the end was my favourite), along with enduring a regular visit to the gym to try and balance out my excessive student alcohol consumption. But that’s as far as it went. Continue reading »

Lessons I learned while doing DIY with my husband

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DIY

Last week proved to be the biggest test to my marriage yet. Forget childbirth, newborn babies and living without a dishwasher. This was far, far worse.

We battled through it and came out the other side, I’d like to say stronger than before, but that’s debatable. Here are the lessons I learned during the testing period that was our first ever major DIY project together. A period covering four days of blood, sweat and tears. Literally.

1) My husband thinks I am like my mother Continue reading »

Testing 2 year olds? Time to emigrate

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Do you ever get the feeling you’re living in a parallel universe? Like you’re in a dream, suddenly finding yourself in a world that you don’t much recognise?

I get that feeling a lot at the moment. It comes on me in a rush, like an instant cold sweat, every time I read about proposed changes to the education system in this country.

This morning, I read the latest idea touted by Ofsted, to test two year olds in numeracy and literacy, to make them “better prepared for primary school” and I had to pinch myself. Continue reading »

More baby confusion

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“Mummy, is it Easter soon?” asked my three and three quarter year old at the breakfast table yesterday morning.

I saw this as a good opportunity to have a Meaningful Conversation and impart some of my extensive knowledge.

“Yes, and do you know what happens at Easter?” I replied.

The answer was a predictable one, mainly revolving around chocolate and holidays. Determined to press on, I mentioned Jesus and the idea of celebrating new life. We’re not a religious family, but I thought it important my almost four year old had some idea of the story behind Easter.  Continue reading »

One pair of boots – three ways

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Boots

We love shoes in this house. Despite having bendy feet and needing special hospital-issue insoles because of her hypermobility, my three and three quarter year old is obsessed with shoes. She takes after her mum like that. So when the lovely people at Bobux got in touch to see if we’d be interested in reviewing a pair from their range it was an immediate “yes”.

I did have reservations though – would they fit properly? How would I know if they were suitable for my tot’s bendy ankles without trying them on first? Would they be sturdy enough to withstand all the dancing / jumping / running that my energetic child would be bound to do in them?  Continue reading »

Will I ever not need my mum?

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Grandma and granddaughter

“Hi Mum”. The conversation always starts the same. She can immediately tell if I’m ringing just for a chat or if there’s a specific purpose to the call. She has me sussed from those two words alone.

There was a period a few months back when I was ringing once, sometimes even twice a day. I’d always be apologetic, but life was so stressful with work and the house that I needed to either vent or ask for advice. She was always there to listen and offer whatever it was I needed. One time I just broke down sobbing, when I thought we’d lost the house we now live in, and she cried too. I feel guilty for that.

I remember ringing her in the midst of some crisis or other when I was at university. She dropped everything and drove to Cardiff, bringing a picnic full of my favourite treats. We chatted as we ate sandwiches in a sunny park. I felt better afterwards and the supposed crisis didn’t seem like so much of a crisis any more.  Continue reading »

Sorry for the bump pic

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13 weeks pregnancy bump

I first encountered the “bump pic” when I was pregnant with my now three and three quarter year old daughter, Frog. I was browsing something online (probably, “Can I STILL not eat blue cheese when pregnant?”) when I came across a gallery of bumps. Not celebrity bumps either, just normal people bumps. It was a revelation. I laughed. “Why are people taking pictures of their preggo bumps?!” I wondered aloud to my colleagues in the newsroom.

Of course I’d seen the Demi Moore bump pics. Those tastefully shot naked pregnancy photographs displaying her huge belly in all its glory. I found that kind of funny too, although I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe it’s because, in my non-parent, non-pregnant state I didn’t really see what the big deal was. Are we supposed to bow down in amazement at this beautiful bump? Should this woman be placed on a special pedestal of awe just because she’s got a baby inside her tummy? I didn’t get it.  Continue reading »

Going out is better than staying at home

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Pennywell Farm

Up until last week, the sofa has held us captive. There’ve been so many afternoons when it’s all I could do to drag myself to the kitchen and the thought of actually leaving the house seemed impossible. Morning (or “all day”) sickness does that to you.

Last Friday was the first one in ages that has been both free of commitments and morning sickness. So I decided to celebrate by taking Frog on a mum / daughter day trip to a local farm that’s been recommended by countless people.  Continue reading »