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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What the parent of that screaming child is really thinking


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You’re walking down the road, or browsing the supermarket aisles when BOOM – it starts. A piercing, wailing scream, a bit like a police siren. It gets louder until you can’t ignore it. The noise bores into your head, raising your blood pressure and leaving a dull ache in your temples.

You look up and see a child in full meltdown mode. The mother is on the edge of your vision and you can’t understand why she won’t shut her banshee child up – or at least take him out of your line of hearing. What is wrong with some people? Why do they even have kids if they can’t control them?

I have been that mother of that screaming child. And, as I look at you wincing with every piercing scream, I know the thoughts going through your head. Trust me, before I was a mum, they went through my head too. Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 14 #BlogBumpClub


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Blogger Bump Club

I think this is possibly the best I’ve felt throughout this whole pregnancy. Before you roll your eyes and think, “smug, annoying woman”, let me reassure you the puffy feet and cankles are still there and I’m still waking a million times a night for a wee.

At 33 weeks it feels like the countdown is properly “on”. We’ve finally started decorating the baby’s room, the moses basket is washed and made with new sheets and set up in a corner of our bedroom. There’s still lots to do (including digging out all the newborn stuff from the loft), but it feels exciting rather than a big chore. That’s probably one of the reasons I’m enjoying this phase of pregnancy more than all the others.

I don’t know if it’s the slight holiday tan or the fact I’m not exhausted from having to carry Frog (her broken leg has mended and she’s finally running about almost as well as before!) but I feel good. My bump is big and round but I like it. “It looks like you’ve eaten a balloon Mummy,” Frog told me yesterday. At least I look obviously pregnant and not just like I’ve had too many pies. Continue reading »

My third trimester saviours: Part II


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Third Trimester

Yesterday I posted about some of the things helping make the third trimester of this pregnancy that much easier. It turns out there are actually quite a few products and activities and the post was getting a bit out of hand, so here’s Part II of my epic third trimester saviour list…

Pamper products

Pregnancy pamper products

I’ve managed to carve out some time for myself every day to slather on the creams and lotions and potions. I don’t have any stretch marks (yet) and, although I certainly can’t put this down to pampering (I think you either get them or you don’t) I don’t think it’s done me any harm.

Rubbing the Mustela stretch mark oil into my bump every morning and night is a chance to take a few moments to remember I’m pregnant and give the bump some love. The Barefoot SOS and Weleda body cream came in a beautiful Project B package I was sent for review. They’ve made it into my weekly pamper ritual too because they’re creamy without being greasy, smell lovely and leave my skin soft. Continue reading »