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‘Daddy’s diawetic’

At the grand old age of two years and eight months – and after hearing about a two year old on the news who managed to dial 999 after his mummy collapsed – I’ve realised it’s high time to teach BB what to do if the same thing ever happens to Misery Guts, who’s Type 1 diabetic. It’s an unlikely scenario to occur when the two of them are awake and on their own, given that during waking hours Misery Guts can generally feel his blood sugar levels dipping and bring them up again before having a fit or becoming unconscious, but not impossible. So to avoid complicating the situation we’ve added an ‘emergency call’ button to our mobile phones so all BB has to do is touch the button and then the picture of the green phone that appears. After a week of practising she knows that if she ever can’t wake daddy up she should press the buttons, tell the person that answers that daddy won’t wake up and that he’s ‘diawetic’. She can even say her name and address. […]

By |April 25th, 2014|Family life, Health, Parenting|0 Comments

I’ve been expecting you

I’m not sure what I’m more pleased about: the fact it appears BB is going to have a brother or [...]

By |April 23rd, 2014|Family life, Health, Parenting|3 Comments

Happy free-from Easter!

Following on from my last post about free-from sausages and how going without gluten and dairy doesn’t mean going without per se, it turns out the same can be said for chocolate. And Easter eggs. Until six months ago health food shops were alien to me: the sort of places that emit the same waft as you pass by the door (what is that smell? The ryvita? The flax?) and are piled high with daunting looking bags of unidentifiable brown stuff. Until I went in with a list written by my nutritional therapist and actually knew what I was looking for, that is. Admittedly chocolate was not on that list, however one cannot help but notice bright shiny chocolatey-looking packaging amongst the aforementioned unidentifiable brown stuff. And so I discovered Booja-Booja, which not only sells luxury chocolates and seasonal treats like Easter eggs (made in Kashmir and filled with truffles, pictured) but ice cream too. […]

By |April 16th, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Reviews|0 Comments

By’eck! I’ve just eaten a squasage

That’s right, a squasage. Also known as a square sausage. That’s what gluten free sausage brand Heck have been busy making in time for the barbecue season, because it doesn’t fall through the rungs of the grill only to be burned to a crisp and lost forever, or roll off the side of the barbie onto the grass (pictured). We haven’t dusted down our barbecue yet, so I’ve been eating mine between two soft and thick slices of (gluten free) bread. It may not look like a traditional sausage sandwich – as BB was fast to point out – but it tastes just the same and makes spreading the ketchup even easier. When embarking on Project No Nasties last autumn I thought living free-from would also mean going without, but when it comes to sausages I’ve found an ever better offering than the standard shelves. […]

By |April 14th, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews|0 Comments

Things the troops could do with: cupcakes made by a 2-year-old

I know Easter is more than a week away, but BB and I have been busy making chocolate shredded wheat nests in time to send to her uncle who’s currently serving in Afghanistan (pictured). I realise there are probably more urgent – and useful – things the troops could do with than a batch of varying sized cupcakes made from breakfast cereal by a two-year-old (decent coffee and new socks are repeated pleas from my brother), however there’s nothing like a taste of childhood either. I also realise, with the temperature hotting up out there, that sending chocolate-based treats probably isn’t the best idea but I’m buoyed by the fact that when her uncle was stationed in the very same camp I sent a piece of her 1st (chocolate) birthday cake in mid-August and he said it was the best thing he ever tasted (although this probably isn’t saying much given the regulation ‘food’ which makes up their staple diet). […]

By |April 9th, 2014|Family life, Food, Parenting, Recipes|2 Comments

‘He was standing on the loo proudly displaying his willy’

We’ve been on a trip down memory lane in our house lately. It started when BB’s granny gave her a 1984 copy of I Want To See The Moon by Louis Baum for Christmas (pictured), a fave when I was growing up. If you don’t know the story, it’s about a little boy called Toby who wakes up in the night and wants to see the moon, but of course it’s behind the clouds. In some ways it’s very PC: there’s no sign of the mum (I always assumed she was at work) and the dad is the one who takes Toby out of his cot to the loo before making him some hot milk. But at the same time it contains illustrations you just wouldn’t get in a kids book today, like Toby standing on the loo proudly displaying his willy, also pictured. (‘You wouldn’t get away with that today!’ a male friend said when he saw it this weekend). […]

By |April 7th, 2014|Books, Craft, Family life, Fashion, Money, Parenting|3 Comments

LEGO storage brick: a place for everything

Spring has officially sprung which means it’s time for a good spring clean (tidy house equals tidy mind and all that). There’s nothing more therapeutic than filling clear plastic bin bags with outgrown toys and packing them away, leaving great swathes of living and bedroom carpet visible for the first time in months. I know it won’t last and the lovely clear patches will soon be filled with new – infuriatingly bigger – toys, but that’s not the point. Of course while some toys have got bigger the ones with Annoying Parts have got even smaller. Like letters that fit into jigsaws and plastic Winnie the Pooh characters (if I have to extract Roo from between my littlest toes one more time I will scream). Luckily aplaceforeverything.co.uk has come to my rescue and sent us a giant LEGO storage brick (rrp: £22.95) which is just the ticket (pictured). […]

By |April 2nd, 2014|Family life, Parenting, Reviews|0 Comments

Guest post: healthy meals that don’t bust the budget

I couldn’t survive without my slow cooker. Whoever invented them deserves a medal. It doesn’t matter how cheap the cut of meat (pig cheeks make a mean chilli) if you cook it long enough you’ve got at least two separate – healthy – meals everyone will love that doesn’t bust the budget (Saturday night’s pulled pork, pictured). So for everyone who has a slow cooker lurking in the back of the cupboard which hasn’t seen the light of day for a while, or if you fancy the idea of slow cooking in the oven but aren’t quite sure how to go about it, I’m delighted to bring you a guest post from mum-of-two and keen cook Susan Jameson offering top tips on how to prepare great tasting, money-saving family meals: […]

By |March 31st, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Money, Parenting|0 Comments

Specks get into the most annoying crevices no matter how well I rinse the damn thing

I am sick of our cafetiere (ok, I know there are greater problems in the world). And I don’t even drink coffee. No matter how well I rinse the damn thing before putting it in the dishwasher after Misery Guts has left for work, by the following morning specks of coffee have still managed to work their way into the most annoying crevices of everything else in the dishwasher, like the teats of BB’s beakers. I’m so fed up with picking them out I think it’s time to join the rest of the coffee-drinking world and invest in a no-mess home coffee machine in time for Misery Guts’ birthday (I’m banking on him not reading this post, obviously). The only problem, apart from the fact that I don’t drink coffee and couldn’t tell you the difference between a skinny latte and a macchiato, is that I have no idea where to start. And Misery Guts is exacting when it comes to his morning coffee hit. […]

By |March 19th, 2014|Family life, Food, Money, Parenting, Reviews|0 Comments

The move from cot to big bed: 5 tips for a smooth transition

We’ve done it. We’ve finally turned BB’s cot into a bed. With her bedroom officially hazard free (the freestanding bookcase [...]

By |March 17th, 2014|Family life, Parenting, Potty training|0 Comments

Poor Michelle Heaton…

There’s a line I never thought I’d write. This week the pop star, who had a double mastectomy in 2012 when she discovered she was a carrier of the mutated BRCA2 gene and had an 80% chance of developing breast cancer, revealed she was in tears just hours after taking her new born son home because he was rooting for her breasts but of course she was unable to breast feed him. As a mum who loved every moment of breast feeding I can’t imagine what this must have felt like, watching a tiny mouth desperate to latch on but being physically unable to give him what he was so naturally searching for. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the star was then blasted for not breast feeding her baby and ‘promoting’ bottle feeding by an (ignorant) Twitter follower after she tweeted a picture of a bottle sterilizer she had received as a gift from Tommee Tippee. […]

By |March 14th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Health, News, Parenting|2 Comments

Spring days out in Dorset: head for Farmer Palmer’s

Bottle feeding a lamb has got to be a rite of passage when growing up and determined that BB shouldn't miss [...]

By |March 10th, 2014|Family days out, Family life, Money, Parenting, Reviews, Travel|4 Comments

How to childproof a bedroom (aka death trap)

We’re about to reach another milestone in the crummy mummy household: it’s time to turn BB’s much loved cot into a bed. The only reason she’s still in it at two and a half is because she flatly refuses to sleep anywhere else, but it really is time to get her out of nappies and onto the loo by herself at night, so the sides have to go. Which means I’ve realised just how much of a death trap her bedroom really is. Aside from the fact we live on the 4th floor of a block of flats with nothing but a sheer drop onto concrete outside her window, there’s the draw cord for her blind which dangles dangerously because we’ve never fixed its holder to the wall, a 6ft freestanding bookcase just waiting to be climbed and toppled when I’m not looking and a radiator which gets burning hot despite being off thanks to a heating system shared by all 49 flats (all pictured). […]

By |March 7th, 2014|Books, Family life, Health, Parenting, Potty training|0 Comments

Crushed: a healthy snack you’ll love too

You can always rely on a mumpreneur to find a solution to a problem. One vexing me lately is what to give BB to eat on the go when we’re charging between home and Talking Tots or the supermarket and nursery. Bored of snack packs of apple and grapes from Tesco and constantly being harassed for Milky Way Magic Stars, I’ve been on the hunt for something in bright packaging that looks like a treat akin to magic stars, but isn’t. Cue Crushed (pictured). Technically designed for hard-to-please seven to 11-year-olds, these Ella’s Kitchen-style pouches of 100% fruit contain no artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners or preservatives and come in apple and banana and apple and strawberry flavours. With screw-top spouts there’s no mess and no spoon, perfect for on-the-go consumption – in our case the pushchair. […]

By |March 5th, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Reviews|1 Comment

Gluten and dairy-free Paleo pancakes: it CAN be done

With Project No Nasties still going strong (I’m doing my best to avoid gluten, dairy, caffeine and anything generally considered not very good for you, excepting Haagen-Dazs in light of last week’s special consignment) I’m determined to still enjoy pancake day tomorrow. How hard can it be? The plan is to substitute plain flour for gluten-free flour, and milk for soya wholebean instead (pictured). I think I’ll be on my own: Misery Guts turned his nose up at the mere mention of soya milk, and I have resolved not to foist my own diet lifestyle plan onto BB, so hers will be made using the traditional ingredients. But for those of you interested, here’s my recipe for the batter: […]

By |March 3rd, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Parenting|0 Comments