Stretch mark creams review: Bepanthen, Palmer’s & Bio Oil

They say there’s nothing you can really do about stretch marks: it’s in the genes and you'll either get them, [...]

Playmobil crane review: beats Cayla and Frozen hands down

Forget Cayla the talking doll or anything Frozen related this Christmas: a Playmobil crane beats both hands down. The remote controlled crane has been the top toy in our house ever since it arrived a few weeks ago, and not just for the little kids: the big kids love it too. While BB and her friends have been using it to hoist Polly Pocket up and down (pictured), visitors including BB’s uncle and granddad haven’t been able to resist seeing what they can pick up with its moving plastic hook either. At £59.99 it’s not exactly a stocking filler, but I think it definitely makes the grade in terms of longevity. It’s got a little Playmobil man in a top box ‘operating’ the crane (pictured) and a hand held remote control (also pictured) which can make the crane itself move in a 360 degree circle and the pulley go up and down, left and right. […]

By |December 12th, 2014|Family life, Money, Parenting, Reviews, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Is putting a baby to sleep on their tummy REALLY so bad?

Is putting a baby to sleep on their tummy really so bad? All the medical advice seems to say yes, [...]

By |December 5th, 2014|Beauty, Family life, Health, Parenting, Uncategorized|6 Comments

Paddington: there’s going to be a run on marmalade, duffle coats and Cornishware

There’s much excitement in the crummy mummy household: Paddington the movie has finally been released and we can’t wait to go and see it. Admittedly most of this excitement is from me: even though I’ve promised BB there are no Scary Bits she’s slightly dubious after our last trip to the cinema, when I took her to see Book of Life without researching the plot (ghosts + lost souls + Land of the Forgotten = lots of Scary Bits) Mostly I’m excited because there’s nothing like a good old British film at Christmas – acting greats including Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters, famous London landmarks such as Paddington Station and icons of Britishness like stripy Cornishware pottery (pictured) all brought together – what more could you want? Of course there’s no doubt there’s going to be a run on marmalade, duffle coats, Cornishware and everything else Paddington-related as a result, and good on them: I like it when everyday, honest things nobody usually notices get their 15 minutes of fame. […]

Hopefully that’s our last medical-related appointment for now…

Not only was Little B diagnosed with tongue tie on the day he was born, the paediatrician also discovered a heart murmur. This was found at his paediatric check, which took place when he was just a few hours old because we were on a six hour discharge from the hospital. I wasn’t overly concerned: he has a good colour, has put on a whole 2lbs since he was born almost three weeks ago and doesn’t look like there might be something wrong with him. Apparently a heart murmur isn’t unusual in really newborn babies after their circulation switches from running on the inside to functioning on the outside, and we were told that had the paediatric check taken place the following day they may not have detected anything at all. […]

I need a food net umbrella – for a baby

I swear both our cats knew I was pregnant before I did. Our eldest, Eddie, has been following me around from the word go, while our youngest, Daisy, was instantly more loving than usual. Eight months on she curls up alongside my bump at every available opportunity (pictured), and Eddie is never far away. Both of them are quite happy sitting on top of my bump even though the baby now kicks back as they paw before settling down, and when the baby shifts position they simply shift too. I’m guessing it’s all to do with pheromones, but either way, it’s got me thinking about how loving and cuddly they’ll be when the baby actually arrives. Eddie will probably run a mile, as he did with BB, but I don’t trust Daisy one bit. She would curl up on or alongside BB whenever she could (pictured), meaning a cat net for the moses basket is definitely in order. […]

If someone had told me this is what lunchtimes would involve, I wouldn’t have believed them

She might have just turned 3, but BB is itching to start school. She asks me daily what colour her uniform will be (I don’t know because it depends which over-subscribed school we actually manage to get her into), who will collect her and pick her up (again I don’t know because it depends how far away said school is) and can she go to the school in Time For School on Cbeebies (at last a question I can actually answer – no.) Being an August baby by this time next year she will be in reception class, but until then I’ve got to come up with ways to satisfy her school curiosity or suffer death by questioning. So when aplaceforeverything.co.uk asked me to review LEGO’s latest lunch box set, launched to celebrate the release of the LEGO movie, I had an idea: we could start, like school, having ‘packed lunch’ at home (pictured). This is a brilliant idea, even if I do say so myself. I realise it’s a total waste of cling film, but the look on her face as she unwraps each item and says ‘wow’ is worth it (also pictured). […]

By |September 15th, 2014|Family life, Food, Money, Parenting, Reviews, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Thanks to the garden we switched the telly off for TWO WEEKS

Living in a fourth floor flat means being able to run through a door into a garden isn’t an activity which features in BB’s usual routine. So when we decamped to my parents’ house in Dorset while they were sunning it in Spain for two weeks BB thought all her Christmases had come at once. She pram pushed (pictured), she scootered, she ran barefoot in the grass, she watered the plants and ate breakfast, lunch and dinner in the great outdoors, leaving CBeebies mercifully switched off for almost our entire trip, which has got to be a holiday in itself. With her 3rd birthday falling slap bang in the middle of our holiday and with the garden at our feet it was the perfect opportunity to throw a birthday barbecue and try out a set of garden games we were sent by Two Little Fleas, who are encouraging families to spend more quality time together by playing outdoors this summer. […]

Miscarriage care campaign victory!

Just two weeks in there’s a victory in the next phase of Mumsnet’s Miscarriage Care Campaign: following a live webchat with mums last week shadow health secretary Andy Burnham MP has pledged to include better miscarriage care in Labour’s 2015 manifesto. At first I wasn’t sure if victory was the right word to describe the commitment – the cynic in me asks what good being included in Labour’s manifesto will actually do – but the fact is that without Mumsnet raising the profile of this issue and without mums like me sharing our first-hand experiences and demanding action this wouldn’t have happened. So in my book that’s a victory. […]

‘My snaps are soft and my fig rolls are flaccid’

That’s not a euphemism, I’m deadly serious. There’s an emergency in the crummy mummy household: the biscuit tin is failing in its one sole task of keeping the biscuits fresh. Within days of opening a new packet the ginger snaps are soft and the fig rolls are flaccid, despite a satisfactory sounding ‘click’ when opened and closed. After a thorough inspection of the lid, which is pierced with lots of little holes I’ve always assumed are necessary for freshness, I can’t figure it out. Misery Guts says there’s probably rubber on the other side of the holes and something has perished, resulting in stalegate – is he right? I have absolutely no idea. The thing is I don’t want to just replace the tin with a new one because it was a wedding present from a school friend (I can’t tell you the number of kitchen utensils now forever associated with old friends). And it might only be four years old, but we’ve got history: I dipped into it for ginger snaps in a bid to relieve morning sickness, I feasted on fig rolls when possessed with breast-feeding induced roaring hunger and it’s where BB now carefully selects her chocolate covered malted milks between finger and thumb. […]

By |June 27th, 2014|Family life, Food, Parenting, Uncategorized|3 Comments

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: why can’t I just sit back and relax?

Week: 22 Waist: 35.5 inches (no change) Feeling: Like an overactive worrywart With the 20 week scan out of the way and all looking good, I’m now worrying the baby is going to come early. Too early. I’ve spent the last four months silently praying we make it beyond the next milestone: 8 weeks, when my last two babies died, 10 weeks, when the last miscarriage was actually diagnosed, 12 weeks, when we see whether everything appears to be ok or not, 16 weeks, when apparently the risk of miscarriage dramatically drops, and then 20 weeks, when again we see whether everything appears to be ok or not. I hadn’t really allowed myself to think beyond the 20 week scan, and now we’re here it’s almost as though my subconscious self is saying ‘you must have something to worry about’ and finds a new anxiety to harbour. […]

Why is NHS miscarriage care still so poor?

Ok, so I said I didn’t want to write about my miscarriages. However, this week Mumsnet published the results of its Miscarriage Care Survey showing that the treatment and support women receive following miscarriage is often less than ideal and fails to meet official national guidelines. Did you know that half of women who miscarry have to wait more than 24 hours for a scan to find out if their baby is still alive, and are treated alongside women with healthy pregnancies? Or that 58% of women wanted counselling after miscarrying, but only 12% were offered it? In a bid to improve NHS miscarriage care and lessen the trauma of pregnancy loss Mumsnet is calling for the three main political parties to pledge to improve the system, based on its Code of Care, by the end of the next parliament. Of course achieving this means women like me need to speak out about our experience, or nothing will change. There is no doubt elements of my care were less than ideal, and despite considerable – and unusual – encouragement from Misery Guts I have felt absolutely no desire to blog about it. But if sharing my story means another woman doesn’t have to face what I did, I will. So here goes: […]

Dreaming of a…German Christmas market

There’s nothing like a German Christmas market to get you in the festive spirit. I don’t mean a German Christmas market in England, I mean a proper one. In Germany. BB and I spent last weekend sampling the best West Germany has to offer, namely in the city of Trier and the cobbled streets of Bernkastel-Kues (pictured). I saw it as a bit of a rite of passage for her: as a forces child I spent a number of formative years living in Germany, and the Christmas markets of Trier and Bernkastel are a lasting childhood memory I’d like her to have too. We’re talking wooden huts quite literally decked with boughs of holly, sausages sizzling in great big pans and the unmistakable smell of mulled wine and sugared almonds wafting through the streets. We weren’t sent on the trip for the purposes of review, I just thought you’d like to know about it because there’s still time to hop on a plane and sample it for yourselves. […]

By |December 13th, 2013|Family days out, Food, Reviews, Travel, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Thomson holidays in Majorca: no more worries for a day or two

The kids are back at school, the nights are drawing in and flights are finally back to their term-time price tags. Meaning there’s no better time for some late summer sun. As a result BB and I have been on our first girlie holiday together: an all-inclusive package deal to Majorca where the temperature at this time of year averages a respectable 27 degrees. Envious? You should be. It was a week of firsts for us: the first time BB has had her own seat on a plane, the first time I have travelled solo with a toddler, suitcase and pushchair in tow, the first time BB has been without her daddy for more than two nights in a row, the first time we have visited the Balearics and the first time we have experienced an all-inclusive package holiday. When Thomson – which is targeting young families with its pioneering Family Resorts concept – first asked me to review its Majorcan offering, the Protur Aparthotel Bonaire in Cala Bona, I must admit I was sceptical about whether a holiday with obligatory wrist bands, buffet meals and evening entertainment was really for us. […]

By |September 25th, 2013|Family days out, Family life, Food, Reviews, Travel, Uncategorized|9 Comments

Mummy bloggers: we’re pretty great too

Last Monday’s post about a great woman being behind every man on a man diet got me thinking: mummy bloggers [...]

By |September 23rd, 2013|Family life, Uncategorized|0 Comments