31 January 2010

My First Vlog!

I've only gone and lost my vlogging virginity!


What you are about to see may put you off your food ;-)

Anyone else up for the fluffy bunnies challenge?







29 January 2010

A Grrr, a Haha and a Tip Top Top Tip

If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

I try to live my life by that rule. There are some miserable people who do not.

I took the boys to 'Bounce and Rhyme' at the library today. Jane, who runs the group, said she had some new songs for us. She asked if anyone knew the songs from In The Night Garden. A few of us hesitantly put up our hands.

FYI: We do not watch television all day. I'm not anti-television either, but it is strictly limited in our house. Sometimes it's not switched on all day, but the boys usually watch In The Night Garden before bed.


Jane handed out the words. I declined a sheet, saying 'it's okay, I know the words'. A woman sat opposite us piped up 'you need to get out more'.

I didn't know this woman. She wasn't a friend sharing a joke. She wasn't smiling. Steam came out of my ears, I wanted to tell her to BLANK off.

I said nothing.

The group then sang all of the songs on the sheet. Apart from the mums with small babies who haven't resorted to CBeebies yet, everyone knew the words. No one looked at their sheets. Grrr.


After the library we went to the Coop for Fox's Rich Tea Creams, 2 packets for £1 a loaf of bread. After paying, I took out last week's Euromillions lottery ticket.

I nervously handed it to the young shop assistant and said 'please can you check this for me, I think I've had a big win'.

How we laughed when he returned with my £6.10.

I was glad to put a smile on someone's face. 

I thought of my Dad. This was his favourite trick if he ever won £10 on the Lottery. I was happy to carry on this family tradition.


So, on to the tip top top tip! There's a new post editor in Blogger. It's so much better than the old version. It handles photographs and links intuitively. In fact, it's what you would expect from Blogger.

What I can't understand is why Blogger are keeping it a secret. Perhaps everyone else knows apart from me?!

If you didn't know anything about it you can click here for all the info. Thanks to Kelly for telling me about it.


28 January 2010

The You're Welcome Meme

I was delighted to be tagged by Mum at The Mad House for the You're Welcome Meme started by Sally at Who's the Mummy?.

These are the rules:
Recommend three new blogs you've discovered and loved
Tag three other bloggers and ask them to do the same

I love finding new blogs to read. It's difficult finding room in my Google Reader, but there are some blogs that are 'must reads'.

The three blogs that are new (to me) are:

This is a busy and entertaining blog. It's occasionally outspoken, but always a good read.

This is a wonderful blog written by Nova. She is a mother of five beautiful children. She has only just started blogging and I think she deserves more readers.

The Moiderer
This is a new blog written by an old blogger! Dawn writes from the heart, I love her emotional honesty.

So there are my three choices. That's the hard part over, I could have recommended another twenty new blogs.

Ooh, that reminds me. I accidentally lost my blog roll and I need to put it back. [Memo to me]!

I'm going to tag three fabulous bloggers who I hope will take up the challenge:

Fraught Mummy at Brits in Bosnia
Liz at VioletPosy


Ages ago the wonderful Mum at The Mad House gave the the Circle of Friends Award. I was touched by this. Thank you Mum!

I have to list five things I like to do. So, off the top of my head, five random things:

It has taken me a while to accept this award because I was worried about passing it on. You see, I don't want to leave anyone out from my circle of friends. In the eight months that I've been blogging I have found a wide circle of blogging friends. I couldn't possibly narrow this down to just five people. I can't tag everyone, that would take all day and I'd still probably leave someone out. So, my circle of friends, this award is for you. I hope you know who you are x


27 January 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Gallery Cash

Can you guess what it is yet? That's right, it's a robin.

What makes it special is that it's Cash's first piece of art from playgroup.

He's only 16 months old, but sat with his brother at the craft table and glued and stuck like a pro. I only helped to position the eye and the red breast, he did the rest completely on his own.

My children astound and amaze me every day, but I promise not to display every piece of their art work here - that's what the kitchen cupboards are for!


26 January 2010

Brain Dump

Why can't you just accept that you're okay at it? But I'm not. Not even okay? Surely you would say you're okay? I suppose so. I just feel that I could do better. Of course you could do better. Every day I decide I'll do better and then something happens and I don't do better. I annoy myself. But at least you try. I know. I wish someone could wave a magic wand and make it happen. What's the point of that? YOU need to put in the effort. Oh God I'm so lazy. No you're not lazy, you're just tired. It takes a lot of energy to run round after two toddlers. I am physically tired, but the mental tiredness is the killer. You don't want to go back to work though? No, I don't. I do love staying at home, but it's the same old same old that makes me weary. Bored? No, I'm not bored. I'm mentally stimulated by writing. I'm just fed up of the same battles every day. Why does it take so long to do anything? I've had to start to threaten to leave Presley at home if he doesn't come here NOW with Cash's shoe. I don't want to mentally scar him or upset him, but it's tedious. You need to change. I know. You can't expect to do the same thing each time and hope for a different outcome. Change what you do. Make getting ready to go out into a game. I try to make everything fun. Perhaps we need a new song. Yes, that would do it. Ah, but I'm still not a good enough mother. Oh woe is me. *sigh*. What would make you think that you were a good mother? Getting everyone dressed and out of the door by 10am? No, of course not, that's ridiculous. What about them eating everything you cook, would that make you a good mother? No, not really. Well, what then? Kisses and cuddles and calls for Mummy when they fall over or have a bad dream. Running over to give me a hug. Feeding me sweetcorn. Laughing. So you're a good mother then. On that basis I suppose so. But everyone loves their mum, even if they're a crap mum. Oh shut up!

This post was written for the Sleep is for the weak writing workshop. This week I chose writing prompt no.3 What have the voices in your head been saying lately?


22 January 2010

Job Description

Job Title:



7am to 7pm seven days a week (if you’re lucky). Occasional (frequent) nights. On-call every night.


[This section has deliberately been left blank].


You may be granted the odd night out if you can find a reliable babysitter that you trust implicitly, otherwise time off is not permitted.


Generally you are not permitted to be ill. Sickies can not be taken unless you have prior agreement from your partner that they will drive the night before and you can have a drink and a bit of a lie-in the following day.


Pyjamas may be worn, although if venturing out of the house try to change into any maternity clothes that still fit and pick sick off your shoulder. Brush hair weekly. What’s lipstick?

Skills required:

Cooking, cleaning, washing, bathing, tidying, chauffeuring, precision pushchair pushing, nappy changing, nail clipping, teeth cleaning, teething gel dispensing, administering Calpol, phoning NHS direct, replacing socks every five minutes, putting books back in bookcase as required (could be up to twenty times a day), cuddling, comforting, carrying, teddy finding, reading, doing funny voices, tidying, patience of a saint, stepping on lego without swearing, singing, dancing, tickling, puppetry, drawing, pulling faces, general entertaining, teaching and mind reading.


Spending time with the most amazing, incredible human beings imaginable, your children. Smiles, giggles, kisses and cuddles.


21 January 2010

Do You Have a Secret Ability?

*This is a sponsored post*

I'd love to have a secret ability.

As a parent to two small children I would like to be able to read minds. Imagine knowing what they wanted to eat or do all all times?

Heinz are running a competition with a prize of £1000. Yes, £1000. I'm imagining £1000 with no trouble at all!

All you have to do to enter is to video a secret ability (or fool the judges into believing you have a secret ability). To find out more go to www.secretabilities.com.

Can you do better than this entry?

My husband Andy has a secret ability. He can imitate a seal and balance a ball on his head - for ages. Well, it was a secret ability. It will be very public once I've dusted off our video camera!

Good luck and may the sauce be with you (Heinz, sauce, geddit?)!


20 January 2010

I Need A Holiday

We didn’t go on holidays when I was a child. Well, apart from one holiday in Cornwall that I vaguely remember. I must have been four. We stayed in a white beach house with pale blue window frames. We went with another family, friends of my parents. We played in the sand dunes and Uncle Ken lost his glasses in the sea.

After that I suppose we didn’t have the money for holidays. Also my Dad was a home-bird. So we went on day trips.

I recently found some of my old school books. I wrote a news story, when I was seven, that made me roar with laughter. The gist of it was that we had gone out in the car one weekend for a drive around Luton ‘to see all the changes’. This would have been my Dad’s idea. I feel sorry for my Mum and my seven year old self and my five year old brother. A drive around Luton. Holy Moly.

We did have enjoyable day trips though. We went to the seaside, to a different town each year, in either Norfolk, Suffolk or Essex. My brother and I saved up our pocket money for weeks. We loaded up the car for the two hour journey. I tried not to be sick in the car – with mixed results. We all peered through the windows attempting to be the first to see the sea.

We went on the beach, ate ice creams, chips and candy floss, played in the amusements, looked in all the souvenir shops and had a nice meal in a restaurant before the long drive home. My brother and I would fall asleep smiling.

I want my children to have happy memories of family holidays. Now, where’s that road atlas? I hear there’s a new bypass opening in Bolton…


Wordless Wednesday - Three Years Ago Today


19 January 2010


As a stay at home mum I look back at my working career and realise that, by comparison, I didn't have to work that hard at all.

When I was a Financial Controller or a Financial Director I sometimes worked 90 hour weeks. I sometimes worked twenty hour days, but mostly I had my evenings and weekends to myself.

I could go walking or shopping in my lunch hour. I was made cups of coffee and there was a lot of cake. Okay, there's still a lot of cake. Work was a laugh, I had many friends, I was mentally stimulated and I was 'important' and respected.

Whenever I become wistful for my old life at work, one face pops up to remind me that it wasn't always quite so wonderful - Tina*. Tina the grinning assassin. Tina the invincible. Tina the untouchable. Tina the terminator.

I was working at ABC Ltd, I loved working there. I managed the accounts department and all the women in the office (but that's another story)! I had been warned that my predecessors had all tried, and failed, to get rid of Tina. I was giving her the benefit of the doubt and treated her with same amount of respect as I treated everyone else.


It still makes me shudder when I think about it. I has gone down as an OMG did that really happen? moment in the history of ABC Ltd.

It was my secretary Jo's birthday. She had bought frozen cheesecakes into work and by elevenses time they were defrosted. She carefully divided the cheesecakes into equal portions and dished them out to the hungry masses.

So far, so good.

After lunch Tina asked if she could speak to me in private. I shut the door and we sat down.

'Jo gave me the smallest piece of cake', she said.

'Oh', I said, satisfied with the size of my slice, not sure what the fuss was about.

'She gave me the smallest piece and all the rubbish from the edge of the tin. She doesn't like me'.

Tina started to cry. I'm always sympathetic when people cry and usually join in. I handed her my the box of tissues and listened to her sob story. This took quite a while. She had a lot to tell me. Jo giving her the smallest piece of cake was the last straw. She didn't like telling tales, but they had driven her to it. She couldn't go back into the office. They would know she had been talking about them and it would all get worse.

Oh crikey.

After a good hour of this I left Tina with the tissues and went to see Jo. I had to ask her about the cake. She told me she had saved a large piece of cake for Tina and given her the extra bits from around the foil tray 'because I know what she's like', she said.

I went back in to Tina, who was still crying. I told her what Jo had said (well, some of it anyway). Tina called Jo a liar. There was a lot more crying from Tina. I was scratching my head.

Next, Jo rang me in tears so I went to see her. 'Tina always does this', she said. 'She's a nightmare. I can't work in the same office as her anymore'.

We were going round in circles.

I told Jo I'd deal with Tina - having heard both sides I was beginning to realise that Tina was playing me for a fool.

I said Tina could spend as long as she needed composing herself in my office. It was Friday afternoon, perhaps we should all calm down over the weekend. Things would look different on Monday morning.

It took Tina until 4:50pm to compose herself. This gave her enough time to turn her computer off and put her coat on ready to go home at 5pm. As soon as she was safely in the car park the whole office surrounded me. Some laughed, in fact one guy laughed until he cried, and the rest commiserated with me.

Apparently I'd had my first Tina 'episode'.

I couldn't believe I'd spent the afternoon listening to someone squeeze out crocodile tears to accompany a list of alleged slights as long as both my arms and legs. I needed a drink.

Cakegate, as it became known, was the first of a few Tina 'episodes' I had to endure. After cakegate came windowgate and ambulancegate. Don't ask.

Whenever I find it hard work managing two needy toddlers I remember Tina and I remember cakegate and I decide that paid work wasn't always a bed of roses!

*Names have been changed to protect the annoying.

This post was written for the Sleep is for the weak writing workshop. I chose prompt 3 - What are you guilty of viewing through rose-coloured spectacles?


For more reading material, the fabulous Emily O is hosting the Best of the British Mummy Bloggers Carnival on the theme of grandparents over at Babyrambles.


18 January 2010

Stories and Songs Meme

I've been tagged by the lovely Mum at The Mad House for the equally lovely Fraught Mummy's Stories and Songs Meme.

Music is an enormous part of my life. One of my earliest memories is of playing singles on Mum and Dad's record player. It must have been the Christmas when I was three that I played Wizzard's 'I wish it could be Christmas every day' over and over again. I still love that song, although I'd imagine they were a bit sick of hearing it!

I could never go on Desert Island Discs. I would never be able to list my top ten, there are too many to chose from. There are so many songs that can instantly transport me back to different times in my life.

I find it difficult to listen to the songs we played at my brother's funeral, or my Dad's funeral. Music was important to them too. I want 'Do You Realise?' by The Flaming Lips played at my funeral - it's my favourite song of all time. We had it at our wedding too.

We spent longer choosing the music for our wedding than I spent choosing my dress. We chose songs and music by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, The Flaming Lips, Elton John and Albert Ammons. Occasionally I hear the instrumental version of 'Your Song' from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack playing underneath an interview with someone who desperately doesn't want to be voted off some TV show or other. It makes me smile. I walked down the aisle to that music.

'Yes' by McAlmont & Butler is the soundtrack to my twenties. Despite going through some difficult times then, that song always cheered me up. 'My Happiness' by Powderfinger is the song I associate with living in Australia for a year.

When I met Andy I started singing again. He had been writing and recording music for a while and, after a nervous start, I joined him.

The song I've chosen to play on here is none of the above. I've chosen the first song I sang to baby Presley. I didn't know many nursery rhymes back then, but I wondered if he would like me to sing to him. He must have only been two or three weeks old and Andy was back at work.

I cradled my new baby and started to sing to him. The words caught in my throat and I started to cry. I sang through the sobs. It hit me that he was mine, I was his mother. I was a mother singing to her child. This made me enormously happy.

This is the song I sang:

So, who wants to join in? If you would like to be tagged for this one please let me know and I'll add you here.

Tag, you're it:


Bloggers for Haiti - Please don't look away

I have no words, only tears and a few spare pounds.


15 January 2010

The Spaghetti Incident

The Good

I cooked a meal from scratch for the boys and they ate it. It took a while to cook and is the exception that proves the rule that the more time I spend cooking, the less my children eat.

Presley 'helped' me cook spaghetti bolognaise. Both boys loved it and enjoyed learning how to eat spaghetti.

Shh, nobody tell them that spaghetti is pasta (they don't like pasta).

The Bad

Presley couldn't resist starting a food fight with Cash.

The Ugly

Remind you of anyone?

Now, now. Before you Kajagoogoo fans go off in a huff, I'm not saying Nick Beggs is ugly. It's his hair that's ugly. Okay? Good.


14 January 2010

The Favourite Photo Meme

Memes are like buses. You wait for ages to be tagged and then you get tagged three times!

I have so many favourite photographs, it's almost impossible to choose one. I don't post identifiable photos of my children online, so I had to eliminate a fair few on that basis. Even so I still have so many favourites

I've just spent a wonderful half hour searching through 'my pictures' . I had two photos in mind that I wanted to use and here they are.

The first is me with a two week old Presley. I love the way we are looking at each other.

The second is of me with Cash, again at two weeks. I love babies when they are still curled up, like tiny frogs.

Broody? Me? Yep. I mean, look at them, they're so tiny and snuggly!

I'm not sure if there's anyone left to tag. If you would like to join in, and you would like me to tag you, let me know.

Consider yourselves tagged:

Looking forward to seeing your photos.


13 January 2010

Make the Decision Now

This is a difficult post to write. I've had a good cry and I think I can start now.

I've mentioned before that I had a brother. Peter died in 1997, aged 25. I can't believe that after nearly 13 years I still feel his loss so acutely. I suppose time is a healer in that I don't think of him all the time, but when I do it is painful - particularly since I became a parent.

Peter was a remarkable boy. He was born with a rare lung disorder that meant physically he could do very little without going blue and struggling to breathe. Twice, before the age of five, my parents were told that he wouldn't survive the night. I can only begin to imagine what they went through during those long dark nights.

Peter was a fighter. He was determined to go to school, which he attended part time. His friends carried him on their backs when he was tired. He achieved a great deal - he loved life. He learnt to drive, got a job, went to the pub with his mates, chatted up the ladies.

He was in and out of hospital all his life and became progressively weaker. When he was twenty he was put on the waiting list for a heart and lung transplant. In September 1994, when he was twenty two and not at all well, he got the call.

He had his transplant at Harefield Hospital in Middlesex. The photograph above is of Peter sat on his hospital bed, recovering from surgery.

Peter's new lungs came from a boy named Michael. Michael was only seventeen. He died after a fall on a rugby pitch. Luckily his parents were generous and thought of others as they lost their son. Seven of his organs saved five lives.

Peter's heart, which was enlarged but otherwise healthy, was given to a man named Brendan in a domino operation. We met Brendan and it was the strangest thing to think of Peter's heart beating in his chest!

The operation was a success, although the recovery was not straightforward. Peter was determined to get home and get on with his life.

He was a changed man. He grew. He could run, ride a bike and even play football. He made the most of every day. He flew for the first time and had two holidays of a lifetime in New York and New Zealand.

Unfortunately his new lease of life was cut short. Eighteen months after the transplant his body started to reject his new lungs. It was a gradual, but unstoppable decline. The last few months of his life were difficult, but he was allowed to die at home - with dignity.

I held one of Peter's hands, and my Mum held the other, as he faded away. My Dad watched helplessly, shaking his head at the loss of his son.

Throughout his difficult life Peter NEVER complained. He never asked 'why me?'. He had an amazing warmth and sense of humour. I wish he was here now, laughing at me for typing with tears in my eyes.


I've told this difficult story in the hope that it will inspire you to join the (UK) Organ Donor Register. It's simple to sign up, it doesn't take long.

You can also sign up your children. I have.

Make the decision now, while you can do it objectively.

Please tell your family about your decision.

There are so many people, adults and children, waiting for the chance of donor organs.

Thank you.


Wordless Wednesday - Ice Ice Baby Baby!


12 January 2010

Sexy Undies and Odd Socks

This week I have mostly been wearing my sexy undies.

Last Monday our washing machine died. It was a noisy death accompanied by a puff of smoke.


It probably died of hard work. Having two small children who can't seem to eat a meal without smearing it all over themselves had meant almost daily use for quite some time. I'm also guilty of only wearing clothes once. I know, I know, it's not environmentally friendly, but it smells good.

I'm waiting for a new machine to be delivered today. Please let it be today St John of Lewis.

We've managed to survive without a washing machine by dressing unusually. The boys are down to odd socks, dirty jeans and stained tops. At least their grandma knitted them new cardigans for Christmas. They are sporting the Val Doonican look for warmth and to cover up food stains.

And I am wearing sexy undies.

I soon ran out of my everyday, M&S, pack of five, pants. So I rummaged at the back of my underwear drawers and found the good stuff. The pretty stuff. The frilly stuff. The lacy stuff. The matching stuff. The stuff I used to wear Before Children.

Do you know what? It feels good. I feel more feminine. I feel like I've got a secret.

I've missed feeling like this.

Never keep anything for best.

This post was written in response to writing prompt 2, Tell me about something you miss, in the Sleep is for the weak writing workshop.


11 January 2010


This is a photograph of Cash's first steps outside - in the snow.

He took his first steps indoors in November, but it was only a few weeks ago he realised he could walk in preference to crawling. So we hadn't taken him outside and by the time we wanted to the big freeze had taken hold.

I blogged about being stuck in the house and not being able to take Cash out in the snow in case he fell over or crawled. One generous reader offered to send me a snowsuit her son had grown out of. I emailed her my address and she went out in the snow to post it to me. The minute it arrived we all went out to play in the garden!

Fresh air! Hurrah!

So I really want to thank Mum at The Mad House. You are a kind and generous person.

In case you haven't heard of it, The Mad House is a rather brilliant blog. It just gets better and better. It is also newly listed on the Tots100 this month - well done!


Speaking of generosity...

We live behind a primary school. It has been closed all week. Last night we heard scraping noises coming from the school.

We looked out of our bedroom window and saw half the town hacking away at the ice on the car park and footpaths. This was either an awesome display of community spirit, or desperate parents with bored children under their feet.

Either way the school is open today.


8 January 2010

Happy Happy Joy Joy

The gorgeous Wife of Bold tagged me in her happiness meme. The title is 'the ten best things in my life that are free'. I love the idea of this one.

So often I find myself inwardly complaining that life is tough, that I don't get enough sleep, that I have too much to do. It's good to reflect and think about what makes you happy. Like counting your blessings.

I struggled to cut my list down to ten, you will see from the last two that I bunched a few together.

  1. The smell of sweet peas. These remind me of my Grandad.
  2. Sleeping in clean sheets. This doesn't happen as often as it did Before Children.
  3. Singing. The louder the better, like noone's listening .
  4. A nice cup of tea and a sit down. Yes, I'm getting old.
  5. Loading the dishwasher. I pretend I'm on The Krypton Factor. It will all go in. It will.
  6. The Flaming Lips. I never get tired of listening to 'The Soft Bulletin' in particular. I went to see them last year, for the third time. I envy people seeing them live for the first time. It is an amazing experience.
  7. Long Summer evenings. Sitting in the garden until it eventually gets dark. Feeling the gentle, cooling breeze in your arms. The delicate scent of Summer blooms and cut grass.
  8. Doing the Rubik's Cube. Andy found one out today for the boys to play with. I learnt how to do it when I was ten. I felt my age today when I realised I'd been able to do this for nearly thirty years. I still got a great deal of satisfaction as I made the last few turns and saw the colours come together.
  9. My husband. Andy totally gets me. With him I can relax and be myself. I'm comfortable, safe and loved. He makes me happy.
  10. My children. They amaze and delight me every day. Their personalities are developing along with their speech and movement. They are cute, especially when they play together, and they bowl me over with kisses and cuddles. They make me happy.

I'm very lucky.

The photograph above is me, bursting with happiness, about to give Presley his first bath.

I'm passing this meme on to ten bloggers, most of whom are new to me - all members of Judith's Room. Finding fabulous new blogs to read should probably replace the Rubik's Cube on my list as I probably won't do it again for another few years!



7 January 2010

Judith's Room

I'm excited.

The AMAZING Josie from Sleep is for the weak has set up a creative writing community for women called Judith's Room.

Judith's Room offers a space to write, share, support and empower. Josie explains how we came up with the name and why I have chosen to use a picture of Virginia Woolf in this post.

In less than one day, and at the time of writing, Judith's Room has an impressive 66 members.

A lot of members are fellow bloggers. Speaking just for myself, I have rediscovered a love of writing since I started Baby Baby last year. I have enjoyed participating in the weekly Writing Workshops held by Josie on her blog.

I think I'll be spending a lot of time in Judith's Room as I try to develop my writing.

Hope to see you there.


6 January 2010


You experience many firsts as a parent. Some are more exciting and special than others.

The first smile is amazing.

The first steps are a triumph of determination over gravity.

We found waiting for the first words rather frustrating because we were never quite sure whether the boys had actually said a proper word. We waited for a word to be repeated in context before it counted as an official word. Perhaps we had too many rules on that one.

(For the record, Presley’s first word was ‘Home’ and Cash‘s was ‘Ta’).

Today I discovered that Cash can count up to two. It was while he was in the bathroom with me this morning. As I was getting dressed he picked up two new toilet rolls and put them on his arms like whopping white bangles. He sat there holding up alternate arms saying ‘one two one two’. Then he cuddled them and said ‘baby’.

I’m fond of my Nouvelle toilet tissue, but have never felt the need to nurse it!


There was a massive first for Presley too today.

For the first time ever he asked ‘Why?’.

I wonder how long it will be before he hears his first ‘Because I said so’ from me?!


Oh and don't ask me why he chose to wear oven gloves today, or why his hair has started to stick up. I have no idea!


Wordless Wednesday - On Ice!


5 January 2010

It's All Going On...

The lovely Susanna (A Modern Mother) is hosting the first Best of the British Mummy Bloggers Carnival of 2010. It's a marathon effort and I'm please she found room to include a post from Baby Baby.

Secondly the fabulous Baby Genie is running a Big Mummy Blogger Survey. Please take part, it only takes a couple of minutes. There are some interesting results already.

Finally we were lucky enough to be sent a Vtech Animal Fun Bounce & Ride Giraffe to try. You can read my review at the Great Toy Guide.


I Can't Cook!

This is probably the last post I'll ever write about cooking with toddlers. I'm beginning to feel like a hapless home maker.

Of course if you would like me to carry on admitting to Sandy' kitchen nightmares, just to make you feel better about your kitchen prowess, then I'm sure I have more tasty treats in my repertoire!

So today's attempt at being a domestic goddess was Chocolate Cornflake Cakes.


I expect it would be if I had bothered to Google the recipe.

I thought I knew how to make them, after all it's so easy a child could do it, right?


I melted butter and golden syrup in a pan and added cocoa powder.

I took the bowl over to where my willing assistants (Presley and Cash) were waiting, wooden spoons at the ready.

I reached for the cornflakes. There were 17 in the packet.

In they went to the chocolatey mixture.

Hmm, we needed more cereal.

Et voila, Chocolate Sultana Bran Cakes:

And no, they didn't set.

They were however a darn sight tastier than the jam vol-au-vents!


3 January 2010

The Baby Baby Baking Masterclass

I believe it was Delia Smith who said 'life's too short to make pastry' (probably), so yesterday I bought some ready-to-roll pastry to make a steak pie.

There was going to be plenty left over so this afternoon I decided to go all domesticated and bake some jam tarts with Presley.

He 'helped' flour the worktop and rolling pin (and his hands, hair, clothes, Jessie cat and his chair). We rolled out the pastry and cut out a dozen circles. We placed six of them on a baking tray. Next Presley painted the edges of the circles (mainly) with milk. We then cut smaller circles out of the remaining original circles.

Still with me?

We took the rings of pastry and laid them on the top of the milky circles on the baking tray. We then popped a blob of jam in each small circle - as seen on Big Cook Little Cook (oh how carefully I typed that)!

That's all there is to it. Presley and I sat and watched the oven expectantly.

We weren't expecting this:

Can you work out the flaw in my otherwise cunning culinary plan?

That's right. I used puff pastry. Oops!

Jam vol-au-vent anyone?


2 January 2010

The Toddler Food Graph

I feel like I should be stood at the front of a training room with a pointy stick and an overhead projector.

Andy and I have often discussed the fact that the more effort I put into cooking meals for Presley and Cash, the less they eat. The opposite is also true. If I shove something from the freezer into the oven and onto a plate, they'll eat the lot!

For example the following meals are the most popular with the boys, yet they require little or no culinary effort on my part:

Pizza and sweetcorn
Fish fingers, chips and peas
Sausages, potato waffles and baked beans
(Shop bought) meat & potato pie and mixed veg

Whereas if I spend time cooking for them, from scratch, they usually turn their noses up. This includes:

Chicken casserole
Pasta bolognaise
House burgers
Fish Pie

There are of course exceptions that prove the rule. Anything that Grandma cooks is usually devoured greedily (casseroles especially), although I like to think that this is because we eat later round there and the boys are starving. Of course this actually does prove my rule as I spent no time cooking!

Another exception is that they like a roast dinner, which takes a bit of time to cook, but is also normally eaten by the whole family. If Daddy is eating it, it must be okay!

Does this graph apply to your family? Suggestions for recipes gratefully received!


1 January 2010

In With The New

Happy New Year!

I always get a bit weepy when Big Ben bongs and New Year's Eve becomes New Year's Day.

Maybe it is sadness at something ending, yet happiness and expectation at the start of something new.

We had a lovely New Year's Eve. Andy and I took the boys into Preston. We had a look round the sales. I was over the moon to find boys' pyjamas for £3 in M&S.

I also got myself some pjyamas in the sales. It was only when I got them home that I realised they had a slogan on the front.

'Sleeping Diva'.

I mean, it may be true, but I am 39, not 9. Why write that on an adult's PJ's? I'm not ready for Winceyette yet, but slogans? Come on!

We then had lunch in Pizza Express. The boys behaved impeccably. I was so proud of them. There was no highchair for Presley, but he sat in an adult chair and didn't move throughout the whole meal. They ate with gusto.

Presley was particularly enamoured with the tomato sauce that Andy and I had with our risotto balls. He kept asking for 'jam' on his dough balls!

Here is Cash being all grown up and drinking out of a cup:


Last night Andy and I had a quiet night in front of the television. We managed to drink a bottle of champagne and a bottle of wine before messing about with Bleugh the Monkey. Andy made him dance along to Lady Gaga. You can't hear her on this video but you can hear me laughing!

Who said tiny things please tiny minds?!

Andy let me have a lie in this morning. I needed it. I'm not used to drinking quite so much. I have a bit of a hangover today!


I don't make New Year Resolutions. I don't like to set myself up for failure. I do however like to set goals and make plans.

2010 will be a big year for me. I'll be *whispers* 40 next month.

So, what do I want to achieve in 2010?
  • I'd like to plan something (anything) for my 40th. I don't want to spend a lot of money, or leave the boys for long. Suggestions please!!
  • I'd like a new look for Baby Baby.
  • I'd like to be more focused when I have time to myself, especially when I want to write. It's all too easy to check on Twitter, Facebook and emails.
  • I'd like to read a blog post and leave a comment there and then. For some reason I read a post and decide to comment later. When I get back to the post I either have to read it again or it is too late to comment!
  • I'd like to work on my novel. I start another creative writing course next week, so that will help me.
  • We're going to move house. Oh My God I HATE moving!
  • Two words that strike fear into my heart: potty training. Yes, we've got that delight to come this year.
  • Finally, and most importantly, I'd like to be a better mother to my two wonderful boys. I'd like to have more patience. I'd like to stop shouting at them, they're only babies after all. Shouting doesn't teach them anything except to shout. I'd like to spend more time baking and making with them. I'd like to keep them happy and entertained all day.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin