Thursday, 14 November 2013

New pets!

So, we have some cool little friend living with us this winter…

stick insects!

 I absolutely adore them, it’s so interesting to watch them swinging from side to side and munching their way through brambles, and the rate at which they grow is unreal. 

Our twig like friend have provided an excellent opportunity for the little man to learn some interesting facts about living creatures. Did you know that a female stick insect can lay fertile eggs without the help of a male? Or that a stick insect has no skeleton at all!

For more fun facts about stick insects visit This site

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The family that runs together...

The Family That Runs Together...

So, for the past year I've well and truly caught the running bug. It started off innocently enough, a little jog here, a park run there. Before I knew it I'd signed up for my first half marathon, then another and another. 

Emboldened by my success I signed up for the mother of all races, the full  marathon.

I'm pleased to report that, as of three weeks ago, I became a marathon runner!

Now my running journey hasn't been a solo voyage. My two favorite guys have been with me every step of the way. They came to cheer for me at the finish line, they cycled along side me as I ran around the parks and they even let me laze around on a Sunday after my long runs!

Then something amazing happened. My boys caught my running lurgy too! The big man pulled on his running shoes and trained hard to join me for my second and third half marathons. He completed his first solo half marathon in September, with the little man and I waiting to cheer him in at the finish.

The little man insisted that we start our own family run club and we were enjoying family runs around the park every other week. He now has two shiny medals of his own!

Looking back the biggest thing I've gained (apart from eternal bragging rights) from completing in the race is, a beneficial recreational activity for the whole family.

Now, we were never a lazy family but there's no denying that our family health and activity levels have improved greatly as a result of us running together.

I recently read a report by NCB which shows that England is falling way behind other developed countries in the fight against childhood obesity. 

For us exercising as a family has been a great way of improving our health and ensuring we spend time with each other. 

We're currently training for our first Christmas fun run!

For more information about improving yours or your family's health  click here

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The last hurrah!

For the final week of the summer holidays we decided to take a little trip to the Lake District. It proved to be a wonderful end to an amazing summer of family fun. I'm slightly relieved that we saved the best till last. Our little glamping trip took us far away from the fast pace of life in Liverpool and helped us all to relax and recharge just in time for the start of term. Now without further ado, let me bore you with some snaps...
#Podlife took us back to basics aka no telly time:

The Lake District had some amazing views:



And some pretty cool mushrooms:

We had lots of family fun, especially in the forest:

And we saw some animals too:


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Friday, 26 July 2013

Five reasons why I’m glad to see the summer holidays.

(picture by heroethic)

So I feel like I've blinked and the summer holidays are here again. Aside from that fact that I’m still reeling in shock at the realisation that as of September I’ll be mother two a class 2, aka top infants, student. I’m rather excited about the school holidays and here’s why:

Sunday’s Last Longer – On a normal Sunday my weekend buzz wears off at around six o clock. This is about the same time that I realise I have a week’s worth of uniforms to iron. I then have to locate a book bag and my sons other school shoe, both of which can usually be found under his bed. Not for the next five weeks though, now I can have an extra couple of hours weekend time!

Bed Times Are Negotiable – Having the little man in bed by 8pm every night invariably sets the tone for the next morning. If the little man misses his curfew our morning routine is forced into a frenzied dash around the house as I simultaneously try to feed, brush and dress my sleepy child. The lucky neighbours who are up early enough can usually whiteness me frog marching my child into the car like a drill sergeant so that we make it to school on time.  Our morning routine during the holidays is a lot more chilled. After all, nanny and granddad don’t mind if the little man turns up in his slippers!

No Traffic - There’s nothing more dangerous in this world than a mother running late for school.  I sometimes feel like I’m participating in the wacky races as I vie for a space near the school gates while the other mums try to cut me up. Thankfully the school holidays guarantee an easy morning commute.

Time to relax – Whether I’m wondering if I’m up to date with my dinner money, worrying if I've forgotten some homework or Juggling my work schedule so that I can fit in every school appointment, performance and club meeting; term time can be a roller coaster of worry and anxiety. Now, the only thing I need to concern myself with is having fun with my son.

Family Time  – By far the best thing about the summer holidays; more time with the apple of my eye. This year I’ll be spending two and a half weeks with my favourite guys. Time with my family makes me feel happier than anything else and it a perfect way to set us up for the rest of the school year!

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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Bring me sunshine...

So the sun has finally arrived, hip hip hooray!  At last I have a legitimate (i.e. more than a day long) reason to buy a BBQ and I couldn't be happier.

Blighty is one of the greatest places on earth to spend a sunny day with the kids. Every patch of grass becomes a potential picnic spot. The beaches and parks are full of laughter and joy, not to mention the fleets of ice cream men. There’s a general feeling of merriment wherever you look.

“Mummy this feels like holiday” the little man mused as we strolled up our sun soaked street and waved to the happy neighbours, I couldn't agree more.

We Brits spend so much time living in that grey moggy wasteland (you know that miserable place between rain and torrential rain) that even the slightest hint of a sun beam send us into overdrive.
So starved are we of vitamin D that we will happily parade around in a pair of flip flops and a sundress just because we thought we saw a ray of sun peeking through the widow that morning.

The upshot of this is when the sun finally does decide to grace us with its presence, true magic happens. The whole world becomes a happier place, people smile and birds sing. Children play and the sound of laughter fills the air!
The unwritten rule on a sunny day is that nobody can go indoors until the sun goes down, and why would we want to. We have no idea when this phenomenon will next return to our murky shores.

What makes British sun days so wonderful is the fact that we never know when they’ll strike again. Sunny days are the one time when all adults remember to live in the moment, just like our kids!

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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

News Feed Bombing

News Feed Bombing

So a friend of mine recently announced that she’s giving up on social networking. Yes, giving up on Social Networking!
Once I’d picked myself up from the floor I was able to enquire as to the reason for such a drastic ‘life event’.  Apparently my dear friend, and fellow mother, has grown sick and tired of seeing pictures of ‘couples and kids’ in her news feed.
So nauseated is she by the sight of loved up couples and bouncing babies that she’s had to throw in the social networking towel completely.  Although, my friend is a wee bit older than me and her children are all grown up, she is very much ‘down with the kids’ especially where technology is concerned.

I decided to check it out for myself and quickly discovered she was right. When I browsed my own news feed, it was indeed full of happy couples and brand new babies. Far from needing a sick bucket I actually enjoyed seeing so many happy pictures in my news feed. So why was my friend so bothered by it?
Now I’m the first to admit that I bombarded my friends and family with messages, photos and round the clock updates when I met my partner and when then little man was diddy.  It wasn't my fault though, it isn't really anybody’s fault; I blame Oxytocin.

Oxytocin (or the love hormone) is at its strongest after childbirth and during that ‘honeymoon period’ when new couples are madly in love; this fact has never changed. What has changes since my dear friend’s children were born is our means of communication.

People hardly ever place wedding announcements in the local newspaper or run around showing the baby off to every one of their friends and family.  They use social media to share their happiness with the rest of the world.
The days when whole families lived in the same neighbourhood are long gone. The modern world has changed and for most people there’s quite a lot of motorway between loved ones. Social media solved that problem nearly a decade ago; with the click of a mouse everybody is kept in the loop!

Sadly,for my friend, Facebook wasn't around 20 years ago when she was busing it across the North West with a new husband and baby!

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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Keeping our children safe in the modern world.

Lately, it feels like every other story in the news has been about some kind of horrific crime or accident involving a child.
Although I try to avoid reading such stories, it’s hard to tune out and the snippets I've been exposed to are just heart breaking.

It would seem, in today’s modern world, that there are dangers and eerie strangers lurking around every corner.
Parents have instant access to shocking, fear inducing stories from around the world. Although it’s good to stay informed, I feel the sheer volume of information at our fingertips is striking the fear of god into us.

Though many might disagree with me, I’m not convinced that there’s any more danger around now than there was 20 years ago. I do believe that the nature of these horrendous crimes and accidents have changed over the years but has the number?

It’s sad that our streets are scarcely filled with the sound of children playing and there’s hardly a camera in sight at the local swing park to capture magical moments. But is this the price we must pay to keep our little ones safe?

Research has revealed that children brought up by overprotective parents can become depressed and may not develop the problem solving skills which will help them later on in life.

Personally, I believe we should focus our attention on arming our children with the tools and knowledge to help protect themselves equally as much as taking steps to protect them from harm.
This might seem like a nuance to some, so let me give some examples of the steps we could take to keep our precious little people safe:

v  Safe Circle of Friends and Family – How often do we give our child’s nurseries, schools and clubs the details of ‘safe people’. Those close to us, family or friends, who are permitted to collect our them from a setting and act on our behalf. We need to ensure our children know this list too. How many times is a child harmed by a person completely unknown to them? In most cases the perpetrator is a friend or familiar face from the local community. When your child is old enough to understand make them aware of who the people in your Safe Circle are and what makes them different from the friendly post man who they might see every day.

v  Update the ‘Lost Child’ policy – As a child, my mum always told me to find a police officer if I was lost and tell them ‘ I've lost my mummy’. Nowadays, I think you’re more likely to see a pink elephant walking down the streets than a bobby on the beat. I've told my little man to go and find a mummy with children if he’s lost and ask her to help him. has a range of fun accessories to help keep your kids safe including brightly coloured wristbands which store next of kin details for holidays and day trips.

v  Use your words – Another gem from my mother ‘if a stranger grabs you, scream as loud as you can’. So how many times have you walked past a screaming child in the supermarket without a second glance? The words ‘Stranger! Help Me!’ might be more likely to turn heads.

v  Teach road safety – ‘look left look right, are there any cars in sight’ this is our mantra when crossing a road, including those with green men. Children should fully understand the importance of checking the coast is clear even when the green man is showing. As parents, we should always model road safety, not matter how late we’re running!

v  Teach them to swim - Most schools don’t give children swimming lessons until juniors. By that time your child might have been on holiday dozens of times. Other countries don’t always have as stringent pool safety rules as us. Treat swimming lessons as an investment in child safety.

v  Safeguard against the media– Parental controls are a must have if you have children, it’s far too easy to access inappropriate content online and on TV but luckily most media packages have parental control options which are easy to activate.Social Media can be a very dangerous tool when used by the wrong people. Facebook has a lower age limit of 13 but this doesn't mean a 13 year old should be left to their own devices when using the site. Parents should always know what their children are looking at and who they are friends with online.

v  No Secrets – In our house we don’t have secrets from each other we have surprises. Secrets are exclusive Surprises are not, simple.

v  Your Body, Your mind, your rules – Children should understand that, when it comes to their body and minds, they always have the right to say no. No to children or no to adults. I would rather have a child who can challenge and feels ownership of their body and mind than a child who feels they must always conform with or that they have no choice.

I believe that if we empower our children in an age appropriate way we will have a generation who can manage their safety during the times when we can’t be there. We need our children to feel confident and safe when we’re not around and personal safety education might be the key to that. 

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