Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:13:50 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 32 32 120012935 Marriage After Kids… It Ain’t Pretty Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:25:19 +0000

Pre kids, me and Rob lived in London (Fulham dontcha know). I often bought beautiful clothes from All Saints and

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Pre kids, me and Rob lived in London (Fulham dontcha know). I often bought beautiful clothes from All Saints and we used to meet up on the South Bank after work for date nights and go to dead fancy restaurants.

Post kids, we live in Whitley Bay. I often buy very mediocre clothes from Sainsbury’s and we sometimes get takeaways…as long as we feel confident we can stay awake long enough to eat them.

Pre kids, we used to have long lie ins on a Sunday, go for a run along the Thames then have a delicious brunch at our local cafe (I don’t know who the frig we thought we were).

Post kids, we get up at an ungodly hour every Sunday, pretty much the middle of the night. Then we run ourselves ragged getting the kids to whatever football related activities they have to be at, then we go to The Harvester and try to make the buggers eat something (anything) whilst crying ‘we brought this on ourselves’ tears into our ‘free re-fill’ salad bowls.

Pre kids, we were best friends who laughed at each other’s jokes and snogged the faces off each other without any alcohol being needed to facilitate physical contact.

Post kids we are more like wardens in a young offenders unit. Not colleagues as such; since we are so rarely on the same shift pattern. We mainly just give each other quick handover notes with minimal eye contact:

‘Prisoner A stole Prisoner B’s Match Attacks. In response, Prisoner B staged a dirty protest. Prisoner C’s hunger strike is ongoing.’

Our communal family life is run with military precision now. The ultimate crime I can commit in my marriage is to not put something on the calendar then expect I’ll still be able to do it. Putting shit on the calendar is one of Rob’s stay-sane rules.

Pre kids, I don’t think we used to really argue… or if we did it was that type of argument that ended up with you laughing, then necking on a bit, then forgetting all about it.

Post kids, the arguments can be lethal. Monufuckingmental. Especially in the first year of a new baby. The worst rows are the ones in the middle of the night which could usually be boiled down to a much shorter exchange along the lines of:

Man: I have to go to work in the morning, you’ll have to get up and see to that screaming child.    

Woman: That’s right. You get to go to work tomorrow you lucky, lucky bastard.

I have lost count of the number of times we have dropped the c-bomb on each other during those 3am moments (and I ain’t talking about cuddles folks). If that particular word was uttered in daylight hours we’d be off to the divorce courts…but for some reason in the middle of the night; yep go for it; in for a penny in for a pound.

Life with three kids is nothing short of RELENTLESS. Incessant and ever increasing tasks and chores all whilst answering Jonah’s non-stop questions on whatever he is obsessing over that week. His current area of interest is the ‘pwofessional’ dancers on Strictly. (Previous specialist subjects have been Cwistiano Wonaldo’s surrogate-produced offspring and jobs Ed Sheeran might have done before he was a pop star.)

By the time it is 7.30pm and all three kids are finally in bed, real grownup married life can resume. We can light a candle and cook a lovely meal together, me chopping and Rob stirring, whilst talking about our day and really deeply listening to what the other person is saying.

OR, we can walk round like zombies tidying up mountains of toys and clothes before I suddenly run out of battery and lie face-down on the playroom rug muttering; ‘I’m so tired. My hair is tired. My nails are tired. I am BONE TIRED.’ As you can see, I’m not a dramatic type of person; I take life pretty much in my stride, catching the curve balls as they come.

For those of you without kids who are reading this thinking, ‘that sounds fucking hideous, pass me an elastic band so I can tie my own tubes this very second!’, let me reassure you. It IS hideous… but only a little bit. Parts of it are absolutely glorious. And every now and again (about every six months) one of the kids does something so heart-melting; me and the hubs just look at each other and there’s this gorgeous fuzzy moment where you think your heart might burst with happiness and you realise all the insanity is worthwhile… The moment passes fairly quickly to be honest but it’s ok; only another six months til it comes around again eh!?

Rob is much better than I am at remembering to say and do nice things to keep the old marital harmony intact. He tells me almost every morning that I look ‘well fit’ which is so sweet but also such a massive lie…. because until I get my slap on I look like the ‘Get off my traaaiiiinnn!’ guy from the film Ghost.

But Rob, bless him, still says it and that’s what counts.

And on the rare night out we have together we are usually surprised at how much we do actually still like each other. How much we still laugh at each other’s shit jokes. Although one of us inevitably gets our phone out and we end up watching videos of the kids (what is wrong with us!? Are we masochists!?).

So Robbie, on this our tenth wedding anniversary I want to say thank you for our fabulous mental chaotic messy life together.

I do still love you, more than ever in fact, I’m just too exhausted to bang on about it (have I mentioned I’m tired?).

We’ll have some lovely quality time together once they’re all off at university ok? So… September 2035? Does that work for you? I’ll make sure it’s on the calendar.

This post was first published here. For more from our lovely new contributor’s blog, Pearls Of Kiddom, click here or on any of the links below.

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What Do A Tyre, Leaves, & A Cockroach Have In Common? Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:06:07 +0000

I never considered how stressful learning to walk would be. I figured I am large and fast, the baby is small

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I never considered how stressful learning to walk would be. I figured I am large and fast, the baby is small and therefore slow – I’ll just catch him before he can get into any shenanigans.

I was wrong.

When we get home at the end of the day, I usually carry Baby J into the house, (you know, because he is a baby) along with my purse, pumping bag, diaper bag, kitchen sink, and whatever other necessities I have accumulated throughout the day – because making two trips is for suckers. But he has been getting better at walking – and I was SO tired yesterday – and he is SOO heavy now – so I thought maybe, just maybe, he could be a champ and pull his own weight (literally and figuratively) and walk himself the ten yards from our driveway to the front door.

Wrong again.

I gently placed my darling baby boy down on the ground, and he sweetly grabbed my hand and smiled up at me – we were off to a good start – and then he turned his head, stuck out his tongue, and proceeded to take a nice, big, juicy lick of the front driver’s side tyre of my car. Whyyyy?

I dropped all of my bags and the kitchen sink, and re-directed my precious child away from the car and positioned him toward the house. Minor set back, but we were back on track. He took two toddling steps toward the door, and then crouched down to pick up some dirt and leaves and a stick. He proudly handed them to me like they were rare jewels he had uncovered, beaming his charming three-toothed little smile.

I accepted the gift, only to have him immediately crouch down, and pick up another handful of twigs and dirt and leaves. Again, he proudly bestowed upon me his exotic discovery. Okay, lovely, just what I always wanted. Then, again. Then, on the fourth handful of priceless treasures for Mommy, instead of placing the twigs and dirt and leaves in my oh-so-eagerly waiting palm, he veered his tiny little hand up at the last second, straight to his mouth.

C’mon, kid! I swear I feed my child. (See my prior post on baby food, DIY Baby Food Meal Prep Is Simpler Than You Think, for evidence that my hubby and I painstakingly take the time to make food for our precious baby.) At least leaves are organic? Are leaves organic??

After getting as much of the twig and leaf mixture out of his mouth as I could, we managed to toddle a few more steps toward the house – and made it all the way to the garden bed. We were maybe ten feet or so from the front door — we were almost “home” free! (see what I did there?) He squatted down again, I presumed to collect more earthen treasures. He picked up what looked like a little black leaf, (you know where this is going) and shoved it straight into his tiny mouth. As I got closer, I realized to my horror, IT. WAS. NOT. A. LEAF. I don’t want to talk about it. I jusy can’t. It makes me feel queasy. It had legs. “Had” being the operative word.

 27 minutes after parking in my driveway and starting this adventure to the front door, I picked up Baby J  and carried him into the house, defeated, leaving my 53 bags and kitchen sink in the driveway.

It may be a few years days before we try this whole “walking” thing again…


This post was first published here on the website of our lovely new contributor Every Day J. For more of the same click on the image or any of the links below, unless you’re viewing through Facebook in which case click on anything that looks like a link above!

ethosj ethosj

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The truth about having children Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:36:44 +0000

Before you have children, you think you know what it will be like. You’ve seen pregnant ladies, you’ve watched them

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Before you have children, you think you know what it will be like.

You’ve seen pregnant ladies, you’ve watched them waddle around, unable to pick things off the floor or wear high heels. You know they can’t have brie or wine, and that giving birth pretty much rearranges your downstairs… and you might think that’s the worst of it.

It isn’t.

To start with, pregnancy is a right laugh.

Morning sickness lasts all day, you need help getting off the sofa and you are so tired you could sleep on the head of a pin but apparently not in a bed, at night because that’s when the heartburn, discomfort and crazy dreams start. Mentioning this to anyone gets you the hilarious response ‘it’s preparing you for when the baby is here!’ which is so funny you might wet yourself.

Oh, and there is likely to be a bit of that too to be honest and FYI it does not magically get better when the baby is here.

Nope, giving birth isn’t the end of it.

Bouncing back is a ridiculous myth. You might see celebs and think they’re back to normal two days later but I guarantee you; underneath those support pants is a wobbly mum tum and a maternity towel the size of a boat.

No one tells you about the night sweats, the rock hard leaking boobs (mastitis anyone?!) or the fact that the wonderful glossy hair that you were so proud of during your pregnancy falls out in clumps. I’m serious;  I clogged the shower drain about twice a week. You might want to start looking into hair transplant cost.

You have to endure all of this whilst also attempting to keep a very new, small person alive. A small person who is hell bent on inflicting torture by sleep deprivation on you. If you can pass this stage with a colicky newborn and come out unscathed, then stick that on your CV because you are one hardcore mother.

Do you feel like it? Probably not.

Confidence in your own abilities as a mother comes with time; I doubt there is a single mum out there who upon giving birth thought ‘I got this’ and then went about her day bossing every single aspect of mothering.

The annoying thing about babies is that they keep growing; thus making all efforts to learn the right way of doing things obsolete very quickly. You may have cracked the nap thing, but next week they’ll probably stop napping so your brief celebration will be in vain.

You might think you can apply what you’ve learnt with your first to your second and subsequent children and there might be aspects of overlap but the truth is that:

1) You will forget everything and 2) Your children will not be the same.

Whether your child is 3 days, 3 months or 3 years; your first, second or twentieth, you probably won’t have it all figured out. Still, apparently that’s all part of the fun!

Good luck! You’re going to need it.

This is a collaborative post

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Torn – The Parent Paradox Wed, 06 Dec 2017 16:08:27 +0000

As the great and wise philosopher Natalie Imbruglia once said: Nothing’s fine, I’m torn I’m all out of faith This

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As the great and wise philosopher Natalie Imbruglia once said:

Nothing’s fine, I’m torn
I’m all out of faith
This is how I feel, I’m cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor.
Illusion never changed
Into something real
Wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn.

If that isn’t an accurate description of motherhood, I don’t know what is!

OK, I’m rarely naked on the floor, because this is, after all, Sheffield, and it’s a bit nippy – but I’ve been down there sobbing in my dressing gown for sure.

I’ve lost faith – in myself, in my ability to cope, in the system, in the Sleep Gods.

I’ve had my pre-kid illusions shattered a billion times.

I’ve been so tired I can’t tell what’s real anymore.

And I’ve been wide awake at dawn helplessly watching the day inevitably rip through the night.

Frankly, if you don’t recognise any of this in your own experience of parenting I think you might have been doing it wrong.

The thing that resonates most for me in this 90s classic, though, (and yes, I do know it’s not a Natalie Imbruglia original – I also don’t care) is that feeling of being torn.

Torn is pretty much the average state of your average parent. And I’m not just talking about work-life balance and spreading yourself thin by being a slightly failing mother/employee/spouse/friend/person. (Also note, the other side of slightly failing is MOSTLY ROCKING).

I’m talking about the kind of torn that’s soul deep – I’m talking about the Parent Paradox.

The Parent Paradox is the phenomenon where (through the medium of children) you suddenly feel so many conflicting and contrasting things all at once. And you can’t tell or trust which one is true because they all are, and they all aren’t.

Where you are so very happy and so very in love with your baby, but so deep-down tired and miserable and lost and afraid at the same time.

Where you are surrounded by people big and small, but still feel lonely and isolated.

Where you crave time alone but ache for your children when you’re apart.

Where you’re desperate to have your pre-kid life back, but wouldn’t change a thing.

Where you want them to stay in the right now and not grow up too fast, but love it when they hit each new developmental milestone.

Where you long to squeeze them but don’t want anyone to touch you back. (Possibly ever again).

Where you love them so much is stops your heart, but they make you SO UNBELIEVABLY ANGRY it kind of scares you, too. (Just put the fricking shoes on!!!!!)

Where you can be so busy all day, and yet have achieved nothing by the end of it.

Where you love to spend time with them, but are also are bored to tears by the hell that is imaginative play within 10 long, long minutes.

Where your heart is full but you’re running on empty.

Where the hours until bedtime tick by so slowly, but they grow up way too fast.

Where the poo is disgusting, but the nappy bums are so damn cute.

See what I mean?

You are living in the a state of constant duality and it is incredibly, astoundingly disorientating.

I have often seen the Parent Paradox as something which must be endured, until your vision, decision-making capacity, emotions and hormones return to some sort of rational, predictable normality.

But in retrospect, maybe it’s not a curse that’s rocked you off your axis, but a gift.

A gift that comes free with your first baby and lets you see the world in a whole new light – split into hundreds of twisting kaleidoscope parts.

By being in two (or more) minds, by not being certain, or sedate, or grounded; you get to see every side of your own story and your own heart in glorious technicolour.

It’s like going from two-dimensional black and white to suddenly being able to see the Magic Eye pictures hiding in your life – a new multi-dimensional, multi-faceted perspective.

The only thing you can really do is to sit back and let the colours flow over you.

Maybe the perfect sky IS torn.

And maybe it’s not a tear, but an opening.

Maybe, just by having looked through that dazzling, confounding, refracting lense – you get to go into the rest of your life with new eyes and new empathy.

And maybe, just maybe, that’s actually making you a better parent.

Thanks Natalie.

(But not for convincing me I could pull off that elfin haircut from the video – I couldn’t).



This post was originally published here. For more from one of my favourite bloggers, Mumonthenetheredge click here or on any of the bits below!

Mumonthenetheredge A mum. On the EDGE. (In Sheffield).

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‘Baking With Kids’ vs ‘Baking, With Kids’ Tue, 05 Dec 2017 19:21:30 +0000

There’s two ways to read this post’s title. ‘Baking with kids’ – yey, what a fun family day we’ll spend together.

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There’s two ways to read this post’s title. ‘Baking with kids’ – yey, what a fun family day we’ll spend together. Then, there’s ‘baking, with kids’. The comma gives it that little bit of dread. As if ‘the kids’ comes loaded with potential threats.

Now, I love seeing the cute posts about children baking with their family. I have managed to get J to come and do some form of baking on rare occasions. However it never comes out as the Pinterest perfect family event that I see all over social media. So today here is our attempt at mother-son baking…

1. Weigh out the butter, sugar and flour

Baking with kids: this is a fantastic maths opportunity. We can learn about weight and capacity. See how great J is at pouring the ingredients.

Baking, with kids: The child wouldn’t let me press any buttons so fuck knows how much of anything is in the bowl now! Everything in the kitchen now has a powdery whiteness to it.

2. Mix in the eggs

Baking with kids: we held the egg together to crack it gently. We had lovely smiles on our face as we enjoy our time together.

Baking, with kids: it’s ok to add egg shells, right? Oh, and a fire fighter…obviously.

3. Mix together until a firm mix

Baking with kids: We laugh as the mixer does it job and we see the ingredients binding together. What a fun way to learn science!

Baking, with kids: J ran off into the other room to hide as he doesn’t like the sound of the food mixer. I end up mixing the rest with a spoon. On the plus side…great for bingo wings! It takes about half an hour to convince/bribe him back in the kitchen.

4. Spoon mix into baking tin

Baking with kids: we carefully spoon in the mixture as it comes out of the bowl with ease. We playfully ‘bop’ each other on the tip of nose with the mixture left on our hands.

Baking, with kids: how did he suddenly become an octopus? Why is the mixture going everywhere except the cake tin…sod it I’ll do it myself.

5. Place in the oven to bake

Baking with kids: the cake is in the oven and we wash up and dry the pots whilst discussing how delicious our cake will be.

Baking, with kids: Don’t touch the oven, move out the way child! No, that’s a hot oven darling. Argh can I have wine yet? Pots are slung in the sink to forget about till evening when everything will be stuck on the sides like glue.

6. Decorate the cake

Baking with kids: we created our own home made decorations from icing sugar and modeling bits that we have from our baking set.

Baking, with kids: No words needed!

7. Eat and enjoy

Baking with kids: we sit and enjoy a delicious slice of cake together and plan what to do next. We really enjoyed this time together.

Baking, with kids: J remembers he doesn’t like icing or decorations so we have to remove and make sure there’s no sign of it on the plate. Then eats the sponge cake, spreading crumbs all over the house. By you know what, I love you kid!

I guess the moral of my story is…it doesn’t matter if you are a Pinterest mummy/daddy, a slummy mummy/daddy or a somewhere in between mummy/daddy as long as you’re enjoying time together and making memories then who gives a shite about how it’s done (or how clean and perfect your photos are).


PS: this cake was inspired by Pudsey Bear (can’t you tell?) for Children in Need 2017.

This post was originally published here. For more from Mummy Est. 2014 click here or any of the images below!

Mummy Est.2014 A journey through parenthood, Autism & speech therapy...

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What They Don’t Tell You About Parenting! Sun, 03 Dec 2017 21:13:05 +0000

There are lots of things you can read about becoming a parent in lovely, glossy paperbacks. Some bits can even

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There are lots of things you can read about becoming a parent in lovely, glossy paperbacks. Some bits can even be a little bit useful.

However, there are infinitely more things that you only learn once your little one has taken over entered your life. And who better to reveal these nuggets of wisdom than actual sleep-deprived and barely alive parents?!

We asked lots of awesome parents to reveal their own pearls of wisdom to help would be parents. Here are those pearls, via the medium of the trusty A to Z format!


Alone time is over, sleeping, personal and toilet time it’s all classed as you and toddler time 🙂

Arguing. The amount of times I’ve had to negotiate a truce between two stubborn boys is amazing, especially during the school holidays! I should definately apply for a UN position with my negotiation and persuasive tactics…..just need to have a steady supply of cookies to hand!


Boobnastics…if you do go down the breastfeeding route no one tells you how much fun and how exhausting it can be to feed a baby that can move and stand…whilst feeding!

Bad hair days. Seriously, why did no one warn me about this unruly baby hair? And the fact that washing my hair is now a luxury? And the fact that babies love pulling hair so even if I get a rare chance to do something nice with it it never lasts.


Crap! Your house becomes overrun with crap. First of all of baby crap (one muslin cloth is not enough when you could have a hundred) and then the plastic toy crap. So much that you can’t see your floor anymore or shut any cupboard doors. It’s sodding everywhere

Crapper. No one tells you if you need to drop the kids off at the pool and the kids are with you, they either need to sit on your lap or a little rocket man seat.


Dirt… in the car, trailed across the carpet, in their mouth. Before I became a parent I thought dirt was primarily found outdoors – turns out that was a misconception!


Explosions! No one told me the extent of a nappy explosion!


Farts – no one told me that you would genuinely have to question who farted when it was in fact the baby! They’re louder than some adults.

Fluids – you will be covered in a variety of fluids from your baby and you’ll even add a few of your own too…. very attractive :/


Google… one told me that every time they get a spot or rash or do something odd you go straight to Google


Haemorrhoids are the most painful thing you’ll experience and the one thing NO ONE discusses! Who knew something so small could be so painful.


Injuries. They may be tiny but they really hurt. Whether they are swinging from your hair, seemingly trying to gauge your eye out of its socket, or biting your nipple, you will be sporting some kind of baby / kid related injury for ever more.


Judgement. From the moment a baby makes its entrance through a natural or man-made orifice you will apparently be judged on it. Strap in, you’re in it for the long haul. Everything you do will be judged and the best thing you can do is be comfortable in your own decisions and not give a fuck.


Knackered. Nice easy one that. If you enjoy surviving on virtually no sleep for at least 5 years you’ll love parenthood!


Lansinoh. No one told me that that would become something that I would rely on more heavily then a toddler mum relies on bribery!


Mess no matter how often you clear up there’s always an escapee toy!


Nappy roulette. The game you play with your other half. Rather than checking baby has poo’d by smelling. You have to put your finger in the nappy through the gap where their leg is… Pooey finger? You lose!

Netflix. Best babysitter known to man. Home to sanity savers. Your recommended shows are NEVER going to be the same after your toddler gets at your account.


Opposite – Cos kids will do just about everything bar what you tell or ask them to do!!


Poo! The announcement your daughter will make loudly in a packed restaurant!


Quiet. If it’s quiet it’s either asleep or causing trouble. And if it’s not naptime then there is probably flour all over your kitchen.

Quit because you can’t, not this job. I have tried but nobody takes any notice.


Relentless. Everything about it. They just never stop (bloody love them but jeeeez) no one told me it doesn’t stop, no matter what the age/ stage.


Sniff. They don’t tell you that you’ll find it perfectly normal to pick up a child and sniff their ass in public.

Sex – or the LACK of it! Ironic that babies come into this world because of it; then leave you no chance for more of it!!!


Terrible 2s. Closely followed by 3nagers. And then 4nados. In fact every age from 0 to 17 is fraught with danger for the unsuspecting parent!


Unwanted guests. Not only nits but those family members who don’t give a shit for 364 days then expect the red carpet when they rock up uninvited at Christmas!


Vomit – the kind that requires you to just get into the shower fully clothed and hose everyone down.


Wee. At some point in your parenting journey every part of your body will have likely been covered in their wee!

Wriggly water baby. No-one tells you how you’re supposed to get a wriggling baby into swimwear and then what to do with the baby while you get changed

Watch what you say. Do not call your toddler a fatty bum bum if you don’t want to get hit on the arse to “faaaaataaaay bum bum!” every time you get out the shower.

‘Why?’ Not as in ‘Why did I have kids’ but the bombardment of ‘whys’ that my kids fire at me on an hourly basis. ‘Why can’t I have ice cream for breakfast?’ ‘Why can’t I get inside that rubbish bin?’ ‘Why are you running away really fast, Daddy?’ So many ‘whys’, so few satisfactory answers.


Xylophone. It’s always for xylophone. What kid who’s other vocabulary is Apple, Ball, Cat etc. Is going to be able to say Xylophone?


YouTube, no one tells you that YouTube will think you love ‘Baby Shark’ and ‘Daddy Finger’ and recommend several different versions of each. On the hour. Ever hour. Like ‘shit songs rolling news’.


Zzzzzz….. you will never sleep properly again. Even if your child “sleeps through” you’ll be awake every hour to check they’re breathing ok/not too hot/ not too cold. Exhaustion is a permanent state!

Zero – the amount of times you will get to pee alone for the next 6 years.

So there you have it. Hopefully that helpful guide to parenthood has got you nicely prepared for the future.

Honestly though it’s not that bad.

Not even a little bit. No, no, no.

Seriously. It’s great…

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Pass The Pigs: Family Fun & Giveaway Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:51:00 +0000

With Christmas just around the corner it’s a perfect time to think about all the fun, family things that the

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With Christmas just around the corner it’s a perfect time to think about all the fun, family things that the festive season brings.

One of my favourite Christmas Day activities as a child was playing games. Hours would be spent in the run up to the big day circling various board games in the Argos catalogue to make sure Father Christmas knew which ones I wanted.

Then on Christmas evening more hours still would be spent ploughing through instruction booklets before getting stuck in!

This year, of course, a decent chunk of the evening will be spent finding games suitable for a 3 year old. And then getting beaten at them by aforementioned 3 year old!

If you’re in the same boat, here’s something that might well be perfect.

Now, from the name it may sound like a mixture of pass the parcel and pigs in blankets, but Pass The Pigs is something very different!

Fantastic fun for the whole family, Pass the Pigs is so easy to play, and uses hilarious pigs for dice. Simply throw the 2 piggies up in the air and see how they land. Compare the pigs landing positions with your scorecard and earn points, the first to 100 wins. Will you roll a sider or start makin’ bacon?!

Pass the Pigs comes in a handy travel case, so if you are traveling to see family over the festive period it’s the perfect entertainment both on the go and while you’re recovering from turkey overload!

There’s two different versions of the game for different situations:

Pass the Pigs

• Hours of fun are guaranteed with this exciting Pass the Pigs game. Perfect for taking on the road, the Pass the Pigs game comes in a handy travel case, so there’s never a dull moment to be had!
• Pass the Pigs is a game of skill for 2-6 players, it comes with a handy carry case, 2 pencils, 2 pigs and a pocket-sized score card.
• Suitable for ages 3+ and available for £9.99rrp.

Pass the Pigs party

• The version for party animals! Now there are EIGHT pigs in the game to play with. Roll your piggies to try and be first to match the position on your card, get bonus points if you do it on your first go! Be the first to rack up 100 points. Aimed at ages 7+ and available for £14.99rrp.
o 8 small plastic piggies (four pairs)
o Deck of 30 cards
o Carry case

Win, Win, Win

To win either of these games you can enter our super easy Twitter giveaway. Here’s the rules for you:

Retweet our pinned post on Twitter and follow @youhave2laugh by midnight on 7th December 2017 for a chance to win a copy of Pass The Pigs or Pass The Pigs Party Edition.

  1. Entrants must retweet and follow @youhave2laugh to be eligible for the giveaway.
  2. You must be following @youhave2laugh until the draw is made to remain eligible for the prize.
  3. By entering the prize draw you are accepting all terms and conditions.
  4. Two winners will be drawn by random selection from all complete Retweets & followers logged during the promotional period. One will receive Pass The Pigs and one will receive Pass The Pigs Party Edition. No purchase necessary.
  5. The winners will be selected at random on 8th December. The winner will then be contacted by direct message.
  6. The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  7. This competition is open to UK residents over the age of 16 only.
  8. Should we be unable to contact the winner, or should the winner be unable to confirm their acceptance of the prize within 2 days of contacting them, we reserve the right to award the prize to an alternative winner.
  9. One entry per valid twitter account.

Good luck everyone!

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Big Wed, 29 Nov 2017 17:34:24 +0000

In which our reluctant hero considers a big problem. Or something. On Tuesday, we were unexpectedly woken at a little

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In which our reluctant hero considers a big problem. Or something.

On Tuesday, we were unexpectedly woken at a little past 3 A.M. in the morning.

“I… NEED… MUMMY!” wailed the voice of our eldest, half upset, half confused and half asleep.

Of course she did. The kids only need dad for changing batteries, gluing, and watching Lego opening or plane crashes on YouTube. Undeterred, I went to see what was wrong.

I quickly realised that “GO BACK TO SLEEP!” wasn’t the best way to sort things out. After crossing my legs to suppress the more predictable wake up of my bladder, I asked what was wrong. That didn’t help either. After a couple more failed attempts, my wife was deployed to sort things out while I shuffled uncomfortably to the loo.

I returned to bed. There were, at best, two hours of sleep left before I woke an hour before I needed to and bemoaned my lack of sleep. Again. I pondered how much longer that I could exist in permanent zombified autopilot mode before breaking, rolled over, and went back to sleep.

It was my turn to do stories the following evening. Since our daughter started reception class, story time includes her reading to us. She’s good too. So good that she was invited to today’s assembly to get a certificate for “super phonics.” Blimey. (*Annoying “my child is better than your child” proud dad boast face*)

She made light work of most of the book, which was a boring, bitty thing, with a plot so thin that it will probably be made into an ITV daytime drama.

“Wigwam” needed a bit of construction work, as did “Jess” which, amusingly, sounded like an angry “Jees” as she got increasingly fed up with trying to pronounce it.

I was pleased that she read “mum” as “mum” and not “mom” as “mom” isn’t an English word and my children need to learn that (a) we’re not American and (b) the indigenous people of Wolverhampton don’t speak properly. I wrote this in the reading feedback book that four year olds have to complete each bedtime. Isn’t modern life marvellous?

Stories finished, she brought up last night’s “worry” which I’d completely forgotten about, having been to London and back since then. Oops.

I asked my sleepy person what the worry was and whether the worry was still worrysome. We went a few times around the block, but she didn’t tell me. I realised that this was probably as she couldn’t remember what the worry was. Which was a worry.

I reassured her that she can always tell mum and dad anything if she wants to. We chatted about how we don’t have secrets in our house, and how this excluded presents (all types), sneaky chocolates before teeth cleaning without little brothers knowing, and general surprises such as “your birthday cake is a surprise and it is called a fruit cake” which sort of ruins the surprise.

I found the little cloth worry doll bag and hung it on the bedpost, just in case. Reassured, she piped up again.

“Do you know how I got rid of my worry last night?”
“No, I don’t. How?”
“I closed my eyes and thought about something else. I thought about my school. I love going to school.”

Isn’t life straightforward when you’re little? Few adults will think about work to calm down after a bad dream, probably for good reason, but in her world everything was sorted.

The next day, my wife found out the cause of the worry, which was a dream about being trapped in a big hole. Perhaps she had been thinking about work after all?

This got me thinking…

Our children are at fabulous, possibly their best, ages, yet they don’t even realise it. They certainly won’t remember any of it.

They have a few rules, but no barriers as nobody has put them up. They can be impulsive and imaginative. Emotions pour out of them, and they do things simply because they enjoy them.

They live in a fantasy land where a blanket and a pile of shoes turn a bedroom into a shoe shop. Where Father Christmas, The Tooth Fairy, and hope for a better future all exist.

They don’t know of, or understand, terrible things like wars, avocados, or Brexit. They even get stickers at the dentist for crying out loud. All I get is a bill.

I want to tell the kids to enjoy everything while it lasts. Because it doesn’t.

But why doesn’t it? Maybe the rest of us have got it wrong? Maybe us grown-ups could learn from the little ‘uns. Maybe we need to smash through the walls and have some fun.

Never mind take your child to work days, maybe we need the occasional “turn up and act like a child day.”

We should turn bus stop seats into swings to squeeze ten minutes of play into our commutes. We should do dress down Friday any day that we like.

“Why’s the boss still in his ‘jams and covered in chocolate spread?”


We should pop our wellies on and run around at lunchtime. When we get home, we should have beige food as a nice change from the all so “essential” quinoa.

Chuck away the identikit IKEA pics and stick a picture of Princess Poppy or a “bang helicopter” up on the living room wall. Chuck out the king-size divan. Buy (already assembled) bunk beds and duvet covers with your favourite characters on. Sneak a torch into bed and read under the covers. Then sleep soundly, knowing that if you have a worry, then you can fix it by simply thinking about something else.

OK, perhaps not every day. The country would be bankrupt and on its knees way ahead of the early 2019 deadline for being bankrupt and on its knees if we do. But maybe we can be heroes. Just for one day.



This post was first published here. For more from Babysitting The Kids click here or there or down there. JUST CLICK!

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Vremi Silicone Cupcake Cases & Slicer Review & WIN! Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:14:44 +0000

The most fantabuluos Lisa from Pass The Prosecco Please tested out some kitcheny bits (the Vremi apple slicer and Vremi

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The most fantabuluos Lisa from Pass The Prosecco Please tested out some kitcheny bits (the Vremi apple slicer and Vremi silicone cupcake cases) for us, and here is what she thought!

When I was offered a chopper for a review I jumped at the chance – I was expecting a helicopter or a marital aid; especially the latter when the description promised ‘a multi-function chopper with easy grip’.

Jokes aside I’m a keen cook and I loved the look of the range of products Vremi had to offer; they truly are little boxes of kitchen awesomeness.

When I received the items – a 3 in 1 slicer-dicer and  Silicone Baking Cups the first thing that caught my eye was the packaging.

They look cool, well made and functional – and they made me laugh. There are cheeky little one liners hidden on the packaging; and the branding is simple and fun.

I’ll start with the chopper – it’s a tough bit of kit this and you can interchange the blades cleanly and easily. You can core and slice apples, potatoes and mangoes with this and probably more – as a Slimming Worlder its handy for me for the potato-wedge aspect.

It’s easy to grip and is child friendly; however I would be careful as the blades are super sharp. No one wants chopped fingers with their mango.

The stainless steel blades cut beautifully – it’s built to last and once you’ve chopped and sliced to your hearts content, it’s really easy to take apart and clean. I would say it’s for small to medium size fruit and vegetables and nothing rock hard.

And whoever had the idea for and wrote the Vanilla Ice parody that appears on the box – you, my friend, are a genius.

Winner winner, (sliced) chicken dinner.

The silicone cupcake cases I was apprehensive to try as the last time I baked in silicone it ended badly. I love to cook but baking is not in my blood; I watch Mary Berry on TV with all the hope and promise, I plan and lovingly craft cakes that look like giant turds once baked. Pfffft.

Like the chopper the packaging is super cool; simple and fresh with a few cheeky one liners. Once inside there are 24 multicolour silicone cases which are oven and freezer friendly as well as non stick and BPA free.

I whipped up some cupcakes expecting them to be as horrific as per every single one of my previous bakes – and they actually turned out really well. The cakes did not stick at all. AT ALL. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a cake coming out of a case or mould cleanly in my life. Top marks from me – and I’m converted to silicone.

I would totally recommend both of these items as a gift for someone else or yourself – the mix of fun packaging and awesome product quality made me a very happy chopper and baker. I can’t wait to check out the rest of the range.

Overall I found no negatives, I love these products.

And If there was a problem yo, I’ll solve it – Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it.

You can buy the slicer and cupcake cases from Amazon here:

You can WIN a set for yourself; simply enter here!

Win the Vremi Silicone Baking Cups and Apple Slicer #7
These were sent to us free of charge for the purposes of this review. Follow Lisa on Twitter and Facebook. Now! Go on.
At the very least read this: The day the rains came (down my legs).
You can thank me later.

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The Ten MumDamnMents – The Toddler Years Fri, 24 Nov 2017 00:48:58 +0000

1 – Thou shall spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about whether your little treasure is hitting their ‘developmental milestones.’

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1 – Thou shall spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about whether your little treasure is hitting their ‘developmental milestones.’ This is only exacerbated by the 45 page questionnaire sent by your local health visitor, which you will take more seriously than your University application.

You will lose this document daily, then once located will use it as a basis for panic and disbelief. Why can my one-year-old not stack and count 7 blocks, thread the eye of a needle with their toes and perform a near perfect Paso Doble yet?

Half of the NCT toddlers have already aced this questionnaire and you’re struggling to get past page one. You feel judged by the health visitor, your NCT friends, your Mum and even your toddler, who cares not a jot about any of these milestones as they’ve learned to blow raspberries and that’s all sorts of fun.

2 – Thou shall not have a sweet clue what is going on with your toddler’s milk consumption now food has become more established. Too much milk and no food will go anywhere near your toddler’s chops. Too little milk and your child might not be getting the calcium they need for strong healthy bones and teeth.

You will be an active participant in multiple discussions about ‘dropping the bottle’ and moving onto cups. Your internal monologue will go something like this:

“Little Jimmy from next door is the same age and he’s been drinking from a Tommee Tippee cup for months, surely my boy should be at the same stage? Is his reluctance to part with the bottle indicative of his future life choices? Will he end up being a parking warden? Shiiittttttttttt.” 

3 – Thou shall not be able to wait for your child to walk, as you’ve spent a year:

  • watching them flail on their back and commando roll around the room
  • developing pretty severe lower back problems from retrieving them from crawling into a table leg
  • baby proofing the room after they progress to cruising around your furniture – including removing photo frames and other previously innocuous objects which suddenly pose extreme DANGER. Who knew a remote control could be used to bludgeon a Sophie the Middle Class Giraffe?

Again the comparison monster comes along and leaves a paranoid trail of ‘why hasn’t my baby ran on tippy toes across the room yet’ as friends regale you with their toddler’s agile larks. “Don’t worry,’ they’ll say, “I’m sure they’ll progress quickly in other areas.’ By which they mean “I pity you. And Sophie”

4 – Remember to sign up for as many baby groups as possible. This might require some serious monetary sacrifice and forward-thinking as these groups are pricey and more popular than Glastonbury tickets. Course leaders will laugh RIGHT IN YOUR FACE when asked if there are any spots left but do not despair, there are a million and one options and you will settle for the right one based on availability and desperation to get out of the house and engage in adult conversation.

Options include Monkey Music, Jo Jingles, Heart Beeps and Baby Sensory. You will mix with lots of other Mums and some childminders who all have fixed smiles and are clearly riding a caffeine high to get them through the next 30-45 minutes of distraction and Twinkle Twinkle.

At some point your toddler will do a massive shit requiring you to miss the popular ‘bubbles’ section, resulting in meltdowns and crying in the toilet. Mainly from you. You will return to the fray with a tear-stained face and to pitying glances from other Mums who busy themselves with glitter and avoid speaking to you in case you infect them with your emotion. Who can blame them, they have their own shit to deal with.

5 – Honour your toddler by sharing their finest moments on Facebook and other social media platforms. These will include documenting first shoe purchasing, a first steps video, lots of pictures of them eating, black and white selfies of you both smiling, and coffee cup close-ups to illustrate how tired you are. All will be arty and invite comments such as “cute!” and “yay for coffee!”

Not one of these photographs will illustrate how batshit tired you are, how alone you feel or how many filters you’ve used so you don’t resemble your natural self  –  who looks like a big bag of dicks.

6 – Thou shall not be allowed to drink a hot drink EVER AGAIN. Well maybe not ever. But for the next 5 years at least. You will boil the kettle 24 times before pouring a drink, then you will forget where you’ve put it. Two hours later, you will find it and attempt to reheat it in the microwave before again erasing it from your memory. You will discover it’s hiding place only when you come to reheat the next drink you’ve made/ lost/ located.

The first few years of parenthood will be consumed with this hot drink amnesia which would be much easier if you just drank water but sod it, caffeine ‘cos tired.

7 – Thou shall not be able to stop annunciating words loudly to your toddler to encourage them to talk. You will surprise yourself with your tenacity as you repeat every syllable slowly – in the hope that they learn ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ before inevitably repeating your favourite expletive – ‘balls.’ In front of the health visitor.

When they do start talking, you will rejoice in every attempt to form a word and convince yourself they are a genius for learning the word ‘Mummy.’ Fast forward 18 months and you will have lost the ability to hear silence due to Toddler Induced Tinnitus (TIT). You wish you could build a time machine to travel back and tell 18-month younger you that you are a twat and should enjoy the relative silence while it lasts, and before your eardrums attempt to spontaneously implode to avoid any more incessant chat about bum bums.

8 – Thou shall not be able to stop yourself attributing every gripe and whinge to teething. Everything will be explained away with that solitary word, often accompanied by an over exaggerated roll of the eyes. Toddler won’t sleep? Teething. Toddler won’t eat? Teething. Toddler keeps hanging off your hair laughing wildly and refusing to let go? Teething.

You will wait for those tiny little pearly whites to poke through for justification that your motherly instinct is right, and despite saying the same thing for months with gums firmly remaining intact, you will be Smuggy Smuggerson when finally that first tooth cuts through. Until they clamp down on your hand. When you will have to scream into a pillow and drink half the bottle of Ambesol to numb the pain.

9 – Thou shall not be honest with yourself or others about how hard this is. Becuase that would mean giving yourself a break, and when you feel like you’re failing on every level that’s near to impossible. But you will one day. You’ll get there.

10 – Because eventually, Thou shall not give one shit about what others think or do, and just do what works for you. Eventually, you will realise you are incredible as you grew and nurtured a human. Eventually, you won’t give a damn.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Mums. You’re awesome.

This post was originally published here. For more from Gaa Gaa Land click on any of the links below!

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