Party Planning - Star Party

I've been quiet of late. After thinking that we had got past the lurgy, we were struck down again. Hot on the heels of runny noses and high temperatures came an excruciating toothache and (sorry for too much information) my first period after falling pregnant with Ollie (ouch, ouch, ouch).

Then we were full-on planning mode for Ollie's first birthday party. It was yesterday, and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly a party or event goes after all those months of planning. I guess it is lucky for me that I enjoy the planning and ideas process more than the actual party because yesterday passed in a haze of noise and mess!

My inspiration for Ollie's party originally came from the book 'How to Catch a Star' by Oliver Jeffers and various 'Twinkle Twinkle' themed parties on Pinterest. It wasn't until I sat down to design my own invites from scratch that the finished product began to emerge.

Once again, we were working to a tight budget. This wasn't a huge party for all our friends and family, like Ollie's baptism last summer but a relatively small affair with just Grandparents and some local friends.

Promoting healthy minds

I'm not usually one for speaking up about mental illness. It's something I struggle to put into words. An issue that I feel so strongly about I can't quite formulate the sentences to describe the overwhelming emotions the topic evokes. I've tried before and I've failed to truly express myself.


As a parent, I battle often with worrying about the mental and emotional well being of Lily and Oliver.

Flower Pictures

When it comes to occasions like family birthdays. Christmas, Mother's Day and Easter I always try and make the effort to give a card made by the kids. I'm realistic, sometimes it doesn't work out too well, but I like to think that something handmade is worth more than a dodgy card I've picked up from the discount shop.

Obviously, when it comes to Mother's Day I don't have to worry about a card for myself. Hopefully Matt is sorting that out. But I do like to send cards to Nanas and Godmothers (if I remember, or, more aptly, if I remember to actually post them).

Surviving the Lurgy

We have been overcome by the lurgy in our household over the last couple of weeks. Lily has had it the worst and ended up on antibiotics for bronchitis but we've all had something or other and it's been pretty relentless.

It has prompted me to get on with a thorough, deep clean of the whole house. That too can feel like an endless task, but it isn't all doom and gloom.

We've nearly finished decorating Lily's room. I felt it was a bit gloomy in there so we've brightened it up with a fresh lick of paint and we're finally getting round to putting some pictures up on the walls. We used a paint free of toxins, but have still had Lily sleeping in with us whilst the room airs out. I'm going to miss snuggling with her when she goes back to her own bed although it'll be nice to not get kicked in the head...

Pregnancy Loss - a personal perspective

Thanks to the Facebook memories app, I've been reminded recently of early 2012. It was an awful start to the year.

I had severe abdominal pain. Stabbing pain. Doctor's visits. Hospital visits. More pain. Tests. Poking. Prodding. More pain. Scans. Medication. Stress.

And then.

"You are pregnant."

Surprise. Happiness. Then.

"We believe your pregnancy is ectopic."
Fear. Constant fear for my baby. Someone I loved so intensely despite never having met them.

Stick Man

Stick Man lives in the family tree. With his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three.

We're big fans of Julia Donaldson in this house and we'd be hard pushed to pick a favourite out of so many fabulous stories. At the moment, after the release of the Stick Man film on the BBC at Christmas, we're particularly keen on Stick Man, so after a winter walk in the woods, decided to make our own.

He was a lovely addition to our home, but after a while started to feel a tad lonely and so we introduced a Stick Lady Love and his stick children three.

Dear Lily

The last year or so has been huge for you. Not only have you faced all the usual challenges of being a two and three year old, like toilet training and giving up your dummy at night, but you have also transitioned from only child into big sister. Or, as we like to say, the best big sister in the whole world.

I felt bad when I was pregnant with Ollie, I was so ill with Hyperemesis Gravidarum that I most days I could hardly function. I was sick eight or more times a day, was dehydrated and exhausted. There were times when I wondered if I was letting you down.

But you were just wonderful. When I was throwing up you would rub my back, telling me "it's OK Mummy, you'll be better soon", if I said I was feeling sick you would get me the bowl and try and kiss me better. I loved nap times. You were sleeping for three hours a day and we would snuggle up and sleep together.