Hats, hats, hats!

One of the things I particularly love about this time of year, is trying desperately to find all the hats, gloves and scarves I had stashed away in June.

Once I find them, I then go through them to make sure we have matching pairs of gloves and nobody has outgrown anything… and then promptly ignore everything we already have (and despite the fact each child has about 8 hats each), I then buy one more….


Cat Hat!

Cat Hat!

Whoops! I just couldn’t resist! Both kids got one, in the end – because they are just SO MUCH FUN!

More hats!

More hats!

They are from H&M, whose prices I just love for kids clothes, especially as quickly as my two seem to grow out of them. AND cat hat fits me too – so Bug may find Mummy has a little borrow every now and again!

Grab some while they still have some in stock, I think they’ll go very quickly.

LGBT Families Christmas event now sold out!

I am so excited!

The LGBT Families Christmas event that I set up and organised – has SOLD OUT! In OCTOBER!

I was really nervous about creating a dedicated event and paying for everything out of pocket in case nobody turned up…I am just so happy that we have so much support.

Knowing the tickets are sold now, means that I can fully concentrate on the rest of the arrangements, to make this the MOST amazing LGBT Families Christmas party in London this 2015.

I’m reaching out to sponsors for our raffle now – the money raised will help to provide more dedicated resources and events for LGBT families in 2016, and in an ideal world we can go for Charity status next year to allow us access to extra funding.

So, that’s kind of why its been a bit quiet around here recently. You can find me on instagram if you don’t find me here though for daily photos of my mad, mad life: https://instagram.com/addictedtobabystuff/

Here’s a list of the things we are planning to have at the party:

  • Balloons
  • Soft play and bouncy castle for under 5’s
  • DJ with music for the over 5s
  • Buffet and soft drinks
  • Facepainting (the lady who is coming, has a degree in fine art.. she really is INCREDIBLE!)
  • A visit from the big man himself, ho ho HO!
  • A raffle to raise funds for our special group

Things I am working on, as we speak – reaching out to sponsors for sponsorship/raffle prizes. Trying to find a photographer who wants to come and take some photos of the event (for free!), reaching out to press to see if they would be interesting in running an article on this to raise some publicity, games for the kids, finding a local pub for after (for down time!!).

I’m loving being busy. Between this party, my NCT halloween reunion at our house, Thanksgiving at our house, my Mums 60th birthday party and a baby shower at ours (all before mid December), I have my hands full!

It’s like a full time job in itself and I really really LOVE it. January is going to be SO boring!

E x

When is the right time to say goodbye to a family pet?

Maisy my eldest dog is 14 years old. She’s been ‘mine’, or rather – I’ve been hers, since I was 21 years old.

I left home and started working and 17 so considered myself fairly responsibly. I remember when I told my family that I was getting dog; they were completely and utterly against it. Didn’t think I was ready for the responsibility, didn’t think I was in the right flat and job to be able to care for a dog… did I listen? Did I heck! I put an ad in Loot (remember Loot?!) looking to re-home a medium sized dog and did anybody have one that I could meet/have?!

I had a million calls from people asking if I wanted to have or buy their Staffie! I knew then that I wanted a Lhasa Apso, having fallen in love with a friends after meeting it a few months before. I probably should have been more specific in the ad – so I put in another ad.

Eventually a family in Essex contacted me to say they needed to re-home their dog, who happened to be a Lhasa Apso. I took my best friend Stephen along with me to go check out this dog. I knew in my heart of hearts, there would be no way I would turn up, look at the dog and say no? Unless of course she bit me!

We pulled up outside their run looking house and my heart sank a bit. I was a bit nervous about knocking, but by this point didn’t want to go back empty handed.

We were ushered into a living room over flowing with dogs, and met with THE Lhasa Apso. They called her Mae, and told me that they had had her for a year. She was actually a Pedigree and had been a show dog over the first year – but that because of some un-noticeable fracture on her hip would not win any prizes… or something like that! I stopped listening then to be honest, I was already in love.

They had taken her in from the breeder (where apparently she spent most of her time in a cage, being groomer), but she didn’t get on with any of the other (million) dogs they had.

I handed over £300 and took her home. She rode on Stephen’s lap the entire way home and pee’d on my kitchen floor when we arrived home. I like to think she was giving the house her seal of approval! 😉

In 2003, I moved in with my friend (the one who had the Lhasa Apso, that I had originally fallen in love with), his name was Dougal. I naively thought he had been ‘done’. I was proven wrong later in 2003, when Maisy had 8 pups. I remember thinking at one point she looked a bit porky, so took her to the vet.

The vet had a feel about and much to my shock told me we were expecting 4 pups in about 2 weeks. 2 days later, out popped 8 during the Eastenders Omnibus. I was in the middle of cooking a Sunday roast for friends – who were on their way over and had to take a quick de-tour for me, to find a whelping box at B&Q!

I kept one of the gorgeous pups, and we named her Milly. She’s the complete opposite to her mother and equally as loved.

Maisy and Milly have travelled to France, lived in Barcelona and Italy with me, and been my constant companions through some very dark times in my life and equally the best times in my life.

My two children adore them . Toddler dresses them up and 8 year old is very very attached to them. I was so happy when children came into my life, as I had always hoped they would be around to welcome some children. My Nana Joan adored them both as does my Mum who has cared for them when we travelled.

But they are getting on. Maisy is 14, Milly is 12 now. Maisy has had a whole host of health issues; she has a tumour, cushings disease, is going blind, is now deaf, has a hernia, has a cyst on her eye and has arthritis and is losing the use of her back legs. Her medicine each month costs over £200! Money aside, it doesn’t matter – as long as she some quality of life that’s is the most important thing.

And she did up until recently, but recently she’s been struggling to get out of bed in the morning, struggling to eat, struggling in pain and I had to have a very difficult decision with our vet today, about the next stages.

There isn’t really anything else the vet can do and so the next stage really is to think about euthanasia. Having just watched my beloved Nana struggle only last month, and not being able to help her or take away her pain, I would like to that put me in a better frame of mind to deal with what may be upon me. But honestly, I don’t think it does. It’s a difficult and sad decision no matter what.

Maisy has had a difficult couple of days recently, but today has had a good day – and I told our vet, I don’t know what to do. I can’t bear to see her suffering, but the thought of killing her too quickly will haunt me forever. When is the right time?

And our vet (who by the way is absolutely amazing and I can’t recommend enough) said, when she starts to have more bad days than good, that’s the right time. And so, no decision has been made yet, but I will be monitoring my beloved doggy over the next couple of weeks and jotting down things, to get a true picture of how difficult life is for her.

This peace of paper just makes me want to cry.

This peace of paper just makes me want to cry.

I think we will be having a sensitive conversation with our 8 year old too, because it is important he feels included and understands as much as he can of what is happening. I think 2.5 year old is a bit too young at this stage.

For now though, LOADS of cuddles and love for Maisy dog are definitely on the agenda.


The ever growing to-do list of a parent

Do you ever feel like your to-do list is growing out of control and you will never ever get on top of it?!

I feel like I may have a bit too much on! BUT, it’s actually how I enjoy running my life.

As an ex PA and Office Manager, I spent a lot of my time in several industries running around “fire fighting” and having to remember a million and one things. I loved it – and I’ve swapped the COO of a stockbroking firm, for two demanding children, a hard working wife and 2 old dogs. I’ll tell you whats easier too … 😉

I thought I would share my to-do list with you all. Right now it’s all on hold because Toddler has a cold and all plans are off for this week.

Is this a normal parent list? Or do I just reaaallllyyyy enjoy making lists?!

  1. Change GP’s (we only moved in February, it’s long over due)
  2. Sort out our will (toddler is 2.5 – we probably should sort this now!)
  3. Email lip tie doctor again (we think Toddler has a lip tie and so want to have it assessed), I’ve actually emailed him twice.
  4. Move 8 year old to a school to closer to new house – fill in the bloody paperwork!
  5. Find all docs I need for my court appearance in a couple of weeks (Ive been fighting a parking ticket since 2011!) This deserved a blog post on it’s own at some point…. but in a nutshell, I overstayed in a tesco carp
  6. Find a nursery for Toddler, for her free 15 hours a week, which starts in March. Saw one and hated it and have kind of put it off since. Should have actually done this when I was pregnant!
  7. Organise Mum’s 60th birthday party for November. Venue has been sourced, now need to send out invites, sort food, basically everything else.
  8. Post babyshower gift to friends whose babyshower had to miss when my Nana was dying in August.
  9. Wedding card and cash for wedding coming up this week! EEK!
  10. Sort out putting friends on car insurance for when they come to stay at ours!
  11. Vets to talk about dog – sadly she is very old and quite ill, so we may need to have an end of life discussion.
  12. Print out favourite recipes and put them in a file in kitchen
  13. Sort out mortgage
  14. Organise my social groups Christmas party – Sort Food / Decorations/ More raffle prizes / sell more tickets
  15. Find some discount vouchers of things to do while we are in Texas.
  16. Sort out Toddlers clothes, take our things that are too small.
  17. Go and help Mum de-weed grave of my great grandparents, so we can scatter my Nana’s ashes.
  18. Sort swimming lessons for kids – this has been on the list for about 2 months now.
  19. Cancel gym membership… clearly I am not going!
  20. Deal with the paperwork and ongoing stress if having TWO different people crash into me this year. Urgh!
  21. Start thinking about Christmas presents for everyone.
  22. Book a blood test.
  23. Get the nappy library I took over, up and running!
  24. Finally finish my Kon Marie book and sort out the house!

Now as a stay at home mum, I think people think I have time coming out of my you-know-what. But I honestly am struggling to find the time to fit everything in! Daily chores, organising two parties, my ever growing to-do list! I swear I had more time when I worked! At least then I was sitting behind a desk and could send out emails and order things/make telephone calls.

Now as a stay at home mum, I think people think I have time coming out of my you-know-what. But I honestly am struggling to find the time to fit everything in. Daily chores, organising two parties this year, my ever growing to-do list! I swear I had more time when I worked. At least then I was sitting behind a desk and could send out emails and order things/make telephone calls and make it look like I was actually working, ha!

Actually finding the time to sit down now and do these things is HARD! There is also washing to put on, a floor to be swept, a dog to feed, a bathroom to be cleaned, a toddler to entertain/tell off.

Would I have it any other way? HELL NO. I genuinely love my life. I feel so grateful that I have the opportunity to be at home with the kids and be able to dedicate my time to the community groups I run. I just need to be able to prioritise things a bit more – so this is why my blog has taken a bit of a back seat recently! I intend to more than make up for it though!

The problem with the dummy fairy

I think I royally buggered up….

Mentioned the dummy fairy (known in our house as the “Mimi fairy”) to my 2.5 year old today, in an airy fairy noncommittal sort of way …’Oh there’s a lovely dummy fairy who comes and takes your dummies when you are ready and gives you a present’ and ‘wouldn’t it be nice, we could go to build a bear and choose a toy or something’… yeah I hadn’t completely thought it all through when it came out of my mouth, to be honest. First mistake.

Come bedtime, she holds the dummies up for me, and says “here go – Mimi Fairy”.

What, like… RIGHT NOW TONIGHT after one teeny tiny mention, you’re ready to just give them up? (who has issues here?!)

“Yep, Mummy”

Do I have a bloody present? NO! Not one thing I can give to her. Not even anything stashed in a cupboard anywhere. I can’t even upcycle a headless barbie doll.

I had to give the bloody dummies back to her and tell her we’ll do it tomorrow. And now she just keeps repeating over and over “mimi fairy, mimi fairy” in her bed and I’m convinced she thinks the Fairy is going to come and snatch them while she sleeps.

Do you think she’ll do it tomorrow? Yeah – I highly doubt it too.

Countryside fun with the kids

My dad and Step-Mum live out in the country. It takes about an hour to get there from our house, and the kids just LOVE spending time with them.

We all do – my wife looks visibly relaxed when we get into the country (I always mention a move when we get about 30 mins out!), and the kids just adore being outside in their amazing garden, going for walks with their greyhound and picking blackberries.

We actually spent the day at Legoland on Saturday with some free tickets I had managed to get. It was equal parts wonderful and frustrating (1.5 hours to get out of the car park in the evening and 40 minute queues for every ride – the wife and I have discovered we are not queuers!) and so we were pretty exhausted when we arrived back home at about 9:30 Saturday evening and had to pop the kids into bed straight away!

So we were looking for something relaxing and quiet to do on Sunday and the kids desperately wanted to go and pick Blackberries with Nanny “Deddie” and Grandad.

Luckily they were available and happy to have us over, so we went down for lunch and we went out locally by heir house and picked some gorgeous juicy blackberries that Nanny Deddie had go stake out the day before! We took them home and made an apple and blackberry crumble! And when I say we – I mean the kids and Nanny Deddie did, while we (the wife and I), laid down and waited 😀


Out for a walk with Nanny Deddie






If you would like to make Nanny Deddie’s delicious and super easy crumble, the recipe is as follows:


8oz flour
6oz sugar
4 oz butter

Mix together until looks like very fine breadcrumbs. Put fruit in dish, add a little water if hard fruit I.e. Apples add sugar if fruit not sweet enough. Put crumble mix on top and firm down. Bale 40 to 60 mins at 170 celcius.

What are your kids favourite things to do with their grandparents?



Flying with Toddlers

YAY! We’ve finally booked to go visit the US family at Christmas.

It has been over 2 years until we were last there and to say I am excited is an understatement. We are long overdue a catch up with our American friends and family, we were last there when Bug was 6 months so they dont really have any idea of the whirlwind that is our Toddler right now!  I am also dying for some Mexican food – never in my life thought I would say that sentence. When I met my wife, I wasn’t fussed on Mexican food – now I crave it and even tried making home made Tortillas!

To say I am terrified of the 10 hour flight with THE toddler, is also an understatement! The now 8 year old is easy – we plug him into whatever is on TV and let him decide what to do.

I’m terrified of flying anyway, let alone trying to entertain a lively 2.5 year old!

The good news is that I have a LOT of time to prepare, so will be doing lots of research on the best ways to survive a flight with a Toddler, but if you have any hints or tips, please DO feel free to share them here. Pinterest here I come!

Things I am planning on doing, so far

1. Taking my (spare) car seat, the Britax Eclipse. This is one we bought last minute for Nana’s car. As most of the reader’s know, I am a very keen and vocal rear facer, but sadly- lack of funds for a spare meant that we had to purchase this seat. I’m not knocking it, as it’s a lovely seat and I’m a bit fan of the Britax brand in general – and ACTUALLY, it’s worked out really well in that it is one of a few seats that fit

2. Hitting up the pound shop for a selection of new toys to keep her a bit interested for a while.

3. I have an app on my ipad that lets you download youtube videos to your ipad and watch them without an internet connection. It’s honestly amazing – one of my favourite apps ever. I’ll be updating the shows on there as Bug is now more of a fun of Doc McStufin, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sherrif Callie and other Disney Junior shows.. more than Peppa now!

4. Check this out! SO, in order to get the car seat through the airport other than carrying and swearing lots – you can buy a collapsable crate, like this!:


This is it!: http://www.amazon.com/Go-Go-Babyz-QRKIDZ-Travelmate-Black/dp/B000JJK9EY/ref=sr_1_1?rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1442348589&sr=8-1&keywords=go+go+babyz

How awesome is this – and why is it only available in the US?!

I’ve had a mixed reaction to the idea of taking a car seat on a plane, many saying they tried and it was a nightmare (eek!) – and some saying why bother, just strap them in? (eek! again!).

A few (OK one person!!) said it was the best thing they have ever done. I am HOPING that Bug, who tends to do OK in her seat, will just enjoy the new experience of being on an aeroplane and will find it comfier, so easier to sleep.

Let’s hope I’m not wrong!

The rollercoaster of grief

In the last few days since Nana has died – I have been on a rollercoaster of emotions.

At first I was shocked, despite expecting it – I think nothing ever prepares you. Then of course I was sad. Later was just utter heartbreak when it finally sunk in more, followed by anger at the world and people around me (that was last night, when I realised the world wasn’t going to stop spinning because I am heartbroken) and now I’m just really pathetically unbelievably sad again.  I’m sure there are other emotions to follow.

I also wonder if there will ever come a time, when I look at her picture and don’t just burst into tears.

And I feel cheated! BUT, I feel stupid for feeling cheated, because let’s face it  – she was 92! But I feel cheated on behalf of the kids mainly – well and myself.

I want to go back in time and drink up all the past times with her. When we sat at the Toby Carvery together as a family, or went for a drive, or just hung out at her or my house with the kids.

I am angry with my memory for not being sharp and not retaining every single piece of memory about her.

I am cross that I don’t have saved voicemails from her, because I am frightened that I won’t remember her voice.

My Mum and Aunt have started the arduous task of sorting through her things, and as I am close to her house – I suspect I have been benefitting from receiving items. Yesterday was a whole bunch of store cupboard ingredients – gravies, and jelly etc. Most of which I will use. But then there was also a brown paper bag of sweets, containing a couple of packets of sweets from M&S  – Mushroom coconut things, and some sour candies.

My last memory of being with her was eating these sweets in the nursing home, with her.  Not knowing they were sour she opted for one and spent the whole time pulling faces and saying ‘Ohhh!’ – she wasn’t a fan of it! I made it right with a coconut ‘shroom after BUT, I had to throw the sweets away today. Just looking at them made me so sad, it reminded me of her being ill and in the nursing home – and I can’t bear to look at them. I don’t want to remember her that way, I want to remember the good times.

Today, I got a box of Nana’s recipes. She went to a cooking school at some point (I don’t think I knew this) and these are all her typed our recipes from there. I didn’t see any of HER recipes, her famous Nana’s Stew (beef), or her famous fruit cake – I expect she memorised those.

I never went through that box with her and asked if she had tried any. And now I can’t.

The things you think about and regret after :-(


“She’s a fighter” – what not to say.

“She’s a fighter’ might seem like the most appropriate thing to say to the friend of family member of someone is dying,  but honestly – nobody wants to hear that shit.

I do not want to think of my Nana fighting death, because that suggest actually she doesn’t want to die and that makes me feel awful. And the truth of the matter is – she didn’t want to die – she was terrified. And knowing that makes this whole process so much harder.

When you hear the words “She’s a fighter” it feels like you have subjected her to death, when actually what happened is we couldn’t bear to see her in the pain she was in, and so had to ask for her to get the appropriate pain relief. Her body was already beginning to shut down.

Nana was given 24-48 hours to live from last Friday, and very sadly eventually passed the following Friday evening. I am absolutely and totally heart broken. I cannot imagine my life without my Nana Joan and it is only dawning on me now that I have to.

She was always my safe space.  The person I came out to first. The person I could talk to about anything, and the personal responsible for the majority of my happy childhood memories. I am so happy that she spent some time with Bug and Luke, but equally as sad that Bug will probably not remember her.

She was the woman in my life, who I would say made the biggest impact. She loved everyone and everything -even the local squirrels would knock on the door for biscuits and whilst I am happy that she has been reunited in Heaven with my GrandPop and our other family members I feel such a deep sadness for our loss.

The end of her life, was horrendous. St Christopher’s hospice, I have to say have been amazing (and in the back of my  mind I’m already thinking about fundraising activities for them) and the staff in the nursing home were so caring – they really all went above and beyond.

They brought in mattresses for us to sleep on the floor next to her at night, and offered cuddles and hugs and gave support and information when we needed.

One staff member in particular who had lost her own Mum a few months before went above and beyond. She talked us through what to expect and answered any questions we had. I had plenty, I was terrified of seeing someone actually die and had no idea what to expect.  She was with my Nana when she passed, it was 45 mins after my Mum left and even though we had maintained a round the clock schedule so she wouldn’t be alone – I have been told they wait until you are alone to die.  I am so happy that it was this one lady with her, because I know despite the short time she had known my nana, she genuinely cared and had an attachment to our family. I know without a shadow of a doubt she would have treated her with respect and dignity.

There were many things we had to do that I hadn’t thought we would about, or thought we would have to do. We had the fight Brigade in on the Wednesday PM to try and cut Nana’s rings off. Her hands were so swollen and her finger broken that neither the nursing home nor the funeral parlour would do it and my Aunt and Mum had tried and despite the pain relief, Nana had cried out in pain :-(.


I posted on a local group to find someone who had a ring cutter, and we talked about buying one on Amazon, but knew time was not on our side. A random stranger offered to borrow one from a friend and drive it to us  – I was SO touched by this.

Someone suggested the local Fire Station… and so on the verge of tears, I called them. They were amazing. They came out within 5 mins and had the rings off in 2 mins. I dropped them some biscuits today to say thanks.

There were also lots of issues, that we will be addressing maybe, one day in the future. I don’t want to go into them now though until I can make sense of things.

Now begins the start of sorting her things and arranging the funeral. My Mum and Aunt have most of the funeral arrangements sorted, and just need to firm up some dates. I am honestly dreading it. Because then, its real – for sure.

My head is such a jumble, I can’t make sense of anything right now, so I apologise if this blog post makes no sense, I wanted to write it to help unjumble some of the mess.

For now though, I can’t stop the tears.