Saturday, 31 December 2011

It's My 1st Blogoversary Today!

I can't quite believe it but I sit here exactly 12 months after writing my first blog post 'New Year, New Blog'.

Yes, it's my 1st blogoversary today. I've survived a year...

...and what a year it's been...
  • 1st April 2011 -  I somehow go charging into the top 100 (at #62) of the Tots 100 index 
  • 7th April 2011 - I finally confess the 'Korma Calamity' in a gross/hilarious blog post

I'm ending the year so much richer because of blogging. Not because of the odd freebie that has been sent my way but because of the amazing friendship and love from the wonderful people that I've met through blogging (and some that I've yet to meet).

I also found out yesterday that my blog scraped into the top 100 blogs of 2011 (at #97!) according to the Tots 100 index. For a blog only just turning a year old today, that's something I'm really proud of.

My year has had it's ups and downs but overall it's been an amazing year and I have no doubt that 2012 is going to be even better - we have a 3 week holiday in Florida in a few days time and then a couple of months to prepare for MC's little sibling. I can't wait for our family to become 4 and I can't wait to blog about it.

Thank you to each and every one of you who has read and supported my blog over this last 12 months and I hope 2012 brings you all much love and happiness.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Save The Children #66cities Campaign

This blog post has been a long time coming and for that I'm so ashamed. Being ill most of November and December has meant this has slipped but it's time to make up for it whilst there's still time.

As most of you know, I feel extremely passionate about the Save The Children charity and I volunteer one day a week to work in one of their shops - which I love. So, I was eager to become involved with their current #66cities campaign.

Photo: Save The Children
The lives of over 400,000 innocent children around the world at risk and Save The Children are calling on governments around the world to take life-saving measures to protect these children. The Charter to End Extreme Hunger has been created which outlines specific actions that governments should take to stop starvation as a result of drought, high food prices and conflict.

Campaigners all over the U.K. who are representing their cities have been emailing their MPs calling on them to raise the issue in parliament.

2 days before Christmas I sent a letter to my local MP (Mark Tami) and the Chester MP (Stephen Mosley) to raise this issue on behalf of my nearest city.

If you have a spare few minutes, please contact your local MP to make them aware of the charter and also use twitter and Facebook to continue to spread the word for this important campaign.  We've seen before the huge impact that the blogging community can have with these campaigns.

If you haven't got time to email your local MP, then PLEASE spare 1 minute to sign the petition


and then spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, email, word of mouth, carrier pigeon - do what you must!

I'll be blogging again on return from holiday with an update on a response from the MPs but for now, go forth and continue to spread the word...

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Pregnancy Patter - 26 Weeks...The Christmas Edition

Firstly MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope you all had an amazing time full of love and laughter.

Yes, I know, I'm 2 days late. I did wish everyone a Merry Christmas on Facebook and Twitter and I had plans to write a post but time (and illness) didn't allow.

Secondly, dear readers, an apology.

2 weeks ago I promised you a bump picture in this update and I've failed. I have a good excuse though - I've been poorly again this last week. I went downhill fast, managed to get through Christmas Day and then crashed into a bed-ridden state yesterday. Matt has been really ill too so it hasn't been a totally great Christmas in our house, sadly. I've actually got up out of bed today but still not feeling great. We were supposed to go to Nottingham to visit the inlaws Boxing Day but so far, we haven't made it. We are hoping to go tomorrow.

Mini Cheddar has been so well behaved. She has a cold but has been feeling okay despite having to have her nose wiped every second of the day. We felt so bad for her yesterday as she was just left to her own devices whilst Matt and I did relay sleeping as we both felt terrible.

Still, on the positive side, at least (hopefully) all our illnesses will be gone in time for the holiday next week.

Back to the pregnancy...I'm still suffering with heartburn but oddly I haven't had it as bad as I would have expected after overloading on meat, brussell sprouts, cheese and cake etc. Baby is still partying hard inside - making me wince sometimes it's so uncomfortable.

I have a midwife appointment first thing tomorrow morning just to check everything is okay before we go away. I'm hoping to find out which way the baby is as I'm convinced this one is breech again like MC.

Matt and I are starting to panic a bit about space in the house. Christmas has brought an influx of toys and games to the house - far too many. Come April we will have a baby and I dread to think how much stuff next Christmas. When we return from Florida we are going to have to do some serious sorting out. At least the nursery is decorated and so is MC's new bedroom so that's a weight off our minds.

Yes I'm still in two minds over the whole VBAC v's elective caesarean section but I've promised myself I'm going to forget about it for the next few weeks and just enjoy the break away.

So sorry about the rubbish update but I'm hoping this picture will make up for it. This is MC taken Christmas morning with one of her presents over her PJ's. This is what has kept me going through feeling rubbish...

p.s. Whilst I'm away in January I have 7 great bloggers lined up with some fab guest posts for your reading pleasure. Really looking forward to show-casing some of my blogging friends to you...more news on that next week and I promise a bump picture next time *hangs head*

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

What A Difference 3 Years Makes

This time 3 years ago I was pregnant with Mini Cheddar. About the same stage as I'm in with my current pregnancy. She was to be our first baby and Matt and I were very excited. However, Matt was quite over-protective.

I gave up work Christmas Eve even though MC wasn't due until mid-March as Matt didn't like the idea of me driving up to Preston and back (a 128 mile round trip) every day. To be honest, I was grateful of this. It gave me a chance to look after myself and fully prepare for the new arrival.

Matt didn't like me driving anywhere and would worry about me - and the baby - constantly. He would get nervous if I was planning a night out or anything out of the ordinary that meant I was leaving the house for any substantial amount of time.

We had decided to spend our 'last Christmas on our own' and I mean quite literally 'on our own'. We had Christmas dinner and the whole of Christmas Day at home, just the two of us (and the late Betty Dogface). I had wanted to go abroad for Christmas as a treat but Matt was nervous about straying too far away from home incase anything happened and we needed to get to the hospital. I suggested going up to Bamburgh (a place we both loved) but even that, a mere 4 hour drive, was too far for comfort for him.

It became mildly frustrating - especially as his nervousness *ahem* also affected our sex life a bit.

However, looking back I understand.

What I'm failing to understand this time around is just how relaxed Matt is about the new arrival. He's taking it all in his stride - in fact, he's admitted to me that most of the time he even forgets I'm pregnant! How he does this I'll never know as I'm sporting a mighty bump.

That will be me in 2 weeks (hopefully)
Photo credit:
We've just returned from a 4 night break in Edinburgh (a 4.5 hour drive away from home) but more importantly, in October Matt only went and booked a 3 week holiday to Florida and we fly out 2 weeks today! I'll be 27 weeks on the day we fly and 30 weeks on the way back. I've even had to get a 'fit to fly form' signed by my consultant for the return journey.

I know it sounds a bit daft but I didn't want to go at first. Matt took a good couple of weeks to persuade me. I think it was the fact that he wanted to book it at a time when I was feeling so ill in the earlier stages of my pregnancy. I would have thought that he would have seen how ill I was and thought that a holiday wasn't the best idea.  Oddly though, Matt was persistent - even when I told him that airlines get a bit nervous taking pregnant women after the 28 week mark. How times have changed in the mind of my husband it seems!

Still, I'm so grateful for my wonderful husband who wants us to really enjoy these last few months as a family of three.

So, that's it. We are going. That is if nothing happens in the next 2 weeks to stop us. I'm coming around to the thought of the holiday now and I am quite excited but I still have doubts - I think it's the fact it's right after the Christmas break and I have so much to do my head is in a spin.

Matt seems so relaxed about it all and now it's my turn to be a little nervous!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Pregnancy Patter - 24 Weeks And 'Viable'

Well, I've reached it! That second big milestone after those nervous first 12 weeks - the week the pregnancy becomes viable. I know things can still go wrong but I have to say I'm relieved to reach this milestone. I don't know why but I've been much more nervous about everything this time around.

It's been a bit of a rough ride at times what with sickness, a severe headache then just 2 weeks of feeling 'normal' followed by the most awful cold and cough and the stomach bug.  I'm happy to say that, although I still have a cough, I'm feeling quite good at the moment.

If you're reading this today (Tuesday) I'm currently in Edinburgh in the middle of a 4 night break away with Matt and Mini Cheddar.  We went up there last year so it may become a 'Christmas tradition'. It's the one city in the U.K. I would love to live in - I adore the place. It's lovely to get away before Christmas and, to be honest, I need the break. I know we are going to Florida in January (fingers crossed) but this is a more relaxed affair and after all the illness it will be lovely to just chill out before the festivities.

My bump is growing nicely and I'm in size 8 maternity jeans (whoop whoop!). The maternity jeans I had when I was pregnant with MC were a size 12 and they hang off me so despite my bump being quite large it seems my arse has remained fairly small this time!

The baby is a right kicker, same as MC was. The worst is when I feel the kicks really low down in my groin - sometimes it's almost unbearably uncomfortable. It makes me jump. I'm starting to wonder whether this baby will end up breech the same as MC did (maybe my pelvis is that way inclined?) and the decision for another c-section or a VBAC will be taken out of my hands! Despite me wanting to try and forget about it for another 10 weeks I find it's a decision that's on my mind constantly.

In addition to the kicks I can really see the baby move now - I'll just sit and watch an arm, elbow or whatever stick out and move about. I always thought it would be something I would freak out about (I used to have a bit of a phobia of pregnant bellies) but it's something I love about being pregnant.

The other good news is that I popped in to see my midwife last Wednesday and there was no trace of glucose in my urine which my consultant (and I) was worried about at 20 weeks - damn all that pineapple juice! It's a weight off my mind as there's a history of diabetes in the family and there's no way I want to be on a diet whilst in Florida! Om nom nom.

With all this good news, comes the bad. My heartburn is getting worse so it won't be long before I'm keeping our local chemist on his toes ordering stocks of Rennie and Gaviscon. I had never had heartburn in my life until I was pregnant with MC and it seems this little one is bringing it back into my life even earlier this time.

That's it for me for a couple of weeks again - next time I promise to include an updated 'bump' picture!

Friday, 9 December 2011

An Awesome 12 Months

I can't believe it's almost 6 months since I attended Cybermummy. I still can't believe I signed up to have my photograph taken by Jay and Tara for the Blogger Calendar.  I hadn't even been blogging 6 months at that point so I was in the 'newbie' section.

The calendar has been produced and it's time to bag me one.

So, what's the inspiration for my blog?

In a word, a photographic word that is, it's this:

My little family (soon to be plus another one). 

I took this back in August 2009 (when Mini Cheddar was only 5 months old).  Little did I know that a year and 4 months later I'd dip my toe into the world of blogging, feel the warmth and love and dive straight in head first! 

As a SAHM I felt I wanted somewhere to jot down my thoughts, my feelings, my ramblings, my journey and somewhere to record my experiences with my new family. I never really imagined anyone would even read it, let alone actually enjoy reading it.

Yes I'm coming up to my 1st blogoversary at the very end of this month. I shudder when I look back at my very first blog post 'Three Little Words'...not only because I cringe at how I started my blog but because I've only really achieved 1 out of the measly 3 things I said I was going to do this year. How rubbish am I? Actually, don't answer that.

I've had an awesome 12 months!

I (somehow) made the finals of the MAD Blog Awards for Best New Blog which was totally overwhelming.

My blog also gave me my freelance work which I love so I can keep my CV rolling (and bring in some money) despite being a SAHM.

Blogging has made me laugh, it's made me cry, it's made me excited, it's made me frustrated but most of all it's made me make some amazing new friends, many I've met personally and have all lived up to their blogging personalities.

Since becoming pregnant my blogging has been a bit quieter but it doesn't mean my passion for it has gone, I still adore it so here's to the next 12 months!  Although there will be little 'events' for me this year - I've had to bow out of BritMums Live or Cybher as I'll be up to my eyeballs in nappies and milk.

This was posted to receive one of the fab calendars kindly put together by Jay and Tara. For more info:

Monday, 5 December 2011

Be A Princess Every Day!

I have a confession to make.

My name's Heather and I think I'm a tent-o-holic.

There, I said it.

Mini Cheddar has a total of 3 play tents. So why have I just had another one sent to me?

Who could not resist this?

Photo: Big Game Hunters
Gorgeous isn't it? I have to be honest, was a bit skeptical about the price. It retails on at £74.99.  The tents Mini Cheddar has all cost about £20. However, the ones we have are small, flimsy and cheap looking - in this case you definitely get what you pay for!

This tent is simply stunning - I never thought I'd use those words to describe a tent.

It's a unique hexagonal turret shape with a flag on top, complete with two windows and a door with velcro fastenings. I'm now wishing I was smaller so I could play at being a princess!

It's made from quality materials and is so sturdy. Just what you need in a children's play tent. The interior frame is made from wooden poles which slot together and the external material is a strong, thick canvas made to withstand summer showers.

I think that the other tents I purchased before probably won't see the light of day again.

We can't wait for the weather to turn warmer again so we can get full use of it (although we are in the middle of decorating her bedroom at the moment so I'm tempted to let her have it a little earlier).

MC is going to love playing princess in her new kingdom - aka the back garden - next year.  I'll be sure to post some photos of her practicing her royal wave through the window.

If a Princess Tent doesn't take your fancy then check out the other range of Play Houses here. Some of them are just amazing - the crooked playhouses have to be my favourites. provide a wide range of quality outdoor products perfect for Princes as well as Princesses.

This is not a sponsored post.  
I was sent a Princess Tent to review but all words,
views and opinions are entirely my own.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Hello Moon

First I have some GREAT news. Well, it's great news for our house... Mini Cheddar is fully potty trained! I can't tell you how happy I am about this. I felt so deflated at the end of October over the whole potty pressure. So, I stepped off the gas, relaxed and just let her lead the way and it's worked. 2 whole days with no accidents and today I gave her a lot of water and we even went out twice - a total of 11 wee wees and only one that I prompted her to do. It means so much that we can go away next week and in January for our big holiday without having to take a suitcase of nappies or Pull-ups with us.

So, the real reason for this post...I had to share this with you.  This was taken a couple of weeks or so ago when MC decided to talk to the moon through the patio window. For those of you know don't know, Betty is our dog who had to be put to sleep on 3rd November.

Here are some other gems that MC has come out with in the past couple of months or so as I need to document them:

MC: Yaye! We are going to Biscuits today!
Me: Where?
MC: Biscuits! It's going to be wonderful Mummy!
Me: I think you mean 'Whizz Kids' sweetie (Whizz Kids is a play centre near us).

Grandma: Is Grandma a boy or a girl?
MC: You're a girl Grandma!
Grandad: Yes, Grandma is an 'old' girl (my Dad trying to be funny)
MC: And you're an old boy Grandad! (touché Grandad, touché!)

Me: We need to go to Asda today to do the food shopping.
MC: (adopts a stern voice) Well we'll see about that Mummy!

MC: (talking about Halloween) I think ghosts are very spicy.
Me: I think you mean 'spooky' darling.

MC: I want a yoghurt!
Me: Aren't you forgetting something?
MC: manners?
Me: Yes, so what do you say?
MC: But Mummy, I've lost my manners. I can't find them anywhere! Where are they? (raises hands in the air and looks left and right)

MC: (running her toy Dyson vacuum cleaner over the carpet) PHEW! (wipes mock sweat from her brow)

MC: (coming into the kitchen) What are you doing in here Mummy?
Me: I'm making dinner
MC: How long is it going to be?

MC: Mummy! (shouting from the lounge...I'm in the kitchen)
Me: What?
Me: What?
Me: (running into the lounge in a slight panic) What darling?
MC: I'm playing with these stars (some plastic stars she has). You can go back in the kitchen if you want.

Me: Come on sweetie, I need to get you changed
MC: Calm down Mummy! (she's clearly been listening to Michael Winner!)

(MC is listening to noisy banter between Matt and his family)
MC: Everybody just calm down please!

MC: (pretending to talk to Daddy on the toy phone) Daddy, I'm at Grandma and Grandad's house. I've made a right mess!

MC: (fussing over a new baby she's spotted in a cafe) Aw, he's SO cute!
Grandma: Yes, Mummy has a baby in her tummy doesn't she?
MC: Yes, but I want that one! (pointing at the baby)

For previous MC conversational delights, have a look at these:

It's Bumpy!
The World According To Mini Cheddar


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