Baby pushing walkerI generally think I’ve got a pretty good level of tolerance for musical baby paraphenalia. But oh-my-days don’t those things have some catchy songs that’ll stick in your head far into the night, long after they’ve been put away (or discarded in a corner of the room) for the day.

My tolerance hit it’s peak the other night when I’d sneaked off upstairs for five minutes of bathtime peace. No sooner had I dipped my toe into the inviting, steaming hot, bubbled water did Carl, Henry and the feral pug make their way into the bathroom bringing with them the mother of all irritating toys – the V-Tech First Steps Walker. Carl then put on BBC news which was showing Donald Trump making a speech. Now let me tell you, you’ve not experienced annoyance until you’ve heard Donald Trump talking and various songs from the walker playlist AT THE SAME TIME.

So, I thought I’d list some of the frustratingly cheery ditties and phrases from various baby toys for you to guess what they’re from. A fun little way to see how much your brain is taken up by storing this nonsense….

Kicking things off with an easy one…

  1. ‘Welcome to ourr learninggg farmm, weee’ve got lotttsss to showww youuu’ – V-Tech First Steps Walker. I could’ve filled the whole list with this bloody thing.
  2. ‘Turn the pagess to exxplore!!’ – V-Tech Musical Rhymes book
  3. ‘Put a bawll in the monkeyss hat!’ – Bright Starts Having a Ball Hide and Spin Monkey
  4. ‘It’s a great day to visit the BEACH! Full steam ahead!’ – V-Tech Push and Ride Train
  5. ‘I have two feet; one purple, one blue. I have two feet! JUST LIKE YOU!’ – Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Puppy
  6. CHUG, CHUG, CHUGGING RAIN OR SHINE! I hope you enjoy your riddddeee’ –– V-Tech Push and Ride Train
  7. ‘The cat in the square, is speaking out of there! Meow! Meow!’- V-Tech Turn and Learn Cube
  8. ‘Hop on board the animal train, come onnn EVERYONE! Learning about animals is really LOTS OF FUN!’ -Fisher Price Amazing Animals Train

I’ve put the answers in white, so if you highlight the whole page you can see how many you got right. Clever eh? If you’re on a phone you may have to copy and paste into notes to see the answers. Sorry about that. Extra points if you know another song from the same toy.

Despite their annoying sounds I actually quite like all of these toys, Henry dances to the music they make which is just the CUTEST thing.

Cuddle Fairy

Vase of flowersI love filling my house – mainly my kitchen, where all surfaces are out of arms reach of sticky little fingers – with fresh flowers. They smell nice, they look nice, they distract the eye from the mess and garish toys overrunning the rest of the house… what’s not to love? Arranging your own is tremendously satisfying and, unless you’re a professional, gives them a little somethin’ somethin’ you just don’t find in the supermarket. Plus if you can walk for your flowers via the swings, it’s an activity that’s fun for Big and Little. Winner in my book.

I thought I’d share how to make a little arrangement to add some pretty to your day.

Note – I’m definitely an amateur, so if you’re a professional it’s probably best you look away now. I could be breaking some floristry rules causing you to hate me forever. And I don’t want that.

You will need:

  • A few different varieties of flowers. I used Tulips, Carnations & Gypsophila
  • Scissors
  • A vase


  1. Lay out all of your flowers and trim the stems to bring all of the flower heads in line.
  2. Choose one flower to sit in the centre and add two small sprigs either side. I chose a tulip for the centre and sprigs of gypsophila surrounding it.
  3. Holding the flowers in your left hand, (if you’re right handed!) select another stem and place it slightly diagonally across the centre flower.
  4. Twist the arrangement so that the flower added last is at the front and add another, again diagonally and twist again. Keep twisting to keep the last flower facing you, adding flowers until you’ve used them all up. I added tulips and carnations alternately first, then started alternating carnations and gypsophila once I’d ran out of tulips. You should end up with a bunch of flowers in an hourglass shape.
  5. Trim a little more from the stem if necessary & then place in a vase, jar or bottle.

Et voilà! A beautiful, handmade arrangement that will brighten your day and make you feel like a Pinterest mum.

How to arrange your own flowers.

My Petit Canard

  1. If u can read dis ur a 00’s teen. We wer on PAYG n evry msg cost 10p so ud avoid usin ‘,?!: as mch as poss. Ud txt ur m8s from ur nokia 3210 as mch as u cud squeeze in2 190 characters, non of dis difrent msg 4 each sentence nonsense of 2day. Ud end ur txt wid ‘luv me x’. Den ud go bk to plyin Snake.
  2. We used Microsoft Encarta for our homework.
  3. We didn’t know what a selfie was and only went online for MSN messenger. The only social network around was Friends Reunited, which definitely wasn’t cool because our Dads were on it. And err hello?! We saw our friends at school all day and then talked on the phone all night. The landline obviously, we didn’t have enough credit for calls.
  4. The ONLY place to shop was Tammy Girl. Despite this, you’d still get annoyed if someone else ‘copied’ you. Clearly there was not enough Tammy Girl to go around. You could also go into town on a Saturday with £10 in your miniature bowling bag and somehow manage to get lunch, a top, a compact powder a few shades too dark and a very gloopy mascara. All without stealing.
  5. Rockport shoes were the ultimate status symbol. Even better if worn with Miss Sixty jeans.
  6. Your school bag would be as small as possible and you’d stuff everything else into a Jane Norman carrier.
  7. You spent your evenings downloading music from Limewire. Then burning it to CDs. Or playing it while flirting with boys on MSN.
  8. Big Brother, Footballers Wives and Friends were all you wanted to watch.
  9. You’d probably eat a Turkey Twizzler for your school lunch at least once a week. Finished with cornflake tart or chocolate concrete.
  10. Your go-to hairstyle was a slicked back, possibly looped ponytail with two sprayed-solid clumps of hair pulled out at the front. You’d finish of the look with butterfly clips placed in a row in front of your feather scrunchy.
  11. The start of a new term meant a new pencil case from Kookai, filled with brand new scented gel pens.
  12. If you didn’t have Rockports, your school shoes were probably Pod or Kickers and had a keyring tied into the laces.
  13. It was perfectly acceptable, and desirable to wear combat trousers. Or worse, parachute trousers. And in the summer, pedal pushers. It was also perfectly acceptable to wear skirts, or dresses, over trousers. Infact they sold them ready-to-go in Tammy Girl.
  14. You had one or more of the following; a tooth charm, two brightly coloured hair pieces glued in either side of your centre parting, a very bold french manicure.
  15. You were pretty much guaranteed to get one of the following for your birthday – a TY Beanie Baby, some kind of ‘Bang on the Door – groovy chick’ merchandise, and a Bubblegum card addressed to ‘Loopy Lass’, ‘Disco Diva’ or ‘Top Totty’.

    Nostalgia-growing up in the 2000's



Diary of an imperfect mum

One day, at a time where sleepless nights are enough of a distant memory that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to walk around like a zombie everyday, but not far enough away that I’ll never want to do it again, we’d like to give Henry a brother or sister.

My brother was born when I was three, and I had quite an indifferent attitude to his arrival. After meeting him briefly I was more interested in going home to watch the Thomas the Tank Engine video (ah video, I feel so old!) that ‘baby Jack’ had ‘bought’ me.

Like all siblings we haven’t always got on amazingly, infact it’s a miracle he made it to his first year as a victim to his older sisters carelessness – standing on him to look out of the window and pulling over a shopping trolley with him in it are two of the favourite stories. I always saw him as my little brother, I was older so I thought I knew more and thought I was in charge. But we also had alot of fun, and my childhood wouldn’t have been the same without him, when we were partners in crime. Now we’re friends.

Our dad sadly passed away just before I was 15 and Jack was 11. So it was Jack who Carl told he was going to propose, and it was Jack who gave me away, delivering quite the speech at our wedding. He’s kind, funny and significantly less annoying than he was when we were younger. On the day he turned 25, Henry stole his birthday. He left work and shot down the M1 as soon as he heard I was in labour, despite knowing all he could do was hang around at my house until he could come and meet his new nephew. He’s an incredible uncle to Henry and a great by-product of having a baby is that I see my brother more than I have in years, despite living an hour apart.

My brother is the best gift our parents ever gave me, despite my younger protests, and that’s what I want for Henry.

Mum – don’t tell Jack I’ve written this, I’ve never told him and I need to keep face.

3 Little Buttons
Cuddle Fairy

IBaby with ballonAs you’ll know if you read my last post,  this week we celebrated our little Hen’s first birthday, and I couldn’t resist a glass of prosecco to celebrate that Carl and I had successfully parented for a whole year. And I figured that this time last year, a prosecco might have taken the edge off a very long labour. So I owed it to my birthing self of a year prior to toast not only Henry’s birthday, but my birth-ed day. Justification right there, should ever I need it.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learnt after 365 days of playing the mum game:

  1. Age old advice, but EVERYTHING IS A PHASE. I know it doesn’t help when you’ve not hoovered for a month and the blinds are sporting an inch thick layer of dust (who am I kidding, I’ve never cleaned blinds in my life) because your child has lost the ability to nap, but it’s true. Unfortunately good phases are still also phases. Four month sleep trickster, I’m looking at you.
  2. Do what works at the time, regardless of what anyone else says.  We’re currently co-sleeping (following Lullaby Trust guidelines). I’m aware that at some point it will become an issue, but at the moment we’re all getting more sleep, which means we’re all happier. You may be told you’re ‘making a rod for your own back’, but motherhood is blooming hard work and sometimes I need that rod to lean on.Trust your instincts, have confidence in your decision and move on.
  3. A new dawn is a new day. Yesterday might have been a washout. You’ve been sicked on, snotted on, pooed on and achieved nothing more than wiping off said excrement with a baby wipe, but tomorrow could be incredible. (Parenting) Life is a Rollercoaster -ahh wise words Ronan.
  4. Cutting little nails, cleaning first teeth and navigating a busy supermarket with a baby who’s on the wrong side of peckish all make you feel like you could play The Cube and win. Take your victories, however small.
  5. Hormones have ALOT to answer for.  Y’all know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that make you wail to your husband that you miss him WHILE HE’S SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU.
  6. Words spoken in the depths of sleep deprivation should be taken with a pinch of salt. Daddy: she doesn’t really think life is easier when you’re at work. Mummy: he doesn’t really wish he’d stayed at work. Hopefully not anyway.
  7. Accept that you will never wee alone, enjoy a hot beverage, sleep more than four to six consecutive hours, use an escalator, or any of these things my lovely friend Becky has listed in this hilarious post anytime in the near future. Then, if you do ever manage any you’ll have a whole new appreciation for them. Using an escalator is like Disney Land to me now….
  8. Despite any challenges our offspring might throw our way, the joy they bring you is immeasurable and there is no problem in the world feels like it can’t be appeased by seeing your baby smile.

So I’m sure I’ve missed a few parenting words of wisdom, as a year does not an expert make. Do you have any to share?



Diary of an imperfect mum
Twin Mummy and Daddy
A Mum Track Mind