Category Archives: Being a mum of 2 boys

Figuring our parenthood and learning about life whilst being the mom / mum of 2 boys.

World Prematurity Day 2013 – Join Bliss to raise awareness and Give a Hug

hug3_mumof2-001This year, around 15 million babies around the world will be born too soon. Yes, 15 million and many of those babies are too small for their mums and dads to hold them, hug them. Too small. Sadly 1 million of these babies will not survive.

Hard hitting and harsh you may say when we are sitting in our nice worlds living our nice lives quite happily moaning about our children.  Would you moan as much if you didn’t have the opportunity to have something to moan about or would you hug your children and family that bit closer knowing that every moment they are with us is one to treasure?

The 17th of  November is World Prematurity Day. The charity Bliss will join with other organisations around the globe to raise awareness. They are an amazing charity  in the UK, working to provide the best possible care and support for all premature and sick babies and their families.

The theme this year is #GiveaHug and it’s especially close to my heart for a number of reasons but mainly because our eldest son was in the Special Care Baby Unit for his first week of his life.

I had preeclampsia in the last weeks of pregnancy and his growth was stunted as a result. I was induced at 37 weeks, although I had been in hospital on and off until 36 weeks where I didn’t leave.

I suffered an eclamptic fit during labour and pleased to say we both came out the other side. About an hour or so after he was born, he started to shake and the midwives (yes, by this stage there had been a couple after the drama) along with the paediatrician decided that he needed to go into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as his sugar levels were very low. Apart from the shaking, they took a small pin prick of a blood test from his foot to confirm this.

So he was whisked off to have tubes put down his nose and he couldn’t have been in better hands – yes even though I wanted him in my own arms. I, on the other hand was also in capable hands. I stayed on the high dependancy unit as my blood pressure had plummeted and I couldn’t walk anywhere as I just kept on fainting. Classy!

The maternity unit that night was so busy that there wasn’t anyone available to take me to see him and so it was the next morning they wheeled me over and I could hold him in my arms for a second time.

I was eventually ‘upgraded’ as I call it to the ward right next to NICU and when strong enough was able to go and see him whenever I wanted to. Our son was also upgraded from the Intensive Care glass room to the NICU baby nursery where the other babies were and finally next to my bed.

So, the next time you #GiveaHug, remember all those babies and families where that is a luxury. There are many families who have had far more traumatic times and thanks to Bliss and other charities like them, are all grown up and leading healthy, happy lives.



Cycling free – as it should be for kids


Cycling. Riding bikes is another way of putting it along with freedom, fun and testing things out, especially for children.

Can I balance?
How about peddling and balancing?
Is this the front brake or back brake?
How fast can I go and when do I start braking so that I stop in time?
How fast can I go before I catch a speed wobble?
Can I self correct and get out of the wobble?
How fast do I need to go so that when I brake, I form a skid mark?
What happens when I brake (or turn!) on stones?

We forget as adults sometime, how we learnt to do things but the boys often remind us of how it must have been. There has to be a starting point and once you have mastered the beginning, the rest sort of fits into place and naturally seems to happen.

One of the best parts of living out in the countryside, is that the boys can generally be free to enjoy testing things out with their bikes. Occasionally, they have to watch out for farm vehicles or large equipment and horses in some cases, but most of the time they can acquire new skills.

Whilst they learn how to do new stuff with either their bodies or bikes, I on the other hand am also learning to do the same and masking my sudden gasps with a cough or turning my body a bit so that they can’t see the concern. Just the other day, our eldest son was trying to ride with no hands. I can VERY clearly remember as a child cycling home from school,  riding with no hands at great speeds down a hill that had a corner and cars. My mom would have had a fit if she had known this! The wind blowing on my face and the freedom of not knowing what could have happened should I have hit a stone…pah!

So, armed with that memory, when asked ‘Do you think I can ride with no hands?’,  I encouraged but also sort of didn’t completely look and by george he did it! ‘Mom!! I did it!’ was the shout of pride I heard – for a second or two but he still did it


oliversmadhouse Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Family time

Mumof2, mum of 2, autumn, family timeI have previously mentioned how much I love Autumn and this week’s #magicmomentscontinues with the Autumnal theme and family time.

We have been pretty busy this weekemd clearing away the trampoline and putting it in the loft. We can’t keep it out for the winter as there is a field in front of us and so when the winds pick up, our house is the first to get the onslaught. The pigeons also like to roost in the tree above the trampoline and so any random spurt of ‘let’s go on the trampoline’ has to be delayed by at least 15mins clearing all their mess away. And finally – we would end up with a massive block of ice when the snow arrives.

So trampoline in the loft, garden furniture tucked away and covered, grass has been sown in a couple of patches and we did some clearing at school in between.

The parts I absolutely loved in all this were the boys having simple fun. They couldn’t wait to get into the loft. So I helped them up the loft ladder and it was like a treasure chest to them. I even turned the light out (with their permission of course!) so that they could see how dark it is. Although the light in the passage was still on with the loft hatch open.

We gave them rides on the wheel barrow and and they had fun on their bikes in the puddles. They even went so far as exploring and clearing out our friends pond (sorry friends!) but the look of joy on their faces that they had done it was a picture.

After all our jobs had been done – we ordered in a a pizza and watched a movie. Lovely family time.



Dad! You made it!

tulips_worship_mumof2, dad, mumof2I have been sitting going through all the #magicmoments I would possibly like the share and the one that keeps coming back to me is from Friday evening at our village Harvest Festival.

The children were scheduled to sing a couple of songs in the church service and so there was much excitement in the week leading up to Friday (with a lot of singing in the bath practising their songs – which was lovely!). The boys had also asked if we could go to the Harvest supper after the service – which we thought sounded like a good idea.

Friday morning arrived and I thought it best to let the boys know that their dad would probably miss the church service because of the time he had to leave work but would definitely make the supper. They accepted this and waved him off in the morning with a ‘See you at the Harvest supper Dad!’.

The kids all sang beautifully that evening and it is just pure joy to listen to them all. My supportive husband had managed to hot foot it to the other side of the village after driving back from the train station and made it to the service in time to listen to the kids sing their 2nd song.

Our youngest son clocked him and had the biggest smile on his face. He came running up to him at the end of the service and said ‘Dad you made it!’. My supportive husband said it was so worth the rush and that he was pleased he had got there for the boys.

Most of the times, it’s not the fact the person was late – it’s that they made the effort! The boys didn’t notice that he was late – they noticed that he was there. In this case the effort was so worth it!




Things to think about when hiring an au pair/nanny/childminder, au pair, childminder, nanny, things to think aboutOne of my earliest posts I wrote on my blog was about how not to hire an au pair (based on personal experience I should add!). Thinking back, I would still give the same advice on how not to go about it.

If someone were to ask me now what they should do or look out for (now that a couple of years has past and our house is over some of the drama) I would say :

  • Let the search take as long as it takes to find the right person who is a good fit with your family and more importantly your children. There is no point in rushing things.
  • Let your children be your guide. By that I mean – you know your children and the difference of when they are being naughty just because they are children versus they are trying to tell you something. Have a couple of play sessions and see how your child interacts with their potential carer. Better still – offer an afternoon or morning for the candidate to have a playdate at one of your friend’s houses and get some feedback of how things are when you are not there.
  • Do have a contract stating number of hours, start & finish times and the kinds of things you expect the nanny/au pair to be doing during that time. Is car/phone/ petrol money included in the salary or to submitted as an expense etc. Most importantly ensure there is a probation period and that it may be extended along with what notice period is required in the event of termination/resignation.
  • Decide whether you are happy for your child to be out and about a lot and driven all over the countryside / city or if you would prefer them to be at home when you are not there.
  • Check, check, check all references. CRB checks are fine but don’t give you the finer details. A person may not necessarily have a criminal record as nobody has reported them to the police but should possible not be working with vulnerable children.
  • If you are looking at a childminder, ensure they are registered and have the necessary insurance papers. A good child minder will ask for you to visit their setting and see if your child would be a good fit – it’s a 2 way interview is what I am trying to say. They will also offer to show you all their paper work (fire exits, child minding registration certificates, procedure manuals etc). and more importantly should put a contract in front of  you should you both decide to go ahead with the childcare.

Above all, trust yourself and your instincts.

Weekend Blog Hop

Special Times

mumof2_boys, special times


I love those moments in time when I sit and watch the boys having fun with their dad and it’s times like that when I think my heart might explode.

Dads just seem to have such a different way of playing and making fun and it’s lovely to be a spectator. I often catch the boys having a game of ‘throw the paper ball into the coal bin’ or in the case above ‘throwing the pebble into the sea’. Along the way they modify the games and fine tune to ‘throw the pebble to hit the middle of the wave’ and it’s hours of fun doing just that.

And so for those reasons – this is my #magicmoments for this week



Also joining up with #MondayClub from and

Stunning South Coast

mumof2_sea, south coast, mumof2We took off for a couple of days and headed down to the Dorset (Englands south coast) and were completely blown away by the stunning sights to see!


mumof2 handle with careThe boys were armed with cushions and sunglasses (apparently these are a must for any journey according to them – not that they needed to sleep as it was only 3 hours from home – I would agree with them on the sunglasses front)


We had a lovely time exploring the Jurassic coast and stopped on many occasions just to take in the views. The boys seemed to have no problem with this and at one stage were happy for us to all sit at a viewing site for an hour whilst eating our ice-cream.

Such special times and that is why this is my #magicmoment for this week



Never under estimate the mind of a 7 year old

moneyEver had it where half way through a conversation with someone you begin to ponder the origin of the conversation? I shall give you an example :

Son : Mom, do you think if we do something nice you could pay us?
Mom : (whilst concentrating on driving and brain suddenly in over drive) Err, well – I am not so sure on that. I don’t think you should pay someone to be nice – we should do kind things for people because we want to not because we will get money for it.

Son : Yes, but if we do something nice?
Mom : Are you meaning like pocket money? (where on earth is this coming from?!?!?!)

Son : No
Mom : Ok, well, I am not comfortable with paying someone to be nice. Would you like it if you found out your friends were only being nice to you because someone was giving them money to be nice?
Son : No – I wouldn’t

Mom : But I think you may be right about starting to get pocket money. I’ll chat to Dad and see what he says.  (brain trying to figure out amount). I think possibly 50 pence per week but will need to check with Dad.
Son : Ok – I think 20 pence is enough
Mom : Are you sure you want 20 pence? It is a lot less than 50 pence!
Son : Yes, I am sure. Oh and if you chat to Dad and he doesn’t think it’s a good idea – that’s also fine with me.

Mom : Ok – I’ll chat with Dad. What made you ask about the money?
Son : Oh, I was watching Charlie and Lola and Lola emptied her piggy bank to give her money to Charlie to help him buy something and Charlie said that was very nice of her to help him.

Mom : (bring on the pangs of guilt! should have asked the question up front!)

I love the maturity in the responses to how much potential pocket money and that if it was a no from dad that he would have been fine with it! I also love when I checked that he was sure 20 pence was a lot less – he didn’t go for the larger amount.





Sunny days


Water Fun



It’s amazing what a bit of warm sunshine can do and in our house …it means one thing…water fights with the hosepipe!!! (Sadly – we couldn’t do this much last year with the hosepipe ban) we come!
Waterfight…here we come!

This week’s magic moment is a short one – which says a lot as it means we were having so much fun enjoying the sun.





A visit to a nuclear power station


Yes, you are not seeing things and no I wouldn’t call myself completely crazy either. On our recent family trip in South Africa the weather wasn’t exactly playing ball. Mind you, whilst it was pouring with rain and a bit windy, it wasn’t snowing either so we can’t exactly complain.

It made planning to get out and about a little trickier than just heading for the beach as we had to time it in between the downpours. So, one of the days, we decided to head for the Koeberg Nuclear Power station, just outside of Cape Town.

There were lovely trails for the us to ride our bikes in and amongst the springbok, Eland and a couple of other buck. We could also just use the education centre as a spot to get out of the rain and the boys to take in a couple of facts about power. What was great is that it is in interactive learning centre, so the boys could see examples of the various types of power we as people consume.

It may seem like a weird choice for a holiday activity, but I am quite pleased we did it. Apart from studying this particular power station for Geography in high school, I can now say we have been to one (a nuclear one at that) and I hope that the boys will remember it in years to come.

It also makes the Japanese disaster all the more real in seeing how much land there is (or isn’t) surrounding such a facility. We know the world is getting more populated and energy requirements are ever increasing and there are pro’s and con’s to using nuclear energy.

We also stood under the power lines and listened to the non-stop crackle of the electricity over head. It is quite a sensory way of showing just what it means to turn the lights on or play on the wii!

So, as far as a holiday outing with a difference and a spot of learning (and helping to dodge the rain) is concerned – I think it is an option well worth considering.