I managed to pull off a recognisable Peppa Pig cake using Brio…

Peppa Pig cake 1Apologies for the radio silence. We’re one week into our two week holiday in Dorset, and while I thought I’d post as normal for one reason and another it hasn’t turned out that way. But before it’s too late I thought I’d share the result of the plans for BB’s 3rd birthday cake which have been going round in my head for the last month (pictured).

It took more than four hours and a lot of rolling up icing and starting again but I managed to pull off a recognisable Peppa Pig eventually. I’m not sure Mary Berry would approve of my methods: I used Brio level crossings to mould the house into a square (the only things I could find that were small and solid enough) and the daisies were shop-bought, but apart from that I did it myself with the help of a hemisphere cake tin from Lakeland (I’m thinking this can be used to make owls/hedgehogs/princess dresses in the future). Continue reading

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Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: hello third trimester

Week 28Week: 28

Waist: 37 inches (-0.5 inches…again!)

Feeling: Coming down with a cold, worst luck

The quest for decent maternity clothes continues. When I was expecting BB in 2011 there was a plethora of inspiring ranges to choose from, and I remember having to rein myself in to curb the spending. What’s changed? Last month I ordered four tops from H&M – nothing fancy, several vests and a ‘smart’ top – but the fabric was so thin it was virtually transparent so I sent them straight back again.

Instead I’ve spent the last few weeks in a (non-maternity) maxi dress from Peacocks, which is just the ticket in this hot weather. Sadly this isn’t going to see me into autumn though, and it was while pondering this that I stumbled upon what actually appears to be a nice selection of affordable outfits to house my growing bump. And you’ll never guess where from: Asda. That’s right, you did read correctly. Continue reading

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‘Everything I learnt about the First World War came from the pages of dog-eared history books’

Lights OutAs we followed BBC2’s coverage and took part in ‘Lights Out’ to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War on Monday (pictured) I couldn’t help but think what a legacy the commemorations will leave for BB and children of her generation.

When I was little everything I learnt about the first and second world wars came from the pages of dog-eared history books or a teacher’s scribblings on a black board, but with the advent of the internet and social media a whole new world has opened up, quite literally.

My dad has spent the last few months uploading photos and information about his grandfathers – BB’s great-great grandfathers – to the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War ‘real lives’ database, meaning that at the click of a mouse she will be able to learn all about the roles her ancestors played. Continue reading

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Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: bye bye second trimester

Week 27Week: 27

Waist: 37.5 inches (+0.5 inches but 0.5 inches less than week 25)

Feeling: Like I’ve swallowed a stick sideways

It looks like we might have made it: against all the odds (it seems to me) this weekend marks the final days of the second trimester. There’s no doubt the baby is getting bigger. According to the midwife he or she is transverse, meaning they’re lying across my tummy sideways.

And don’t I know it. With the placenta at the front acting as a kind of ‘shield’ I’m feeling all the baby’s movements to the extreme left and right, and sometimes behind, which feels very odd as this never happened with BB who was most definitely at the front.

I also feel like I’ve swallowed a stick horizontally with the skin straining to accommodate it, so am slapping on the cocoa butter with even more zeal than usual. Continue reading

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Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: my waist has got SMALLER

Week 26Week: 26

Waist: 37 inches (-1 inch)

Feeling: Still chickeny

Oddly, my waist measures a whole inch less than it did a week ago. And I’m sure I measured it correctly. The only explanation I have for this is that I last took a measurement the day after our wedding anniversary, when I indulged in a portion (or two) of black forest trifle. So I’m blaming the trifle.

On the subject of food, we might be in the midst of a heatwave but my penchant for chicken soup is showing no signs of abating. I’m still craving the stuff, and my stomach rumbles as I pour a whole carton into a pan and wait for it to heat up.

Luckily I’m not one of those people who suffers in the heat (my hands are always cold no matter what the weather is doing, perfect for making pastry, apparently) and living on the coast we have a constant sea breeze. But I do feel for anyone living in the dry heat of a city with a baby on board. Especially if they’re craving chicken soup.

Speaking of which, is it lunchtime yet?

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What’s wrong with a big pot yoghurt poured into a bowl and eaten with a spoon?

The Collective SuckiesIt’s been almost 10 years since Ella’s Kitchen pioneered the squeezable ‘pouch puree’ baby food concept and despite claims the format is no match for real fruit/veg and is no substitute for a ‘proper meal’ blah blah blah it’s fair to say the market is now awash with copycat brands.

Which is why I was surprised to discover that gourmet yoghurt brand The Collective’s new Suckies are the first fresh branded yoghurt pouches on the market for kids. You’d think Petits Filous or someone would have thought of it before – why has it taken so long?

Needless to say BB’s eyes lit up when a polystyrene box full of samples landed on our mat for the purposes of review this week. Like Ella’s Kitchen, Suckies come in brightly coloured pouches which became instantly referred to by BB – and no doubt countless toddlers – as ‘the red one’ and the ‘green one’ as opposed to their proper names. Continue reading

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Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: I’ve gone over to the elastic side

Week 25Week: 25

Waist: 38 inches (+ 2 whole inches!!)

Feeling: Properly pregnant owing to new ‘over the bump’ jeans

My plan to make do with low-rise jeans for the duration of the pregnancy has been thwarted: the button on my Levi’s simply won’t stretch any further and, not wanting to ruin them, I’ve gone over to the elastic side. I’m talking full-on maternity jeans with an ‘over the bump’ elastic panel (below – I’ll spare you a picture of me actually in them – it’s not a pretty sight). Misery Guts laughed out loud when he saw them and I can’t say I blame him.

JoJo Maman Bebe maternity jeans

They weren’t what I intended to buy at all. I intended to find a non-maternity pair that simply fitted, but when the sales assistant in JoJo Maman Bebe enthusiastically encouraged me to try them on I was too polite to refuse.

Oh. Lordy. They are sooo comfortable I was instantly converted. I knew as soon as I pulled them up and before I looked in the mirror I had to have them – I didn’t care what they looked like. Like my over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder maternity bra, which also isn’t a pretty sight. Continue reading

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