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Cigarettes and Calpol

Attempting to make sense of parenthood, life, love, and my own mind.

Breastfeeding – a second try

When I was pregnant I wrote about my previous experience of breastfeeding and how it had left me terrified to try again. I had a huge response to that post with so many women telling me they felt the exact same way, which was in equal parts comforting (to know I’m not alone) and depressing (to realise so many of us had had such similar, difficult experiences).

I was always going to try again, yet I was determined to put less pressure on myself this time. Turns out that lack of pressure was exactly what we both needed to find our feet with this feeding malarky.

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Water Birth, Danny Devito, and still no stitches: My Second Birth Story

If you follow me on any form of social media you might have figured out I was more than a little bit done with being pregnant by the end…I had tried everything. And nothing was working. I had accepted that I was just going to be pregnant forever and welcomed the cankles as just a part of who I was now.

We’d had weeks of false starts, days of contractions leading to nothing.

Turns out watching the Foos destroy Glastonbury was the key.

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A Fox Cub!

Not just because it means I’m not pregnant anymore…we are thrilled to announce the arrival of our tiny little addition to the family!

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The Language of Body Positivity

If you’ve been anywhere near a mum blogger’s Instagram over the past few weeks you will have noticed a trend. Not the yellow dress from M&S, not flamingos, not even empowering slogan tees. No the trend that is filling all of our timelines is one that will hopefully be a bit more resilient than some fad – body positivity.

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Being Pregnant in a Heat Wave

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it’s a little bit hot outside. If you go anywhere in England where there is a patch of grass right now you will see at least 12 sets of sunburnt shoulders frantically necking canned cider and pretending like they’re enjoying every second.

The Great British Summertime!

Pimms, Aperol, prosecco, cider…basically it’s just booze and sunburn. What’s not to love?

Unless of course you just so happen to be overdue, in which case a heat wave is the equivalent of being stuck in a lift with Boris Johnson and Piers Morgan.

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Super Simple Chicken Risotto

Yesterday I had zero inspiration for what to do with the two chicken breasts sitting in my fridge. I hate trying to come up with ideas for dinner at the best of times but when overdue in the ridiculous summer heat it seemed even more of a challenge.

So I asked Instagram to decide.

Loads of suggestions came flying my way (all of which sounded delicious and actually made my job harder) but when Harriet (from Life With Mrs Lee) suggested risotto I suddenly remembered probably the easiest recipe in my collection. And it’s delicious! Oh and super low fat and healthy, if you’re into that kind of thing.

So risotto is what we had and as a few of you asked – here’s the recipe!

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‘If You Can’t Afford to Feed Your Child…’

The days leading up to and following an election are always strange, tense, and full of arguments. This time is no different, in fact this time nobody is really sure whether to celebrate, mourn, or just keep drinking.

Today I was asked on a Facebook discussion about benefits, food banks, and tax brackets ‘why did you have a child if you can’t afford to feed it?’. Obviously the lovely Max Off Of Facebook did say ‘not to cause offence’ first. So I’m not offended…

Well, Max Off Of Facebook, do you want to know how I found myself two years ago crying in a doctor’s office as he signed a piece of paper that meant I was entitled to a food bank voucher two years ago?

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Unicorn Cake

This cake nearly drove me to a mental breakdown.
This cake nearly got thrown out of the window at 11pm.
This cake caused me to cry five times and bleed once.
This cake almost lead to me cancelling my daughter’s sixth birthday.
But some of you asked me for the recipe, so here you go.
It involves a lot of butter

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Third Trimester

The final countdown to D-Day. When suddenly everybody wants to know how your nipples are feeling and to give you their tip on how to get labour started (I hate pineapple, and I hate you for suggesting it).

The third trimester is the longest three (possibly longer) months you’ll ever face and everything hurts and who knew you could sweat from there and oh GOD get it out of me!!

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