my rainbow cake triumph

I am no domestic goddess. But I do like to bake. Nothing too fancy. My skills are quite basic to intermediate. But for my daughter's seventh birthday party last weekend, I knew I wanted to make her a rainbow cake. It looked kinda difficult, but I thought I would give it a go. So I spent last Friday night and Saturday night baking and icing this bad boy. And on Sunday, when Husband cut into the cake, there was a chorus of oohs and ahhs from 19 children. What a gratifying sound. Moozles said it was her favourite part of the party. The cake took a lot of time, and I felt so stressed making it, but it was worth it.

Happy birthday to my darling daughter. She is the smartest, sassiest seven year old I know.

my rainbow cake triumph





The Shame of a C-SectionMoozles, my first-born, turns seven tomorrow. But rather than writing a post gushing about how much I love her (I obviously do), I thought I would share her birth story since April is C-Section Awareness Month. When I was pregnant with Moozles, rather than doing NCT classes, we paid handsomely for hypnobirthing classes. I had my mind, and heart, set on a natural birth. That's right, no epidural, just breathing and panting like the cavewomen did.

But my body, and my baby, had other ideas. I remember, a few days after going on maternity leave, feeling my baby moving around like she was trying to turn around. But she just could not manage it. When I next saw the midwife, she told me that the baby was in position. But I told her that the baby was breech. I could feel her head pressed against my ribs. The midwife disagreed but I was insistent, so she referred me to the consultant midwife for a scan. When the consultant midwife performed the scan, she saw that my baby was indeed breech. I burst into tears. I knew my baby was breech. But I did not want it to be true. I did not want a caesarean section. I felt like my body had let myself down. That I had let my baby down. I felt such shame and sadness.

Sometimes, when a baby is breech, the consultant will try to move the baby around. But in my case, they did not think there would be enough room. I have a bicornuate uterus, which means that I have a little wall near the middle of my womb. This means that my babies have a little less room when they are close to term. This makes it harder for them to turn around, leading to being breech.

Two weeks later, Moozles was born by elective c-section on the 22nd April at St. Thomas' Hospital in London (the first pic below is a bit bloody, be warned). No, I did not go into labour. But I still gave birth. And I became a mother that day. After I recovered from my c-section, I started going to baby groups and meeting other new mums. And the shame returned when I told other mums that I had had a c-section. I did not read blogs back then. I didn't have any irreverent mummy blogs who I could turn to, who could tell me that c-sections did not make me less of a mother. It took some time before I grew to accept my situation.

There is no longer any sadness or shame. Time has that effect. I can look back and just be grateful that my daughter had a stress-free arrival into the world.

The Shame of a C-Section The Shame of a C-Section The Shame of a C-Section The Shame of a C-Section

Happy birthday to my sweet little girl. xx




First there came a struggle over the sippy cup, then came the shaking, followed by shouting. Next the throwing of a lidless sippy cup. Milk was all over the dining room floor. It had even splashed onto my son and his hat. But the anger did not subside with the mess that I had made. I was so angry that I couldn't see straight. I took my son's much-beloved trilby and threw it in the bin. Dubz ran off crying. I picked up a tea towel and began wiping up the milk from the floor. My daughter quietly ate her dinner at the table.

After wiping up the milk, I was still shaking. I took a few deep breaths and I picked the hat out of the bin and gave it a wipe. I then took it to Dubz and we hugged. I felt mildly guilty for behaving in such a foul way. But it was almost the end of the Easter holidays and I was beyond tired. My daughter had been up early waking up our entire household most morning of the two week break. Both children would spend the dinner-hour tired and grumpy. Most days I could handle it. Most days I was able to remember that I am the adult. I am the only person, while Husband is at work, with control over their faculties.

But that day. That day I lost it. I am glad that I could not see how I behaved. I am glad that there were no hidden cameras. I was childish and petty and quite horrid. But I am only human. I get tired. I get grumpy. But this is not an excuse. I shouldn't shout at my children. I don't like shouting at them. It makes them feel frightened. It sets a bad example for how they should behave. Some people may read this and think that I don't deserve to be a parent. But we all have bad days. And sometimes we can hide in another room and have a cry. And sometimes we can go for a run or workout at the gym. Sometimes we can hide in the kitchen cabinet and sneak some chocolate. Sometimes we pop open some wine or crack open the gin. And sometimes, sometimes, we have a mummy meltdown.

the mummy meltdown


* Please note that the above pic is a re-creation of how I felt that day. I could not quite capture the sadness and anger I felt.


And then the fun began...


Friends at the farm

Moozles and Dubz are becoming proper friends. Rather than just playing next to one another, they are playing together and having proper little chats. And although they sometimes fight, as all siblings do, they take care of one another. They are always sitting next to each other, holding hands and hugging.

Today we had a marvelous day at Godstone Farm in Surrey. We had never been before, so I was excited when Not On The High Street invited us for an event for their free Storytime Sounds app. I will blog about this another time, but I wanted to share this picture. This was one of the first photos I took of the day and it is one of my favourites. Dubz was thrilled to see scarecrows. And Moozles loves posing on a bench. And hugging. Oh, the sweet hugging!




Travelling Without the KidsWhat was your last experience like flying with your child(ren)? Like me, do your last memories on an airplane include a grumpy toddler who wouldn't sleep during the entire 10-hour flight? And who thencomplained that headphones made her ears too hot but she still wanted to watch movies? And because you were almost in your third trimester of your second pregnancy, you were so tired that you passed out, leaving said toddler to bitch-slap your partner because she was losing her mind? And when you arrived at the airport, your child started to hysterically scream 'fire, fire' for some unknown reason? Needless to say, I haven't been on an airplane since. That was three years ago.

Do you remember going on a long-haul flight and watching loads of films and taking lots of naps? And dipping into your book whenever you feel like it? And going to the loo infrequently because you didn't want to miss the end of the romcom you were watching? Well, my friends, that will be me in about eight days. Next Saturday I am flying to Florida to visit my family for my grandmother's 100th birthday party. Alone. Without Husband. Without the kids.

So think of me next weekend. Flying alone. With some magazines, my new Kobo Glo HD e-Reader and yummy snacks that my children aren't allowed to eat. I will watch movies and take naps. I will travel the way that travelling was meant to be. Without the kids.




Photo credit: Liane Metzler




Fit By 40 April Update

My diet continues. Or rather, my healthy living regime. Diet always sounds like I should be eating celery sticks and air for dinner. Anyway, I began my new healthy lifestyle on the 2nd March, determined to lose three stone of baby weight in time for my 40th birthday in August.

The food aspect of my new lifestyle has been the most important part of losing weight so far. I have always had a sweet tooth. Couple that with Husband's love of sugar, and we were eating chocolate bars and lovely puddings every night after a filling dinner. But I have cut out the sugar, and dairy, and gluten. I eat eggs every day. I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. I don't eat chocolate.

And I drink several cups of green tea. I have given up my usual, and much beloved, English breakfast tea with milk. I thought it would be difficult to give up as I was used to having four or five cups of tea a day. But it has been fine. I think drinking tea was making me crave biscuits and cakes. Maybe it's the dairy. Whatever it is, I am happy drinking green tea and not eating biscuits.

A typical day looks like this:

Breakfast: Cup of Earl Grey  and Banana
Mid-morning Snack: Three eggs of some variety - scrambled or hard-boiled are my favourite.
Lunch : Salad or leftover from the previous night's dinner.
Afternoon snack: Fruit or nuts, or both.
Dinner: Meat and vegetables. Once a week I have gluten-free noodles or rice.
After dinner snack: Peppermint tea. Sometimes another banana if I'm desperate for a sugar fix.

I used to skip breakfast on school days, or wait until 10am/11am, but that is not good for one's metabolism. Having the banana helps keep me going until after the school run(s), and I can enjoy a leisurely mid-morning meal. And as I am eating quite often, I am never starving and having to resort to pastries or cake when I'm out running errands.

Once a week I let myself indulge in wheat and/or sugar for a couple of meals. I had some chocolate over Easter but I did not enjoy it like I used to. I feel like my taste buds have changed a bit. Plus my appetite has decreased. I was quite hungry the first couple of weeks, but then my body got used to a normal amount of calories. I reckon that I must have been consuming close to 2,500 calories a day.

If you read my March update, you will have noted that I had lost seven pounds in my first 2 1/2 weeks. I put that down to a sudden calorie-drop an expected it to slow down. One and a half months on and I am quite pleased with the results so far. I have lost one stone (have gone from exactly 15 stone to 14 stone). I have seen a difference in the way my clothes are fitting, which is nice. But better than that, I am sleeping better. And I am not bloated all the time. So I cannot let myself get complacent. I have four months to go and two stone left to lose.

Fit By 40 April Update
Scrambled Eggs on Bed of Spinach
Fit By 40 April Update
Hot Chicken Salad
Fit By 40 April Update
Salad with Courgettes Battered in Cornflour
Fit By 40 April Update
Pork Medallions and Sauteed Courgettes
Fit By 40 April Update
Lamb steaks, Spinach and Cornflour-battered Courgettes




The Musing Housewife




The Eczema Continues

My regular readers will know that Dubz was in the hospital recently for a severe asthma attack. And his eczema is playing up again too. Asthma and eczema apparently go hand in hand. Normally eczema flare-ups are gone in our house from April til September, but I currently need to moisturise Dubz about four or five times a day. As I have been dealing with eczema with years, I have many tips on handling it.

Luckily, Dubz loves having his Aveeno cream rubbed onto his back and arms. At almost three, he understands that it makes him feel better and less itchy. But 43% of mums find that their children don't understand why they need cream every day. That is why Aveeno have released e-books to help kids. They have just released the second book in The Dry-ventures of Ellie & Eddie. Even on holidays or when we're going on adventures, we still need to keep using cream to keep eczema at bay. Moozles and Dubz really enjoyed reading Happy Skin Holidays, especially the catchy song. Dubz keeps singing 'put on some cream', and so I do.

Head on over to Aveeno to download the newest e-book (and the first one if you don't already have it), and you can also request a free sample of Aveeno.

The Eczema Continues The Eczema Continues


We were sent a copy of 'Happy Skin Holidays' and some Aveeno products for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.