A weekend in Liverpool

A weekend in Liverpool

Another one of my best friends turned 40 this week and we celebrated by whisking her away on a suprise weekend to Liverpool. Rosie is from Ireland, and when her lovely sister (who still lives over there)  contacted me about doing something special I couldn’t have been more up for it. I cant take any of the credit for this weekend. I was pregnant while it was being organised and while my intention was to take on the organisation with Jennifer,  I let the side down. Luckily, Jenny did an amazing job,  dispite my total lack of cobtribution!

I told Rosie that I was taking her away for a couple of nights, just me and her. I picked her up in an Uber (my first Uber experience, and it was amazing).  The cab dropped us to East Croydon where we jumped on the train to London Euston via Victoria.

I loved every minute of that train journey.   Watching her face, totally clueless and out of control. Rosie is the ‘ mum’ of our group,  always looking after us and making sure we are OK.   It was really strange seeing her reaction, having to rely completly on me (I’m not sure she enjoyed that part of the weekend! 😂) At every stop I would grab my bag and tell her ‘this is it ‘, I would watch her get up, get to the door and then tell her I was joking! She wasn’t impressed but I found it hilarious! Once we were at Euston I suggested we grab some breakie at All Bar One…little did she know…. Rosie was greeted by three more of our girlfriends, sitting there, ready with coffees and cocktails… shouting suprise!!!

Rosie was in tears, totally overwhelmed,  but it was amazing seeing her register just how much she is loved by us all. FYI All Bar One do some seriously yummy breakfasts!

Over breakfast we gave her some clues to guess where we were taking her:

The biggest boy band ever were from there…… She had no idea
There are lots of Irish people there…. Nope
It had an ‘e’ in it… Huh?
Brookside was based there…. LIVERPOOL!!

We jumped on the train, opened a bottle of prosecco and had one of the best girls chats I’ve ever had.
During that two hours we talked about everything from relationships, bladder control,  sex and laughed from start to finish.

The poor fella sitting next to us was pre warned when he sat down that he was in for a special journey and if he embarrases easily he should probably think twice about sitting there. I did offer him a drink to calm his nerves! When we got to Liverpool we headed straight to the hotel.


The Shankley Hotel was a great base for a girls weekend.  It is right in the middle of town.  A 5 minutes walk to the station and even less to the shops,  restaurants and bars. The hotel is lovely,  decor is fabulous with glamour being at its heart and the rooms are great. The main room had six double beds in it and a kitchen area. I’m even thinking about going back with the kids as there are not many hotel rooms that can comfortably fit all of us in. When we entered the room it was beautifully decorated (by the Irish girls who were hiding in the toilet).  They had left out champagne,  chocolates and strawberries. When Rosie walked into the room two of her sisters and her best friend from Ireland ran out of the bathroom! This triggered another flow of tears and a few ‘c u next Tuesdays’ muttered at us.

She was blown away,  she hasn’t made it home to see her family this year and I know she was missing them terribly. For them to fly over and organise this weekend was a perfect present. The package we booked worked out at £230 each for eight of us (that includes splitting Rosies costs between us). That included the hotel, a cocktail making class, dinner on the Saturday night,  a choice of either make up or hair to be done and Afternoon Tea. The train from Euston to Liverpool Line Street was £85 return. 

On the Friday, after we had finished the introductions (this was the first time in 20 years that rosies London friends meet her Irish girls) we headed off for out cocktail making classat The Art House. It was like going back to Playa de las Americas when I was 17,  downing dirty ouzo shots! It was a real giggle though and the girl that took the class was lovely.  Also, nothing breaks the ice like slut dropping and making cocktails. From there we headed to Concert Square and enjoyed a few more drinks and  Shisha. The next morning the sun was at full force and with the temperature soaring we were determined to enjoy brunch and an espresso martini by the water. We took a cab (£2.30!) to Albert Dock and had some coffee and cocktails at Panam. We discovered during the weekend that Londons shopping experience had serious competition. Liverpool has all the shops you could possibly wish for,  all within an easy walk between eachother. I would love to go back again just for a shopping weekend!

While in John Lewis Katie had a Charlotte Tilbury make over which resulted in some yummy purchases. We headed back to the hotel for about 5 to have our hair and make up done, ready for the night ahead. I opted to have my hair done.   I love doing my own make up and am very particular about how I have it.  Also, I am low maintainence with my hair so if someone else can glam it up then it is a no brainer! Given the scorching weather we headed up to have a drink on the roof top bar before dinner (all at The Shankley Hotel).  Watching the half cut girls dancing in the sun kicked the night off perfectly!

Our first night was fun but fairly quiet given we were all mums, and away from the kids for the weekend. It was also quite ‘studenty’ at concert square. I’m not knocking that but we like a bit of sophistication in our older age (early night anyway) so we really wanted to find the area you could go to and have a cocktail made with proper spirits and not sugar and tequila!  😂

I asked around during the day and it turned out our hotel was on the road  where all the best bars are! After our dinner at the hotel we headed to  The Alchemist Cocktail Bar on Brunswick Street. The cocktails were out of this world and  the atmosphere was great but it was a bit of an arse-ache waiting around at the bar to order our next round.   That could be out fault for sinking each cocktail so quickly. We had cocktails there that bubbled, steamed and even ones that come with syringes of shots!

If you like Cocktails I would definatly recommend this bar. The night carried on in a bar down the road where we partied till the early hours. The difference with partying in your 30’s is rather than passing out in bed with a full face of make up and glass of wine next to your bed, we got back,  made a coffee, took our make up off, and at 3am we were putting Philip Kingsley hair masks on! We kicked our last day off with a perfect post party breakfast at Barley and Beans.  I don’t know if it’s because we were so hungry but it was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had! I went for their granola bowl and bacon and eggs.  The other girls had full English and eggs beniddict.  As you can see from the picture, we had an amazing pile of Nutella pancakes for dessert 🍰

After a some more shopping we went back to the hotel for Afternoon Tea and a de briefing of the weekend before we said our goodbyes and headed to the station for our train back home. I had a great weekend! After having Arthur I really needed a bit of child free time to myself. I’m home, refreshed and ready to tackle (literally) the kids. I met lovely new friends, caught up with old friends,  partied, relaxed,  shopped and laughed. I laughed so much and realised how lucky I am to have such wonderful girlfriends who I love with all my heart 😘

My Mumcation

My Mumcation

Psychologists have suggested that mothers should take holidays with friends, not family – and this includes leaving the children behind. Experts are urging tired mothers to go on “mum-cations”, holidays without their offspring, to take a proper break.‘ With this in mind, me and three of my closest girlfriends booked a ‘mumcation’ to Vilamoura for a few days in October. A few people asked me if the weather was going to be any good in Portugal that time if year, as if we were crazy not to follow the blazing sun. These people had totally missed the point of a mumcation. Of corse good weather would be preferable, but honestly, if i could go to the toilet on my own, sleep without someones foot digging in my boobs and sit down by a pool without worrying who is going to drown/get abducted or piss off fellow vacationers, I would be a happy girl. This weekend was more than a girls weekend, It was therapy and It gave me a chance to really relax and unwind. When you become a mum your life revolves around these little people (rightly so), but we all need to keep our individual identity and take time out for ourselves, it is a huge factor to how I cope as a mum. Whether it is a night out with Mike, drinks with the girls or a shopping trip entirely on my own, it is my time out. It is my chance to clear my head of football training, horse riding, boxing, school pick up, kids parties, laundry, dinner etc and focus on me. The morning we left I felt a complete mixture of emotions. I have been away on my own before, but not abroad since our two youngest have been born. Let me picture the morning I left for Portugal for you….. ‘George, Arthur, come here, give me a kiss, I am going to miss you so much’ *GEORGE EMPTIES BUCKET OF LEGO ON MY BEDROOM CARPET* ‘FFS George!!! This is why i need a break’ ‘George I am sorry, come here and give me a kiss’ *ARTHUR POURS THE CONTENTS OF MY COLD COFFEE OVER MY BED* ……..’Rosie, how long are you going to be? I know the flight is in 8 hours but we dont want to risk missing it’ From the moment Rosie picked me up to when she dropped me back to my door four days later, I did not stop laughing! We talked about everything, nothing was off the table. We talked about our kids, our partners and our friends, we discussed designer vaginas, sex and how to make a Wood pigeon call with your tounge. We did eachothers make up and hair and shared eachothers clothes. We people watched and ate great food (without a high chair or childrens menu in sight!) We shared secrets and drank, we drank lots! We danced every night until the early hours and the one day the weather was bit ‘meh’ we found a great shopping mall and we shopped. I picked up a couple of treats for the kids snd a little something for me…. (do you like my new boots?) I managed to read a whole book! From start to finish, in one weekend. If you don’t have kids, this may seem ridiculous, if you do you kids, well, you know. Guess what else I did? And I haven’t done this since I was about 21….. I had an afternoon nap! A siesta if you will. Not because I had just given birth or because I dozed off breast feeding a baby, but because I consciously chose to! Another thing. I have never enjoyed a hangover so much. Knowing you can eat, drink and sleep your way through it without having to make food for little ones, read stories and change nappies makes a hangover so much easier to bear. I can only describe the weekend as Bad Moms meets The Hangover with a drizzle of bridesmaids. It was bliss…utter bliss and I owe my girls so much for being the perfect friends. Their laid back natures ment there were no tantrums, no arguments and by the time we were due to come home I felt so ready to see Mike and the kids and be ‘mum’ again. I urge you to try it! Book something up! It doesnt have to expensive, it doesnt have to be abroad. A weekend in Portugal cost us £250 each (plus spending money). Easyjet flights were £150 return from Gatwick to Faro and our apartment at The Dom Pedro Portobelo was right on the marina where all the bars and restaurants are. It comfortably accomodated the four of us and cost £100 each for the four nights. I asked some fellow mum blogger what their opinionon ‘Mumcations’ is, here is what they had to say: Rebecca at www.beccablogsitout.com I haven’t had one and I’m.not sure I could. I’d love to, in theory. I could definitely use a break. But I think I’d feel too guilty if I went away for more than a day without the twins. I think I’d miss them. Jenna at www.thentherewerethree.uk ‘I’ve had some! I met an amazing bunch of ladies on a birth group on Facebook and we arrange a couple of weekend breaks a year. We’ve booked a farmhouse in north wales, various city stays and are going to see the Spice Girls next year. I definitely think they’re needed.’ Francessca at https://frompenniestopounds.com ‘I’ve been on hen do’s and also my honeymoon without my daughter. With the honeymoon we went to Mexico which you can’t just pop over for, but I said I would not go for longer than 10 days. I missed her but she had a great time with her grandparents. I was never close to my grandparents so I’m happy for her to spend time with them. I think it’s healthy for both you and the kids. I always take my daughter away every year now though since splitting up with my ex-husband.’ Gail at www.yammymommy.co.uk ‘Still can’t do more than a night away from my 4 year old. I think we would both struggle after 24 hours!’ Victoria at www.travelvixta.com ‘I haven’t yet, but I think in a couple of years once my youngest is at school then I’d love to go on a yoga retreat by myself! They look like bliss and even now with a 6 year old and 3 year old I feel like I could really do with some time to myself and a break for a few days to a retreat!’

Our day at Godstone Farm

Our day at Godstone Farm

I have been visiting Godstone farm since I was Georges age. Over the years it has just got better and better, whilst keeping hold of it orginal charm that makes me so nostalgic. So last week, I made the brave decision to take ALL my children for a visit. Even though we live on a farm, there is nothing like a day out at Godstone Farm.  We are so fortunate that it is just fifteen minutes from us. Considering it was the middle of the summer holidays, it was relatively quiet, which helped me stay sane. The farm is divided into areas that makes it easy to explore. They have all the animals you would hope to see on a farm.  Horses, donkeys, pigs, goats, llama and cows. They have a wonderful selection of birds and smaller animals. Chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks, rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs aswell as a few reptiles. Activities are ran throughout the day such as animal talks and feedings. Have you ever watched Pig and feret racing?  The kids loved it! I had to giggle when the boys announced, on seeing the piglets… ‘Look mum, this pig has more babies than you!’ -yep, she looks in better shape to! Always a magical part of the day is the barn where you can hold the babies and small animals. They have baby chicks of different ages, rabbits and tortoises. Aswell as making sure no little darlings throw the chicks across the barn, Godstone farm employees are on hand to answer any questions the kids have. My kids loved this area, particularly George. Lets talk about the outdoor play area that gets even the adult visitors excited. The playground alone is worth the enterance fee. (How amazing is this swing!?) It has everything from zip wires and large slides for the older kids (and adults), to a sand pit, climbing frames and ride-ons for the younger ones. It is perfect to plot up and have a picnic, but, if like me you are not that organised, they have a sandwhich hut serving coffee, tea, cold drinks and ice cream. We spent about two hours here, and I still had to drag the kids away kicking and screaming! If the weather is bad, There are also two covered play areas. One is a huge soft play area set up in one of the large barns.  The other area is smaller with a climbing area and slide, set up for younger children After wearing George out in the play area we headed to the Dino Trail. Dotted around a path, and looking over the llamas, at the bottom of the farm are large model dinosaurs.  Each one is accompanied with facts on the animal. With a toddler and an eight year old obsessed with dinosaurs, this was a great suprise! Who knew that a baby T-Rex could have been born with feathers? We ended our day in the large sandpit for younger children with a portion of chips and an ice cream. I spent most of my time here wrestling George as he tried to take every tractor toy in the sandpit away from the other tots.  Always making time for a trip to the shop, the boys bought some water toys to play in the sun. Apart from all the activities, I was impressed with the general appearence of the farm. The landscaping is beautiful, the facilities were clean and there were plenty of hand washing points. We had a great day at Godstone Farm.  As always, it provided a fun and educational day outdoors, enjoying the great British summer. For more information, please visit http://godstonefarm.co.uk/ *I recieved free tickets in return for this review. However, as always, all my opinions are entirely honest and without biased.

An idea for the summer holidays – Reigate, Surrey

An idea for the summer holidays - Reigate, Surrey

Mikey has had rehursals for his summer show in Reigate over the last 5 weeks so I feel like I’m really getting to know the town well. I worked in Reigate years ago but never appreciated what it had to offer, but then  I did spend all my free time in the pubs! We have spent a few lovely evenings at Priory Park, enjoying the warm summer nights while the kids play in the fabulous playground. Libby didn’t leave the zip wire, Charlie was king of the pirate ship and the twins were having a water fight (when they weren’t hunting for pokamons). The park is so beautifully kept with perfectly manicured flowers, paths perfect for bike riding, a lake, tennis courts and skateboarding ramp. It’s has the feel of a Royal garden but without the hassle and bustle of London. We have also given some of the restaurants a go….. It’s hardwork but there has been no time to cook! 😜 Charlies favourite place to eat is The Giggling Squid, a Thai restaurant with a modern feel. The food is stunning and I recommend the Green Thai Curry, Thai Beef Salad and Pad Thai noodles. Charlies favourites are the pork dumplings and the paid Thai are a guaranteed win for my lot. www.gigglingsquid.com We have also taken the kids to Bills which has a fabulous little courtyard garden. The menu has something for everyone from Seabass, Burgers, Grilled paprika chicken and Salads. The kids menu is very reasonable and the decor is great. https://bills-website.co.uk Reigate also has Pizza Express, Cafe Rouge, Carluccios, Cotes and lots more lovely places to eat…. I’m working my way round! So if you find yourself at a loose end over the summer,  take a visit to Reigate,you won’t be disappointed.

Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum

​Thanks to the teachers strike (with you all the way!) I got an extra day of quality time with the twins. They are studying World War 2 this year and, as it is also my favourite period in history we decided to take a trip to the Imperial War Museum near Waterloo. A nice day out without spending too much money (entry into the museum is free) I find it easier when I have George with me to drive up to London. It just means after a long day the kids can lay back and relax in the way home. The only problem I ever have with driving to town is the parking…… Not anymore! The last couple of trips I have used www.justpark.com Before I leave I put into the website the destination postcode and it throws up the nearest car park. You pre pay on the website and just turn up! On this trip I parked 10 minutes from the museum and it cost £11 all day! The museum was as fantastic now as I remember from when I was their age. We learnt about what it was like to live through WW2 through the eyes of a South London family. The boys found it really helped them to relate to the Allpress’, comparing members of their family to ours (they also had a big family!) Looking at rationing, evacuation, the blitz and all the propaganda, we took it all in and enjoyed every minute. It gave the three of us an overwhelming feeling of pride and patriotism that our previous generations went through this for us. ‘ we gave up our today’s for your tomorrow’s’ Harrison wouldnt even have his picture taken with a swastika in the background. As for the haulacaust exhibition, I could hardly bare it. Explaining it to the boys and hearing some of the stories was truly horrific. It is the first time I feel like my children really felt grateful for what they have and their life. The museum facilities are great to, plenty of lifts to access the diffetent exhibitions, toilets, baby changing, coffee shops etc. I was gutted we had a big breakfast before we got there. The restaurant food looked absolutely amazing, pizzas, seabass, salads, marinated chicken aswell as a huge range of pastries and cakes! I’ll save that for my next visit!

Rosies Coffee Lounge, Lingfield

Rosies Coffee Lounge, Lingfield

Today I found what might be one of my favourite places as a mum of a toddler and a baby! I have to share this little gem with you because I have been waiting over 10 years to find somewhere like this! Rosies Coffee Lounge in Lingfield is every parents Haven. The front of the shop is set out like a usual coffee lounge with a lovely vintage theme and on arrival you wouldn’t necessarily expect much more than a great breakfast and cup of tea. It is the back of the shop that left my speechless, I can only describe It like a mums ‘speak easy’ coffee shop. At the side of the coffee Lounge is a babygate that leads into a lovely ‘play room’ full of dressing up clothes and toy boxes. On the other side of this lovely room is a fantastic, covered, outdoor area with tables and chairs and a contained soft play area for babies and toddlers. Perfect for a rainy day, you can sit and catch up with friends or just enjoy some time indulging a coffee and slice of cake while the little ones crack on and play. Rosies offers even more to us parents on a sunny day with a gorgeous outdoor garden. Completly covered in fake grass it feels a little like being in teletubby land. They have ride on toys, benches, bouncy castle and lots more to keep the children entertained. I honestly couldnt find fault in this wonderful place. The decor is quaint, cosy and vintage which makes chilling in their garden all the more relaxing. Baby gates and fencing everywhere means there is no way of children escaping which takes the anxiety out of enjoying your cuppa. When i normally take George out for coffee with the girls i’m forever having to wrestle him into staying in a high chair, chasing him round like a lunatic before he starts stealing food from an unassuming diners plate or running out the front door. If I am lucky enough for him to sit still he is usually screaming like something out of the exorcist for a biscuit, that once I give him, he chews and spits back out 😣 The toys, grass and equipment at Rosies are spotless which I am completly in awe of as I have never found a kids space that I am happy to walk around without my shoes on. If there was a coffee themed Masterchef, my friend Rosie and I would be the Greg and John and with our vast experience I can tell you Rosies Coffee Lounge capuchinno is one of the best we’ve had. The jackets potatoes and breakfasts were great too. On top of all this, the staff were so wonderful, welcoming and patient with the children (and parents) it made the whole atmosphere even more enjoyable. Rosies also offer children’s party packages and events. Take a look at their website for more information. https://www.rosiescoffeelounge.com I should add, don’t be put off of you have no children. As I mentioned earlier, the font of the shop is a great area and when I was there, not a child in sight! It’s important, given my glowing review that you know I did not recieve anything in return for this review. In fact, I went ‘secret shopper’ style and didn’t even mention Modern Mum to them. So, if you want to find me between the hours of 9-2 this is probably where I will be plotted up with Rosie, my laptop, a copy of OK or If I’m feeling like a particularly good mum, I might even be playing with my children 😉 Let me know if you take a trip down there and what you think and tell them I said hi 🤗 Peace Out.

Fighting for Eva, fighting DIPG

Fighting for Eva, fighting DIPG

Friends of our family were given some news a couple of months ago that ripped their world apart. Their five year old daughter, Eva has been diagnosed with DIPG, a rare form of  cancer. Her brain tumour is inoperable given the lack of research the treatments are limited. As a mum to a five year old girl myself my heart instantly broke for them all. I can not even begin to imagine how they begin to digest and deal with this but I have been following their story through their Facebook page and they are truly inspiring. Funding and awareness is what this condition desperately needs.  Please take time to read through this blog and share on all your social platforms,Twitter,  emails,  Facebook, Instagram. Share it for a little girl, to help her and her family fight and find a cure for her and all the other children affected by DIPG. This is a piece written by Eva’s daddy ‘What is DIPG like for the parents? All the stuff you might imagine, we are heartbroken, crushed, angry, scared, sometimes despondent, sometimes highly focused. All of these things mashed together fighting for dominance. With all these emotions, I feel I can only show one face to the world, the one where we are highly focused in fighting for Eva’s life. Back in April Eva’s MRI scan revealed she had a tumour, but at that time we had no idea what exactly we were dealing with. A few dark days followed where Eva’s condition detreated to the point she could no longer swallow her food. She lay in bed and watched TV unable to do anything unaided. As a parent, I found this the most difficult stage so far. She was scanned on a Thursday and we couldn’t get transferred from the local hospital to Royal Marsden until the following Monday, because NHS essentially closes down on the weekend. Three long days later Eva was transferred to RMH she travelled with Mum in an ambulance and I drove down to meet our consultant and hear the prognosis. In retrospect, I think I knew on some level the severity of the tumour. It had been written all over the doctor and nurses faces at Margate hospital. Everyone we dealt with was careful not to give us too much information, or hope. The first time I heard the words Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) was in our consultant’s office at Royal Marsden on Monday 18th April 2016. It took a few days for it to properly sink in, but those words are essentially the worst words you could hope to hear in our position. DIPG is incurable. DIPG is inoperable. DIPG has a survival rate of 0 to 1%. Worse, of those 0 to 1% some cases may have been misdiagnosed. Why? Because DIPG is not routinely biopsied like every other type of tumour. Why? Because thirty odd years ago someone decided an MRI scan was enough to diagnose DIPG, and biopsy was an unnecessary risk. So while every other brain cancer has live samples stored in databanks across the world, and used for decades by researchers to study towards a cure, DIPG was forgotten. That is until a few years ago when French researchers decided to start taking tissue samples from DIPG patents. This has consequently opened up exciting new opportunities for DIPG research. They have finally identified a genetic trend that follows in the majority of tumours, particularly in ‘typical’ cases of the average age group of DIPG patients. That’s great, right? Not quite. DIPG is still far behind other cancer treatments, not only because of the lack of knowledge, but due primarily to the lack of funding. DIPG is ultra-rare, but there are still thirty to forty children diagnosed each year in UK. Over three-hundred children in US. It makes me sad that the public get so aroused by stories about a kid that falls into a Gorilla pen, and God forbid, the zoo keepers shoot the Gorilla. Yes it is sensational, but if the public care so much about the death of a Gorilla, or the safety of Zoos in general, why aren’t they just as passionate about our children dying each year, consistently, from a disease that could potentially be cured? What would happen if forty kids a year were killed by terrorism in UK? I suspect the public would be very aware, and I think the government would try very hard to stop it. DIPG is perhaps not as newsworthy, but the end result is the same. Rather than a quick explosion, DIPG children slowly lose control of their bodies. Their minds completely unaffected, still alive and bright, trapped inside a body that shuts down until they are paralysed inside themselves, until their brain can no longer control breathing. Then they die. And this happens again, and again, and again. During our first meeting, our consultant explained in black and white what it meant to have DIPG. He was very careful not to offer us hope. Radiotherapy is the standard treatment. It’s palliative, and gives maybe an extra three months. In our case, it transformed Eva from a shell of her old self, back into the girl we remembered. We are a few weeks on from radiotherapy now, and still a week away from her second MRI scan and we have our daughter back. Our consultant explained that most cases will relapse a few months after radiotherapy. So what now? Well, most people like to reassure me that “miracles do happen,” or ”focus on the survival rate.” Fantastic advice, which I respond to in the following way. You take off on a flight, sitting to your right is your wife, to your left your three children eagerly anticipating their holiday. The aeroplane reaches cruising altitude at 30,000 feet and you hear an urgent beep from the tannoy. The captain’s voice washes over the cabin, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m afraid we have a technical problem. The engines have failed and there’s a 99% to 100% chance we will crash into the Atlantic ocean. Sorry for the inconvenience.” I’d like to ask the “miracles do happen” people, and the “focus of the survival rate” people, if in the above situation they would sit back and watch a film content they were in that 0% to 1% bracket, or would they ponder their impending doom? Yes, miracles do happen, I’m sure, but people need to understand that in this kind of situation you need to mentally prepare yourself for the terrible, unthinkable, heart-breaking, yet most likely outcome. Even if it makes for an awkward conversation, as a parent I simply don’t have the luxury of wishful thinking. In addition to our RMH appointments, my wife and I reached out for a second opinion. Not because we don’t have faith in our consultant, but because we have no medical training and therefore need to hear multiple expert opinions and compare against each other. And whether we want to believe it or not, medical research is still a business, and business is inevitably surrounded by ego, politics, and IP protection / publication races. So where does this leave us? We are left with few options. As DIPG parents it is up to us to research available options. To fight to get our child into the right treatment or trial. It’s up to us to raise funds to pay for these treatments, or to use to fund research that might just be the breakthrough Eva needs. As DIPG parents, we are in the unique position that our consultants can’t direct us to a “proven” treatment. We are left to navigate the minefield of social media and sift through the opinions (often dressed up as facts) of untrained parents and advocates of certain treatments. The hard fact is that no treatment or trail is currently offering proven benefits over any other. Some treatments are better promoted than others for sure, some fall completely under the radar. What way do we turn? After considerable debate, we decided to ask for a referral for CED treatment in Bristol. This was due to the fact it’s only a couple of hours drive from us, and there is anecdotal evidence that some children are responding well to treatment. After the mandatory losing of the referral (something that’s happened on every single referral we’ve had since GP diagnosis – chasing referrals is part and parcel of the job), we finally heard back from Bristol and they are over capacity. Unfortunately, this brings us back to my earlier point. DIPG is massively underfunded, so even if your child is incredibly unlucky and has this ultra-rare children’s disease, the chances are you will not get her into your treatment/trial of choice. Fucked up, right? Welcome to our world.’ Please spread the word,  sign the petition and donate whatever you can. Cancer isn’t picky, it chooses at random,  do this for Eva and for all the children that DIPG is attacking, and all the children it might pick next. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131556 https://gofundme.com/eva-sangels https://m.facebook.com/groups/105266339893351?tsid=0.27571345839086847&source=typeahead  *Since this was written little Eva passed away just before Easter. Instead of celebrating her sixth birthday with cake and a party, Evas parents were visiting her grave. Since writing this I have discovered how many children are cursed by this awful disease. 17th May is #DIPG go gold and grey… Please wear gold and grey to help raise awareness of this awful cancer that is stealing our children. REMEMBERING EVA, RIP ANGEL

Mummy Times Two  

Mummy Times Two “> Mummy Times Two Linkys from the heart

Do kids see race?

Do kids see race

Barack Obama tweeted recently ‘No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion……’ I am starting to wonder if, as well as pure ignorance, has political correctness contributed to Racism. Obama is right, so at what age do you start noticing and worrying about racism? My ten and eight year old sons were sitting in the back of the car with a friend of theirs who is mixed race. Amongst the shouting and laughing coming from the back seat, I heard one of my sons say ‘you’re so black…..you….’ He couldn’t finish because I hit my brakes, pulled over and totally lost my head.  I started going into a rant about how I hadn’t brought him up to say things like that. Before I could finish his friend stopped me. ‘Kate, we were just roasting each other! I just said to Harri, you’re so white, you must be invisible when its snows’ I laughed! and I was so relieved. But It made me sit back and think, Am I creating issues about colour that the kids don’t even see. My kids aren’t racist, not even slightly, so why did I go so mad when I heard him say that? Because, to make reference someone’s skin colour in a negative way is racist.  But,  Is it only racist if that person takes offence? As their mum,  it’s my job to make sure they are brought knowing what is right and wrong. I remember when Charlie was at nursery, he had the most wonderful teacher, Mrs Patel.  One day she pulled me to one side to say that another teacher had asked Charlie what he wanted to do.  He asked if the ‘chocolate’ lady could read him another story. I WAS MORTIFIED.  I couldn’t apologise enough. Mrs Patel hadn’t told me out of disappointment.  She thought it was the most wonderful thing she had ever heard! This little three year old was just describing her as best he could and she was nothing but flattered that he enjoyed her reading to him. The Political Correctness that has been bashed into me over the years had almost convinced me that my little boy was showing racist traits at three years old! Right now, my kids see past skin colour, and I’m not going to change that Back to Obamas Tweet……..how cute is George and his fiend Si-si….. What are your thoughts? X

10 things I love vs 10 things I hate about pregnancy  

10 things I love vs 10 things I hate about pregnancy  

I am linking up today with Parent Blogs Elite Linky #1 with Jenny at www.midwifeandlife.com Because I have spent nearly four of the last ten years pregnant people assume I must love it. It’s not so much about loving it as trying to embrace it and making the most of it.   It is after all a blessing. Having said that,  like everyone I know all to well it’s good and bad points…. I have noted a few below: LOVE 💗:

1) Obvs being able to eat tonnes of chocolate without feeling guilty and weighing myself 10 minutes later.

2) Not going out, You always have the perfect excuse to blow someone out! Yes I am saying that!  There are times when you are pregnant when no excuse is needed…. You just don’t fancy it!

3) No 2, same rules apply for the bedroom 😜 

4) No hangovers, it’s rubbish watching other people get trollied without you but something empowering about being the only sober one, mentally noting all the Sh#t everyone is talking.

5) Those lovely little kicks that remind you something so special is happening inside you.

6) Planning for your new arrival, preparing the nursery, collecting and washing new baby clothes and enjoying the serene room you have created before your little bundle of pooping and crying joy arrives to cause carnage.

7) Not having to explain yourself if you decide to take an afternoon nap or go to bed at 5.30pm.  That NEVER happens to me with five children but you first time mums know what I’m talking about! 

8) The waddle….come on,  this should go in ‘Hates’ but you can use it to your advantage.  If exaggerated just right you can pretty much get anyone to do anything you want.   eg, I might offer… ‘ would you like a cup of tea guy’s’ ‘oh lovely,  thanks ‘ (cue me, struggling to get up out of my seat followed by a pro-waddle for a few steps, stop,take a deep breath……) ‘kate, sit back down hun,  I’ll do it ‘ ‘are you sure,  I don’t mind ‘😜 …waddle back a bit quicker to my seat 😂

9) Playing the labour game with your other half and friends. After about 35 weeks, every now and then, let out a quick loud ‘labour’ groan. Their faces are priceless! Mike never fails to jump 5 foot in the air and scream ‘what,what, is this it!? ‘ 😂😂….. ‘oh, no, false alarm  While you’re up babe could you do me a cuppa and a cheese and ham toastie, cheers ‘ 😉 

10) The closeness it brings us as a family.   I love laying on the sofa with Libby’s head on my tummy,  the boys asking if the baby and I are OK and talking about all the exciting things that are going to happen over the next few weeks.

Hate: 😣 1) Putting on weight so quickly you forgot what you look like pre baby making. Pregnancy brings a whole new meaning to ‘i don’t have anything to wear ‘. Unless I want to spend £100’s on maternity clothes that make me look like pat butcher! Jeggings, leggings,  baggy jumpers and t shirts is my wardrobe for 9 months. My mother in law owns a lingerie shop and her first words to me as soon as we announce we are pregnant is ‘ your not wearing an underwire are u?’ Apparently that is really bad for a pregnant/nursing mum so she gives me a few really comfortable but totally unflattering maternity bras. 

2) Mental hormones, last week I was in the car with mike and the kids when they said something that made me laugh.  My laugh turned from a Giggle to hysterical laughing to hysterical crying within 30 seconds.  It was so crazy the kids were getting scared and I couldn’t calm down to tell them not to worry. Mike was looking at me like I was something from the exorcist which made me laugh and cry even more. When we got home the kids Sent me to bed and told me ‘ you need some rest, you’re not normal ‘

3) Heartburn, it’s just constant and I drink more milk than my new born will at the moment.

4) Sleepless nights,  everyone associates sleep deprivation with a newborn but no one tells you about the 3 months of broken sleep you will get in your third trimester. If it’s not a full bladder it’s restless legs, aching back or vivid, nasty dreams. Guarenteed, at least once in every pregnancy I have a dream Mike cheated on me.   They are so vivid I wake up, snarl and ignore him for the rest of the day!

5) piles – say no more

6) No botox or cosmetic procedures – I have aged 4 years in 6 months!

7) Lack of energy, as I lay here, writing this Its 9.07am, George is in bed with me but I should be up getting some washing and housework done.  

8) Food…..no alcohol, no yummy cheese,  no pate, no shellfish, no liver, no runny eggs, no coffee, no sushi and ironically, guess what my cravings are!?  😠 

9) That stage of pregnancy when you don’t look pregnant but there is no doubt you are packing a few more pounds….  Urgh! Do you have any Loves or Hates of pregnancy to add? I would love to hear.

My Girls

My Girls

​I was explaining to a couple of friends over a Baileys (don’t judge me) how I feel like I’ve lost my mojo a bit when it comes to my blog. I always love sitting down with a cuppa and boring you all with my life tales, but lately I just haven’t been able to motivate myself. I have reviews I want to do,  subjects I want to write about but everytime I sit down I either fall asleep or end up catching up on Facebook gossip. When I was telling the girls about this today they did what my friends do everytime,  pulled my head out of my arse,  cheered me up and motivated me. My friend Kate wrote a list of subjects on my phone she thought would be good to hear about. I was just going through them when I realised what I want to write about first is how special my friendships are and how they help me cope in life.  This pregnancy had sent my hormones round the twist. I feel myself snapping and narking at anything and anyone.  Last week I screamed at one of my really close friends in the bakery Isle at Aldi for taking the last tray of fairy cakes! I found myself crying my eyes out when Band Aid played on the radio and then again when the heroine addict on Jeremy Kyle agreed to re hab! The other little treat I have found I have  with baby six is my honestly filter has disappeared. If your lipstick looks shit you will probably get told, If I need a Piss I will probably let you know If you are boring me, my eyes start rolling You get the idea. That being said,  my friends are amazing, they have put up with my bullshit hormones and even laughed at them.  When I doubt my parenting skills they reassure me and don’t hold back correcting me if I need it. They understand when I don’t text straight back because I’m up to my elbows in baby shit and housework.  They understand if I blow them out because after three sleepless nights with George I just want to curl up on the sofa. They understand if I forget one of their birthdays because my brain is like a squashed melon. They understand when they come over and I haven’t got dressed properly. I have no bra on,  hair scraped up in a messy bun (and not one of those sexy messy buns) no make up and toothpaste down my top.  I would like to raise a glass to friendship and my girls 😘 God know what I would do without them! Right,  I’m off now to work on my blog 😉