Category Archives: Firsts


Our holiday to Italy seems like a distant memory now and with Andy’s impending big hip op, we felt that we wanted to make the most of the summer. Neither of us can quite agree how we ended up glamping on the Isle of Wight and after the first night, neither of us was looking to take credit for the decision. We tried in vain to enforce a 7pm bedtime on our children (two nights running). Who were we kidding? We were never going to be able to enjoy a quiet night for two on the decking, looking out at the stars. It was light out for a good two hours past the children’s bedtime and other kids could clearly be heard playing outside, as noted by our four year old. This also resulted in our 2 year old waking up at 5am two mornings on the trot – yawn! By the third night, we had learnt our lesson and all went to bed at the same time.

We’ve both always enjoyed camping but this was the first time that we have been with the children and neither of us had ever been glamping before. It’s fair to say glamping is a bit of a cheat; yes there is canvas involved but there is also electricity to provide light, charge a mobile phone and to power a television and a hairdryer, plus beds with duvets and soft pillows and cooking facilities.

We soon abandoned the notion that we would cook dinners, although Andy did manage to do some pretty good scrambled eggs on toast one morning. The shower block is however the same for everyone, with the push taps on the showers to make sure you don’t spend too long and the invariably muddy floors and cheap toilet roll. Showers are no fun with a four year old and two year old in tow; I might add on separate occasions, as the cubicles are too small and the threat of little hands unlocking the door at any moment is nail biting. Obviously remembering to take a towel to the shower block is pretty imperative, although it turns out that a top will do just as well to dry off. Also remembering to roll up your pyjama bottoms before entering the shower cubicle would make for a better start to the day; not a mistake that is made twice!

All that said, by Day 3 we were starting to get to grips with glamping and could happily have stayed for a few more days, so much so that we might even look at purchasing a proper tent next year.

‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for BIBS –


Handy Andy

This is my first blog post dedicated purely to my husband of nearly 10 years. I always said if he did anything blog worthy, I would write about it, so here goes…

I have always detested our downstairs cloakroom since we moved into our house 7 years ago. The yellow walls, the bright border, the blue suite and the worst offence, carpet tiles. Don’t get me wrong, they have their benefits, for example, they don’t show dirt, but toilets, carpet tiles and young children simply don’t mix.

I’m not sure what finally inspired Andy to crack on, perhaps the threat that I would do it myself and blog about it!

Really this post should have been written a few months ago, when the job was complete but much like my dear husband’s approach to DIY, I have put it off for one reason or another.

Anyway, here are some before and after pictures of his handy work. Another professional job well done.

Next on my list, finishing the kitchen woodwork (it’s only been 5 years since Andy put in the ‘new’ kitchen) and decorating the hallway. As you can see, Andy is very handy, when he has the time but as he’ll be forced to down tools until well after Christmas, I’m afraid I have taken the initiative and outsourced these jobs – another first in this household!

‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for BIBS –

All Aboard

I think it’s fair to say my in-laws have been planning what they would do in their retirement for some time. There had been talk of faraway holidays, a log cabin in the Lake District and buying a narrowboat. In the end, it was the narrowboat that won out and after 4 years of dreaming, 1 year since the commitment was made and 6 months since construction started, ‘Meladine’ was launched on a sunny August day at Stockton top lock (somewhere near Daventry).

See the moment it hit the water for the first time –

Andy and I and the children had never been on a narrowboat before so it was a first for us and we are hoping for new adventures on the English canals soon. One small snag; I hadn’t banked on sea sickness being an issue on a narrowboat. Travel bands and tablets will be at the ready for the next time we set sail!

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Happy Birthday Prince Benjamin of Reading

Okay so Prince Benjamin of Reading doesn’t quite have the ring of Prince George of Cambridge but our little Prince will forever share his birthday with the future king and although I shouldn’t live long enough to see Prince George of Cambridge on the throne, my children will and that’s pretty cool. Of course, we were rather hoping that the Prince would have been a Princess but that would have been too much of a fairy tale ending.

Anyway, Benjamin turned two last week and our little two year old has certainly hit some milestones over the last few months or so…

  • He can recognise opposites such as hot and cold, on and off, open and closed and push and pull.
  • He knows most parts of his body, including his belly button which he is finally able to see more often, now that the winter vests have been removed.
  • He knows when something has fallen, been broken or dropped and says ‘oops daise’.
  • He has excellent manners and has learnt that he doesn’t get much without a ‘please’ and a ‘thank you’ and will say ‘excuse me please’ if he wants you to move out of the way! He has also learnt ‘I want’ but usually follows it with a please. We are working on ‘Please may I have…’. Our 4 year old still has trouble with this!
  • He knows when something hurts and says ‘ouch’.
  • He wants to be first for everything and will now say ‘me first’.
  • He can pull his own tops off yogurt pots, as well as removing the thermostatic valve from his radiator!
  • He can drink from an open cup, although this often still turns into wet play when he considers himself finished!
  • He can walk up/down stairs holding onto the wall.
  • He can turn the telly on/off.
  • He can count, well sort of…1,2,3,6,7,8,9,10.
  • He has a brain, well at least he now knows that he has a brain, as he often says ‘I think’. We’re still not sure what he’s thinking but then again do we ever know what another person is thinking?
  • Finally, he mimics everything (apart from his own name which he just says ‘me’!)…I am somewhat regretting my choice of words when we got lost in the car the other day!

No birthday would be complete without cake and a very smiley little man…

Birthday Boy Birthday Cake

Eagle-eyed readers may notice that the cake is a bit of a recycled effort. The chocolate cake is the same one I made for my father’s birthday ( and I have stolen George off Ava’s 4th birthday cake ( In my defence, I did make George and he is one of Benjamin’s favourite characters, plus chocolate cake is a firm favourite for our rather fussy eater (next time I may add a little spinach to the cake!)!

‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for BIBS –

Celebrating 1 year of blogging

When I first launched my ‘I Did It Mummy’ blog, I would never have imagined that one year later I would still be sat at my computer writing my blog and actually finding something to say. In the last year, I have written 68 blog posts (that’s more than one a week!), had over 5,500 views and raised £172.00 for BIBS (Babies in Buscot Support) and I’m pretty proud of that. I have also tried a few new things – painting, photography, cake decoration, using a slow cooker for the first time, attempted a make over (clearly still a work in progress!), tried out a bit of sewing, taken up netball and found myself a lovely part-time job, after two and three quarter years as a stay-at-home-Mum. The children have also hit some pretty major milestones – Benjamin has learnt to walk and has turned into a very chatty nearly 2 year old (more of that in an upcoming blog post!) and Ava has got her 5 metres at swimming and left pre-school. My long-suffering husband has recently achieved a couple of cool things too. I have promised I will dedicate a blog post to him soon so more of that then!

In the spirit of my blog ‘Because there’s a first time for everything’, I thought just for fun I would test out the poll functionality on this blog. I have looked at my readership and come up with my top 10 blog posts over the last year and I want to know what you have enjoyed reading so vote now!

A year in review wouldn’t be complete without looking at the less popular posts, so here’s five posts that didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Maybe they’ll get another few hits by reposting them…

1. Olympic dreams –
2. Pimp my cupcake –
3. ‘Tis the season to get cooking –
4. Where’s my sticker? –
5. 136 sellers, 445 shoppers and £4.5k raised for the NCT-

As ever I am on the look out for new things to try, so if you have any ideas, please feel free to ping them my way and if they can help raise money for BIBS, then all the better!

‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for BIBS –

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