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The Seven Deadly Sins Of Motherhood...And How I Committed Them All In 7 Weeks

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From our lovely guest Blogger and New Mum Sparkles & Stretchmarks...


As a first time mum-to-be I promised myself that I would not fall into the ParentTrap that so many of my friends had been sucked in to over the years.

"You'll never find me walking around the house like a zombie still wearing my pjs at 4pm, while the kids are Tarzan-ing off the curtains" I promised myself.

"Co-sleeping?! Pffft! I don't think so!" I snorted to myself, pitying all these weak-minded mothers who had given up their right to enjoy a full nights sleep without little feet sticking in their backs just to pacify their little darlings....

I gave pitying glances to mothers in supermarket car parks, visibly at their wits end as they battled with toddlers who seemed to have super human strength as they fought against being put into their car seats...."MY child will never behave like that" I assured myself as I patted my baby bump.

Oh yes....I knew it all. I had it all figured it out and NONE of these dreadful fates would befall me in motherhood....

Its funny how easy it is to be so sure of your amazing mothering abilities before your little one has arrived....

Its funnier still how quickly all of those ideals go right out of the window once motherhood actually descends.....

I am only 7 weeks into life as a mother, and I am absolutely astounded at the number of self-imposed Golden Rules Of Motherhood I have already broken.

Here is my list of the Seven Deadly Sins Of Motherhood - and the spectacular ways in which I have gone against every single one of them in just 7 short weeks.

1. Thou Shalt Not Co-Sleep

Every piece of literature on safe sleeping that you ever read as a new mother warns against the dangers of co-sleeping. So why would anybody ever want to ever consider it?! This is what I wondered while I was pregnant.

Now I know exactly why people consider it - because after a few weeks of living with a newborn, all you want in the world is just a few short hours of precious sleep!!

Of course the safety of your baby is the most important thing in the world - and thats what makes co-sleeping all the more fun!!

Because not only do you find yourself in a strange kind of half-sleep because you're so concerned with ensuring that the duvet and pillows are nowhere near the baby (and consequently, nowhere near you either....), and making sure that you're sleeping in a position that Cirque Du Soleil would be in awe of to make sure that you cannot possibly end up laying on the baby....

But on top of this, you are so consumed with guilt and shame that your need for sleep has seen you succumb to the temptation of sharing your bed with your baby that your poor, sleep-deprived, terror-ridden brain cannot possibly allow you to drift off...

But while you have been trying to - that tiny little person you have now introduced to the comfort of your nice big bed has decided that he LIKES this arrangement, and he will no longer be settling down to sleep ANYWHERE else.... Oh the joy.

2. Thou Shalt Not Cuddle Too Much

"I'll never be one of these people who sits all night long cuddling their baby" I remember snorting to myself, after coming away from visiting my friend and her new baby daughter...."How can they not expect the baby to get used to it?! Why not just put it down?!"

I now know the answer to this. Not only is it very very difficult to be left in a room with what you consider to be the cutest living thing on the planet and NOT pick it up and cuddle it all night long....but once you have got up and down 45 times in the space of 30 minutes to keep checking that its breathing or popping its dummy back in after its spit it out and is crying for it yet again, you soon decide that actually - its just easier all round to bloody well keep hold of it.

3. Thou Shalt Not Spoil The Child With Gifts

"I'll only buy him things when he needs them - he's got loads of clothes, he won't need anything else until he's about 6 months old" I promised my partner before the birth...

Now, each time I return home from...well...pretty much anywhere really, as I greet my partner - bags bursting at the seams full of baby clothes, toys he can't even play with yet, etc etc - I can taste those words in my mouth.

But come on - does it really count if they're on a special offer?! And well...they're CUTE!!!
 

4. Thou Shalt Not Be An Over-Anxious Mother


Having spent some time in A & E departments over the course of my ever-dramatic pregnancy, I had seen countless over-anxious parents cradling their little ones and fretting endlessly over the tiny scratches on their fingers...and once again, I promised myself that would never be me.

So imagine my surprise when at just 6 weeks post-partum, I found myself sitting in the A & E department of my local hospital with Tyne....only to be sent home 4 hours later (!!) after being told that his "Monstrous allergic reaction to a baby cream" (as per my report to my partner via panicked text message) was in fact.....cradle cap.

 

5. Thou Shalt Not Seek Advice From Others On Every Single Issue


"I'm a qualified Nanny....I can make all of my own decisions about whats best for this baby, I won't be needing loads of advice anyway" I told my sister when she

warned me to expect endless interference from our Mother and Aunts....

Its funny how the ear-shattering screams of an infant can suddenly render your brain completely void of prior knowledge....

 

6. Thou Shalt Not Overshare Cutesy Baby Photos & Anecdotes On Social Networking Sites


Oh we've all got them on our Friends lists....those overly proud parents who insist on shoving endless photos of their offspring down our throats as if we've never

seen a baby before.

"I am NOT going to be one of those people who only ever talks about their kid - I've got other things in my life to talk about that are far more interesting!"

Well....I think each and every one of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers would be more than happy to verify how spectacularly I've obliterated this one.....them and my new Instagram friends....an account designed purely for the purpose of sharing photos quickly and easily which I acquired when my son was around 2 days old....Hey, those photos are just TOO cute not to shove in everybody's faces!!!

and the biggest one of all....


7. Thou Shalt Not Covet Other Peoples Perfect Babies


I always hated those parents who would look in disdain at their own children and talk wistfully about their friends child who sleeps straight through the night/always says please & thank you without being reminded/invented gravity.....

"They should just be proud of their own kids, how sad for the children"...I thought to myself....However upon hearing about my friends baby who slept through the night at just 5 weeks old.....after our most recent fun-filled weekend of no sleep whatsoever....I have to say, I did have a sudden onset of the green-eyed monster as I looked at my own child and wondered "Why are you deliberately trying to break me?!"

Of course now what I hate more than people wishing their own kids would behave like other peoples, is the people in possession of those perfectly behaved, sound sleeping, gravity-inventing children...

I'm pretty sure they're all liars, anyway......

If you have enjoyed this article, why not visit Sparkles and Stretchmarks at

https://sparklesandstretchmarks.blogspot.co.uk/

Read more


From our lovely guest Blogger and New Mum Sparkles & Stretchmarks...


As a first time mum-to-be I promised myself that I would not fall into the ParentTrap that so many of my friends had been sucked in to over the years.

"You'll never find me walking around the house like a zombie still wearing my pjs at 4pm, while the kids are Tarzan-ing off the curtains" I promised myself.

"Co-sleeping?! Pffft! I don't think so!" I snorted to myself, pitying all these weak-minded mothers who had given up their right to enjoy a full nights sleep without little feet sticking in their backs just to pacify their little darlings....

I gave pitying glances to mothers in supermarket car parks, visibly at their wits end as they battled with toddlers who seemed to have super human strength as they fought against being put into their car seats...."MY child will never behave like that" I assured myself as I patted my baby bump.

Oh yes....I knew it all. I had it all figured it out and NONE of these dreadful fates would befall me in motherhood....

Its funny how easy it is to be so sure of your amazing mothering abilities before your little one has arrived....

Its funnier still how quickly all of those ideals go right out of the window once motherhood actually descends.....

I am only 7 weeks into life as a mother, and I am absolutely astounded at the number of self-imposed Golden Rules Of Motherhood I have already broken.

Here is my list of the Seven Deadly Sins Of Motherhood - and the spectacular ways in which I have gone against every single one of them in just 7 short weeks.

1. Thou Shalt Not Co-Sleep

Every piece of literature on safe sleeping that you ever read as a new mother warns against the dangers of co-sleeping. So why would anybody ever want to ever consider it?! This is what I wondered while I was pregnant.

Now I know exactly why people consider it - because after a few weeks of living with a newborn, all you want in the world is just a few short hours of precious sleep!!

Of course the safety of your baby is the most important thing in the world - and thats what makes co-sleeping all the more fun!!

Because not only do you find yourself in a strange kind of half-sleep because you're so concerned with ensuring that the duvet and pillows are nowhere near the baby (and consequently, nowhere near you either....), and making sure that you're sleeping in a position that Cirque Du Soleil would be in awe of to make sure that you cannot possibly end up laying on the baby....

But on top of this, you are so consumed with guilt and shame that your need for sleep has seen you succumb to the temptation of sharing your bed with your baby that your poor, sleep-deprived, terror-ridden brain cannot possibly allow you to drift off...

But while you have been trying to - that tiny little person you have now introduced to the comfort of your nice big bed has decided that he LIKES this arrangement, and he will no longer be settling down to sleep ANYWHERE else.... Oh the joy.

2. Thou Shalt Not Cuddle Too Much

"I'll never be one of these people who sits all night long cuddling their baby" I remember snorting to myself, after coming away from visiting my friend and her new baby daughter...."How can they not expect the baby to get used to it?! Why not just put it down?!"

I now know the answer to this. Not only is it very very difficult to be left in a room with what you consider to be the cutest living thing on the planet and NOT pick it up and cuddle it all night long....but once you have got up and down 45 times in the space of 30 minutes to keep checking that its breathing or popping its dummy back in after its spit it out and is crying for it yet again, you soon decide that actually - its just easier all round to bloody well keep hold of it.

3. Thou Shalt Not Spoil The Child With Gifts

"I'll only buy him things when he needs them - he's got loads of clothes, he won't need anything else until he's about 6 months old" I promised my partner before the birth...

Now, each time I return home from...well...pretty much anywhere really, as I greet my partner - bags bursting at the seams full of baby clothes, toys he can't even play with yet, etc etc - I can taste those words in my mouth.

But come on - does it really count if they're on a special offer?! And well...they're CUTE!!!
 

4. Thou Shalt Not Be An Over-Anxious Mother


Having spent some time in A & E departments over the course of my ever-dramatic pregnancy, I had seen countless over-anxious parents cradling their little ones and fretting endlessly over the tiny scratches on their fingers...and once again, I promised myself that would never be me.

So imagine my surprise when at just 6 weeks post-partum, I found myself sitting in the A & E department of my local hospital with Tyne....only to be sent home 4 hours later (!!) after being told that his "Monstrous allergic reaction to a baby cream" (as per my report to my partner via panicked text message) was in fact.....cradle cap.

 

5. Thou Shalt Not Seek Advice From Others On Every Single Issue


"I'm a qualified Nanny....I can make all of my own decisions about whats best for this baby, I won't be needing loads of advice anyway" I told my sister when she

warned me to expect endless interference from our Mother and Aunts....

Its funny how the ear-shattering screams of an infant can suddenly render your brain completely void of prior knowledge....

 

6. Thou Shalt Not Overshare Cutesy Baby Photos & Anecdotes On Social Networking Sites


Oh we've all got them on our Friends lists....those overly proud parents who insist on shoving endless photos of their offspring down our throats as if we've never

seen a baby before.

"I am NOT going to be one of those people who only ever talks about their kid - I've got other things in my life to talk about that are far more interesting!"

Well....I think each and every one of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers would be more than happy to verify how spectacularly I've obliterated this one.....them and my new Instagram friends....an account designed purely for the purpose of sharing photos quickly and easily which I acquired when my son was around 2 days old....Hey, those photos are just TOO cute not to shove in everybody's faces!!!

and the biggest one of all....


7. Thou Shalt Not Covet Other Peoples Perfect Babies


I always hated those parents who would look in disdain at their own children and talk wistfully about their friends child who sleeps straight through the night/always says please & thank you without being reminded/invented gravity.....

"They should just be proud of their own kids, how sad for the children"...I thought to myself....However upon hearing about my friends baby who slept through the night at just 5 weeks old.....after our most recent fun-filled weekend of no sleep whatsoever....I have to say, I did have a sudden onset of the green-eyed monster as I looked at my own child and wondered "Why are you deliberately trying to break me?!"

Of course now what I hate more than people wishing their own kids would behave like other peoples, is the people in possession of those perfectly behaved, sound sleeping, gravity-inventing children...

I'm pretty sure they're all liars, anyway......

If you have enjoyed this article, why not visit Sparkles and Stretchmarks at

https://sparklesandstretchmarks.blogspot.co.uk/

Read more



The Professional Mum - Paternity Leave

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We’ve previously talked about maternity leave in this column, but how paternity leave works is also of interest to the Professional Mum, not least because the Additional Paternity Leave that your partner could be eligible for can be influenced by your own return to work.

Dads who take time off because their partner is having a baby or adopting a child could be eligible for paid Ordinary Paternity Leave. They may also be eligible for up to 26 weeks Additional Paternity Leave, but only if the mother/co-adopter returns to work.

Ordinary Paternity Leave is for either 1 or 2 weeks (even if the partner has a multiple birth). Leave can’t start before the baby is born and must end within 56 days of the birth (the employer must be given 28 days notice of change to the start date). Leave must be taken in one go, and a week consists of regular working days. For example, if the Dad only works on Mondays and Tuesdays then a week is 2 days. To qualify for Ordinary Paternity Leave he must be an employee, have worked for his employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (known as the qualifying week) and must give the correct notice.

Additional Paternity Leave depends on how much unused maternity leave or adoption leave the partner has. The employer must confirm the Dad’s start and end dates when the leave is claimed. Leave can start 20 weeks after the birth, adoption, or in the case of overseas adoptions, the child’s arrival in the UK, if the partner has returned to work. It must stop on the child’s 1st birthday, or, if adopting, within 1 year of the date that the child started living with its adoptive parents.


For further details on paternity leave & pay, with full eligibility criteria visit https://www.gov.uk/paternity-pay-leave

Read more


We’ve previously talked about maternity leave in this column, but how paternity leave works is also of interest to the Professional Mum, not least because the Additional Paternity Leave that your partner could be eligible for can be influenced by your own return to work.

Dads who take time off because their partner is having a baby or adopting a child could be eligible for paid Ordinary Paternity Leave. They may also be eligible for up to 26 weeks Additional Paternity Leave, but only if the mother/co-adopter returns to work.

Ordinary Paternity Leave is for either 1 or 2 weeks (even if the partner has a multiple birth). Leave can’t start before the baby is born and must end within 56 days of the birth (the employer must be given 28 days notice of change to the start date). Leave must be taken in one go, and a week consists of regular working days. For example, if the Dad only works on Mondays and Tuesdays then a week is 2 days. To qualify for Ordinary Paternity Leave he must be an employee, have worked for his employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (known as the qualifying week) and must give the correct notice.

Additional Paternity Leave depends on how much unused maternity leave or adoption leave the partner has. The employer must confirm the Dad’s start and end dates when the leave is claimed. Leave can start 20 weeks after the birth, adoption, or in the case of overseas adoptions, the child’s arrival in the UK, if the partner has returned to work. It must stop on the child’s 1st birthday, or, if adopting, within 1 year of the date that the child started living with its adoptive parents.


For further details on paternity leave & pay, with full eligibility criteria visit https://www.gov.uk/paternity-pay-leave

Read more



Weight Loss Journey

Posted on

One of my first blog posts was to announce that after two years of excuses that I was carrying baby weight I was about to embark on a 'new me' programme. I vowed to keep you informed about my weight loss journey...and I must admit I didn't do that once. I think the reason I didn't was because just by writing that down I felt I had magically lost a few pounds!! The truth is I hadn't lost an ounce in fact I probably put on a few pounds if I am honest.

So now I am actually losing weight. At least I think I am! One of the reasons I think I am losing weight is because I have promised myself I will not step on the scales for a few months. A few things have motivated me to finally get myself sorted. The first reason is that I have signed up to run the Manchester 10k for my friends charity, Reuben's Retreat (www.reubensretreat.org). The second reason is that my best friend has asked me to be her bridesmaid! Normally I would just hope that the bias cut would be forgiving, but she is getting married abroad in a spa resort which means not a bridesmaid dress but a bikini!! So I have a two pronged motivation which compliment each other and are having powerful results.

I am not a runner but I have coerced my fitter friends to come running (fast walking) with me. I admit that the first few times were hell. I returned purple and remained purple until bedtime! I could barely lift my toddler and walking to school was a struggle the pain. But 4 weeks in and I can actually run for 4.5 miles (and counting) and hold a conversation at the same time. I actually relish my runs now not for the exercise and weight loss - I love going out and having an hour out of the house, chatting and having a laugh while getting fit.

My Dad always said he would start running when he saw someone running who actually looked like they enjoyed it. If he saw me and my mummy friends he would be sprinting like Usain Bolt! I may not be fast, I don't have any ambitions to be a speed demon but I am loving running. I would just say to any other mum, grab a few like-minded friends and walk, jog, crawl for half an hour and then do it again and again. I promise you, you will develop a love/hate relationship with it.

Have a go...

https://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/your-first-run-starting-slowly-but-surely.html

Read more


Weight Loss Journey

Posted on

One of my first blog posts was to announce that after two years of excuses that I was carrying baby weight I was about to embark on a 'new me' programme. I vowed to keep you informed about my weight loss journey...and I must admit I didn't do that once. I think the reason I didn't was because just by writing that down I felt I had magically lost a few pounds!! The truth is I hadn't lost an ounce in fact I probably put on a few pounds if I am honest.

So now I am actually losing weight. At least I think I am! One of the reasons I think I am losing weight is because I have promised myself I will not step on the scales for a few months. A few things have motivated me to finally get myself sorted. The first reason is that I have signed up to run the Manchester 10k for my friends charity, Reuben's Retreat (www.reubensretreat.org). The second reason is that my best friend has asked me to be her bridesmaid! Normally I would just hope that the bias cut would be forgiving, but she is getting married abroad in a spa resort which means not a bridesmaid dress but a bikini!! So I have a two pronged motivation which compliment each other and are having powerful results.

I am not a runner but I have coerced my fitter friends to come running (fast walking) with me. I admit that the first few times were hell. I returned purple and remained purple until bedtime! I could barely lift my toddler and walking to school was a struggle the pain. But 4 weeks in and I can actually run for 4.5 miles (and counting) and hold a conversation at the same time. I actually relish my runs now not for the exercise and weight loss - I love going out and having an hour out of the house, chatting and having a laugh while getting fit.

My Dad always said he would start running when he saw someone running who actually looked like they enjoyed it. If he saw me and my mummy friends he would be sprinting like Usain Bolt! I may not be fast, I don't have any ambitions to be a speed demon but I am loving running. I would just say to any other mum, grab a few like-minded friends and walk, jog, crawl for half an hour and then do it again and again. I promise you, you will develop a love/hate relationship with it.

Have a go...

https://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/your-first-run-starting-slowly-but-surely.html

Read more



Theodora Children's Trust Newsletter Spring/Summer 2013

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Theodora Children's Trust


Newsletter Spring / Summer 2013


The difference we're making

"All the Giggle Doctors do a wonderful job. To be able to make someone so happy during a time when things are not as good as they should be for a child or their family is the best present ever. Thank you."

Mo H

"My son was on dialysis for 3 years at Evelina Children's Hospital and he looked forward to the Giggle Doctors coming round on a Monday afternoon. It really helped lift the spirits of not just the children but also us parents who are there with our children. I hope that you will continue these visits for years to come as this is a much needed service for all the children in hospital. Thank you for making us laugh through such difficult times."

Ijaz H.

"As a child I spent many months at Great Ormond Street Hospital. I understand how daunting hospital can be for a child. I think what the Giggle Doctors do is fantastic and it's great to see the impact they have on the children. The room really lights up when the Giggle Doctors are around."

Will B., Double Paralympic Medallist

Editorial

As we step into spring, our ten new Giggle Doctors are finishing their training modules and are about to put on their Giggle Doctor coats for the first time.This means music, magic and laughter for 18,000 more children in hospital and residential homes across the UK.

We love it when parents tell us how they felt when they saw their child smile for the first time in weeks. Read Ava's story on page 4 to hear how brave Ava found ways to laugh with Dr. Wonderpants despite dealing with the effects of chemo aka 'wiggly juice'. Check out pages 6 and 8 to find out about two easy and cost free ways to help bring smiles to children like Ava.

Thank you so much for all the giggles.

Ava's Story

We spoke to Kerry McCarthy, whose 2 year old daughter Ava has benefited from the joy that the Giggle Doctors bring:

When did Ava first become ill and what were her symptoms?

"Back in July I was getting Ava changed and ready for bed on a Wednesday night when I felt a hard lump on the left side of her tummy. My husband, Chris came and had a look and felt it as well and didn't think it felt right. The next day we took Ava to the Doctor. They thought it was constipation. On Friday morning Chris went out to work at 5am, and just after Ava woke up crying and huddled up in her bed.She had brought up some green vomit.I knew this wasn't right and got my mother and father-in-law round to look after Aston, who was 6 months old at the time, and took Ava to A&E. They did a few scans and by lunch time we were in an ambulance on our way to Great Ormond Street Hospital. More scans and tests followed and then on Monday they confirmed that the diagnosis was cancer."

How did you feel?

"It was a massive shock. I was in GOSH and Chris was round my parents house, as he had gone back to be with Aston. It was an awful feeling. It took a while to actually sink in and for us to realise how serious it could be. I don't think we ever let our minds wander to what could have been the worst outcome. We knew we had to stay positive for Ava's sake."

How did the illness affect Ava?

"She has remained positive and cheerful throughout.She does get lots of times when she is tired and feels sick with the chemo. She lost a lot of weight as the

tumour was squashing her tummy and she didn't feel like eating a lot. As a result of the chemo she started losing her hair, and she is convinced that when it comes back it will be pink. Being so young we have told Ava that she had a poorly tummy and the doctors are fixing her. She calls her chemo wiggly juice and she knows this is making sure no nasty lumps come back to her belly. She seems happy with this."

How did the Giggle Doctor visits help? "Ava loves seeing the Giggle Doctors when she is in hospital, especially when she is on the chemo drip for 5-6 hours as it can be difficult to entertain her ourselves. The Giggle Doctors make her laugh and she loves the balloon animals and bracelets they make (Daddy also loves their jokes!).

Ava has seen lots of different Giggle Doctors in Addenbrookes and GOSH. She always talks about them after they have gone.She loved the fact that Dr Wonderpants came to her Pink Party fundraiser!"

If you have a story about how Giggle Doctors helped your child. We'd love to hear from you.

 
Please email Clare:

clare.conroy@theodora.org

or call on 020 7713 0044


Chores for Chuckles

We're asking you to take on a simple everyday chore (or lots of chores!) in return for a donation. Whether it's making cups of tea for the family or sweeping the office floor, Chores for Chuckles is about rolling up our sleeves to help seriously ill children across the nation.

Even if you just do one chore it will make a huge difference.

All money raised will go towards supporting the fabulous work of our Giggle Doctors, who bring laughter to children and their families at such upsetting and difficult times.

To download your Chores for Chuckles pack visit:

www.theodora.org.uk/choresforchuckles

 
DONATE

Give a Giggle

If you would like to make a donation to Theodora Children's Trust, please go to www.theodora.org.uk/donate or write a cheque made payable to Theodora Children's Trust and post it to Theodora Children's Trust, 40 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9HF. Thank you for your support.


Community Fundraiser

Would you like to volunteer for Theodora Children's Trust from the comfort of your own armchair? Whether you work full-time and just have a couple of hours a month to spare or whether you have lots of time on your hands, we need your help! We are
looking for Volunteer Community Fundraisers who will spread the word of Theodora among their friends, family and colleagues and fundraise to bring smiles to children in hospital. If you would like to hear more about becoming a Volunteer Community Fundraiser, please contact our Charlotte by emailing her at charlotte.wilson@theodora.org or by calling her on 020 7713 0044.


Hospital List

Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge

Royal United Hospital, Bath

Birmingham Children's Hospital

Bradford Royal Infirmary

Royal Alexandra Hospital, Brighton

Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London

Evelina Children's Hospital, London

Great Ormond Street Hospital, London

Royal Manchester Children's Hospital

North Manchester General Hospital

Nottingham University Hospital

Young Epilepsy, Surrey

Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl

Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading

Royal Oldham Hospital, Manchester

The Royal Marsden Hospital, Surrey


Sheffield Children's Hospital

The Children's Trust, Tadworth

If you would like to contact us, please don't hesitate to call us on 020 7713 0044 or email us at theodora.uk@theodora.org We'd love to hear from you!

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/giveagiggle

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/giveagiggle

Watch us on You Tube: youtube.com/giveagiggle

Newsletter Spring 2013 Web Quality

Read more


Theodora Children's Trust


Newsletter Spring / Summer 2013


The difference we're making

"All the Giggle Doctors do a wonderful job. To be able to make someone so happy during a time when things are not as good as they should be for a child or their family is the best present ever. Thank you."

Mo H

"My son was on dialysis for 3 years at Evelina Children's Hospital and he looked forward to the Giggle Doctors coming round on a Monday afternoon. It really helped lift the spirits of not just the children but also us parents who are there with our children. I hope that you will continue these visits for years to come as this is a much needed service for all the children in hospital. Thank you for making us laugh through such difficult times."

Ijaz H.

"As a child I spent many months at Great Ormond Street Hospital. I understand how daunting hospital can be for a child. I think what the Giggle Doctors do is fantastic and it's great to see the impact they have on the children. The room really lights up when the Giggle Doctors are around."

Will B., Double Paralympic Medallist

Editorial

As we step into spring, our ten new Giggle Doctors are finishing their training modules and are about to put on their Giggle Doctor coats for the first time.This means music, magic and laughter for 18,000 more children in hospital and residential homes across the UK.

We love it when parents tell us how they felt when they saw their child smile for the first time in weeks. Read Ava's story on page 4 to hear how brave Ava found ways to laugh with Dr. Wonderpants despite dealing with the effects of chemo aka 'wiggly juice'. Check out pages 6 and 8 to find out about two easy and cost free ways to help bring smiles to children like Ava.

Thank you so much for all the giggles.

Ava's Story

We spoke to Kerry McCarthy, whose 2 year old daughter Ava has benefited from the joy that the Giggle Doctors bring:

When did Ava first become ill and what were her symptoms?

"Back in July I was getting Ava changed and ready for bed on a Wednesday night when I felt a hard lump on the left side of her tummy. My husband, Chris came and had a look and felt it as well and didn't think it felt right. The next day we took Ava to the Doctor. They thought it was constipation. On Friday morning Chris went out to work at 5am, and just after Ava woke up crying and huddled up in her bed.She had brought up some green vomit.I knew this wasn't right and got my mother and father-in-law round to look after Aston, who was 6 months old at the time, and took Ava to A&E. They did a few scans and by lunch time we were in an ambulance on our way to Great Ormond Street Hospital. More scans and tests followed and then on Monday they confirmed that the diagnosis was cancer."

How did you feel?

"It was a massive shock. I was in GOSH and Chris was round my parents house, as he had gone back to be with Aston. It was an awful feeling. It took a while to actually sink in and for us to realise how serious it could be. I don't think we ever let our minds wander to what could have been the worst outcome. We knew we had to stay positive for Ava's sake."

How did the illness affect Ava?

"She has remained positive and cheerful throughout.She does get lots of times when she is tired and feels sick with the chemo. She lost a lot of weight as the

tumour was squashing her tummy and she didn't feel like eating a lot. As a result of the chemo she started losing her hair, and she is convinced that when it comes back it will be pink. Being so young we have told Ava that she had a poorly tummy and the doctors are fixing her. She calls her chemo wiggly juice and she knows this is making sure no nasty lumps come back to her belly. She seems happy with this."

How did the Giggle Doctor visits help? "Ava loves seeing the Giggle Doctors when she is in hospital, especially when she is on the chemo drip for 5-6 hours as it can be difficult to entertain her ourselves. The Giggle Doctors make her laugh and she loves the balloon animals and bracelets they make (Daddy also loves their jokes!).

Ava has seen lots of different Giggle Doctors in Addenbrookes and GOSH. She always talks about them after they have gone.She loved the fact that Dr Wonderpants came to her Pink Party fundraiser!"

If you have a story about how Giggle Doctors helped your child. We'd love to hear from you.

 
Please email Clare:

clare.conroy@theodora.org

or call on 020 7713 0044


Chores for Chuckles

We're asking you to take on a simple everyday chore (or lots of chores!) in return for a donation. Whether it's making cups of tea for the family or sweeping the office floor, Chores for Chuckles is about rolling up our sleeves to help seriously ill children across the nation.

Even if you just do one chore it will make a huge difference.

All money raised will go towards supporting the fabulous work of our Giggle Doctors, who bring laughter to children and their families at such upsetting and difficult times.

To download your Chores for Chuckles pack visit:

www.theodora.org.uk/choresforchuckles

 
DONATE

Give a Giggle

If you would like to make a donation to Theodora Children's Trust, please go to www.theodora.org.uk/donate or write a cheque made payable to Theodora Children's Trust and post it to Theodora Children's Trust, 40 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9HF. Thank you for your support.


Community Fundraiser

Would you like to volunteer for Theodora Children's Trust from the comfort of your own armchair? Whether you work full-time and just have a couple of hours a month to spare or whether you have lots of time on your hands, we need your help! We are
looking for Volunteer Community Fundraisers who will spread the word of Theodora among their friends, family and colleagues and fundraise to bring smiles to children in hospital. If you would like to hear more about becoming a Volunteer Community Fundraiser, please contact our Charlotte by emailing her at charlotte.wilson@theodora.org or by calling her on 020 7713 0044.


Hospital List

Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge

Royal United Hospital, Bath

Birmingham Children's Hospital

Bradford Royal Infirmary

Royal Alexandra Hospital, Brighton

Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London

Evelina Children's Hospital, London

Great Ormond Street Hospital, London

Royal Manchester Children's Hospital

North Manchester General Hospital

Nottingham University Hospital

Young Epilepsy, Surrey

Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl

Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading

Royal Oldham Hospital, Manchester

The Royal Marsden Hospital, Surrey


Sheffield Children's Hospital

The Children's Trust, Tadworth

If you would like to contact us, please don't hesitate to call us on 020 7713 0044 or email us at theodora.uk@theodora.org We'd love to hear from you!

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/giveagiggle

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/giveagiggle

Watch us on You Tube: youtube.com/giveagiggle

Newsletter Spring 2013 Web Quality

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The Professional Mum - Apprenticeships

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As a parent you want your child to get the best possible start in their career. There are many options available to young people after they leave school and it may be worth them considering an apprenticeship as a key route into securing a job and progressing into a successful career.

Apprenticeships are work-based programmes that combine practical training with study. This allows individuals to earn while they learn, whilst gaining nationally recognised qualifications. Most of the training is delivered in the work place, with an element of 'off the job' training which usually takes place with a training provider or at a college.

If your child lives in England, is over 16 and not in full time education they can apply. Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16. There are different entry requirements depending on the sector and job. Apprentices need to be committed, motivated, enthusiastic and reliable, with a 'can-do' attitude.

The benefits of being an apprentice include earning a salary, training in the skills employers want, excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace, better long term salary prospects and learning at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor. Apprentices have the opportunity to experience new and different challenges, and learn to work better and more effectively.

Apprenticeships last for a minimum of one year, however many can take longer, especially if they are at a higher level or in a certain sectors such as engineering. Employers all over the country recognise and value Apprenticeships as they show that participants have been trained in the skills they need.

As a parent you will influence any potential apprentice. For further information about Apprenticeships and why one could be right for your child visit:

www.apprenticeships.gov.uk

Read more


The Professional Mum - Apprenticeships

Posted on

As a parent you want your child to get the best possible start in their career. There are many options available to young people after they leave school and it may be worth them considering an apprenticeship as a key route into securing a job and progressing into a successful career.

Apprenticeships are work-based programmes that combine practical training with study. This allows individuals to earn while they learn, whilst gaining nationally recognised qualifications. Most of the training is delivered in the work place, with an element of 'off the job' training which usually takes place with a training provider or at a college.

If your child lives in England, is over 16 and not in full time education they can apply. Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16. There are different entry requirements depending on the sector and job. Apprentices need to be committed, motivated, enthusiastic and reliable, with a 'can-do' attitude.

The benefits of being an apprentice include earning a salary, training in the skills employers want, excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace, better long term salary prospects and learning at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor. Apprentices have the opportunity to experience new and different challenges, and learn to work better and more effectively.

Apprenticeships last for a minimum of one year, however many can take longer, especially if they are at a higher level or in a certain sectors such as engineering. Employers all over the country recognise and value Apprenticeships as they show that participants have been trained in the skills they need.

As a parent you will influence any potential apprentice. For further information about Apprenticeships and why one could be right for your child visit:

www.apprenticeships.gov.uk

Read more



The Baby Show - NEC Birmingham - Exclusive Ticket Offer

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"The Baby Show, the UK's leading pregnancy & parenting event, returns to NEC, Birmingham from 17-19 May 2013.

As well as providing a superb family-friendly shopping experience, where you can compare 1000s of products from 100s of trusted brands and benefit from exclusive show-only offers, the event also offers visitors a unique opportunity to hear from a selection of leading baby and childcare experts. And when quoting exclusive ticket code BLOOM you can purchase show tickets for just £11.50 - a saving of over 40% on standard ticket prices. To book your tickets simply visit thebabyshow.co.uk and enter the above code."

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"The Baby Show, the UK's leading pregnancy & parenting event, returns to NEC, Birmingham from 17-19 May 2013.

As well as providing a superb family-friendly shopping experience, where you can compare 1000s of products from 100s of trusted brands and benefit from exclusive show-only offers, the event also offers visitors a unique opportunity to hear from a selection of leading baby and childcare experts. And when quoting exclusive ticket code BLOOM you can purchase show tickets for just £11.50 - a saving of over 40% on standard ticket prices. To book your tickets simply visit thebabyshow.co.uk and enter the above code."

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Three Cheers for the Royal Baby

Posted on

Following last year's Jubilee and Olympic celebrations we left 2012 on a high but it's fair to say 2013 hasn't really had the best of starts with more doom and gloom in the economy as well as freezing temperatures causing chaos nationwide. So all hail William and Kate! We were delighted for them when they announced Kate's pregnancy of course but now as the due date draws ever closer we must admit we are getting a little carried away and have set up our very own BabyBlooms Bump Watch in the office. You can regularly hear cries of 'ooh look what she's wearing!' as we crowd and gaze enviously at various pics of Kate looking stunning with her ever growing bump - no sweat pants and hubby's t-shirt for Kate!

The endearing nature of Kate and her willingness to share little titbits about her pregnancy make her just like one of us and it makes us feel like we are waiting news of a friend's new baby. We now know she is due mid-July (wouldn't it be strange if the baby came early and was born on 1st July the same day as Diana or late and on 29th July, the same date as Charles and Di's wedding in 1981?) They also have a shortlist of names. We are guessing these names will be traditional like Helen or Victoria - apparently William Hill's are already taking bets and if we were the betting sort would take a punt on Grace at 20/1 or George at 12/1 as they are traditional but modern at the same time. One thing's for sure, whatever the baby's name, it's sure to feature in the next annual Top Ten Baby Names list both here and in the States.

Its not just us who have got ourselves a little over-excited...we have made a gorgeous red, white & blue bouquet made up with hats, babygros, bibs and scratchmitts all ready for the impending arrival. Big companies are lining up some great memorabilia:

Renowned pottery expert, Emma Bridgewater recently announced a quirky collection mugs to celebrate the pregnancy https://uk.news.yahoo.com/kate-middleton-pregnant--baby-mugs-produced-in-potteries-by-emma-bridgewater--111831349.html#kHfwoMH and the UK Gift Company have already started a newsletter request service with the promise of souvenirs from the likes of Steiff and Aynsley https://www.theukgiftcompany.co.uk/royal_baby_gifts/2134_i.html - a Royalist's dream.

Of course along with the serious business of bump watching comes the downright ridiculous stories - although they are funny and we're sure knowing Wills and Kate they will raise a smile in the Royal Household. So from the sublime to the ridiculous, you can follow the Royal unborn baby on Twitter (!) just look for @IamRoyalBaby very bizarre. However, not as bizarre as the South African Geneticist who has already created pictures of how the baby could look when they are a teenager https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2283812/Is-Royal-baby-look-like-teenager-Geneticist-predicts-facial-characteristics-Wills-Kates-future-child.html

Whatever the baby (and teen) will look like, he or she is about to become one of the most famous people on the planet and we are sure that with parents like Wills and Kate, they will be protected as much as possible from worldwide media attention and allowed to have as much fun as we did as children.

Please join us in our BabyBlooms Bump Watch. What's your favourite outfit you have seen Kate in so far? We love this one ................

Kate Wears Tartan

Read more


Three Cheers for the Royal Baby

Posted on

Following last year's Jubilee and Olympic celebrations we left 2012 on a high but it's fair to say 2013 hasn't really had the best of starts with more doom and gloom in the economy as well as freezing temperatures causing chaos nationwide. So all hail William and Kate! We were delighted for them when they announced Kate's pregnancy of course but now as the due date draws ever closer we must admit we are getting a little carried away and have set up our very own BabyBlooms Bump Watch in the office. You can regularly hear cries of 'ooh look what she's wearing!' as we crowd and gaze enviously at various pics of Kate looking stunning with her ever growing bump - no sweat pants and hubby's t-shirt for Kate!

The endearing nature of Kate and her willingness to share little titbits about her pregnancy make her just like one of us and it makes us feel like we are waiting news of a friend's new baby. We now know she is due mid-July (wouldn't it be strange if the baby came early and was born on 1st July the same day as Diana or late and on 29th July, the same date as Charles and Di's wedding in 1981?) They also have a shortlist of names. We are guessing these names will be traditional like Helen or Victoria - apparently William Hill's are already taking bets and if we were the betting sort would take a punt on Grace at 20/1 or George at 12/1 as they are traditional but modern at the same time. One thing's for sure, whatever the baby's name, it's sure to feature in the next annual Top Ten Baby Names list both here and in the States.

Its not just us who have got ourselves a little over-excited...we have made a gorgeous red, white & blue bouquet made up with hats, babygros, bibs and scratchmitts all ready for the impending arrival. Big companies are lining up some great memorabilia:

Renowned pottery expert, Emma Bridgewater recently announced a quirky collection mugs to celebrate the pregnancy https://uk.news.yahoo.com/kate-middleton-pregnant--baby-mugs-produced-in-potteries-by-emma-bridgewater--111831349.html#kHfwoMH and the UK Gift Company have already started a newsletter request service with the promise of souvenirs from the likes of Steiff and Aynsley https://www.theukgiftcompany.co.uk/royal_baby_gifts/2134_i.html - a Royalist's dream.

Of course along with the serious business of bump watching comes the downright ridiculous stories - although they are funny and we're sure knowing Wills and Kate they will raise a smile in the Royal Household. So from the sublime to the ridiculous, you can follow the Royal unborn baby on Twitter (!) just look for @IamRoyalBaby very bizarre. However, not as bizarre as the South African Geneticist who has already created pictures of how the baby could look when they are a teenager https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2283812/Is-Royal-baby-look-like-teenager-Geneticist-predicts-facial-characteristics-Wills-Kates-future-child.html

Whatever the baby (and teen) will look like, he or she is about to become one of the most famous people on the planet and we are sure that with parents like Wills and Kate, they will be protected as much as possible from worldwide media attention and allowed to have as much fun as we did as children.

Please join us in our BabyBlooms Bump Watch. What's your favourite outfit you have seen Kate in so far? We love this one ................

Kate Wears Tartan

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"Give Celebs a Break"

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For every celeb mum-to-be who is feted for being the best dressed Yummy Mummy in town, there are always some who become the focus of much media hilarity and criticism.
You won't find me often siding with the Kim Kardashians of the world but give the poor girl a break. Just saw this post today about her latest supposed fashion faux-pas and felt moved to post.

https://uk.omg.yahoo.com/gossip/googoogaga/pregnant-kim-kardashian-dresses-up-bump-for-church--still-struggling-with-her-maternity-wardrobe-061435995.html

Hands up who struggled with their own maternity wardrobe? Hell yeah! Who stood in front of the mirror weighing up their bump from every angle trying to decide if a dress made you look well, just plain fat? How many of you then thought 'Sod it! I am pregnant and you will take me as you find me!? Poor Kim doesn't have that luxury. I am sure she longs to throw on a pair of tracksuit bottoms and a vest top that doesn't quite cover her bump just to nip to the shops. Instead, she is scrutinised for every single maternity outfit she wears. Granted this dress isn't the most flattering from the back but I think the colour and the front look lovely. Plus she has been criticised by the media for hiding her bump and it was even suggested that she wasn't actually pregnant because of the clothes she wore. So because she isn't showing her bump off at every opportunity that is now seen as a bad thing so they are jumping on her for bad dress sense. I say dress how you feel comfortable Kim..apart from that questionable jumpsuit!

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"Give Celebs a Break"

Posted on

For every celeb mum-to-be who is feted for being the best dressed Yummy Mummy in town, there are always some who become the focus of much media hilarity and criticism.
You won't find me often siding with the Kim Kardashians of the world but give the poor girl a break. Just saw this post today about her latest supposed fashion faux-pas and felt moved to post.

https://uk.omg.yahoo.com/gossip/googoogaga/pregnant-kim-kardashian-dresses-up-bump-for-church--still-struggling-with-her-maternity-wardrobe-061435995.html

Hands up who struggled with their own maternity wardrobe? Hell yeah! Who stood in front of the mirror weighing up their bump from every angle trying to decide if a dress made you look well, just plain fat? How many of you then thought 'Sod it! I am pregnant and you will take me as you find me!? Poor Kim doesn't have that luxury. I am sure she longs to throw on a pair of tracksuit bottoms and a vest top that doesn't quite cover her bump just to nip to the shops. Instead, she is scrutinised for every single maternity outfit she wears. Granted this dress isn't the most flattering from the back but I think the colour and the front look lovely. Plus she has been criticised by the media for hiding her bump and it was even suggested that she wasn't actually pregnant because of the clothes she wore. So because she isn't showing her bump off at every opportunity that is now seen as a bad thing so they are jumping on her for bad dress sense. I say dress how you feel comfortable Kim..apart from that questionable jumpsuit!

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BabyBlooms Bump Watch – Is it a boy or a girl ?

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BabyBlooms Bump Watch – Is it a boy or a girl?

How many times when you were pregnant did people take a step away from you weighing up your bump before sagely announcing the sex of your unborn child as if they were Sir Robert Winston? I remember when I was pregnant for the second time and a friend told me that when you are carrying a boy its all bump and if its all over and on your bum it’s a girl… cue the sage nodding and weighing me up before announcing ‘Its definitely a girl!’ Up until that moment I actually hadn’t noticed my ever expanding backside and damn her she was right I did have a girl… and two years on the big backside!


You can’t really see people going up to Kate and doing the same though can you? Lie down Kate while I balance your humongous wedding ring on a piece of cotton over your bump to see what you are having? Although secretly we hope her close friends have done that? So its left for the world to guess what she is having. We wonder if the Royal household know the sex of the baby already – do you think planning and Royal protocol mean they have to plan everything including what to expect? I chose (my husband wanted to know) not to find out as I reasoned that after the pain of labour I would like a nice surprise- thank you very much. Plus I am that much of a blabbermouth I would have told everyone beforehand which somehow spoils it. I know many of you won’t share that view and are organised and want to know so can plan everything which is great, but wasn’t for me. Although both times, I instinctively knew I was having girls. It didn’t enter my head to look at blue clothes or boys nursery accessories even though I didn’t admit that out loud.

I am sure Kate has an idea in her gut what she is having and if she does know she is a master at keeping schtum. She has expressed the desire for a boy while Wills would like a girl. I feel slightly sorry for her that she has to remain neutral when handed lots of baby gifts from members of the public with the media poised for any reaction towards blue or pink! For now we can all keep guessing…..although judging by Kate’s pert bottom and my friend’s ultimate wisdom I’m saying BOY!

https://www.britmums.com/2013/02/royal-baby-bump-watch/

Read more


BabyBlooms Bump Watch – Is it a boy or a girl?

How many times when you were pregnant did people take a step away from you weighing up your bump before sagely announcing the sex of your unborn child as if they were Sir Robert Winston? I remember when I was pregnant for the second time and a friend told me that when you are carrying a boy its all bump and if its all over and on your bum it’s a girl… cue the sage nodding and weighing me up before announcing ‘Its definitely a girl!’ Up until that moment I actually hadn’t noticed my ever expanding backside and damn her she was right I did have a girl… and two years on the big backside!


You can’t really see people going up to Kate and doing the same though can you? Lie down Kate while I balance your humongous wedding ring on a piece of cotton over your bump to see what you are having? Although secretly we hope her close friends have done that? So its left for the world to guess what she is having. We wonder if the Royal household know the sex of the baby already – do you think planning and Royal protocol mean they have to plan everything including what to expect? I chose (my husband wanted to know) not to find out as I reasoned that after the pain of labour I would like a nice surprise- thank you very much. Plus I am that much of a blabbermouth I would have told everyone beforehand which somehow spoils it. I know many of you won’t share that view and are organised and want to know so can plan everything which is great, but wasn’t for me. Although both times, I instinctively knew I was having girls. It didn’t enter my head to look at blue clothes or boys nursery accessories even though I didn’t admit that out loud.

I am sure Kate has an idea in her gut what she is having and if she does know she is a master at keeping schtum. She has expressed the desire for a boy while Wills would like a girl. I feel slightly sorry for her that she has to remain neutral when handed lots of baby gifts from members of the public with the media poised for any reaction towards blue or pink! For now we can all keep guessing…..although judging by Kate’s pert bottom and my friend’s ultimate wisdom I’m saying BOY!

https://www.britmums.com/2013/02/royal-baby-bump-watch/

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Should we believe everything we read about celeb pregnancies?

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I am very easily distracted at the best of times so when daily celeb titbits drop into my inbox, I am known to forget I have real work and drift off to read about celebs who I am actually not that fussed about. Take this article in this weeks Instyle's Daily for example. I saw the headline 'Kim Kardashian shares her pregnancy cravings' and thought ooh I wonder what she is scoffing with gay abandon! Told you I'm easily distracted. Lo and behold rather than a lump of coal or mashed potatoes, Kim is craving carrots and ranch dressing!! Stop the press! She says she has gone off sweets and chocolate that she usually craves can you picture this woman chowing down on a Kit-Kat? Me neither! But carrots?? Get a craving worth having that's what I say.

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, my husband introduced me to roast potato sandwiches! Only a man could create that sandwich and then eat it without any thought for the consequences. But seeing as I was pregnant and putting on weight anyway I indulged (rather a lot). I also had to have coleslaw on everything...and not your lovely fresh home-made type. I craved the horrid cheap tasting supermarket offerings. Haven't been able to eat it since...ugh.

With my second, there was a carb-shaped pattern emerging. If it was on a muffin, bap,roll, croissant or bagel I was all over it. I was sick every day for 9 months and it still didn't put me off my cravings/food. Which begs the question, I know that cravings are a very real physical pregnancy symptom, but do you think we create cravings to suit? I hold my hands up and admit that gorging on cheese sandwiches and chips without then beating myself up for a week (or heaven forbid going to the gym to compensate) was quite liberating. So forget your carrots what did you really fancy when you were pregnant? I won't shout at you if your craving was carrots but I hope they were covered in butter!

Read more


I am very easily distracted at the best of times so when daily celeb titbits drop into my inbox, I am known to forget I have real work and drift off to read about celebs who I am actually not that fussed about. Take this article in this weeks Instyle's Daily for example. I saw the headline 'Kim Kardashian shares her pregnancy cravings' and thought ooh I wonder what she is scoffing with gay abandon! Told you I'm easily distracted. Lo and behold rather than a lump of coal or mashed potatoes, Kim is craving carrots and ranch dressing!! Stop the press! She says she has gone off sweets and chocolate that she usually craves can you picture this woman chowing down on a Kit-Kat? Me neither! But carrots?? Get a craving worth having that's what I say.

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, my husband introduced me to roast potato sandwiches! Only a man could create that sandwich and then eat it without any thought for the consequences. But seeing as I was pregnant and putting on weight anyway I indulged (rather a lot). I also had to have coleslaw on everything...and not your lovely fresh home-made type. I craved the horrid cheap tasting supermarket offerings. Haven't been able to eat it since...ugh.

With my second, there was a carb-shaped pattern emerging. If it was on a muffin, bap,roll, croissant or bagel I was all over it. I was sick every day for 9 months and it still didn't put me off my cravings/food. Which begs the question, I know that cravings are a very real physical pregnancy symptom, but do you think we create cravings to suit? I hold my hands up and admit that gorging on cheese sandwiches and chips without then beating myself up for a week (or heaven forbid going to the gym to compensate) was quite liberating. So forget your carrots what did you really fancy when you were pregnant? I won't shout at you if your craving was carrots but I hope they were covered in butter!

Read more



Maternity Leave - The Facts

Posted on

Employees Four Key Pregnancy Rights Spring is on the way and thoughts turn to new beginnings! don't wait until you are on Maternity leave, if you are considering starting or extending your family it's worth having an idea about some of the legislation surrounding pregnant employees. Otherwise, you may have a colleague or team member who is expecting.Pregnant employees have 4 key rights: paid time off for antenatal care, maternity leave, maternity pay and protection against unfair treatment, discrimination or...

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Maternity Leave - The Facts

Posted on

Employees Four Key Pregnancy Rights

Spring is on the way and thoughts turn to new beginnings! don't wait until you are on Maternity leave, if you are considering starting or extending your family it's worth having an idea about some of the legislation surrounding pregnant employees. Otherwise, you may have a colleague or team member who is expecting.

Pregnant employees have 4 key rights: paid time off for antenatal care, maternity leave, maternity pay and protection against unfair treatment, discrimination or dismissal. Antenatal care isn't just medical appointments. Antenatal or parenting classes which have been recommended by a doctor or midwife are also included.

Employers can't change a pregnant employee's contract terms and conditions without agreement. If they do, they are in breach of contract. Maternity leave and statutory maternity pay will start automatically if an employee is away from work for a pregnancy-related illness during the 4 weeks before the baby is due. This is regardless of what has been agreed before. If you aren't taking statutory maternity leave, you must take 2 weeks off after the baby is born. This is extended to 4 weeks if you work in a factory.

You must tell your employer about the pregnancy at least 15 weeks before the start of the week when the baby is due. If this isn't possible (eg. if you didn't know that you were pregnant) you must advise your employer as soon as possible. You must also tell your employer when you want to start your statutory maternity pay.

For full details go to: www.gov.uk/working-when-pregnant-your-rights

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New Mum Fitness Excuses

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I realised yesterday as I was pulling on my very snug jeans that I am not a new mum anymore. I cannot pull the 'oh its baby weight' card any longer. My youngest will be two next month! How have I got two years down the line and now heavier than I was before I got pregnant? I just can't seem to get my head around losing weight and I don't know why when we are surrounded by celebs (and...

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New Mum Fitness Excuses

Posted on

I realised yesterday as I was pulling on my very snug jeans that I am not a new mum anymore. I cannot pull the 'oh its baby weight' card any longer. My youngest will be two next month! How have I got two years down the line and now heavier than I was before I got pregnant? I just can't seem to get my head around losing weight and I don't know why when we are surrounded by celebs (and my sister!) who just snap back into shape.

Celebrity Mums

 

Rather than getting a grip of myself I actually bemoan the fact that celebs are paid to get back into shape. I heard myself say to my husband 'If I was famous I'd have lost weight by now. 'Lame or what? I read article after article (as I'm a magazine addict) about celebs who drop all their baby weight and then some in just 4 weeks. Not fair! But then again, would I have had the energy to start an exercise plan and diet immediately after giving birth? No way. Could I have dedicated myself to such a strict regime and leave my baby to be babysat while I went running? As if!

The fact is, celebs have lots of help to lose weight - nutritionists, trainers oh and I think the most important of all childminders. I know, I know more excuses but if it came down to cuddles with my kids or a 10K run, the cuddles win every time. So now they are a little older and I have no excuses left I have come up with an action plan for losing weight:

  1. Cut my portion size (I can eat more than my husband FACT)
  2. Exercise for at least 40 minutes 3 times a week - I am Queen of excuses. I even used writing this blog post as one!
  3. Measure myself - will have to work up to that one, the scales were bad enough.
  4. Do not tell people I am on a diet - you readers don't count - I mean mums at school, friends etc. Its too much pressure. I want them to suddenly gasp and say how wonderful I'm looking.
  5. I will update you with my progress -hopefully I can inspire and help other mums who are struggling to get motivated like me.
....watch this space!

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Five a Day for Children

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Do kids need 5 A day? Yes, Children need five portions of fruit and veg each day, just like adults.Ensuring good nutrition is a key part of parenting. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of the nutrients that children need for a healthy, balanced diet.Current recommendations are that children eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Sadly, research shows that on average children in England eat only two portions, with many eating fewer. The School...

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Five a Day for Children

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Do kids need 5 A day?

Yes, Children need five portions of fruit and veg each day, just like adults.

Ensuring good nutrition is a key part of parenting. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of the nutrients that children need for a healthy, balanced diet.

Current recommendations are that children eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Sadly, research shows that on average children in England eat only two portions, with many eating fewer.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (SFVS)

The SFVS is a scheme designed to help children achieve 5 A DAY. Children aged four to six who attend a fully state-funded infant, primary or special school are entitled to receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable each school day.

As well as providing one of their 5 A DAY, the scheme also helps to increase awareness of the importance of eating fruit and vegetables. In addition, this encourages children to adopt healthy eating habits which they will keep throughout life.

Teachers find that distributing the fruit in class groups helps to encourage a sharing, calm, social time.generally, the fruit and vegetables are delivered to schools three times a week to ensure that they are always fresh. All the fruit and vegetables must be washed. Then, they are usually handed out just before the mid-morning break in class groups.

Apart from the SFVS, your child has other opportunities through the school day to add to their 5 A DAY total. All schools that provide meals for pupils must also include at least one portion of fruit and one portion of vegetables or salad for each pupil, every day. Schools are encouraged to create lunch menus which promote in-season fruit and vegetables to pupils as part of their food.education.

Fresh fruit and vegetable options must be provided at all school food outlets. As well as lunch, these include: breakfast club, tuck shops at mid-morning break and lunch, and in vending machines.

for more information visit: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/5ADAY/Pages/schoolscheme.aspx

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Theodora Children's Trust

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As some of you may know, BabyBlooms is extremely proud to support the Theodora Children’s Trust. We have a range of products in our Theodora collection and donate £5.00 from each sale to the charity.

So what is Theodora’s Children’s Trust and where does our money go? It is without doubt one of the most inspiring and truly unique charities and their tireless work to create laugher and giggles for poorly children is just staggering.

The charity was founded in 1994 by André and Jan Poulie. When André was a child, he had a serious accident which meant he had to spend months in hospital. His mother, Théodora (and now the charity’s namesake) used to visit him every day. André always remembers how much his mother made him laugh and how her positivity and optimism helped hospital seem a less scary place. André and his brother Jan set up the charity to bring the same kind of happiness to other children poorly in hospital. Hospital can be a scary place for anyone especially for children who are surrounded by things alien to their normal life such as medical equipment, tests and different people. Theodora’s Trust believe that despite their illness children are children before they are a patient and should be treated as such with fun and laughter and above all respite from their illness.

André and Jan introduced two Giggle Doctors to Great Ormond Street and now 18 years on they have a team of 22 trained Theodora Giggle Doctors, who visit more than 60,000 children with their families every year.

So what’s a Giggle Doctor? Giggle Doctors are specialist entertainers, trained by the charity to work in the hospital environment and with children with disabilities. The Giggle Doctors come from a variety of backgrounds and include actors, entertainers, teachers, magicians, musicians and singers.

Each of the 22 undergoes medical workshops as well as artistic training and learn about child development, infection control and child bereavement as well as the impact of serious illness and bereavement on families as a whole. You can meet each Giggle Doctor on the charity’s website www.theodora.org.uk and each one is also trained to communicate with children with special needs. All of the Giggle Doctors inject fun and laughter into the lives of the children they visit.

Every £5.00 we donate from sales pays for a Giggle Doctor visit which is amazing. We have raised over £X for the charity so far and on 12th June we attended a wonderful reception for Theodora at Number 10 Downing Street. The event was hosted by the lovely Samantha Cameron and it was amazing to see all the charity’s hard work recognised. Please take a look at our Theodora collection and do check out the Theodora’s Childrens Trust website to see other ways in which you can support this unique and worthy cause.

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Theodora Children's Trust

Posted on

As some of you may know, BabyBlooms is extremely proud to support the Theodora Children’s Trust. We have a range of products in our Theodora collection and donate £5.00 from each sale to the charity.

So what is Theodora’s Children’s Trust and where does our money go? It is without doubt one of the most inspiring and truly unique charities and their tireless work to create laugher and giggles for poorly children is just staggering.

The charity was founded in 1994 by André and Jan Poulie. When André was a child, he had a serious accident which meant he had to spend months in hospital. His mother, Théodora (and now the charity’s namesake) used to visit him every day. André always remembers how much his mother made him laugh and how her positivity and optimism helped hospital seem a less scary place. André and his brother Jan set up the charity to bring the same kind of happiness to other children poorly in hospital. Hospital can be a scary place for anyone especially for children who are surrounded by things alien to their normal life such as medical equipment, tests and different people. Theodora’s Trust believe that despite their illness children are children before they are a patient and should be treated as such with fun and laughter and above all respite from their illness.

André and Jan introduced two Giggle Doctors to Great Ormond Street and now 18 years on they have a team of 22 trained Theodora Giggle Doctors, who visit more than 60,000 children with their families every year.

So what’s a Giggle Doctor? Giggle Doctors are specialist entertainers, trained by the charity to work in the hospital environment and with children with disabilities. The Giggle Doctors come from a variety of backgrounds and include actors, entertainers, teachers, magicians, musicians and singers.

Each of the 22 undergoes medical workshops as well as artistic training and learn about child development, infection control and child bereavement as well as the impact of serious illness and bereavement on families as a whole. You can meet each Giggle Doctor on the charity’s website www.theodora.org.uk and each one is also trained to communicate with children with special needs. All of the Giggle Doctors inject fun and laughter into the lives of the children they visit.

Every £5.00 we donate from sales pays for a Giggle Doctor visit which is amazing. We have raised over £X for the charity so far and on 12th June we attended a wonderful reception for Theodora at Number 10 Downing Street. The event was hosted by the lovely Samantha Cameron and it was amazing to see all the charity’s hard work recognised. Please take a look at our Theodora collection and do check out the Theodora’s Childrens Trust website to see other ways in which you can support this unique and worthy cause.

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Help With Childcare Costs

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Do childcare costs stop you from working? For professional parents it can sometimes feel frustrating that a significant proportion of their income contributes to the cost of their childcare. Sometimes this means that returning to work is simply not viable. Here we outline 2 of the means that the government offers in helping with childcare costs.Free Early Education is one means of support. Children aged three and four are entitled to 15 hours of free early education each week for...

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Help With Childcare Costs

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Do childcare costs stop you from working?

For professional parents it can sometimes feel frustrating that a significant proportion of their income contributes to the cost of their childcare. Sometimes this means that returning to work is simply not viable. Here we outline 2 of the means that the government offers in helping with childcare costs.

Free Early Education is one means of support. Children aged three and four are entitled to 15 hours of free early education each week for 38 weeks of the year. Children become eligible from 1 September, 1 January or 1 April following their 3rd birthday. This Free Early Education can be at nursery schools, children's centres, day nurseries, playgroups and pre-schools, with childminders or at Sure Start Children's Centres. Providers of Early Education? are regulated and inspected by Ofsted.

If you work and pay for childcare you may be able to get extra tax credits to help with the costs. In order to qualify, single parents must work 16 hours or more a week. If you're in a couple you must both work 16 hours a week or more (there are exceptions to this, please check the website below for full details). These tax credits are well worth investigating: you could get up to 70% of the childcare costs that you are claiming for. Childcare providers must be registered or approved (the carer can confirm this). These can include care provided at home, in school or another place by a childminder, playscheme, nursery or club etc.

For full details have a look at: www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs.

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