Blogtober Day 10 – Jokes

Blogtober Day 10 – Jokes

Monkey is just starting to understand jokes so I thought for today’s Blogtober post I would get her to tell me some of her favourites. You should never plan anything that relies on a three year old though. The conversation went something like this;

Me: Do you know any jokes?

Monkey: Yeah, I know lots.

Me: Tell me one then.

Monkey: Maybe if someone is feeling sad you could tell them one and maybe it will make them smile. You don’t have to tell them one though but it might be nice because we don’t want our friends to be sad.

Me: So what joke would you tell them?

Monkey: A funny one and it would make them laugh and then they wouldn’t be sad anymore.

Me: So which jokes make you laugh?

Monkey: I don’t know.

At this point I decided to give up. I’m guessing that soon I will be sick of listening to terrible jokes. She’s got her Grandad to learn from who is king of the crap dad joke. They really are so bad they’re good. At least the first 752 times, they get a bit old after that. One year I made him blue soup for Christmas dinner as I was so sick of his Oasis soup gag. You know the one, you get a roll with it!

My husband wanted to know why I was asking about jokes. It seems since we had Monkey he has also perfected the dad joke and is giving my dad a run for his money. He told me a few terrible jokes. Here’s the best of a bad bunch.

A man walks into a bar and orders three pints. He drinks them all one after the other then leaves. He does this every night for a while until eventually the barman asks why he orders them all at the same time instead of when he wants them. The man explained that he had an agreement with his two brothers that whenever one of them went to the pub they would have a pint for the other two. Things continued like this for a while until one day the man came in and ordered two pints. When he had spent a few days ordering just two the barman went to speak to him and told him how sorry he was for his loss. “Oh no, nobody’s died,” replied the man “I’ve just stopped drinking”

I’ll get my coat….



Blogtober Day 9 – Ice Cream

Blogtober Day 9 – Ice Cream

I love ice cream! For as long as I can remember it’s been my number one comfort food. I can eat an entire tub of Ben & Jerrys in one sitting if I’m in the mood although I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

So when Monkey was first diagnosed with her allergies it bothered me that she would never have ice cream. I know it was stupid and that there were things her diet would miss more but it became almost symbolic. And I was determined she wouldn’t miss out.

When I started looking into it there were quite a few dairy free ice creams out there. Less that were also soya and egg free but we did find some. Aldi chocolate coconut frozen dessert was a big favourite as was the Tesco free from one until it was discontinued. My little girl could still have ice cream.

Over the last year Monkey has been having a lot of food challenges and trials in hospital. They’ve gone far better then anyone expected and she is now eating more or less a normal diet. When we went away at the seaside she was very excited about having a “proper ice cream, with a cone, from the shop”. And so was I. It was so nice to take her to the ice cream counter and let her choose. Not a sorbet or a special allergy one but whatever she wanted. She chose a blue banana ice cream with sauce and sprinkles and she loved it! I think Monkey may be an ice cream fan just like Mummy.


Blogtober Day 8 – Our first family holiday

Blogtober Day 8 – Our first family holiday

I’m playing catch up again but yesterday’s prompt was holidays. I’m going to tell you the story of our first ever family holiday. Sounds sweet right? Well the reality was it was a nightmare!

We set off full of hope for a restful few days. We’d chosen to go to Scarborough. It wasn’t too far by train and looked like beautiful place for a little family break. And we needed a break. Monkey was three months old at this point. I was starting to get into some kind of a routine and feel like I kind of knew what I was doing as a mummy but it had been tough. Monkey had been poorly and in and out of hospital since she was ten days old. Nobody knew what was wrong with her at this point but she was back in hospital just a few days before we went and this time they suggested I try a dairy free diet.

So off we set to Scarborough, two tired parents and a poorly baby. What could possibly go wrong? The train journey should have given us a clue. Monkey was having lots of tummy issues at this time. The only baby change facilities on the train were in first class. Walking through that carriage with a baby covered in fluorescent green poo was never going to win me any friends, when she then threw up all over said posh carriage it was game over!

One of the things we’d liked about Scarborough when we booked it was all the little independent restaurants and lack of big chains. We hadn’t learnt yet that chains are your friend when eating out on a restricted diet. You can do your research in advance and find out what’s safe. The first night we went for an Italian meal. It was lovely but obviously contained milk as Monkey was up all night. And then she was poorly the entire time we were there.

We didn’t dare stray too far from our hotel because she was so bad. We had lots of trips to Boots for various medications and also to Mothercare as regular poonamis meant we ran out of clothes despite packing about five times what we SHOULD need.


When we did venture out the weather was terrible – cold, wet and very foggy. We were there two days before I even realised there was a castle on top of the hill.

So there you have it, our first holiday! Luckily they’ve got a lot better since then.



Mummy Meditations – Eve week 5

Mummy Meditations – Eve week 5

Mummy Meditations is a way for busy mums to spend time with God. The idea is to take just one bible verse each week and spend time studying and reflecting on it. I’ve been joining in for quite a while now and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve made friends through it, built good habits and most importantly it’s helped me grow in faith. I have to admit I struggled with this week’s verse though.

To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labour you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” – Genesis 3:16

I’ve struggled for a few reasons which I’m going to try to make sense of now.

  • I struggle with the idea of our loving God inflicting such pain.
  • I definitely struggle with the idea of men ruling over women.
  • I like to share the verses with three year old Monkey. If I was struggling with it, it was going to be difficult for her to make sense of.

I have to admit I was quite lucky. I had a rough pregnancy but labour and birth was nowhere near as bad as I expected. It wasn’t exactly pleasant but I was able to get through it with no pain relief by focusing on what that pain was for. Isaiah 66:9 tells us that God will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born. So yes, there is pain in childbearing but there is a reason for that pain.

Adam ruling over Eve was the part I struggled with more. But was this really what God intended? He created man and woman differently but equally, both being made in his image. It was only through sin that this perfect relationship changed.

And that’s what I decided to talk about with Monkey, sin having consequences. It wasn’t an easy verse to look at with her but too many children are just learning the “nice stories” from the bible with no idea if how it fits together. I want more than that for Monkey, she asks questions about God and Jesus and is eager to learn. I want to give her a proper knowledge of the bible to build good foundations for her own faith.

So it was important to look at this verse with her even if I still had no idea how. Rachel suggested dirtying a flannel to show how sin changes us but then cleaning it to show how we can be cleansed through Jesus. I’ve not had chance to do this yet but we’ll be doing it tomorrow before moving onto our final week looking at Eve with Genesis 4:1.

To find out more about Mummy Meditations join the facebook group here.

Keeping a beautiful smile

Keeping a beautiful smile

Happy World Smile Day!

Yes, that really is a thing. Since 1999 the first Friday of October has been a day to do something kind for others and help spread a smile. It’s a simple idea but one that I love.

Smiley Monkey

When I first heard about World Smile Day I just thought it would be a good excuse to show off Monkey’s beautiful smile. I know I’m biased but it is pretty cute! But thinking about smiles got me thinking about something that worries me.

We live in the worst place in the country for child tooth decay.

Our local authority scored worst on a recent study and our actual ward was the worst of the lot.

So how can I make sure her teeth stay beautiful?

Teeth brushing morning and night is a non- optional part of our routine. We used to brush her teeth in her bedroom as she couldn’t reach the bathroom sink even with a step. It was a bit of a battle to be honest and something that none of us looked forward to. The last few weeks she’s moved into the bathroom and things have completely changed. She actually brushed her teeth! No messing, no crying, no running away, just getting on with the job we need to do.

We’ve also taken her to the dentist regularly from a young age. I’m not convinced they actually look at her teeth much, last time they counted them but we were out in 30 seconds, but it helps keep the fear away if it’s just something she’s always done.

I’ve not gone down the banning sugar route. For a long time there was so much she couldn’t eat so if I found a snack she could it was party time, sugar or not. We do try to limit how much sugar she has though and certainly none before bedtime.

Nursery have also been doing a lot with Monkey and her friends about looking after their teeth as it’s a big priority in the area.

I just hope it’s all enough. I don’t want her to be part of that statistic and I definitely don’t want her to lose that beautiful smile.

Blogtober Day 7 – Goals

Blogtober Day 7 – Goals

Day 7 of Blogtober is Goals and I’ve finally worked out the prompts are alphabetical!

It’s only a week since I wrote a list of 40 things I want to do before I’m 40 so it seemed silly to write another list. I thought I’d do a quick progress report on that instead. A VERY quick progress report as you can’t do much in a week.

1. Be a consistent blogger

So far so good with this one! I’m taking part in both Blogtober and the Ultimate Blog Challenge so I’ve posted twice a day every day this month. I probably won’t keep this pace up forever but I’m building good habits and more people are starting to read this little blog of mine.

10. Finally finish my family tree cross stitch

I’ve dug it out and I’m enjoying stitching in the evenings once Monkey is in bed. There’s still a long way to go but here’s where I’m up to so far.


23. Memorise the books of the bible

I recently went to a Walk through the bible event and I bought these brilliant little memory cards to help me with this one.


The links to the books from some of the pictures are so bad they’ll make you groan but they really do help you remember. I can get all the way through the Old Testament with them although I still need to work on learning them without. I can confidently get up to 2 Chronicles with no cards, sometimes further but I wouldn’t say I properly knew them.

28. Read 20 books that have been recommended to me.

I’ve started getting a list together and I’m excited because there are lots of authors I’ve not heard of and a real mix of genres. There is still room on the list though so if you have a recommendation please let me know in the comments.

36. Visit every city in the UK

I’m currently at 1/69. It appears the UK has more cities than I realised and I totally forgot about Northern Ireland so this could be a tricky one to complete.

The one is a bit of a cheat really as it’s Manchester. I can’t really not visit it really – I live there! I am going to Chester with work on Wednesday though so I can get another one checked off.

And that’s it! Not much progress so far but it has only been a week. I’ll do an update every month with how I’m getting on.



Blogtober Day 6 – My Wedding Flowers

Blogtober Day 6 – My Wedding Flowers

Today’s prompt for Blogtober is flowers. I always knew it was one I’d struggle with as I’m not a particularly flowery person. It’s rare that I buy or get bought flowers, there are no flowers around where I live, I don’t even have any flowery clothes or anything that I love to write about.

I think the last time I got excited about flowers was when I was planning my wedding. I don’t actually know anything about flowers but I had a rough idea of what I wanted. I was shocked when I looked at florists though. I was getting quotes of four figures, some of them more than double the price of my dress. I wanted my flowers to look nice but they weren’t enough of a big deal to justify that kind of money. Especially as one florists wanted to charge me silly money and refuse to give me what I wanted. Apparently lilies just aren’t suitable for weddings. If it’s my wedding and you want six grand off me surely anything is suitable!

At the time my chief bridesmaid worked in a garden centre. She suggested getting in touch with their flower department. It was a moment of genius! I managed to get exactly what I wanted for a fraction of the price. Bridal bouquet, tied lilies for adult bridesmaid, baskets of flowers for two little bridesmaids, button holes for six men and two big bouquets for our mums all for around £300. I can’t remember the exact price as it’s a while ago now but I do remember the baskets were £7.50. I thought that was reasonable just for the baskets and asked how much the flowers to fill it would be but that was the price all in!


My flowers looked great. I certainly never felt like I’d gone for the cheap option. I can’t see what made the ones from the florists worth over £2,500 more. Looking for pictures to share here I realised I had hardly any of my flowers so would they really have been worth the expense.