Year in review: 2017. #blogtober day 25

25 days in… today’s prompt is ‘Y’ for the ‘Year in review’ – so without further ado, here’s the low down of my 2017…


Daddy’s birthday, a new year, cold weather. I’m not a fan of January what with the Christmas slump, but the days pass quickly when you have a small human!


A difficult month in my personal life, and another hospital admission for Squid. 


Mother’s Day! A wonderful one spent in some beautiful gardens with a picnic and my favourite people. 


We saw lambs being born and held some ducklings… Squid bloody hated it…


Still nippy, but I love May-time! Look at those bluebells!


A house move meant total unheaval… it was exhausting for Squid as you can see. 


A family holiday to celebrate my dad’s 50th birthday and the addition of our newest family member – Boofulcat!


Lots of sunny-summer holiday activities – it was so wonderful to have time off with Squid…

But August brought with it a further hospital stay for baby boy…


We celebrated 2 years of life for Squid – a happy happy day. September was the start of me working (temporarily) full time… it was a slog!


My favourite month, and it’s nearly over! We’ve had lots of leafy walks, and Squid has changed so much over the last month. 

What a quick year! I can’t believe we’re on the descent to Christmas already. 

What has been your 2017 highlight?

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

More of me?




Four parenting mantras I live by #blogtober day seventeen

Squid on Saturday just gone… at a restaurant for a family birthday, I am not sure my blood pressure has ever been so high! On top form, Squid took great pleasure in crawling on the floor, eating dried bits of rice, screaming if anyone but me touched him and generally causing havoc!

#blogtober day 17’s prompt is ‘quotes’ – and there are many quotes that I parent by, so I thought I’d share the 4 that have often kept me going when the going gets tough(er than usual). Parenting is hard work. There’s no two ways about it, but keeping these phrases in mind can really help!

1. This too shall pass. 

Everything is a phase, and usually, at the point you think you’re really going to lose your shit, they cut the tooth/learn to stand/have a language explosion and things get easier again. 

Mischief personified

2. It won’t always be like this. 

This one works 2 ways for me: it won’t always be this hard, and also he won’t always be this little, and I’ll miss it. This helps me to try and maintain a rational position on the situation – because I do really miss each stage as it passes! 

ONLY Owl Ice Cream can brush his teeth…

3. He’s not giving you a hard time, he’s having a hard time. 

Ahh. This one is so important. I think it every day. When Squid is having a shit-fit because I’ve cut his toast into triangles, not squares, and even worse: I’ve put the toast on the orange plate and he WANTED THE PINK ONE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, EVEN THOUGH HE ASKED FOR THE ORANGE ONE, I have to remind myself that he’s just asserting himself, he’s having a hard time making his opinion heard, he wants to be understood and validated. (Though I’m sure he also thinks I’m just plain stupid for not knowing about the plate-colour preference that day, and not guessing that when he says marmite he actually wants peanut butter…) Toddlers are a bloody mine field at times, but I remind myself that he’s learning and growing at a rate of knots and that really can’t be easy! 

A highly unimpressive Twister…

And finally…

4. There’s a cold bottle of Pinot in the fridge. 
Yes, this often keeps me going. Because who on earth can parent without wine? After 6pm, of course…

See you tomorrow,

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

More of me?



#blogtober day fifteen – old photos: growing up in the 90s

Blogtober day 15 is all about ‘old photos’! I’ve spent the afternoon raiding a box at my parents’ house, full of photos from my past, and I’ve found a fabulous selection of photos which epitomise what it was like to grow up in the 90s! 

I was born in 1990, and so I grew up listening to the Spice Girls, Steps, The Venga Boys and B*witched. I played with barbies and Polly Pocket. I had a tamagotchi, and swapped (original!) Pokémon cards. I remember when Diana died. I used to record the Hit 40 UK chart on a tape, and have to wind it back with a pencil. I had a portable tape player and thought I was the bees knees. My mum made a lot of my clothes, my hair was the wrong side of curly and I didn’t discover curly hair products until my 20s. We played ‘out’ until it got dark and lived through the millennium celebrations! Though it wasn’t too long ago, the world has changed beyond recognition since I was born, and I am starting to feel old compared to the kids I teach – they often have to show me how to do things on the computer! 

Enjoy this snap shot of my life, and forgive me for some of the outfit choices!

I still do this squinty eye thing when I smile!

I’ve always had an affinity with cats! Definitely not in the ‘safe sleep practice’ rule book!

A year old, with Freddie Mercury. Sorry, no, my dad.

Hand made dresses and big hair!

We lived in County Durham until I was 6

I see a mini-me every time I look at Squid!

My baby brother arrived in April ‘94. A home birth in the living room whilst I played with my Playdoh. I remember mum screaming and me rushing in to the lounge to see my brother had arrived!

Chunky, but funky. James was a huge baby!

Ah, weren’t we cute?!

Age 8 to 11 ish

My brother and I as field mice! And check out my cousin’s crimped hair!

Growing up… puberty is so awkward, isn’t it?!

Straight hair, spotty skin, puppy fat…!

Aged 16, school prom. I went to my school prom and the boys’ school prom too. Two different dresses, the red one hand made by my mum. I hated it, I felt like a sausage. I can’t believe I ever thought I was fat, I remember being so self conscious thinking I was flabby in these photos!

And now…

I sometimes look like this… with hubby (top left) and my brother, James (bottom left)

But mostly I look like this!

Ahh, wasn’t that embarrasing?! 

But I’m not done… I just wanted to share the evolution of my brother with you, because I know how much he will appreciate this…

James loved to dress up… and often went to school wearing lipstick and hair clips!

He wanted to be The Little Mermaid and would perform ‘shows’ at any opportunity!

Puberty was not so kind…

But he blossomed into a beautiful swan!

I’ll just leave you with this one…

See you tomorrow!

Love, Squidmamma x 🐙

More of me?



#blogtober day ten: newborn photo shoots – a cautionary tale…

#blogtober day ten’s prompt is ‘jokes’ and I’m pretty crap at telling jokes so I don’t have any to share. What I am quite good at though, is embarrassing stories, and this one is quite spectacular. 

So you know how ‘newborn’ photo shoots are all the rage? A tiny, curled up newborn baby, strategically placed in a flower pot, or a peacefully sleeping babe wrapped in a swaddle, with beautiful flowers surrounding them? You get the picture. 

Well, these photo shoots are really bloody expensive (and I know the reasons why, I’m not saying they’re not worth it), so when my Auntie offered to pay for some photos of newborn squishy Squid, we jumped at the chance.

However, the photographer could only fit us in at the end of October, when Squid would be 6 weeks old, and about 4 weeks outside of that ‘ideal’ golden window when newborns are still all curled up and still… but anyway, we went along with a few outfits and props, hoping to get some snaps to make calendars for family for Christmas. 

We arrived: the lady had her photography studio set up in her house. We got straight to business, and she set up a few back drops with props, and we placed our lovely boy in a basket for some photos. 

And then the hell began 😂 Squid hated it. Every second of it. He screamed and screamed – I had barely been unattached from him for more than 3 minutes since he was born (…not much has changed!!!), and the bright lights were too bold and he hated it. So, I fed him, happily whipping out a boob to calm his cries. 

He fell asleep, so the photographer suggested trying again. But as you can imagine, he cried again, and so I picked him up and boobed him… again and again, and he was always such a leisurely feeder! This went on for more than an hour, and I was sweating and in a total flap. 

And then, Squid did the biggest poo you have ever, ever seen. A total poonami, poosplosion, pootastrophe. It went through his clothes, up his back: everywhere. We ran out of baby wipes, we were wrestling a small, poo stained baby into clothes, husband and I half crying, half laughing, all the while, the photographer was looking on in panic at these new parents who were on the edge of a sleep deprived break down. 

We left: not one photo was taken! So essentially, I went to a stranger’s house to get my leaky boobs out and for my son to shit everywhere. Not my finest hour, and if we ever have a second baby, I swear we will not be getting any newborn photos taken. I am forever scarred!

See you tomorrow,

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

More of me?



#blogtober day four: Dates which changed me


Today’s prompt: dates

Welcome to day four! Pretty impressed with myself for managing to post for four days in a row, I must admit!

Hexmumblog’s #blogtober writing prompt today is: DATE.

Now, there have been several significant dates in my life.

21.10.1990 – the date I was born;
6.4.94 – the date my brother was born on the lounge floor;
19.9.09 – the date I started university;
28.10.10 – the date I met my husband;
21.10.11 – the date he proposed;
12.4.14 – our wedding date;
18.1.15 – the date we found out we were going to be parents;


A pretty life-changing date

…and many, many more memorable dates which have shaped my life in one way or another.


The dates we saw our baby 

Another pivotal date in my life was September 11th 2015. Our baby’s ‘due date‘ (a term I now seriously resent, and one which I will not think about if we have another baby – more on that here!)

Except, this magical date, the one we had spent months waiting for, came and it went. And so did the 12th, and the 13th, and the 14th of September. In fact, lots of days went by, and there was no signal that our baby was imminent. We had planned a home birth, and everything we needed sat in a box, waiting to be used.


Our due date came and went

I had a sweep, which did nothing, and I was booked for an induction for 40 weeks + 12 days, if baby hadn’t arrived by then. This would mean no home birth, that our baby would be born in hospital. My god, I tried everything to evict Squid naturally to avoid induction! Pineapple (so.much.pineapple!), curries, raspberry leaf tea, stomping on the beach stones, bouncing on a birthing ball and as much sex as a small whale can manage, but absolutely nothing was going to convince my womb-fruit to vacate!

And the 12th day after my ‘due date’ came and our baby had not arrived. So off we went, to the hospital for our induction.

(I didn’t know there were other options available to me – in the naivety of being a first time mum, I agreed with my health care professionals when they said that I ‘needed’ to be induced at 12 days ‘over due’, despite a text book pregnancy and no signs of foetal distress. I know for next time, but that’s a whole other blog post!)

At around 10am, I was induced via a pessary, and we were sent home to wait. Cue much more stomping around, up hills and staircases, and I began to have contractions. This was it! It was happening! We were going to meet our son.

The date was September 23rd 2015.


The date of our first induction passed without much action

Except… by around 5pm, the contractions had tailed off and were much less frequent, though still painful. At 7am the next day, again we hauled ourselves to the hospital for another round of induction via pessary, but this time, we weren’t allowed home: we would be at the hospital until our baby was born.

The date was Thursday, 24th September 2015.

The second induction didn’t work. I was contracting, but not dilating; in pain, but for no reason. No bugger would give me any pain relief, and it was agony. I was marching up and down the hospital stairs, bouncing on the ball and contracting away on the maternity ward, surrounded by other mamas who were being monitored for reduced movements and other pregnancy complications.

Between contractions I remember eating a chicken tikka baguette – the best baguette of my whole life, I’ll tell you! That was around 5pm, and after this, someone ran me a bath.

I spent about 4 minutes in the water before needing to get out – the pain was so intense that I felt as though I had lost my mind. I kept being told that I ‘wasn’t in labour’ to which I can remember retorting that if this wasn’t labour, someone would need to shoot me right then, because I couldn’t handle it for another second.

Finally, finally, someone listened to me and I was examined. And it turns out that, in actual fact, I was in labour, and already at 8 to 9cm dilated. All on one chicken tikka baguette. The midwives panicked a bit then, after realising I hadn’t been exaggerating about the pain, and whilst I was bouncing on the birthing ball, humming Humpty Dumpty to myself (it helped, okay!), someone, an angel, wheeled in the gas and air. Oh, gas and air. It was glorious. It was 7pm, I was finally ‘in labour’ and the gas and air was making me feel like I had drunk a whole bottle of gin. It was bliss and between contractions, I felt like I was on cloud 9!

After a while, the midwives asked me to walk to the delivery suite, and upon this instruction I am told that I apparently legged it, wearing nothing but a hospital gown, out of the labour ward and down the corridor to delivery!


Cheese and biscuits anyone?!

The rest is a bit of a blur, but highlights that I do remember include:

  • Declaring to the midwives that it felt like I was at the student bar and everyone was my best friend;
  • Asking the midwife if she liked cats or dogs, because I couldn’t let a dog lover be present at the birth of my baby;
  • Declaring that my legs had turned into tentacles and I was, in fact, a squid!
  • When the midwife asked if I had been drinking plenty, I replied ‘Who do you think I am?! I haven’t had a drink in 9 bloody months!!!’
  • Getting cross that no one believed me that I wasn’t having a baby, I just needed a poo…

And then, finally, after all the commotion, I birthed our beautiful baby boy, all 9lb 9.25oz of him, in silence, untouched, in the birthing pool. It turned out that I didn’t need a poo, and the midwives had been correct: it was a baby…


Not on his due date but on the perfect date

It was 8.30pm exactly, on September 24th 2015.

The most eventful, the best, the scariest, most emotional date of my life.


Our long-awaited first date

What are the dates that changed your life?

Join me tomorrow for another #blogtober post – all about education! Catch up on my other #blogtober posts here!

Find me on Facebook and Instagram!

Love, Squidmamma x


Story time: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt!

Ahh. Bank Holiday Mondays. Every Brit loves them right? A free day off and all that. Not that it makes much difference to me – I work Wednesday to Friday so never have to go in on a Monday and anyway, I’m a mum. That’s a full time job right there in itself. 

But in the spirit of enjoying a ‘free’ day off with my husband, we took a stroll through a deep dark wood with our friends, Squid’s godparents. And what an experience it was.

I had wanted to see the bluebells in bloom for ages so we all trekked to a local wood which was full of them. Squid’s godparents have just got a new puppy so along the pup came too. Squid calls him ‘Bank’ so we’ll go with that. 

You know how the saying goes ‘never work with children or animals’? Well, yes. That. Never do. 
Three days off together really is just too long, isn’t it? Especially after 3 years of marriage. After a morning spent bickering over whose turn it was to change the small boy’s nappy, or whose job it was to replace the loo roll, we should probably have just stayed home. 

Nevertheless, we persisted. To the woods! I wanted some pictures of Squid, candidly frolicking amongst the bluebells. You know, like on Pinterest? So into the bluebells we went, as I ‘candidly’ placed my mini human on a log and asked him to smile. 

No such luck. Toddlers don’t have Pinterest. Squid wouldn’t play ball and looked, quite frankly, disgusted at the bluebells. I was beginning to feel the same way too. 

Squid wouldn’t stand with Bank for a photo either, and Bank wouldn’t keep still or look at the camera, so my Pinterest worthy snaps were out of the window!

Nevertheless, we persisted. You know I said ‘never work with children or animals’? Well, I have a third thing you must never work with: husbands. My husband and Squid’s godfather, let’s call him Bobby, insisted on throwing the tennis ball (meant for Bank, the pup) to each other, using a cricketing type throw, for the duration of this relaxing stroll. I think they thought they were actually competing in the Ashes, as our walk was complete with a running commentary of the precision of ball-throwing. Men and their balls… Squid tried to join in but I had to draw the line when the ball bounced off his head. 

Nevertheless, we persisted. Squid wanted to be carried, no, walk, no, be carried, which was excellent fun. Eventually, after another minor marital disagreement, Squid settled on daddy’s shoulders, holding on to his ears as reins and commanding ‘go go go!’ And all was happy and good in the world. 

And then Bank did a poo. And then Bank ate the poo. 

Why? Why do dogs do that? It must’ve been delicious, because he was sniffing the ground for more. More delicious poo! Yum!

Which got me thinking: there are SO many similarities between toddlers and puppies:

– Neither have a fear of danger

– Both want to be carried at every opportunity 

– They’re both unpredictable 

– Both have a tendency to do unpleasant things with their own faeces

– Both can be very easily clicker trained *

– Both are really bloody adorable (which is a good job. Because poo.)

After the poo eating incident we were all a bit horrified and so had to very quickly find our way to the nearest pub. 

I don’t think I’ll bother with the bluebells again. Can’t quite see what all the fuss is about, anyway. 
(Of course, though, I did gush on Facebook about the lovely afternoon we had, complete with angelic looking photo of Squid treading candidly through a blanket of bluebells… because you have to keep up appearances, right?!)

Catch me on Twitter and Instagram @squidmamma and on Facebook for daily Mama-baby-life-work-family updates! 

Squidmamma x

*As Bank is just a pup and is learning the dos and don’ts of ‘walkies’, Squid’s godparents use a clicker, which they click when he does something good. Every time the clicker clicked, Bank ‘sat’ beautifully for a dog treat, which Squid gave him – so in the end, every time the clicker clicked, both Bank and Squid were there waiting patiently for the treat!