Thursday, 29 September 2011

If I wouldn't be judged harshly...

I would say..........

I joined the book club and film & theatre club for all the wrong reasons.

Before having children I was fairly intelligent and had a brilliant memory but since having my children I am as dense and forgetful as a person can be.

I joined the clubs for a night off from being Mum and to hear other people giving their opinions on the books and films. I'd much rather sit in the background listening and observing. Some of the conversations go over my head, the rest I just nod my head and agree. I have nothing to add and even if I did I'm too shy to speak up. I can just about manage to say whether or not I enjoyed the book or film and that's it.

I read the books but by the time I get to the end of them I would struggle to say much about the plot because my memory is shot to pieces and I'm not intelligent enough to know about writing styles.

For me, it's a couple of hours a month where I can be Heidi, not Mummy, but I feel like I'm a fraud when I'm there.

This was a blog prompt from BritMums

Monday, 26 September 2011


Photo courtesy of
Yesterday, it was 11 months since my Nanna was buried. It's also 11 months since I last was at her graveside. She's buried with my Grandad only 20 miles away from us but I've yet to go back.

I used to visit my Grandad's grave as often as possible. I can't drive so I was reliant on hubby taking me over there but we'd usually go when visiting relatives in the town.

I don't know why I haven't been back since Nanna's funeral. In a way I still haven't fully accepted that she has gone. I often see something and think 'Oh, I must tell Nanna about that'.

Hubby never visits the graves of his relatives, mostly because he was very young when they died but he believes that a grave is 'Just where somewhere is buried. You don't have to be in any one place to remember them'. I can see his logic and understand where he's coming from but I still feel guilty for not visiting. I know that for every day that I don't go it will be harder on the day I finally do return. Those that we have lost are in my thoughts almost every day, particularly my beloved and adored Grandparents but I still feel that I should have visited my Nanna's grave at least once since she died.

Do you visit the graves of relatives? Do you remember them in another way?

Review: Galt Toys Home Learning First Writing Sticker Book

As regular readers will know Middle started school in September. He wasn't due to start until Easter 2012 but the admission guidelines were changed and he was able to start early.

He wasn't really bothered about letters and numbers but in the months approaching September he started taking an interest in how to write. He can recognise the letters from his and his sister's name but any others in the alphabet he struggled with.

Galt Toys sent us the First Writing Sticker Book for Middle and he loves it. Rather than page after page of  just letters and writing, it's filled with colourful pictures and activities to do alongside the writing practise. Middle enjoys sticker books and this encouraged him to pick up the book and write as well as find the appropriate stickers.  There is also space for a smiley sticker at the bottom when each page has been completed.

Towards the end of the book there are 2 pages with capital letters as well as lower case, which is really helpful as I remember Girl regularly confusing her uppercase and lowercase letters early on at school.

I would recommend these to have at home for your children to encourage them to continue learning at home in a fun way.

There is a range of Home Learning books from Galt Toys to support your child's learning journey. Take a look at the website to see. 

Sunday, 25 September 2011

You know you're a Mum when...

You can't go to the toilet alone. If they don't follow you in, they're shouting for you.

You go to sleep with the sound of 'Muuuuuum' ringing in your ears

Your facebook status updates no longer announce how drunk you were on Saturday night but are full of information about your children that is of no interest to anyone but yourself

The highlight of your week is sitting down at toddler group to chat to some other adults

A long soak in the bath is a yearly treat. You're lucky if you can get a quick shower most days

Until your children are at school your clothes regularly have some kind of stain on it.

The only time you get to read is at bedtime but you're so tired you end up reading the same page over and over for weeks.

You often find yourself discussing your children's toilet habits with your husband as soon as he comes home from work, no matter what else has happened during your day

You make sure there are equal chocolate chips in biscuits to save arguments between your children

You instinctively put your hands out to catch your child's sick

You get invited out for the night but would rather go to bed

You do things to your children that you used to hate your mother doing to you. Using your saliva to clean your child's face is the worst!

You find yourself cutting up your husband's dinner

You want to take out a contract on the child that has upset your child at toddlers/preschool/school

You regularly turn the house upside down for the remote control or your mobile. For that reason you should NEVER put your phone on silent. I once spent hours ringing my mobile phone, listening for the vibrations and wondering where the hell it was coming from!

On the rare occasion that you have 5 minutes alone, you find yourself watching CBeebies....and don't turn to a different channel

A good day for you is one without temper tantrums (children's and your own!)
You're an unpaid skivvy with little appreciation shown at times but on those times they tell you they love you, hug you and kiss you, it's the best job in the world and you wouldn't want to do anything else.

Silent Sunday 25/09/11

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Popblast Review and Giveaway

As regular readers of this blog will be aware we are a musical family. Not musically talented or a modern day Partridge Family but music is a big part of our lives.

We love all genres of music, we regularly have singstar contests (when the neighbours are out!) and car journeys are passed with lots singing.

As a parent of young children I have to be aware that not all music is suitable for my children. We like singing along to Robbie Williams but so many of his tracks are unsuitable for young ears. I love F**k You by Cee Lo Green but have to make sure that it's the radio friendly Forget You version that I listen to when the children are around. 

So much music just isn't appropriate for my children and as for some of the 'costumes' that are worn by performers, well I just don't want my daughter having an ambition to dress like them. 

Popblast solves these issues. They perform songs with lyrics that can be trusted and suitable dance moves for the children. The songs are energetic, happy and fun and encourage interaction and exercise with dance routines and games to play alongside the music.

Popblast have been playing to thousands of children across the UK this summer at family events. We first encountered them at the Ipswich Maritime Festival and the children thought they were brilliant. A pop concert just for them!

The children joined in and had fun learning new routines and songs (and they won a couple of prizes too) Dad even won a prize for being the best zombie there! Whole families can get involved and have a ball.

Take a look at the Ipswich Maritime video online and see if you can spot my eldest two having a great time...

Popblast have just released their first album 'It's a Revolution' and they have very kindly given me 4 copies to giveaway

To enter you must do the following

You must leave a comment stating that you've done all of the above for your entry to count and make sure you leave a way of contacting you (twitter, email etc) should you win.

For extra entries you can do any of the following but you must leave a separate message for each entry
  • Follow this blog with GFC (one extra entry)
  • 'Like' the Him, Me and Three facebook page (one extra entry)
  • Tweet the following 'I want to do the Monster Stomp with @Popblast & @Him_Me_Three' (one extra entry)
Maximum 4 entries
UK entries only
Closing date of competition is midnight on 15th October
Winners will be announced on the blog and on twitter. 
Winners need to contact me within 3 days of the announcement or a re-draw will take place

Good luck!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

No Child Born To Die

Where would you be without healthcare?

It's something that a lot of us in this country take for granted. I, and my family, have had a lot of experiences of the NHS over the last few years and I cannot fault the care that we were given. There were some health professionals kinder and more caring than others but that's perhaps just personal opinion. I can see a nurse within a day, a doctor within 2 days of calling, walk into my local hospital and be seen, go to my out of hours clinic when my GP's surgery is shut and I can get my health visitor round any time that I have problems. I've also encountered a lot of health professionals with Middle's behavioural problems. Most of them are just a call away.

Save The Children currently have a campaign running called No Child Born To Die.

'In the world’s poorest countries, 8 million children under five die needlessly every year. They’ll never get the chance to fulfil their potential. Most are killed by illnesses we know how to prevent and treat, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia. And every single day, thousands of children face starvation. In 2011, this is totally and utterly wrong. Save the Children already saves thousands of lives across the world, but you can help us save many, many more.' 

'Right here in the UK, too many children don’t get the chance to shine either - because they’re born into poverty. Children are going without warm, clean, clothes, a bed of their own or a healthy meal on the table. They have their own hopes and dreams, but often they fall behind before they’re even old enough to start school. We’re helping the UK’s poorest children get a better start in life. Support us and you can help them beat the odds and get their chance to shine.'

I have to admit to being rather naive and living in a bubble when it comes to children dying in these situations. I get too upset to watch the films on charity telethons like Children In Need and Comic Relief so I switch off. I know it's happening the whole world over but I'd rather not see it. Shamefully selfish.  

This is from Michelle, blogger at Mummy From The Heart

'On Tuesday, a fellow blogger and friend Chris Mosler (@ChristineMosler) will attend the UN General Assembly in New York. She is going there with Liz Scarff on behalf of Save the Children to pressure David Cameron to play his full part in solving the health worker crisis.  There is a target of 60,000 signatures on the petition by Tuesday. At the moment that petition sits at 41,673 can we change that? Sure we can!

Let's pull together, people power and make Chris proud.  Lets do our damnedest to make sure she goes on Tuesday armed with 60,000 signatures. 
  1. So first off - Let's all sign the petition, 30 seconds work and a step closer.
  2. Then the challenge set by @HelloItsGemma and I is that we want (need) to see 100 posts of 100 words linked up here by Tuesday. If 100 bloggers each write a post about this and encourage more signatures that could make a massive dent in the 20,000 signature shortfall that we sit with right now!

    Write your 100 words about a great health professional you have encountered in your life. Add a link to the petition and either link or add in some information from Save the Children about the 
    #Healthworkers campaign
  3. Link to a number of other bloggers/ vloggers and ask them to do the same. 
  4. Tweet about this, facebook mention it, remark on google plus, talk to your Mum on the phone, whatever you can do to spread this to just a few more people, please do it.'
So, this is what I am doing, albeit late. I was tagged by @innocentcharmer, @welshmumwales and @helpfulmum

Even if you're not a blogger please consider signing the petition and spreading the word.

Here are my 100 words:

I had a relatively lonely existence with my first child. I was a SAHM.  I had my first visit with Sally soon after we moved here when Girl was 16 months and she went out of her way to make me feel welcome to the area. She made sure I had lists of toddler groups and persuaded me to make that first step. Over the next 6 years Sally got to know me really well and knew when I was struggling with PND before I did. She ALWAYS has time to listen to me, even if baby clinic is running late.

I won't tag anyone else as I'm sure everyone has been tagged once or more and has posted but if you read this and haven't yet posted then please take this as your prompt to do so.

Every signature and voice counts.

Thinking Slimmer Chocoholic Update

So, after finishing the 21 days of listening to Trevor on the Thinking Slimmer Chocoholic Slimpod every night and I thought I'd update you with how it's going.

I have by no means been cured yet but my chocolate consumption has decreased quite dramatically. Other than a blip on Monday of this week I can take or leave chocolate. I never thought that I would be able to have that attitude.

A couple of weekends ago hubby and the children went shopping for our picnic lunch. The children bounded in excitedly announcing we've got you a treat for the journey. I started wondering what exciting healthy snack they could have and my stomach turned when they showed me a Twirl. I was actually disappointed that they'd bought me chocolate!! Yes, you heard me. Disappointed. 

Hubby couldn't believe it. All those times I had nagged and nagged him to go out just to buy me chocolate and now he treats me to a bar and I didn't want it!! What a result.

I'm still listening to Trevor every few nights just to keep myself in line but the transformation has been amazing. 

I can walk into a shop to buy sweets for the children and leave without buying anything for myself without giving it a second thought.

I have now lost 6lbs in the last couple of weeks, which I'm really pleased about and I haven't dieted at all.

You can read the first post here

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Review: The Froobles from Top That!

I'd been hearing lots of news about The Froobles (from Top That! Publishing) and we were very excited to receive 2 books from the series to review.

The Froobles are aimed at preschool children and they are fruit and vegetable characters brought to life by the best of imaginations...children's. Playgroup children have created a scene for each of the 12 Froobles and then we follow them through a great adventure during which they, and the readers/listeners, learn valuable lessons.

We had these two: 

The text is simple but effective. Although Girl would easily be able to read these by herself they both loved having these read to them and they followed the story attentively, regularly piping up with comments relating to the morals of the story. Girl in particular really picked up on the Orlando Orange moral about overcoming fears and as she said 'If you don't try something once you don't know if you like it or are really scared of it as the bear was a helpful, friendly one and not scary' Very appropriate for Middle as he has just embarked upon a new journey in the big, scary world of primary school.

At the end of each story there is a sticker sheet so that the children can either recreate the story or make up their own story for the characters.

Girl and Middle said that the characters were colourful, fun-looking and cute and they cannot wait to get more of the series.

In November The Froobles Apps will be available on iTunes for iPhone, iPad and Android Apps. Bringing them to life on the interactive, animated app will be Johnny Vaughan, Denise Van Outen, Edith Bowman and Reggie Yates who are doing the voiceovers.

Already live is, a dedicated site with fun & games. You can also follow them on twitter and facebook

The Froobles can be bought from the Top That! website

*All images courtesy of

Silent Sunday 18/09/11

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Down on the farm...

Jimmy's Farm to be precise.

We were very excited to get hold of tickets for our first festival last weekend, Harvest at Jimmy's. None of us had been to a festival on this scale before and we were keen to experience all that it had to offer us as a family. 

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect but I had been told that Harvest was a safe, easy-going, fun, family-friendly event. Perfect.

We got there shortly after the gates opened on Saturday morning and we were pleasantly surprised that there was no hold up with the traffic, no long queues, and parking was easy. 

Once we were in we had a wander around to see what there was and we were thought the layout was great. Nothing too close together. We wandered down to the Playpen where the children's activities were located and had a quick look at what was on offer. Dance East session, Fairyland Trust crown making, cookery classes, face painting, Rainbow Trail in the woods, den building and more. As the queue for the face painting was short we decided to get them done, me included! There was a team of 6 or so face painters so they worked through the queue quickly. They stipulated no full face painting and you had to know what you wanted when it was your turn to speed things up and I noticed on the Sunday they had separate queues for children and adults.

Hubby had a go at welly wanging on the Joules stall. The children were throwing wellies about the garden the other afternoon and I told them off, only for them to retort that they were 'welly wanging like Dad'! 

It was soon lunchtime so we headed to the Jimmy's Farm pop up restaurant for some delicious hot dogs and bacon rolls. They were very reasonably priced as well. We expected food & drink to be hugely over-priced as it was a festival. We sat listening to the music on stage and then went back to the play area for the children to burn off some energy.

The children wanted to see The Gruffalo so we decided to go for the 2.30pm showing. Hubby said we'd need to queue up for an hour before but I scoffed saying how ridiculous that was and that no organiser would expect children to queue for that long. I was wrong, so very wrong. We got to the (already very long) queue at 1.50pm and it wasn't until the start time that Big Wheel staff came out of the tent to inform us of where the cut off point for the previous show had been, 3 families in front of us. Hubby is not the best of people to wait and queue and quite rightly complained that had we known that when we got there we may not have wasted our time. Many other families behind us said the same. They started letting people in and there were about 10 people in front of us when they shut the doors, telling people that they were full. Hubby got us walking away and then I turned back to see them let more people in!

To say we were disappointed is an understatement. It ruined the afternoon and after that the children just wanted to go home. Me too. We managed to persuade them to go back to the Playpen and I took them on the Rainbow Trail through the woods to find the Fairy Queen. Sadly this meant another 45 minutes in a queue, even though there were not that many children in front. My children can be very patient but this was getting tiresome.

We took the children home and hubby's mum looked after them so that we could go back for the music that evening, Divine Comedy, The Feeling and Eliza Doolittle. We had a quick peek at James Martin on stage but it was so busy that he was just a dot in the distance! 

The Feeling were amazing. The atmosphere was incredible and everyone in the audience was rocking along to their songs. It was the highlight of my day and really made up for the earlier disappointment. I had been told that Eliza Doolittle was the one act I should really see and my children love 'Pack Up' so I was looking forward to her performance but I have to say that she was disappointing. She has a lovely voice but there was no atmosphere in the audience and many people around us were leaving midway through her act. We did too.

Knowing that Mr Tumble was on stage at 12pm on the Sunday we knew we had to get there early to get a decent spot so we packed up a bag full of snacks and a couple of the children's books to pass the time and we set off and got to the front of the stage. Knowing that they were waiting for a long time but would actually get to see what they were waiting for made it easier on the children. 

When Mr Tumble came out on stage the cheers and screams were deafening and I think that was because there were more mums being vocal than children! He put on a fabulous show and had everyone singing along. The children loved being showered in confetti and sprayed with the water gun.

As soon as he finished we all raced over to the meet and greet area. Yet another queue, but this time staff were regularly keeping us updated and had people from the Cambridge Community Circus performing along the length of the queue keeping us all entertained.

Meeting Mr Tumble was brilliant. I was more excited that the children! They posed for a photo with him and as I had nothing for him to sign we asked him to sign the children's wellies. They've been showing them off at school for Show & Tell.

We had lunch there again and sat listening to some more quality music from the stage. After lunch we spent some more time in the Playpen and the children joined in with the circus tricks as they have loved doing at other events throughout the summer where there have been circus tricks. They're getting really good at some of them!

We didn't bother with The Gruffalo on Sunday as we didn't expect any different from Saturday with regards to the queues but I've heard friends say that they waited no more than 15 minutes to get in so I'd love to know what Big Wheel organisers did different on Sunday! 

Much better organised was the Fairyland Trust tent on the Sunday as they had a board outside with availability for each session. Sadly all full by the time we saw the board but at least we didn't plan our day around a certain session only to queue up and not get in.

We missed most of the food demonstrations as that's something the children aren't interested in and to be honest, I'm not really interested either, but if you're a foodie you'd be in your element judging from what was there. We could hear Jamie Oliver judging the sausage eating competition but the tent was heaving so there was no possibility of getting within sight.

After each day I asked the children what their favourite element of the day had been. On Saturday Girl's favourite had been the ferrets and on Sunday Middle's favourite bit had been the sample of jam scone the Clover staff were handing out at the gates as we left!!! 

I've told them that next year I'll buy some ferrets for the garden, I'll serve the children jam scones and stick the radio on. I'm sure they'd be just as happy!!!

Luckily, Girl had a better highlight on Sunday. She was pleased that she had seen Mr Tumble's show and met him in real life. 

Over the 2 days we spent a total of 16 hours there and although the queueing did put us off we did have a great time. The children didn't get to experience everything that they wanted to because of the volume of people but they still had fun with what they did do.

If I went again I would want to plan everything with almost military precision, if that's possible, so that the children don't miss out. It is good that there is so much on for the children that they wouldn't possibly be able to do everything but wasting an hour for nothing when it's down to poor organisation is such a shame.

Lullaby Concerts-Suffolk

  As a family we all love music. It's one thing we all enjoy doing together and on car journeys we can regularly be heard warbling along to ABBA, Pyjama Drama, Queen, Take That and more. We also have great fun competing with each other on the Singstar games and I think it's wonderful that the children embrace & enjoy music from classical music and the 60s right up to present day chart music.

I'm delighted to hear that the City of London Sinfonia are hosting concerts in Suffolk in October to bring orchestral concerts to the under sevens. They'll be able to listen to the concerts in a relaxed atmosphere and have a go on the instruments. The theme will be MAGIC and children are encouraged to dress up.

For more information see the website

Friday, 16 September 2011

Reviews: Mega Bloks Hello Kitty Flower Shop, BlokSquad Army Military Brigade and Mega Bloks 3 in 1 Baby Walker

We were sent some Mega Bloks toys for each of the three children to review.

Girl has the Mega Bloks Hello Kitty Flower Shop set 
Middle has the Blok Squad Army Military brigade set
And Tidgy has the 3 in 1 walker

Hello Kitty Flower Shop
This set has 68 pieces to be put together to make a cute Hello Kitty flower shop. It's suitable for ages 4 and up but even at age 7 Girl love this. Any Hello Kitty fan would enjoy putting it together. Girl was able to put it together easily, following the clear instructions and she was really pleased with the results. This can be used as a two level shop or separated into two smaller shops. Lots of fun to be had and other sets are available so your little girl can make her own Hello Kitty village. Girl particularly likes the Big House and School.

Blok Squad Army Military Set
The Blok Squad is a range of sets featuring construction, police, fire and army vehicles and figures. Middle is army-mad so he was very excited to receive the 346 piece Army Military set with 3 vehicles and 2 soldiers. there is a tank, 4x4 truck and helicopter to be made. The sets are suitable for ages 6 plus but Middle (4)  always like to do this sort of activity with his Dad. He actually managed to put the vehicles together really well. Hubby sorted out the pieces and told him where each one was to go and Middle enjoyed watching them take shape.

The helicopter took them about 45 minutes and the 4x4 about 30 minutes. Usually Middle loses patience with toys and games quite quickly but this kept his interest all the way through. He hasn't yet made the tank as he's been too tired in the evening since starting school but I'm sure he'll be asking Dad at the weekend to help him! 

I'm sure every little boy would love the Blok Squad sets.

3 in 1 MegaBloks Walker
This is a great walker and activity centre. It's sturdy and colourful and encourages your little one to walk. It has a removable Mega Bloks building plate and a selection of blocks can be stored underneath the plate. There's also 4 shaped Mega Bloks to slot into the corresponding gaps, helping with hand-eye coordination. With a couple of quick clicks you can change the walker into a pull-along. It also folds flat for easy storage, so handy when you've got 3 children with far too many toys in a small space! Tidgy has learnt to walk in the short time we've had the walker and he loves pushing it around the room and then playing with the Mega Bloks. I tried to get some photos of Tidgy walking with it but they're all coming out really blurred as he moves so fast!

Take a look at the Mega Bloks website to see what other products are available. You'd be amazed at the selection. Mega Bloks are available in most toy shops. 

*We were not paid for this review. These products were supplied for us to review and all views are my own and completely honest.

A-Z of me

I was tagged by the lovely @BlendingTime in the A-Z meme

ANORAK…Do you have a sad side? 
I collect fridge magnets. Whenever we visit tourist attractions I have to get a magnet to add to the collection
BODY…What physical attribute would you most like to change?  
My backside. It's HUGE!
CELEBRITY…Which one would you most like to date and why?  
David Tennant. Surely you don't need me to tell you why?!
DEBUT …Tell us about your first ever blog post. What made you start blogging? 
I started blogging for Heart FM when we became the Heart Family for the summer of 2009.
ERROR …What’s been your biggest regret?  
Marrying my first husband
FUNNY – who’s making you laugh? 
Right now, no-one. I'm ill and when I'm ill I lose my sense of humour
GRAND…If we gave you one right now what would you spend it on?  
A holiday
HOLIDAY… What’s your favourite destination?   
IRRITATE… What’s your most annoying habit?  
Moaning about hubby's irritating habits!
JOKER…Whats your favourite joke {the one that makes you laugh everytime you hear it}? 
I rarely remember all of a joke so don't have a favourite one. Girl did make me laugh with one the other day. What do you call a dancing sheep? A baa-llerina.
KENNEL… Do you have any pets?  
A guinea pig. It's Girl's but I tend to be the one that feeds it and cleans out the hutch.
LOVE…Are you single, married, engaged, living with a long term partner?  
MEAL… Whats your ultimate starter, main and dessert? 
Potato wedges with cheese & bacon, Hunter's chicken followed by Millionaire's Shortbread & ice cream
NOW…If you could be anywhere right now where would you be and who with? 
I would be in Paris with my family
OFF DUTY…What do you do in your spare time?  
Reading, going to book club, cinema/theatre
PROUD MOMENTS …What are you most proud of?  
My 3 beautiful children
QUEASY …What turns your stomach? 
Rare steak 
RELAX…How do you relax?  
SONG…Whats your favourite song of all time?  
I don't have one. It changes from time to time. Favourite at the moment is Human by The Killers
TIME …If you could go back in time and relive it again, when would you choose?  
When I was about 10 years old and my family wasn't so fragmented
UNKNOWN…Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows?  
I don't think there is anything. Hubby knows everything about me.
VOCAL…. Who is your favourite artist?  
Russell Watson
WORK….. What is your dream job, and are you doing it now?  
At 16 I didn't know what I wanted to do and at 35 I still don't! I've been a full time Mum since 2004 and we plan for it to be that way until Tidgy is at school in 4 years time. After that who knows?
XRAY…Any broken bones? 
Yes, I broke my wrist when I was pushed off the top bunk at a friend's party. I was 5. I fractured my elbow when I slipped over in a shop in 2002. I still have problems with both.
YIKES…What’s been your most embarrassing moment?  
Getting completely wrecked at a posh work event and telling a work colleague that I'd slept with another work colleague and had had a major crush on him for years. I soon started looking for a different job!
ZOO…. If you were an animal, which one would you be? 
Giraffe. I love them, they're so elegant. the complete opposite to myself.

I'm terrible at remembering who has been tagged for this so please accept my apologies if you've done this. You should be honoured you've been thought of by more than one person!! ;-)

I tag

You can find a blank template here

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