My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 8 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Barnardo's joins the Lollibopping fun!

Lollibop partners with Barnardo's for 2013!

LolliBop, The Big Bash for Little People, has partnered with the UK’s leading children’s charity Barnardo’s for 2013. 

Taking place from 16 to 18 August at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, the three-day event boasts a line-up of some of the biggest and best names in kids’ entertainment, as well as hundreds of activities, workshops and interactive demos. With the likes of CBeebies superstar Justin Fletcher (Saturday and Sunday), Postman Pat, Skylanders, Dick and Dom, Hello Kitty and Rastamouse and Da Easy Crew (Friday only), it’s the ultimate festival for under-tens. 

Barnardo’s will be the official charity partner of the festival and will be hosting a special Big Toddle – a sponsored walk for little ones - around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park site on all three days. 

The charity will also run an area throughout the event, offering arts and crafts, the opportunity to make children’s costume accessories for the Big Toddle, photo opportunities with the official Big Toddle mascot, Todd, and much more.  Big Toddle volunteers will also be collecting funds and educating visitors about its vital work with vulnerable children in the UK. 

Event Manager, Jenny Kane said: 

LolliBop is set to be bigger and better than ever this year and we are delighted to have Barnardo’s on board as our charity. The festival is all about kids, ultimately, and it seems a great fit to be supporting an organisation that helps so many children around the UK. 
We’re sure our little visitors will love getting involved with the Barnardo’s Big Toddle at Lollibop and meeting the mascot, Todd, whilst our bigger ones will be interested to learn more about the work of this important charity.” 

Charlotte Cooper, Toddle Manager from Barnardo’s said: 

We are extremely excited and proud to be partnering with LolliBop. As the UK’s largest children’s festival, it’s a fantastic opportunity for us and we are really looking forward to meeting lots of parents and children throughout the event.
We regularly run Big Toddle events all over the UK – but the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has to be one of the most exciting places we’ve ever done it. We hope as many children – and parents – as possible get involved in this event and make it the most successful Big Toddle yet!

To find out more and book tickets, visit: http://www.lollibopfestival.co.uk

To register for the Barnardo’s Big Toddle visit www.bigtoddle.co.uk/register.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Shocked ... Scared ... Excited ... Scared ...

Mummy's mixed emotions!

A couple of weeks ago, Munchkin made a special announcement on the blog. So the Munchkin Patch is expanding ... again ... as am I!!

Right now, none of it seems real!

I am almost 18 weeks now, and we are eagerly awaiting our 20 week scan which is scheduled for next month.

Munchkin is very excited. She has affectionately named her unborn sibling 'Baby Plum', after clinging onto the information we offered her one day that baby was around the size of a plum. This name has stuck!

Munch has also insisted that Baby Plum is a boy. This really surprised us, as we assumed that she would have her heart set on another girl. Apparently, she has no need for another sister. Beastie Boo is sufficient!

Whichever colour our growing bump is revealed to be next month, we are confident that (s)he will be showered with love by Munchkin, just as Beastie has been.

My emotions are all over the place!

At the 'positive test' stage ... 

I was shocked at the fact that our prevention methods had clearly failed us, meaning this was all happening considerably sooner than we had ever anticipated ... 

... I was extremely nervous about how The Man would react to my bombshell ...

... I was excited at the thought of being pregnant again ...

... I was terrified at the thought of being pregnant again ...

... I was anxious about what others would say. The judgements that would obviously be made. The negative attitudes that were inevitable ...

... I felt nauseous at the idea of my body not being physically ready to carry another little life so soon after Beastie's ordeal ...

... I was delighted at the thought of being a mummy to 3 - a beautiful addition to the lives of our gorgeous girls ...

And these are just the daily emotions that I encounter. There are so many different feelings swimming around in my head right now.

Above all else, I feel joy. I am excited and feel extremely lucky to be feeling every one of these emotions. Each one makes me stronger and more determined to do everything I can to provide the safest and happiest lives for our children. After undergoing surgery that carried a high risk of leaving me unable to have any more babies, I feel totally blessed to have this little life growing inside me.

They say everything happens for a reason ...

Our ultimate reason is happiness!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Defending yourself from Burglars!

Picture this: you come home from an enjoyable evening out with your friends and instead of being greeted with a locked and secure house, your front door is broken into and your damaged possessions are strewn across the hallway. Sadly this is not an uncommon phenomenon – but luckily there are steps we can take to protect ourselves in the event of a burglary.
Burglary – the facts

A report by the Telegraph found that since the recession, burglaries have been on the up – increasing from 651,000 in 2009/10 to 701,000 in 2011/12.
Fortunately there’s a number of things we can do in order to protect our homes, as offered up by Operation Bumblebee - an initiative developed back in 1993 by the Metropolitan Police targeting burglars in London:

Never leave car keys or ID documentation by windows, doors or letterboxes that can easily be accessed by burglars

Ensure you check the identity of everyone who calls at your home, but if you feel nervous ignore whoever is at your door

Put your valuables somewhere safe that is out of sight

Equip your home with a clearly visible burglar alarm

Should you leave the house unattended for an extended period of time ensure you cancel any deliveries

If you’re popping out for only a short while, always lock your windows and doors

It only takes a few minutes to follow these simple guidelines and they all make it harder for the burglar to break in.

What burglars look for

With England ranking as the most burgled country in Europe, it appears that burglars are coming up with more inventive ways to ransack properties – as a study conducted by criminologist Professor Martin Gill illustrates:

Burglars admit that alarms are often ignored or left inactivated

Thieves state that most windows and doors are unsecured, providing easy access 

Burglars report that sheer determination will drive them to break into a home, no matter the obstacles

Proof of occupancy such as lights/television left on will deter thieves

Empty packaging for items left outside the property such as plasma TV boxes suggests items of huge value are worth stealing.

Some even go so far as to remove doors and dismantle alarms using a screwdriver. And some take it to another level by fooling the homeowner into allowing them entrance into their property by pretending to be somebody they’re not (like a gas man); and once inside the home, would attempt to distract the owner in order to steal any items of worth. 

Protect yourself from burglars

When it comes to break-ins, there’s a number of tips you can follow to prevent a potential burglary. As most burglars will be put off by using just the simplest techniques, you can easily take care of yourself – and your valuables – by getting a customised home insurance policy. Brokers can customise your policy based on you and so you’re never paying over the odds.

It only costs a small amount to cover something that can cause a large amount of damage.

DNA home insurance comes recommended as a customisable option and is worth checking out sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

As four become more ...

I'll keep this short, 
I'll keep this sweet.
I have some news, 
So take a seat.

Our family,
Made up of four.
(Five with the dog),
Will soon be more.

A big surprise,
A little shock.
That gave this boat,
A little rock!

Munchkin (that's me),
And Beastie Boo.
We are mummy's
Special two ...

We are daddy's
Little girls.
Filling his days
With frills and curls!

But some things come,
To shake things up.
To cause more confusion
For the pup!

My bit of news
Is good, you'll see.
Me and Beastie
Will soon be THREE!

Another baby
For daddy and mummy
Is growing inside
The bump on mum's tummy!

December won't
Take long to come.
That's when we'll meet
Our Baby Plum!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Lollibopping with River Island!

River Island is pleased to announce that they are one of the main sponsors for this year's Lollibop Festival, taking place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 16th-18th August, 2013. The three day event is the UK's only festival where all the entertainment is for children.

River Island is hosting the 'Design Den' where festival goers have the chance to design their own t-shirt and enter the competition to win a River Island gift card worth £100.

How does it work? The 'Design Den' will host craft stations for various age groups and the little ones have thirty minutes to create their masterpiece! Once all the designs have been submitted, the judges will choose the winning t-shirt. One of the lucky winners will have their t-shirt made into the real deal and sold exclusively for River Island Kidswear*.

The youngsters need to make sure they have their best smiles ready and are raring to go as the Design Den will house an exciting photobooth area where those cheeky grins and designs will be snapped for the River Island Wall of Fame.

There will also be a small pop-up shop selling a selection of kids wear and accessories where shoppers can enjoy an exclusive 15% discount on the day with their ticket.

The River Island kidswear range, for ages 3-12 years is available at www.riverisland.com and in over 90 stores in both the UK and internationally.

*The winning t-shirt will be sold online only