Bunchems – They are actually really good!

My heart always sinks a little bit when the children see an advert for a toy on the TV and then declare that they want it.  The fact that they see the same things in every advert between programmes on a daily loop, obviously has nothing to do with it!  They are usually expensive, break and never actually do what they say on the box so end up being thrown away or never played with.

Bunchems was one of the things that the children said they wanted over and over again.  I have to be honest, I just ignored them!  Father Christmas however, had other ideas.

Felix (5) ended up with the Bunchbot Craft Kit.  When he asked if we could build something I have to be honest I wasn’t the most enthusiastic mum.  We sat down at the table and began building animals with mini plastic pom poms!

It was brilliant!!!!

Easy to follow instructions to make animals (the octopus is my favourite) made it perfect for Felix to do whilst I just provided a helping hand picking up the pom poms when they fell on the floor!

We sat making, taking apart and remaking creations for hours.  They all worked, they looked like what they were meant to be and they didn’t brake.  It was something that he could do on his own (although he loves having an assistant to separate colours) and he is so pleased when he’s made something.  One of the best things is that the pom poms can be reused and don’t lose their shape.

It’s not just for younger children either as we’ve all been sucked into the Bunchem bubble and have had hours of fun.  You can buy more Bunchems separately if you want more to keep your masterpieces from being dismantled.

So if you’re looking for a non-messy fun craft that is relaxing (I know!) that actually works for your children then Bunchems are for you!




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The Real Newborn Must Haves

As a mum of six children, I’ve bought an incredible amount of baby ‘stuff’ over the years, 80% of which I probably never used.  It’s easy to get caught up in the baby bubble (especially for first time mums) and buy anything and everything baby related, but the reality is that you won’t need or use even half of it!

These are some of the best things that I have used with all six of my children and that I think every mum should have.

Tomy First Years Starlight Dreamshow

We have bought a wide range of musical lights but this is by far the best.  Free standing or attached to the cot with soothing music and lightshow, adjustable timer for 5 or 10 minutes and not at all pricey, this has never failed to settle our children.  As our babies have got older and woken up they have turned the music on and resettled themselves.

Chamolmilla 6c Pilules

Is there anything worse than seeing a baby cry in pain because of teething?  Chamolmilla pilules are amazing and provide natural pain relief and comfort for not only teething but also colicky pains and disturbed sleep.  These can be used from 3 months old and are little balls of magic!  In a small, easy to use container they are perfect for keeping in your bag so you never have to be without them.


Sleeping Bags

All of our babies have loved being swaddled and as soon as they wanted a little bit more freedom we’ve used a sleeping bag.  They are always snuggled, don’t kick off the covers or wake because they are cold and they have the comfort of something around them. With different togs and designs available you can use sleeping bags all year round.  I’ve just bought a beautiful duck patterned bag from Marks & Spencer.


Infrared Thermometer

This is a must for any parent, babies pick up germs and get ill, FACT.  In the past I’ve always kissed my baby’s head and that told me whether they felt hot and had a temperature or not (not the most accurate, I know).  An infrared thermometer is quick, accurate and you don’t even have to touch the skin, so there’s no need to wake a sleeping baby!  Plus it makes you feel very important, and Doctor like.


What are your newborn must have’s?

What A Difference 5 Make!

There’s a huge difference between the mum I was with my 1st baby and the mum I am with my 6th.  I hadn’t even held a baby until I held my own and to be honest I had absolutely no idea what I was doing!

It’s a learning on the job type of gig and a quick one at that and now I have 6 babies I have grown in confidence and some days actually think I have some idea of what I’m doing.  Equally other days, absolutely no idea!

Obviously it’s different every time you add a child into your family, and your triumphs/hiccups will change the way you are with the next one as well as circumstances.

A few differences from the 1st to the 6th:-

  • Designer clothes – Sleepsuits for at least the first 3 months

Unless you’re lucky enough to be given things for your 1st baby then you will have to buy them.  First size outfits with shirts and trousers, jackets and cashmere jumpers (that will shrink after the first wash, which will be 30 seconds after you’ve put it on!).  Sleepsuits are the way forward  (and surely more comfortable) and look great with a cardigan or jumper over the top.  Keeping my baby in sleepsuits somehow made the baby days longer, nothing ages a baby more than jeans!

  • Shoes immediately – Not before they’re actually needed

Baby shoes are the cutest thing ever, so why would you not want to buy several pairs!?!  They actually serve no practical purpose and quite quickly become a complete pain when they are kicked off every 30 seconds.

  • Regular nap times – Naps on the move

Once you have more than one child, life is never going to be quite the same again.  You will have a routine of playgroups, mother & toddler groups, music groups and life which will mean that subsequent children will just get dragged around wherever, whenever and will sleep on the move.

  • Playgroups – Friends houses for tea.

Once you’re a mum you will move in different circles and your social life will become the groups you go to.  Once you have met your mum friends you skip the groups and have cuppas at each others houses, once you all have 2 or 3 children you have your own group!

  • Everything is New – Ebay is your best friend.

I never even considered buying second hand for my 1st baby, but today Ebay is my new best-friend.  I wouldn’t have been able to feed my love of buggy’s if not for the bargains on-line!

  • Everything is sterilised to within an inch of it’s life – 5 second rule

The fear of passing germs onto your baby makes you sterilise everything even if you so much as sneeze in the same room as it.  Compared to living life according to the 5 second rule.  A dummy falls on the floor, you pop it in your mouth and give it back to your baby.

  • Everything is washed and ironed – Just being clean is enough

Everything is washed before it’s worn, ironed and put away perfectly.  Compared to buying new clothes that have already been ironed so you don’t have to do it.  Clothes being clean and dry is a bonus.

  • Eager for the next stage – Enjoying the fact they can’t move

Won’t it be great when he can sit up, or crawl, or run!  Always eager for the next stage of development.  Compared to relishing the fact that they stay where you put them and they don’t move, these stages are so short lived and should be treasured before they’re gone.

  • 24 weeks, 3 days and 10 hours pregnant – How many weeks?

From knowing exactly how many hours pregnant you are to having such a busy life you have to think and sometimes even check how many weeks you are.


Midwife and Life


What’s Your Magic Number?

17 years ago today I married my best friend, my ‘person’ and the father of my future children in the amazing Florida sun.  We had the most amazing 2 weeks and it was when we decided that we wanted to start a family.  I can remember as we were getting on the monorail at Epcot saying “I’d really like to have a baby” and my new Mr H saying “OK!”.

We never discussed how many we were going to have and 1, 2 and 3 followed in quick succession and we had 3 children under 5.  I was never going to have 3 children, as I always felt that someone would be left out which lead to our 4th child.  My desire to have “just one more” was still there and my favourite line of “you’ll never regret having one, but you would regret not having one” swayed our 5th.

I’m a great believer in things happening for a reason, even if it’s difficult to see that reason at the time.  I didn’t want to look back in 10 years and say “I wish we had had another child”.  For a short while, I felt that maybe our family was complete, but then the desire for another came back stronger than ever.  Life threw a few curved balls our way which only heightened my want for another eventually giving us our 6th.

I don’t especially enjoy being pregnant and although our 6th wasn’t text book (like the others) it was the most enjoyable pregnancy I had, feeling content and some days forgetting I was even pregnant!  I love giving birth (crazy I know) but for me life doesn’t get more real and magical than that moment.

After the birth of our 6th baby, because of complications, I felt confident that our family was complete.  However, over the last few months that feeling of “just one more” has reared it’s head, and really once you have 6 children, what is one more?

It’s difficult to tell yourself that your family is complete when you’re not so sure.  I believe it’s a decision that you need to come to by yourself, no one can tell you you’re done (unless medically the decision is taken away).  I know that we are incredibly blessed to have the most amazing family and it seems very selfish to want more and in some ways wouldn’t it be nice to have a switch that you could turn off!  For me, being a mum is everything, and what I’m meant to do.

Whatever the future has in store for us, whether our family is complete or not, who knows?!? – I’m pretty sure Mr H would say we’re done, although he’s been saying that since 2!  Life, right now is great, and for that I have the man who has stood beside me through the best and worst times of my life to thank.  I am rich in so many ways and when my time comes, there will be no regrets!

Am I the only crazy in the village who will always want just one more?!



Midwife and Life


Bird Feeder Cookies

As the weather gets colder we find ourselves spending more time indoors and that can lead to full-blown bouncing off the walls cabin fever.  So at this time of year I like to have some quick and easy crafts to do, like these bird feeder cookies.  They’re child (and Mum) friendly, inexpensive, not too messy and really great for the birds – a parenting win!

You’ll Need:-

  • 3/4 cup of small birdseed
  • 1 packet of gelatin
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Cookie cutters
  • Baking paper
  • String


  • Bring water to the boil over a medium heat and add packet of gelatin;
  • Stir until dissolved (1-2 mins) then take off the heat and leave for 5 mins;
  • Add bird seed and mix well;
  • Place the cookie cutters on the baking paper and fill with the bird seed mix.  Push down to make sure they hold firm;
  • Stick a straw in the top of each cookie cutter to create a hole;
  • Leave to set overnight;
  • Carefully push the bird seed cookies out of the cutters and thread string through the hole at the top and tie with a loop;
  • Hang on a tree/branch outside!

By hanging the cookies near a window you can do a little bit of bird watching, count how many birds you spot and what types you have in your garden – All whilst having a cup of tea in the warm!!!



Midwife and Life


The Bedtime Battle

Now the festivities are over and the children are back to school it also means back to routine.  We are all finding it hard to go to bed and get up earlier than we have been over the last couple of weeks.  There’s been a lot of faffing around once they’ve gone to bed and thinking that’s the perfect time to tidy their room, ask really important questions, want some food, need the toilet or a decide they need a new night light!

I thought this would be a good time to revisit the Hurr House Bedtime Routine and remind the children how it should go.  I say should because just lately it’s been a bit hit and miss which is no fun for anyone.

Hurr House Bedtime

  • No electrical items after tea and when you go to bed they are to be put on the kitchen table.
  • When it’s your bedtime you will have half an hour in your room to faff around.  This is for reading, writing, colouring etc nothing electrical or loud.  This is a chance to wind down, switch off and relax ready to catch some zzzzz’s!
  • After your half an hour it’s (time for a book with Mum or Dad – younger children) then lights out.
  • If you are found faffing around after this then you will lose time off the next nights bedtime.  You will only get one warning.  Persistent faffing will result in a 6 o’clock bedtime (yes I have really done this!)
  • You need to have brushed your teeth and had a tiddle before lights out NOT after.

We’ve always had staggered bedtimes and that’s always worked really well for us.   Generally we have a house of good sleepers.

Felix (5) – Bedroom at 6.30, lights out at 7.00

Neve (8) – Bedroom 7.15 lights out at 7.45

Gracie (11) -Bed at 8.00 lights out at 8.30

Poppy (13) – Bed at 8.30 lights out at 9.00

We’re not so strict at the weekend or in the holidays but during the school week it’s important we have a routine because everyone gets so tired.  It’s really important that the children sleep because it has such a negative impact when they’re overtired.

How does bedtime look in your house?


DAD TALK – January, Here I Come!

I was really looking forward to Christmas this year, it really seemed to creep up on us quickly although we were as prepared as we have ever been. It felt different, calm relaxed almost peaceful.

It started well with my first park run on the Saturday before although being my first run in a crowd for a long while and I spent the night before quite anxious about seeing people again after a while. It appears any anxiety was unfounded and it was just that needless worries.

Christmas Eve was the same a very relaxed day and a few trips out and last minute preparations and we were good to go. Santa had checked the area for squeaky floor boards and hidden hazards, children were in bed and as far as we could tell asleep, so I decided to take my medication one being sleep inducing and then disaster struck footsteps, talking 3 awake😩. Children were resettled but unfortunately not sufficiently enough for Santa to come and said medication was taking effect. I was trying to fight it but in the end I don’t remember it happening but I was fast asleep. I awoke in a panic, what time was it? were children awake? had Santa been? luckily on this occasion I believe Mrs Claus had stepped in and saved the day, PHEW!

Now normally we have so many presents under the tree being a family of 8 that we decided to try and manage it this year with just stockings and one main present, and friends and family bought experiences such as horse riding lessons etc. We ourselves went down the electrical item route, although I don’t agree in using it as a babysitter it does have some really good points. The children love using audible and the family ability on the iCloud is superb so that they can access everybody’s music and film. They also have some excellent teaching apps that they find fun and imformative and with the right restrictions I have no problem with it. After all it really is a different world now! So when we came downstairs at a respectable 6-15 (happy with that) the tree was full but not overflowing with boundless plastic items and hoards of unnecessary items to add to the already overflowing playroom. We still had the game of catch up for thank you notes, now who was that from, did you read the label, and that’s lovely.

Christmas Day lunch was lovely and even better as we didn’t have to lift a finger, glorious! Also the obligatory Boxing Day Hare and Hounds run through countless streams, bogs, forest and the dreaded Horsford drewary whilst this year dressed as Bertie Bassett all in the name of charity. Although didn’t feel very charitable when our navigator, who shall remain nameless, got us lost in the woods adding an extra 2 1/2 miles on to the already tortuous run. Then with family games (although losing my Monopoly crown to the new property mogul 8 year old Neve) woodland wet boggy walks and forthcoming visits to and from family the week flew by. Probably our most relaxed enjoyable Christmas ever, I think it may have to do with not having the mass of expectations on having the perfect day it all just flowed from one day to the next.

New Year’s Eve we have our own tradition of playing lots of games a buffet tea and we wrap up prizes so each child gets a couple of gifts. We thought about taping fireworks on the early news and putting clocks forward (tricksy parenting) but as it was everyone was in bed by 10, Happy New Year!

As you will know from previous blogs I am suffering from a bit of depression due to a back injury and although my back is no closer to being resolved my resolutions involved my mental health. I’m still finding it really hard in the mornings so my resolutions are to have my alarm for 6.30 ( the Harry Potter alarm clock I got for Christmas #iknow will come in handy here). We have a mile loop around our house which I will run giving me motivation and wellbeing. This will also knock onto showering and breakfast and ready for work by 7:30 it’s a win win. So hopefully 2018 will see my back resolved, medication not needed, running back to normal, excess weight lost but most important I will get back to being myself.

Happy New Year, all the best for 2018!