Double the Monkey Business

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Never Underestimate the Ninja

THE BEDTIME NINJA Part One I see you fast asleep in your slumber, dreaming of sunshine, beaches and cocktails. I creep up on…

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Faces of Preeclampsia Campaign

Faces of Preeclampsia Campaign



Spread the Word: Preeclampsia Awareness Month!

This month I have been chatting to some amazing people at the Preeclampsia Foundation, discussing ways in which I can help them raise awareness.  I am so proud now to be on their list of bloggers and I am so pleased to be able to kick start this with Preeclampsia Awareness Month.

This topic is so close to my heart, after suffering both Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome when I gave birth to my boys.  It is so important to me that I help to make a difference in this area.  This is definitely a cause I plan to fight for.

Preeclampsia Awareness Month presents the perfect opportunity for the Preeclampsia Foundation to offer education and events that will increase awareness of this life-threatening hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, which occurs in up to eight percent of all pregnancies.

The theme this year is: 

The Faces of Preeclampsia: Any Woman, Any Pregnancy

Millions of families are unexpectedly affected by preeclampsia each year. Through the preeclampsia foundation, they tell their stories and highlight the many impacts that preeclampsia can have on the whole family.


How You Can Get Involved in the Faces of Preeclampsia Campaign?

Faces of Preeclampsia Campaign: What Are The Themes?

1 – 7 May, 2016: Know the Symptoms, Spread the Word

8 – 14 May, 2016: Participate in Research to Save Lives

15 – 21 May, 2016: Make the Link Between Preeclampsia and Heart Disease

22 – 31 May, 2016: Emotions Speak Louder than Words – Preeclampsia and Maternal Mental Health

Throughout May, the Preeclampsia Foundation is hosting the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia in 40 cities across the America, as well as a virtual Promise Walk. Visit for specific locations.

Know the Symptoms, Spread the Word

If you experience any of the following symptoms during your pregnancy or after delivery, call your doctor or midwife right away.

Having symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have preeclampsia, but they are cause for concern and require medical evaluation. Signs of preeclampsia, include high blood pressure and sometimes protein in the urine.  Other symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the hands and face, especially around the eyes (swelling of the feet is more common in late pregnancy and probably not a sign of preeclampsia)
  • Weight gain of more than five pounds in a week
  • Headache that won’t go away, even after taking medication such as acetaminophen
  • Changes in vision like seeing spots or flashing lights; partial or total loss of eyesight
  • Nausea or throwing up, especially suddenly, after mid pregnancy (not the morning sickness that many women experience in early pregnancy)
  • Upper right belly pain, sometimes mistaken for indigestion or the flu
  • Difficulty breathing, gasping, or panting
  • Hyperreflexia

It’s also important to know that some women with preeclampsia have NO symptoms. They “just don’t feel right.” If you have a sense that something’s wrong, even without symptoms, trust yourself and contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Participate in Research to Save Lives

Research efforts this past decade have produced exciting breakthroughs that may bring us closer to finding the cause of preeclampsia.  Helping to improve diagnosis / prediction, and may lead to prevention and new treatments.

Research needs far more support and funding. If we hope to find the true cause of preeclampsia, as well as a way to prevent or cure it.

Part of The Preeclampsia Foundation’s mission is to catalyze and accelerate research. Through small research funding of Vision Grantsparticipating in trials, collaborating with investigators, and building the world’s only patient Registry, they hope to help research progress on hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

Make the Link Between Preeclampsia and Heart Disease

Women who have had preeclampsia have three to four times the risk of high blood pressure and double the risk for heart disease and stroke. They also have an increased risk of developing diabetes.

While still unknown whether the risk is caused by preeclampsia or if the woman was already predisposed, these risks first emerge in the years following a complicated pregnancy. Although this may seem daunting, ample research shows that there are many ways for women to protect their heart health and that of their families.

Preeclampsia and Maternal Mental Health

Research suggests that women who have experienced a traumatic pregnancy such as preeclampsia have four to ten times the risk of screening positive for post-traumatic stress disorder. Also they are at an increased risk for postpartum depression and anxiety.  This is certainly the case for me.  I suffered form PTSD in the years following the birth of the boys.

It is important that these voices are heard and that their experiences are understood. To help other patients through their own traumatic pregnancy experience.

For more information on the Faces of Preeclampsia campaign, please refer to the Preeclampsia Foundation Website.  Or follow them on Twitter @preeclampsia


Ten Things March (T)

Ten Things March (T)

March – Ten Things

I usually do my Ten Things post at the beginning of the month, but I was waiting on ‘T” to come up on the blogging challenge for me to cover March.

I have a truly terrible memory so I have really had to think about what I got up to last month.  Thank goodness for Instagram!

Skiing Holiday

I am sure you are all waiting for the final instalment of the Winter Wonderland series to find out if the monkeys ever managed to go skiing.  Don’t worry “W” is coming up soon and I am not going to give too much away in this post.

At the beginning of March, we managed to get away for our third skiing trip this year.  This time we actually stayed over for two nights.  It really felt like a bit of a holiday.

We have not had many holidays just the four of us.  This is our second trip, just us, in 3.5 years.  It was really fab to spend time together as a family.


Snowball fight after dinner on the first night of our March holiday

The highlight of the holiday: Snowball fight


Car Museum

Last month my hubby discovered a car and motorcycle museum, just 15 mins drive from our house.

This is especially exciting for the monkeys, who are completely obsessed with all vehicles!

All the cartoons that include vehicles – with the exception of Minions of course.  To prove my point their favourite things to watch on TV are:

  • Cars 1 & 2 (film)
  • Planes 1 & 2 (film)
  • Bob the Builder
  • Blaze and the monster machine
  • Paw Patrol
  • Go Jetters

You get the point.  So when my hubby discovered this museum we realised we had found something that could keep them entertained on rainy days.

Last month, we took a wee trip to the museum and the boys LOVED it!  I have never seen them so excited.

I thought it was pretty cool too, although I have to say I was worried that they were going to accidentally damage one of the vintage cars, so spend most of the time slightly on edge!

some of the classic cars on show at the museum



The Best Friend

Over the last few months it has become apparent that the boys have a best friend.  In the past the boys have told me they have a best friend, but due to their age they always just played side by side, not really interacting.

This has all changed recently.

Every day when I pick the kids up, all I hear is what they have been up to with J.  “J is my best friend” is a common phrase in this house.  The boys ADORE him.  Thankfully, as it turns out, the feeling is mutual.

When I drop the kids off in the morning, J is always there as a little welcoming committee.  The boys all shout each others names and run to each other.  So pleased to see each other and mummy is soon forgotten.

I love that they have a best friend.  Although, it makes me feel like they are growing up far too quickly.

Day Trip

The kindergarten was closed for two days for staff training in March.

The boys were gutted that they would not get to see J for FOUR WHOLE DAYS, so I arranged to go to the animal park with J’s mummy.

We were so lucky, as it turned out to be one of the first days of spring sunshine.  We had a great morning and it was lovely to get to know J and his mama better.

First sunny day at the animal park. Boys playing at the playpark.

Boys were slightly over-layered. As the morning went on I realised it was warmer than I anticipated.



As you all know, Easter was incredibly early this year.  Which meant, to put it bluntly, that it chucked it down with rain for most of the weekend.

However, the terrible weather and the seemingly endless colds that we have all had didn’t dampen our spirits and we had a really lovely weekend.  It was nice to hang out just the four of us, although we did remark that we would have loved to have spent it with some of our extended family.

We baked, enjoyed great food and played games. Oh.. and we may, or may not, have eaten our weight in chocolate.

Two chicks that the boys made on Easter Sunday.

Easter crafts. Anyone that follows my Instagram will know that this was from the CBeebies magazine, not me being super organised with ideas!



At the end of the Easter holidays we took the kids out for dinner.  We go to a fab restaurant which is great with kids.  They provide crayons and paper for the kids to draw on.  The menu has pictures of the food available, so the kids can then tick what they want – this is especially good for younger guests, like the monkeys, who are unable to read.  However, the most essential thing about the restaurant we go to is that the food is served really quickly.  There is nothing worse than trying to keep hungry children entertained, while waiting for dinner to be served.

Charity Spin

I took part in a charity spin class in March.  The class was held to raise money for Fiji, by spinning to Fiji.

I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, but I was really pleased that I was able to.

I have to admit I was suffering the next day… and the day after for that matter.


The sun made an appearance last month.  After MONTHS of dismal, freezing cold rain, it was so nice to see the sun streaming in the window one morning.

It has been really nice to dig out all the garden toys for the kids, sort the garden out and feel like summer is on its way.

Sun definitely makes me a lot happier.

Pretty blue sky on a clear day.

Look: blue sky! I repeat: blue sky!

30 Day Blogging Challenge

March saw me take part in my first ever blogging challenge.  I really enjoyed it and it has helped me get into a better routine for my blogging.

I enjoyed it so much that I am now taking part in the A-Z challenge.

Next month, I will go back to normal blogging.  I won’t be doing a post every day like I have been doing with the A-Z challenge but I do think I will be posting more often now. I have got in the habit of regular blogging.


In March I increased my hours at work, just an extra 5 hours a week but it is just enough for me to get a little more involved in writing articles.

I have found it a little bit of a struggle to get into a new routine but I think we are getting there now.

Like this Post?  Check out Ten Things




Self-Hosted (S)

Self-Hosted – Taking the Leap

When I first started blogging I was told time and time again that you should start off self-hosted.  By this I mean, own your domain name and pay a monthly/yearly fee to host your own website.

There was a problem with this though, I didn’t know how my blog was going to work out.  I didn’t want to pay out at the beginning without knowing if this was truly going to be something for me.

As the months rolled on, I realised that I was having a lot of fun with my blog, meeting a great community of bloggers and I was finding the whole process very therapeutic.  I wondered – aloud to my hubby and anyone else who would listen – should I move from my free wordpress site to a paid platform?

I was a little nervous about it.

Worried about what it would entail.  Concerned I would lose everything in the process.  I spoke to other bloggers who had made the leap, they all told me the same thing: it can be painful to do but worth it when it is all done.

I didn’t know what to do.  So I did a list.  I like lists.  They have helped me make all sorts of decisions over the years: Should I change jobs? Should we move to Germany?  Should I drink more wine (joking…kind of)?

The list looked something like this (only messier as I was scribbling it down in my blogging notebook with children climbing all over me).

  • Free WordPress Pros
    • Free
    • Already set up
    • You don’t need to be technical to manage the site
    • Easy to use
  • Free WordPress Cons
    • Limited flexibility – this is what I have in my notebook although it really should read: No flexibility
    • Unable to add plug ins to enhance my site
    • I don’t own my site
    • Space is limited, so will have to upgrade eventually
  • Self-hosted Pros
    • Control over design
    • Control of plugins
    • My domain name is mine
    • More information on SEO using plug ins.
    • Would look more professional.
    • Cleaner URL
  • Self-hosted Cons
    • May lose stats
    • May lose followers

As you can see my list was fairly biased on moving my website across.

So what did I do?

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

I didn’t do anything and kept going with my free site.  In other words  I chickened out, big-style.

So why didn’t I do anything?

I was concerned I wasn’t technically-minded enough to go self-hosted, even though I had people that would guide me if needed.  Also, I still wasn’t sure that I was good enough.  I had a huge amount of self-doubt, I was wondering if my content could justify going self-hosted.

That was over a month ago.  I have thought about it constantly since then.

Then last weekend, I was blogging and I just thought: “I just need to do this”.  I am not sure why I suddenly decided I wanted to move, but I knew it was now or never.  I love my blog, I love the community that has opened its arms to me, so I thought why not put a bit more love into it?

I dont make life easy for myself though, as some may have noticed I am bang, smack in the middle of a blogging challenge.  So I got a load of scheduled posts lined up for this week and decided to make the leap.  Something in me felt like, if I didn’t do it now, I may never do it.

After looking at various different companies and ways to move my site, I decided to go with SiteGround.  I am SO glad I did.  They have been so helpful and it is always easy to get in contact with them.

The experience of moving my blog over is a whole other blog post, so I am not going to go into that now.

For now, I just want to say I am so glad I made the leap.  I love the new look of my blog.  I love the flexibility.  I feel like it is now truly my blog.

As the week draws to an end, I am almost ready to get back to my normal blogging week.  I am catching up with stuff today and looking forward to sharing my new blog with the world next week as I link up to some of my favourite bloggers.

I would love to hear in the comments what your decision has been with regards to going self-hosted.  Have you made the leap?  If so why did you choose to do it? I would love to get recommendations on plug-ins that you use and love.
If you are still on a free WordPress site, are you planning on moving your site at some point?  Do you have any burning questions you would like answered?

Like this post?  See Blog Musings


Making the leap to self-hosted

Today the letter is S for the A-Z Blogging Challenge


Royal Birthday (R)

Royal Birthday (R)

Royal Birthday on R day!

There is fun in the air at Windsor castle today, as a Royal birthday is celebrated.  At last look, crowds of people lined the streets to join in the festivities.

In case you have been hiding under a rock and don’t have a clue what I am talking about, I am referring to the Queen’s birthday.  This is not to be confused with her official birthday, which is in June.  This is her actual birthday.  Got it?

The Queen celebrated her Royal 90th birthday today

I did turn to Google to find out a little more about why she has two birthdays.  I found out it is not just to get Prince Philip to buy more presents or to have an excuse to drink more champagne – although I would say that is a good enough reason in itself.


She can thank King Edward VII for double celebrations.  He started the tradition as his birthday was November 9 which was considered a bad time of year for a birthday, mainly due to the bad weather.  You can’t blame him really.  So his official birthday, which includes the birthday parade “Trooping the Colour” took place in the summer, where the weather was better and people could enjoy the event without the risk of rain.  Well actually there is still a risk of rain, just less of a risk. The tradition has stuck it seems.

I was never really a Royalist in my younger years – although I don’t think I ever thought about it – but as the years have gone on I do find myself having a lot of respect for her.  You have to admit the Queen is an incredible lady.  She has seen so much.  Been around for so long.  Met so many people, just think of all the Prime Ministers who have come and gone.  As my work friend said today, she met Winston Churchill.  Mind.  Blown.

She has had her ups an down but to be honest has always seen them through.  And you have to admit she looks fabulous for her age, although I guess she has had the best of medical care throughout the years.

Anyway, I am not writing this post to get into a debate on the Queen.  I am just wanting to wish her a happy ‘non official’ birthday.

Happy birthday image for the queen


Want to know more about the Royal Family?  Check out their website.

The letter R - A to Z Challenge