May 2011

Silent Sunday


It’s now less than one calendar month until CyberMummy 2011, and I am so excited! I launched this blog in August of last year, just after the last CyberMummy conference, and as I found places like British Mummy Bloggers and Blogger.Ed I read more and more about this amazing-sounding thing called CyberMummy. I was gutted to have missed it. So when the tickets were announced for this year, I bought one straight away. This was before I’d met any other bloggers, or really knew what I was letting myself in for.

Since then I’ve had the good fortune to meet some other bloggers, and attend a few events. They’ve been fun, I’ve met some lovely people, and they’ve always ended with all of us saying “see you at CyberMummy!”. There’s a buzz about CyberMummy, like it’s going to be big. And I’m going to be there!

I’ve been checking out the schedule, trying to work out which sessions I’m going to attend. I wish I could clone myself so that I could attend every one I like the sound of!

Carly, who blogs over at Mummy’s Shoes, is hosting a “meet and greet” linky, to allow us to get to know each other a bit before the event. So, here I am, the geekmummy:

the geek family

Name: Ruth Arnold

Blog: geekmummy

Twitter ID: @geekmummy (for the blog) and @R2UK (for me)

Height: 5ft 6 ish

Hair: Long, ginger and curly

Eyes: Blue. I sometimes wear glasses and sometimes wear contact lenses

Likes: my iPad, my iPhone, technology and gadgets, spending time with family and friends, cake, sitting inside a nice warm house on cold, windy, rainy days, singing loudly along to showtunes in my car, Glee

Dislikes:  office politics, eggs, not being able to find things, treading on Lego, John Humphreys-style of interviewing

Kids: The geekdaughter who is now three and a half, and the geekson who is very nearly one! The geekdaddy is a big kid as well, and he gets the job of looking after them for the weekend of CyberMummy!

I’m staying the Saturday night in the Hoxton, and hoping to find something to do with some other nice people after the main event finishes.

If you want to meet more people who are going to CyberMummy 2011, head over’s to Carly’s meet and greet. I’m looking forward to meeting loads of you there :)

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There’s a big Save the Children campaign running at the moment, entitled “No Child Born to Die”. It’s all about making sure every child gets the chance to live their life, which is a cause I can really get behind. At the moment the focus is on vaccinations. Save the Children want to highlight the fact that today one in five children worldwide receives no vaccines at all. On June 13th there’s a big Vaccine and Immunisation Conference in London, attended by world leaders, and we have a chance to persuade them to save 4 million lives in 4 hours by fully funding vaccinations for the world’s poorest children.

To raise awareness the amazing Chris from Thinly Spread is soon to head out to to Mozambique with Save the Children to find out more about vaccinations and to raise awareness of the massive £4.7 billion that’s needed to provide these vital services to developing countries. She’ll be reporting on her findings, and I’m going to be glued to her blog to read about her experiences.

Ahead of her trip, there’s a new meme in the blogosphere, aiming to raise awareness of the trip and the Save the Children petition that accompanies it. Sleep Is For The Week and Red Ted Art have challenged us to help spread the word about the campaign, sign the petition, and (of course) do a bit of crafting at the same time. I’ve been tagged by Sally over at Who’s the Mummy, so here is our entry.

The challenge is to get your child to draw a self portrait, either of how they are now or as how they see themselves in the future. I wasn’t sure how much success I’d have on this front, because the geekdaughter is in a “sticking things together” phased at the moment, and not so keen on drawing. I’d suggested the idea a couple of days ago and she wasn’t in the mood at all, so when I suggested it again today I wasn’t expecting much…

… but she blew me away!

My family - by the geekdaughter aged three and a half

To my knowledge that’s the first time she’s ever drawn legs and feet on people. She’s drawn the whole family, and even colour coded us – she and I are in red, and the geekson and geekdaddy are in yellow. From left to right you see her, the geekson, me and then the geekdaddy. His face is all coloured in to show his beard. I love the nice big smile she’s drawn on my face – after the shouting matches we have sometimes it makes me really happy to see that she still pictures me smiling :) The yellow circles are clouds.

I’m not tagging anyone in particular with this meme, as I have no idea who’s been tagged already and who hasn’t. If you’d like to take part, consider yourself tagged. Here’s what you need to do:

1) Get your child to either draw or craft a self portrait of themselves now or in the future, perhaps imagining what they will look like or what they might do.

2) Sign the Save the Children petition and share news of it with your friends.

3) Write a blog post about it as soon as possible, featuring your children’s pictures and perhaps how you made them together, and including info about Save the Children and the petition. We want as many people linked up AND signed up the petition by Sunday 29th May 2011

5) Tag 8 blogging friends to do the same – #passiton!

6) Come back and link up your posts, either here or over at Red Ted Art, so we can all see each other’s posts and if you have time, go and leave some comment love on each others posts! It’s a blog-hop link-up so you can even publish the list of entries on your blog too.

This is not a sponsored post.


baby show sign NEC

I’m a big fan of the Baby Show at the NEC. I attended my first one before I was even pregnant with the geekdaughter, and I’ve attended every year since then, with the exception of last year, when I decided attending at 39 weeks pregnant with the geekson might not have been the best of plans!

Up until this year, I’ve attended on my own, or with friends, but never with the children. It’s always struck me as a long day and rather boring outing for kids, and to be honest I have secretly admired anyone attending with their child(ren). However, that all changed this year. For a while it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to attend at all, as the geekdaddy was working the whole weekend, and I couldn’t find any other childcare options. But then Fisher Price invited me to pop down and find out more about their Play Lab, and I had another think. I realised that if I attended on the Friday the geekdaughter would be in nursery, so I only had to worry about childcare for the geekson. I tried to get nursery to take the him for an “ad-hoc” day as well, but they had no space.

So, feeling rather rash, I thought maybe I should just take the geekson with me. It’s something I’d never have contemplated with the geekdaughter, but the geekson is much more laid back, and I thought I’d probably get away with it with him.

Having been to the Baby Show previously I knew it might get crowded, and I didn’t want the addition stress of trying to steer my pram around, so following recommendation from several friends I invested in an Ergo Baby Carrier. Now I’ve never got on with baby carriers before, but the Ergo seemed easy to get on and off, and comfortable to wear. We did a quick test run around our local farmer’s market last weekend, and that went well, so I decided we would have an adventure together.

One of the things I like about the Ergo baby carrier is that it has a little zip-up pouch at the front that you can easily reach around to when you’re carrying your baby. It’s got enough space for a few little things, and so I decided I would test out the Baby Show’s claim that they provide a hassle free day out and see how little I could get away with carrying. Again, my confidence was strengthened by having attended previously and having an idea of what facilities would be there, and my contingency plan was that I would take everything I might need for the day and leave it in my car, so I’d be able to get at it in the case of an emergency.

Arriving at the Baby Show

So, last Friday, I tucked my purse, a small packet of baby wipes and a spare nappy into the Ergo, dropped the geekdaughter off at nursery, and off we went! And I’m delighted to report that we had a great day. The geekson slept in the car on the way, and was beautifully behaved throughout the day. He didn’t sleep at all in the Ergo (it was probably too new, and there were far too many distractions around) so he got a little grumpy towards the end of the day, but was never any trouble. The Plum baby team were providing free lunches for little ones, and he loved his bean and beef cassoulet and yoghurt. The Pampers team provided changing facilities with complimentary nappies and wipes, and most importantly plenty of changing stations so I didn’t need to queue at all. As an added bonus all stations were equipped with Fisher Price mobiles to entertain baby whilst being changed – the geekson had a lovely time trying to pull the dangling animals off his!!. I got to meet up with some other bloggers, spending most of the day with Helen from petitmom and her gorgeous son baby Al.

I took a backpack with me to carry any purchases I might make, so I didn’t need to test out the Emma’s Diary collect by car service, but it was nice knowing it was there in case I did make large purchases. In the end I bought a couple of Skibz bibs for the geekson, some Halos and Horns bath products, and I also finally succumbed and bought the Gruffalo Trunki for the geekdaughter.

And my thoughts on the Baby Show this year? On the whole well laid out, with plenty of space to manoeuvre pushchairs if needed. I did leave wondering if perhaps I’m outgrowing the show though – with the geekson now almost a year old, and having made the decision that we’re definitely not having any more kids, there was less to tempt me with this year than previous years. It’s a great day out though, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who is pregnant or has a younger baby.

Disclosure: Fisher Price provided me with free entry to the Baby Show, and a goodie bag for the kids. The Amazon link in this post is an affiliate link.


Silent Sunday 22/05/11

May 22, 2011
Read the full article → on sex after children

May 19, 2011

I’m really not sure how best to introduce this latest vlog. You can blame the team over at BritMums for setting it as one of this month’s featured topics, for starters. When I read it in the list I knew I had to get the geekdaddy on camera with me to have this discussion. Those […]

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The MAD Awards – I’m a finalist!!

May 18, 2011

Yesterday started off pretty badly. The geekdaughter managed to squirt the air freshener from the bathroom into her face, in particular her left eye. Cue a long battle trying to get the eye washed out with water – she hates getting her face wet. Thankfully I managed to get the eye well washed out, and […]

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Preparing for the end of maternity leave – updating my CV

May 17, 2011

This month has been all about getting ready to go back to work, as my maternity leave ends on May 31st, one day after the geekson’s first birthday. I am lucky in having a family-friendly employer that allows me to take that long, and also in having enough savings to be able to afford it. […]

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Silent Sunday – 15/05/2011

May 15, 2011
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The next big thing in Lego?

May 13, 2011

I’m trying to teach the geekdaughter how to share and play nicely with her baby brother, whilst at the same time ensuring that some things remains “hers”. So I have explained to her that any toys that live in the lounge must be shared, and things that are just hers live in her bedroom. She’s […]

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My breastfeeding rant

May 11, 2011

Yesterday yet another story hit the news about the latest research that proves the old adage “breast is best”. This time, apparently, we’ve discovered that breastfed babies have fewer behavioural problems than their formula-fed peers. Good. Great. The Mums who successfully breastfed their child(ren) can smile, safe in the knowledge that they’ve done the best […]

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Silent Sunday 08/05/2011

May 8, 2011
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Their future in our hands – what to do with the remaining embryos?

May 4, 2011

The geekdaughter and the geekson are both miracles of modern science. The geekdaddy and I were unable to have kids without assistance, and so both our children are a result of IVF treatment. They are, in fact, twins born two and a half years apart, as they were both conceived at the same time, during […]

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What a wedding!

May 2, 2011

I was 10 when Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. I remember it very clearly indeed. My Mum and some of her friends travelled in to London the day before in order to secure a good vantage point, and they ended up in Trafalgar Square, right by the barrier. I went to stay with my […]

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