Sonny Jim – our sunshine from the very start
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
It’s a sentiment that has survived centuries – and is one of the most famous lines from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
And it’s true – expect it’s kind of not. A rose might smell as sweet, but would you want to go sniffing something that was called rotten? You’d just give it a miss wouldn’t you? It’s why pollock doesn’t sell nearly as well as tastes-almost-exactly-the-same cod.
And when you are having a baby, names suddenly seem to matter like never before. Let’s face it, it’ll be a defining piece of his or her identity for a lifetime. Often it’ll be the first thing people know about about them – and opinions will be formed on what sort of person they are, on just the moniker you have picked out for them. No pressure, right? Continue reading
From pop star to kid’s TV star: Milkshake’s Derek Moran
A DECADE ago, Derek Moran – one fifth of a popular boyband D-Side- blagged his way into a screen test for a children’s TV presenting job.
“A friend of mine said there’s this TV audition tomorrow for Milkshake,” he recalls, his enthusiastic Irish accent unmistakable to anyone with a child under six.
“And I was like what’s Milkshake, you know? So, I just phoned up. They asked me if I had a show reel and I said it was on VHS – which was a little white lie. And they said, ‘oh alright just come in tomorrow and screen test.’
“So, I went in the next day, which was Friday and they put me on the TV on the Monday. It was scary. But it was great.” Continue reading
As a seven-week fetus – our first look at Sonny Jim
TWO years ago today I was sat clutching my husband’s hand at Bart’s Hospital in London.
After nine years of trying for a baby, five years of fertility treatments and a round of IVF, it seemed I’d finally fallen pregnant.
And two days before my 31st birthday we were waiting for a scan to confirm that it was definitely true, for a first look at our baby, to see its teeny little heart beating.
When Sonny Jim’s flickering heart flashed up on the grainy screen, I cried. He looked a bit like a prawn. Or maybe a crocodile. And it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Continue reading
Find the fun: The Princess Emporium will be at Priory Park tomorrow
Play in the Park. Friday, August 11. 10am-12.30pm. Free. Suitable for all ages.
There will be water play, playdough, songs time with instruments, some books and arts and crafts. Oh and bubbles. Find the fun at Priory Park (the green space behind the museum.) Bring sun hats, sun cream, snacks, water, blanket, activities/toys to share.
Caterpillar Club. Tuesday, August 15. 10am-12pm. £6 per child. Suitable for one to four-year-olds.
A fun morning of indoor and outdoor activities for pre schoolers at Langdon Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve, Lower Dunton Road, Basildon. Booking essential, call 01268 419103. Continue reading
Doing it like a mother: Keri Jarvis (centre) Photo by Petra Blacklock
“We have grown up thinking we can have it all, but we don’t realise that that means ‘do it all’. And we’ve got to look good at the same time…”
The rarely-spoken about challenges of being a mummy have inspired a hypnobirthing teacher to set up a new motherhood mindset mentoring program.
Mum-of-two Keri Javis, 32, of London Road, Westcliff, has helped more than 200 women have hypnobirths – yet grew frustrated with how the support for women seemed to end as soon as the baby was born.
She said: “When my first son was born, the transition into motherhood was such a shock. Once the initial excitement of meeting our baby had faded, and everyone else went back to their own lives, (including my husband 8am-6pm, five days a week) I felt utterly blindsided. I spent a lot of time alone with Louis, because when I forced myself out to groups, I just didn’t feel a connection to the women talking about how well their babies slept or some version of how amazing it was to be a mum. Continue reading
Post jabs – Sonny Jim was sad and sore after his first lot of vaccinations
I’m pretty sure all us mummies would do anything within our power to protect our children from harm.
Our babies becoming sick – when we could have prevented it – is the stuff of nightmares. It’s why we sterilise bottles. Why most of us should have taken out shares in Dettol wipes.
Yet 24,000 children a year in England are not immunised against measles, mumps and rubella.
The French PM Édouard Philippe has just announced that from 2018, all vaccines universally recommended by health authorities – 11 in total – will be compulsory.
Italy meanwhile, has recently banned non-vaccinated children from attending state schools.
It comes as the World Health Organisation warns of a major measles outbreak spreading across Europe. Continue reading
EVERYONE hates journalists right? We’re right up there with politicians and car dealers.
Except…when something like this happens.
Emma Cox is one of my dearest friends. She’s godmother to my Sonny Jim.
And when she went to visit her baby boy Alfie’s grave at the weekend, only to discover it had been dug up and another baby buried there, my job (nowadays done from home and squeezed in around Sonny Jim) suddenly did all the things I hoped it would when, age 17, I decided being a journalist would be pretty cool.
It meant I could get (some) answers, when no one was getting back to her and her husband. It meant I could help her to make sure no one else would ever find themselves in the same god awful situation. It meant her voice was louder and reaching more people than it otherwise would. Continue reading