Just one more minute…

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Those sobering statistics are the reason that Child Bereavement UK has developed a campaign featuring bereaved families and celebrity supporters who have experienced the death of a family member.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the needs of bereaved children and families and the benefits of support.

The national charity’s film shows a series of contributors talking about what they would say if they had one more minute with their special person who has died and includes celebrity friends of the charity such as Rio Ferdinand and patrons Mary Berry and Jason Watkins.

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The charity’s chief executive Ann Chalmers said “The idea behind the One More minute campaign taps into a human truth that will help people to understand the impact of bereavement, which is exactly what Child Bereavement UK endeavours to help grieving families to face as they begin to rebuild their lives.  The film touches on the yearning that many bereaved families tell us they have, to be able to have more time with the person who has died.  In our 23 years’ experience of supporting children, young people and families, this is something that is commonly expressed and that many people will relate to.

“Child Bereavement UK deals with a subject that many people find too unbearable to contemplate, the untimely deaths of parents and children, but every year, child bereavement is experienced by thousands of families in the UK.  Our vision is for all families to have access to the support they need when a child grieves and when a child dies, and our One More Minute campaign gives us the opportunity to spread the word so that the families are aware that bereavement support is available through organisations like ours.  We also need to reach new audiences to provide vital funding to help us plug the gaps in bereavement support across the UK; we know from Child Bereavement UK’s YouGov survey that 1 in 5 British adults who were bereaved of a close family member said they wish they had more support.”

Watch the films, find out how to seek bereavement support or make a donation to the charity’s work at www.onemoreminute.org

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Scarecrows, disco dancing and the roll of a dice equal half term fun

It’s always nice to hear other people back up your own opinions isn’t it?

The Lincoln Drill Hall has long since been a favourite venue of the Malpis both before and after the arrival of the mini ones and also before and after Daddy Malpi and I worked there.

So it was lovely to hear another two mums chatting about how fabulous the arts centre is too whilst we were sat in the auditorium waiting for curtain up.

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Rocking a fairy dress and pirate slippers whilst meeting Sally the Scarecrow – you have to dress for the theatre you know!

Whilst the venue in Free School Lane, Lincoln, programmes shows and activities for children all year round this programming inevitably increases during school holidays and Willow, Faith and Mummy Malpi were taking advantage of the half term’s showing of Marty MacDonald’s Toy Machine when we overheard the mums praising the Drill Hall’s family-friendly features.

And Willow definitely enjoyed that day’s show too, joining in with the well-known songs included in the show such as Old MacDonald’s Farm, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and the Hokey Cokey.  It was so nice to see a show advertised for age 2+ as well rather than the more often 3+ or 4+.  And she even had the chance to meet Sally the Scarecrow after the show too!

The following day we were back to enjoy the Diddy Disco.  This time Luke joined us and Grandmum came too because I’m not brave enough to take all three of the mini ones on my own yet.  Was just as well as Luke turned out to be having an excitable day and Willow was determined to get her groove on so they weren’t often in the same area at the same time for long although they did both like joining in with Sleeping Bunnies in between the pop songs as well as delving into the dressing up box in the cafe area.

And we were back again at the weekend, this time it was Grandmum’s choice for the appropriately titled Granny’s Game by Rhubarb Theatre.

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Promoted for age 5+ it was a bit of a gamble for us but we know that Luke has enjoyed one of their previous shows and their trademark mix of physical theatre and use of transformative staging and props is his kind of thing.

Snakes turned into an elephant and a bed changed into an Egyptian sarcophagus as we followed two children whose board game comes to life and they have adventures in a variety of different countries and their audience of mini ones were giggling along at the humorous moments from the start – ours particularly liked the butterflies.  Rhubarb Theatre opened up the stage to their young audience at the end too so they had the opportunity to explore the props and ask questions about the staging including the projection technique which turned out to be delightfully old school.  Anyone else remember overhead projectors from their school days?

Faith either slept or fed through all these events so we’ve got lots of reasons to keep going back so she can join in in the future.

The Lincoln Drill Hall includes children’s events in its year-round programme as well as during school holidays.  View its latest season calendar by clicking here.

Fourth birthday celebrations are picture perfect

Like Luke, many of his friends having been turning 4 in recent months so he’s been a bit of a social butterfly taking in all their birthday celebrations.

Soft play centres, open farms and family homes have all provided the back drops for stampeding hoards of sugar-fuelled preschoolers to mark their friend’s special occasion.

But it was another slightly different fourth birthday that recently helped to showcase a Lincoln venue’s celebratory credentials.

Lincoln Mums, an online magazine dedicated to providing support, guidance and information for parents in the local area along with a few helpful membership discounts and offers, chose to mark its fourth birthday at The Collection in Lincoln.

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Also marking the second anniversary of Emma Crellin taking on the Lincoln Mums mantle, Emma joined forces with The Collection’s party team to put on a few extra activities for the museum’s younger weekend visitors, displays of party food and had lots of local information on hand for their older chaperones to pick up.  There was even a party bag (or “party present” as Luke likes to call them) to take home with you!

We also took advantage of the opportunity to pick up a new leaflet detailing The Collection’s children’s birthday party offerings because Luke and Willow are starring on the front of it!

The mini ones are fans of the children’s room at the front of the museum, as well as of having a good hands on run around the main displays, and don’t need too much encouragement to dress up which makes for a happy mummy.

So when we read on Lincoln Mums Facebook page that the museum was looking for willing participants for a promotional photoshoot we volunteered the mini ones.  Daddy and Mummy Malpi were asked to participate too but we ended up being saved from the camera lens by being a bit busy on the day welcoming Faith into the world.

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The photos were taken by Stuart Wilde Photography and, while realise we might be a bit biased, we think Luke and Willow make very cute knights.

The Lincoln Mums Expo 2017 will take place on Saturday, March 4th.

Happy birthday and anniversary Lincoln Mums and Emma!

(Guess who else is celebrating their fourth birthday – it’s Sarah and Duck!)

Feeding Tube Awareness Week 2017

Did you know it is the seventh annual Feeding Tube Awareness Week this week (February 6th to 10th, 2017)?

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Created by the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation to increase awareness of feeding tubes and enteral feeding, we’re certainly more aware of the need for such intervention after Faith spent a week in Lincoln County Hospital’s Nocton Ward building up her strength before coming home.

Faith was lucky to leave the tube behind her at the hospital but many children and adults continue to be reliant on such help after they’re discharged – find out more at www.feedingtubeawarenessweek.org

On the third weekend of Christmas…

Remembering the fun of last weekend is helping soothe the disappointment of a cancelled operation for my son today.

As well as not one, not two, but three Christmas parties at various children’s groups the mini ones attend, they also accompanied us for an annual seasonal meal out with friends last Saturday.

Sitting still for any length of time isn’t their forte but gifts of Disney character toys, children’s activity packs from the restaurant based on We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, an ice cream desert and our own bear hunt exploration around the building after the meal helped stave off any significant displays of boredom.

 

The following day we headed to Wyndham Park in Grantham for its Christmas in the Park celebration where, for the mini ones, Christmas seemed to be marked in a similar way to at the Lincoln Christmas Market – this time with bouncy castle fun and a teacup fairground ride.

But Luke soon also benefited from another’s display of festive friendship when an older boy tried helping him up the bouncy slide he was having problems climbing.  They were quite determined together which was so lovely of the other child (don’t you just love how children can make friends anywhere they go within seconds?) but ultimately it was still a little beyond my small four-year-old’s legs.  Maybe he’ll be able to climb that mountain of bouncy, slippery steps next time Santa’s in town.

And it did mean Christmas does still include helping others as well as enjoying amusement rides.

On the second weekend of Christmas…

Christmas was put on hold at the start of last weekend in favour of all things second birthday related.

I can’t believe Willow is already 2!

She’s fairly sure she’s already 14 and certainly approves of presents and cake so is sure to be looking forward to many more birthdays to come but such occasions always make me want to grab hold of the earth and slow it down a little, keep my mini ones mini a bit longer.

Time has gone even faster with Willow than with Luke, I fear if we blink we’ll open our eyes to our third baby’s 18th birthday.

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We didn’t have to think too hard about what to treat her to and her new kitchen seems to have gone down very well so far – just as well considering the furniture moving it took to fit it in.  Fortunately the size of it has meant that brother and sister have been able to share it relatively amicably so far too.  Hopefully, as soon as their legs allow, they’ll be replicating what they’re currently practising for real in the kitchen behind that wall.  Luke’s insistence on doing some baking in the last couple of days has given me hope (as well as fairy cakes)!

santalukeSunday included more presents for Willow from friends and family but also featured Christmas in large again as we took part in the Lincoln Santa Fun Run.

Daddy has done it in the past on his own but last year we did it as a family for the first time.  Despite it being just a little bit of a stretch too far in the end (Finishing last didn’t stop it being a fun run) it was clear that this type of event is very much Luke’s thing.

This year the excitement started early as we tried their Santa outfits on to make sure they still fitted ahead of the race, and told them that grandmum, grandma and pops would be joining us this time too, and we had to keep reiterating that it wasn’t going to take place that day (or the next…).

santa2aFortunately his enthusiasm hadn’t waned when the day came and it made a mummy’s heart swell to see him in his element skipping, spinning and ho ho ho-ing leading our way to the starting line.

And what a difference a year makes to a mini one.  Managing to determinedly walk most of the way in 2015 scraping through at the end as they were packing up, 2016 saw him run three quarters of the way with daddy, arriving well within the melee reaching for their water bottles and impressive medals.

2016 and Daddy saw him run it anyway – this mummy carrying a two year old on her back and sporting a 32-week pregnant tummy on her front was quite happy to take a more ambling approach, taking in the atmosphere and all the fun variants people made to their, their children’s and their dogs’ costumes.

Willow, a very savvy lass, took an even more relaxed approach to the event, deciding once again to sleep through most of it, preserving her energy for further present opening and cake eating in the afternoon.

As well as last year’s and this year’s Santa Run, she’s also slept through last year’s Race for Life and was in the womb for the year before’s – she’s definitely worked out the best way to complete these events.

As a family we’ve also taken part in a Sports Relief Mile and it would be lovely to find more family-friendly events like these where we can indulge Luke’s need for speed with an added bit of spectacle.

We ran out of weekend quickly too which means we still haven’t started most of our Christmas shopping or fetched the decorations down from the attic let alone put them up – but there’s still two weekends left aren’t there…?