Rachel and a long-standing gay male friend had joked for years about becoming parents together. Eventually, we plucked up our courage and asked him and his partner whether they'd consider embarking on parenthood with us - not as a joke, but for real.
Beside the bookcase is a broken breadstick. A half-eaten biscuit lies in the hallway. And Cheerios litter the kitchen floor like confetti. I do not need to go far to find the perpetrator of such food related carnage, the trail of crumbs weaving behind her as she toddles away makes identification easy.
The toys that are so fixed, so finished, that every plastic gesture is forever frozen can never be anything else. They can't be transferred. A motorbike in miniature detail can't be a skier, or a truck, a buggy, a stone, a King Wasp or a cake - it can only be a motorbike. Non-transferable and a touch cold because of it.
Breastfeeding out and about gets a pretty bad image in the news. All we tend to hear about are stories of mums being asked to leave shops, restaurants, swimming pools, libraries, public transport and so on.
Anxiety is a form of mental illness. A mental illness that is very real, that is experienced by many people and that my own children may one day experience themselves. Therefore, I have decided to be honest about my anxiety, in a way that is positive as possible.
More of most things without restraint, another five minutes wrestling, some more time playing with Lego, the chocolate bar at the checkout, a toy moments after Christmas and birthdays pass. At the moment though, the big thing is, MORE BREAKFAST!
Sandwiches are the obvious choice for packed lunches, but the nutritional content depends largely on the filling. Spreads such as jam and honey have high sugar content and are low in protein, which is essential for growing tissues
Talking about death to children is not an easy thing to do - far harder than teaching the facts of life! But how do you approach it when you are not sure of your own answers? I have tried to put together the worries and questions my children had, and how my husband and I, as agnostics, approached the answers.
It's now 3am and she's awake again. It must be her teeth. I read somewhere that the pain can be worse at night. But baby M doesn't want Calpol. It takes me 45 minutes to coax it into her and 15 minutes later she's back in her cot and I'm crawling into bed. Mr MBAW is snoring.
I've seen my eldest become a shadow of his former self, mainly because kids have been kids and said things to him, that he's then become upset about. We've done our best to help him make friends, but it hasn't worked. The school has done what it can to support us. Unfortunately, our combined efforts haven't worked.
Just had a baby? Feeling sleep deprived? Have you fallen asleep with the baby in your arms and woken up three hours later in the same position? Do you drift through the day in a zombie-like state, fantasising about pillows?
As I continue to recover from my recent surgery, I have realised in the last week how important my partner's role is for our son's development. Of course, I have always known that my son needs his daddy but when your partner works offshore and you are the one running the household, often alone raising your child it is easy to forget
As I scroll down the screen images of my son's sweet smile gaze back at me, as do the faces of other people's children. Happy, crying, sitting on the supermarket floor screaming. There they are. Through the blogsphere we share our lives, the pretty and the difficult. Are parent bloggers selfish?
My three children are all sporty. They run which means cross-country in the Winter and athletics in the Summer. My daughter plays netball, volleyball, hockey and rugby. My sons play rugby and football. They are all competitive in their various sports which spills over into other aspects of life.
The DFE has also yet to answer questions about the ways in which data collected by such inappropriate tests are to be stored; what uses will be made of them and how long they will be retained. For example, might schools use such data to set and stream children in the early primary school period?
We didn't choose to home educate the children just so that they could see me checking my phone for most of the day. Part of being a conscious parent involves frequent reflection on how things are going, and making changes when needed. For me, watching that video footage drew a line that I want to avoid crossing in future.
All of these snap judgements, these microaggressions, can add to the fear that can often surround motherhood. I lost hours of my life second guessing what people were thinking of me, what I was doing, whether I was doing a good job. Really, all that mattered was whether I was putting Fin first, doing the best job I could do, and being me.