New Class in Overton: NCT Mother and Baby Yoga

NCT Mother and Baby Yoga is a unique and fun exercise programme designed for mother and baby.

Classes provide a wonderful opportunity for you as a new mother to ease your way back into exercise after the birth of your baby. Each class comprises gentle yoga-based exercises for both you and your baby to do together.

Mums will have the opportunity to do exercises and stretches to:

• strengthen and tone your muscles; especially abdominal, pelvic floor and back muscles
• increase your fitness levels
• regain and maintain a good posture
• provide some vital relaxation
• re-energise and motivate you for the rest of the week

Babies will have the opportunity to experience some yoga and massage especially for them to:

• encourage their reflexes to develop
• enhance their motor development
• increase their awareness of their surroundings
• calm and relax them, helping them to sleep better

Overall the class allows time for the mother and baby bond to develop, enhancing your understanding of your baby and hence increasing your confidence in being a parent.

Music features throughout the class, creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere, re-learn those nursery rhymes and come and join us.

Classes are suitable for you and your baby to attend from six weeks after birth. You need to have had your six/eight week check from your GP and been given permission to restart exercising before attending classes.

I will provide mats but you can bring your own if you wish. You may find it useful to have a small cushion and a blanket as well for extra comfort. Please bring along a blanket for baby to lie on and a favorite toy or comforter.

Sessions end with a chance to have a drink and a chat while you get to know the other mothers on the course. Free parking spaces are available at outside the Community Centre, on the London Road car park, or Overton Hill car park.

Many thanks and I look forward to welcoming you and your baby to classes soon. Anne Boyere

5.00 to 6.00 pm on Sundays

Term time in 6 week blocks or book each session from one week to the other.

Babies from 6 weeks (mums needs to have had 6-week check) to 12 months (or walking).

Cost is £5 per session.

Tel: 07515821851

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Proteus’ Autumn/Winter 2018 Season

Thurs 4th October – Monday 24th December 2018

at PROTEUS CREATION SPACE (and other selected venues)

  • A celebration of super women, telling powerful stories made and performed by remarkable artists
  • Premiere of Proteus’ new solo satire, I’m Super, Thanks, by acclaimed writer and director Mary Swan
  • Showcasing brand-new work, by cutting-edge artists from the world of cabaret, comedy and circus, never seen before in the borough, as part of our programme of Basingstoke Firsts
  • Scratch Built Productions in association with Proteus presents two enchanting family shows, inviting families to enjoy Christmas with Proteus

Season commences Thursday 4th October.
Bar open from 7pm season introduction and performance from 7.30pm

Proteus has always celebrated remarkable women; from Hattie Jacques to Edith Cavell, Bette Davis to Jane Austen, and we felt it was high time we devoted a whole season to them. Our new programme of Basingstoke Firsts shows will bring you contemporary circus in the shape of Ellie Dubois’ brilliant and empowering all-female No Show, the experience of transgender women in the poignant comedy Hayley and Me and Proteus’ own new show I’m Super, Thanks, a satirical comedy looking at the ups and downs of life married to a superhero. Often we are told that the absence of women on and behind the stage and screen is due to a shortage of female writers, directors, or comediennes – this season seeks to prove that theory is false!

As the days get shorter and the nights darker, it seems appropriate that The Proteans, our adult community theatre workshop company, will reprise their immersive theatre experience Come With Me If You Want To Live; this time working with a revised narrative that stays true to the original inspiration of the high-concept horror movies of the 70s. The cast will include our eldest youth theatre groups, Basingstoke Youth Theatre and Proteus Young Company.

The end of November marks the start of our much-loved family work as we premiere our winter family touring show Hansel and Gretel as well as the return of our much-loved in-house Christmas show for under 5s, introducing the very youngest members of the family to the magic of theatre!

No Show cast, credit Chris Hoyle

Award-winning performer and performance maker Ellie Dubois took the Edinburgh Fringe by storm in 2017 and is now bringing No Show (20 Oct) to Basingstoke; putting female strength, power and skill centre stage. In this production, which reveals what lies hidden beneath the showmanship of circus, we [as the audience] are allowed the opportunity to see behind the flawless smiles and perfect execution to reveal the wobbles, pain, and the real cost of aiming for perfection.

Come With Me If You Want To Live

At the beginning of November, we reveal an innovative collaboration between The Proteans, Basingstoke Youth Theatre and Proteus Young Company, intriguingly titled Come With Me If You Want To Live (1&2 Nov). This immersive horror experience will appeal to fans of Buzzfeed’s Unsolved and the audience become part of the action as they are taken on an unnerving journey into darkness.

Hayley and Me

We are delighted to welcome transgender performer, activist, theatre and cabaret maker Kate O’Donnell to Basingstoke later in November with her solo show, Hayley and Me (22 Nov). This cabaret/ performance brings the classic Coronation Street character Hayley Cropper back into the limelight, as Kate explores parallels between the character’s storylines and her own journey. This performance is programmed just five days after Transgender Awareness Week and, as such, we are thrilled that Kate will also host a post-show Q&A, offering an opportunity for audiences to further discuss the themes in the show.

For 2018, winter family touring show Hansel and Gretel (30 Nov-14 Dec) will be a collaboration with Scratch Built Productions – featuring a highly original and enchanting set, magical puppets and toetapping folk songs, fused with Proteus’ thought-provoking storytelling, physical theatre and longstanding reputation for creating unique and beautiful family shows. In this wonderful retelling of a classic fairytale, Hansel and Gretel encounter not just the wicked witch but a spiteful sugar-plum fairy and singing gingerbread men to name but a few. A show aimed at children aged 6+ and their families, this is a journey into the deep dark woods that all the family can enjoy together.

Magical Christmas Toy Shop – cast of last year’s show

You know the festive season has truly arrived in when our annual in-house Christmas show The Magical Christmas Toy Shop (14-24 Dec) opens. Once again, Scratch Built Productions in association with Proteus bring their trademark mix of interactive storytelling, puppetry, music and sensory elements to this brand new show, transforming the Creation Space into an immersive walkthrough adventure. Offering something a little different from a traditional Christmas show or panto, children are encouraged to explore, play, create and interact with the colourful characters they meet along the way.

“We look forward to this every year – it has become part of our Christmas tradition.” Audience member, How Many Sleeps ‘til Christmas, 2017

No longer Basingstoke’s best-kept secret, the experience is as much of a Christmas tradition as mince pies and mulled wine for many a local family!

Tickets are available at for this season of truly unique performances which invites audiences of all ages to immerse themselves and become as much a part of the theatre experience as the artists performing!

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Hi I’m Marcia and I’m very excited to be bringing the award winning ARTventurers classes to Basingstoke. Classes begin in Hatch Warren in November and are full of fun and creative art and play opportunities for babies and young children.

Please pop along to my website to find out more or to book a class.

Hope to see you soon, Marcia x

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Grand Winter Ball, November 17th 2018 – for Just4children in aid of Archie

An amazing evening, music, magic, a Britain’s Got Talent finalist performance, dinner, a photobooth, holiday prizes, incredible raffle, signed Saints memorabilia and so so much more!

Hotel discount available for those who wish to stay.

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Santas, Pantos and Other Christmas 2018 events

Thank you very much to W for putting together today’s post on NHM! She’s done an awesome job!

Santas, Pantos and Other Christmas 2018 events

I know, I know it’s too soon but the kids are back at school, Strictly and the X Factor have started and several places are now taking bookings for Santa visits/experiences.  If you need a weekend slot or you want to take advantage of early bird discounts the next few weeks are the best time to book.

Below are some of the local places to visit Santa, plus several other Christmas experiences that you may wish to book or put in the diary now.  With school holidays starting late this year demand for weekend slots for Santa will be high so book early.

Experiences with a Santa Visit

More of the Good Stuff – Dummer.  Now taking bookings for Breakfast or Tea with Santa

Wyevale Garden Centre – Sherfield on Loddon.  Tickets are now on sale for Santa’s Grotto.  They also normally do Breakfast or tea with Santa, keep an eye on their website for details.

Millers Ark – Nr Hook.  Lots of Christmas events including a Santa’s Grotto, Carols in the Barn and a Nativity with real animals.

4 Kingdoms – Headley.  Now taking bookings for their Christmas experience.

Finkley Down Farm – Andover.  Booking now open.

Basingstoke Canal – Mychett.  Booking opens 1st Oct.  Bookings by phone or in person.

Watercress Line – Alresford/Alton.  Book now for the Santa Special.

Marwell – Winchester.  Tickets on sale from September 17th.

Winchester Science Centre – Winchester.  Bookings now open for their Santa experience.

Paultons Park – Ower.  Tickets now on sale.

Lapland UK – Windsor.  Tickets now on sale

Legoland – Windsor.  Christmas tickets now on sale, discount for early booking.

Santa Grottos

Festival Place – Basingstoke.  Details TBC.  This is normally the cheapest Santa in the area.  No Booking required.

Henry Street Garden Centre –Arborfield.  Booking normally opens in October, weekends book up very fast.

Dobbies Garden Centre – Shinfield.  Book via website.

Redfields Garden Centre – Church Crookham.  Details yet to be released.  Normlly book instore or by phone 01252 624444.

Other Christmas Events

Festival Place Lights Switch On – Basingstoke.  Date TBC.

The Malls – Basingstoke.  Date TBC.  The Lights switch on is normally the start of a host of Christmas events in the Malls.  See their website for details.

Festival Place Santa Parade – Basingstoke.  TBC.

Milestones Christmas Market – Basingstoke.  8th – 9th Dec

Basingstoke Festive Fun Run – Memorial Park Basingtoke.  Dec 16th.  Please check website for times.

Lantern Procession – Newbury.  Dec 16th.  Join in or just admire and soak up the atmosphere as the candle-lit procession travels along Northbrook Street to the Market Place

Winchester Cathedral – Nov 17th – Jan 2nd.  Check out the cathedral website for all the events at Winchester Cathedral including the Christmas Market and the Ice Rink.


The Magical Christmas Toy Shop – Proteus Basingstoke.  Dec 14th – 24th.  Interactive Christmas performance, Santa normally makes an appearance.  Early bird discount until September 30th.  For pre-school children (although most infants love it too).

Reindeer on the Roof – Central Studio Basingstoke.  Dec 14th.  Suitable for the whole family.

A Christmas Carol  – More of the Good Stuff, Dummer.  Dec 16th A production for Children.

Santa’s Christmas Party – The Haymarket Basingstoke.  Dec 7th – 9th ages 2 -7

Santa’s Christmas Party – Theatre Royal Winchester.  Dec 17th.  All ages


Snow White – The Anvil Basingstoke.  Dec 13th – Jan 6th.  All ages

Aladdin – The Hexagon Reading.  Dec 8th – Jan 6th.  All ages.  With Justin Fletcher.

Beauty & The Beast– Theatre Royal Winchester.  Dec 1st – Jan 6st.  All ages

Jack & The Beanstalk – Corn Exchange Newbury.  Nov 30st – Jan 6th.  All ages

Dick Whittington – Mayflower Southampton.  Dec 15th – Jan 6th.  All ages.

And one for the Grown Ups

The Scummy Mummies Christmas Show – Theatre Royal Winchester.  Dec 13th  Ages 18+

Please let us know of any events you feel should be added to

For details of loads of other events follow Louise Nhm Smith on facebook and look up events.

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NHM Readers Recommend: Getting Around with Kids without a Car

I recently had a question from a NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “For medical reasons I have been told I need to permanently stop driving. With 3 young children (1, 4 & 6) the thought of not being able to drive is utterly frightening and I am really struggling with it. I would really appreciate hearing from mums who don’t drive and how they find doing normal day to day things and special school holiday things without driving. I have no idea how we can continue with swimming, Beavers, football etc. I don’t have family to help and I don’t know what I am going to do!”

Thank you to the NHM Community for all of your responses, listed below in no particular order.

NHM Readers Recommend: Getting Around with Kids without a Car

Kathryn said “I don’t drive (hubby does) and was a sahm for the first 18 months of my second daughter’s life… Both of my girls love the bus. I found we were quite well connected, live in Popley, had nursery in town centre and attended various baby groups all over Basingstoke. I downloaded the network map on my phone so I could always check which buses went to somewhere before committing to going. Just had to allow time for longer journeys and the possibility that I couldn’t fit on the bus with the pushchair and having to wait for the next one… But it is doable”

Claire M said “I grew up in a family where my mum didn’t drive. I didn’t miss out at all, you will probably find your kids will become more independent as a result when they get a bit older. Trains are pretty good these days too with the 4 for 2 deals etc. As long as you live close to public transport you will be fine”

Claire D said “I have a 5, 3 and 2 year old (and an almost 18 year old). I am learning to drive but obviously currently dont. When I was with the kids Dad he drove but I still had to make my own way about when he was at work. I rely on buses, taxis and trains. I still am able to get to work and back and take the kids to school etc. I shop online, go and do small shops and also occasionally get lifts to do slightly bigger shops. I get by. It can get stressful, but the norm for me.

I also often have to navigate London with my 5 and 3 year old on foot and my 2 year old in a pushchair. When I have the pushchair, I find my route with buses and plan in advance. When I am lucky to have a babysitter for my youngest, I get the tube. Recently I had 4 London visits with the kids, to places that I didnt know, in two weeks. I survived, 2 visits were after night shifts.

Also a rail card is a great thing to have. £30 for a year and you get quite a saving on train tickets with it. They also do “buy one get one free” deals on entry tickets to places in London when travelling by train with a rail card

Ruth saidI was going to recommend this too! 🙂and google maps – if you select directions, and the little bus/train icon before putting in where you want to go, it gives you all the bus/train route info plus how long to walk at each stage! And if you can afford to invest in a Merlin card then there is lots to do in London when they are a bit older, plus sealife centre in Weymouth on the pass is a great day out on the train. I remember doing all sorts by public transport with my mum as dad was the only driver and worked pretty much the whole summer hols”

Kate said “There is a service called ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ who are happy to transport kids and support anyone with getting out and about. Driving Miss Daisy Whitchurch

Katie said “Speak to other parents at clubs and see if you can get lifts for your children from them. We share lifts to most clubs and would give lifts to non drivers as we are going anyway.”

Hannah said “I won’t lie it is tough sometimes but my boy is only 3 1/2 And used to only going to places on bus/train with me. My OH drives but tbh if he is working a Sunday he has to miss his rugby because we can’t get there. I would definitely see if there are other parents who could help out with clubs etc”

Zoe said “I don’t drive and have the same age children as you. My husband drives but is only around the weekends so we rely on public transport and walking throughout the week. Don’t think my children miss out because of me not driving. I guess it depends where you live and how far away the clubs etc are from you?”

Kelly said “I do drive but my husband doesn’t anymore due to complications with his type 1 diabetes. You may be entitled to a free bus pass as you have had to stop driving for medical reasons. Online food shopping is vital too it saves carrying bags. As for clubs maybe ask friends to help or move lessons to the weekends so youre not getting home too late with tired children on public transport.”

Sharon said “I don’t drive, and live in the town centre partly for that reason. I do spend a fair bit of time finding activities I can access as a lot of these are out in the ‘burbs. To be honest I limit bus use as I find this a pain with my youngest (2) needing a buggy for longer journeys (and all the stuff we still have to cart around!) – there often isn’t room on a bus for us so I always go one bus early to allow for a fall back plan. We do the things we can get to. My mum or husband help with one-offs if they are around. We arrange further days out when hubby or parents are around, which to be honest works nicely as these are often too expensive to do often anyway! Best of luck sorting out the clubs side of things.”

Mindy said Consider doing your sums and working out what you save on insurance, petrol etc and giving yourself a budget for taxis for some trips”

Mata said “I don’t drive and neither does my husband. We use public transport and taxis. We choose everything based on non-driving: where we live, work, what activities the kids do. Not driving is hard in Hampshire, especially in more rural areas. It is not too bad in Basingstoke. And the norm in London.”

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Breastfeeding Support: Hampshire Breastfeeding Counselling

Breastfeeding support from professionally trained breastfeeding counsellors in Hampshire – no appointment necessary.

Every Monday, 10 – 11.30am (closed bank holidays)
Blue Room, Sherborne Building, Basingstoke Hospital RG24 9NA

Every Monday, 1pm – 2.30pm (closed bank holidays)
Cutbush Children’s Centre, Cutbush Lane, Townhill Park, Southampton, SO18 2GF

Every Tuesday 10 – 11:30am (NCT run)
NEW venue same service The Maternity Centre, Andover War Memorial Hospital, Charlton Rd, Andover SP10 3LB

Every Tuesday 9:30 to 11:00 (NCT run)
The Salvation Army Church and Community Centre, 85 Whites Way, Hedge End, SO30 2GL

Every Wednesday 9:30am – 12pm (NCT run)
Lantern’s Children’s Centre, Bereweeke Rd., Winchester SO22 6AJ

Every Thursday, 9.30am – 11am
Baby Café at The Ashby Centre, Stratton Rd, Southampton, SO15 5QZ

Every Friday 10-11.30am (NCT run)
Brookvale Village Hall, Lower Brook St, Basingstoke, RG21 7RU

If you need phone support the National NCT Breastfeeding Helpline is open every day including bank holidays. 0300 300 0700 (8am to midnight every day of the year).

NCT Breastfeeding Counsellors are paid to work on the line and are happy to cover the bank holidays too, so are waiting for your call. If you have to leave a message, calls are generally returned within 2 hours. Any questions about opening hours please message us on Facebook and we will get back to you. 

Last Updated: September 2018

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NHM Reader’s Experience: Sensory-processing sensitivity (SPS)

Thank you very much to today’s NHM Reader who has shared some of her experience to benefit others.

NHM Reader’s Experience: Sensory-processing sensitivity (SPS)

I am a mum of three kids and in the past few years have been really struggling to cope with their moods and the noise they make. I have now worked out why I have been feeling as I have and thought I’d share this with you because it might help others, too.

All three of my kids were very much wanted and planned and we were so happy when each of them was born. What I didn’t anticipate though was how much their noise and physical demands were going to challenge me. It got worse over the years and in the end I felt I was in a constant state of anger and that I never fully calmed down – I went from 0 to 100 in 2 seconds over very small things.

By now, even happy noises from children other than my own put me on edge immediately. I was very unhappy about this and shed many a tear in the evenings – and in the daytime because I had also got so very emotional – and complained to my poor husband. He tried to help but couldn’t really understand.

I researched many conditions that could explain just how I felt. Stress, depression, various phobias, even autism in female adults, but none of it really described how I felt. Until I came across “sensory-processing sensitivity” (SPS for short). People who are affected are called “highly sensitive persons”; their brains can’t filter out all the different stimuli that enter during a day and as a consequence they can feel greatly overwhelmed while the brain tries to deal with it all.

I have never been very good in noisy, crowded situations, I can’t stand the heat and I don’t like bright sunlight in my face. I also very much need my own personal space and I had started to make a connection between how these situations made me feel and how being with children made me feel.

And now it all makes perfect sense.

Before we had the children, I would either avoid situations that I found stressful (I have never been to a concert in my life and avoid going into busy town centres as much as possible) or I would have time to give my brain a break afterwards. When you have kids, that is often impossible and so the stimuli build up and up, leading to the feeling over overwhelm and even anger.

SPS is not an illness but rather a personality trait but just knowing why I feel that way has made my life much easier. I am still at the beginning of my own journey but I now try limit the amount of noise I subject myself to by, for example, wearing ear defenders at home even when it is not particularly noisy or taking five minutes in a quiet room when I have just sat in the car with the kids for half an hour, to give my brain that break it needs.

There is some useful information on the internet and, now that I know what to search for, I have found many blogs by affected parents. Not all have the same triggers as me, as all senses can be affected, but if any readers feel they are struggling with noises, lights, smells, crowds, etc or are otherwise very emotional I suggest they google SPS and highly sensitive persons.

If anyone feels the description of SPS fits them I would also be very happy to be contacted to exchange thoughts and ideas of how to cope with it. (please drop me an email at and I will forward it to the lovely lady who wrote this post).

Kids Kan Dance, September 2018

Kids Kan Dance have been super busy over the summer getting ready to bring you some amazing dance classes!  We have brand new themes and brand new classes and we can’t wait to share them with you!

We have a variety of classes for children aged 18 months to 8 years and you can find out all about them on our newly updated website

Dance and movement classes offer children such a great number of skills including
Improving coordination
Improving balance
Physical Activity
Patience and self-control
Confidence building
And much more…..
Our classes are also a great place for mummies and children to make friends.

Many of our current dancers started with us when they were 18 months old in Dance with Mummy and have now just started school and have joined our Inspiring Infants classes! Find out why both kids and mummies love Kids Kan Dance classes by coming along to a trial session.  We offer a range of trial options and, as we’ve just opened some new classes, we have a few spaces too !!  We look forward to dancing with you soon !!

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My Experience: The end of Y2

You may have noticed that I’ve been going on and on and on about our experience of moving Miss NHM to a new school so I thought it was time to write something about my experience of Y2.

Four days into September 2017 term we removed Miss NHM from her old school.

The school pastoral team were arrogant enough to do completely the opposite of the comprehensive care plan that myself, Miss NHM’s paediatrician and Miss NHM’s GP put together over the summer and made Miss NHM sicker during her first week back at school. I have since found out that it was illegal for them to do this, based on the Department for Educations “Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions” comprehensive document.

Needless to say that was the icing on the cake after two years of despicable treatment of my daughter.

It was an incredibly stressful time. During that week that Miss NHM started her new school my car broke, the washing machine gave up the ghost, my Mother had what the professionals thought was a mini-stroke and it was the Sitting with Jane Bench auction at which the Teaching Assistant, who had been subjecting abuse at Miss NHM for months, was also at.

(When I reflect on that time, I still wonder how I didn’t end up in the nut house!)

We decided on the Friday evening that Miss NHM would never be going back to her old school.

On the Monday morning I rang round all of the local schools and was beyond delighted to find that one of my favourite schools had one space left for her (I’d already visited a few in June and July in anticipation of her old school still being beyond sh*t).

We were so, so, SO lucky and I thank our lucky stars every day that she’s now at the school she is at.

They have been….FANTASTIC!! I literally couldn’t ask for a better school. ALL of the staff are so lovely and compassionate. It’s such a brilliant school and Miss NHM has THRIVED  since she started in September 2017.

Seeing her get better over the past year as a result of just over a year of the Gluten free diet and seeing her in such a safe and happy environment has made my heart sing on a number of occasions.

She’s made some wonderful friends and she really has grown into a healthy and more confident child.

Her anxiety when she started at her new school was through the roof and I was extremely concerned about the impact of moving her to a new school but we realised we didn’t have any choice and despite her anxiety and Coeliac Disease she has completely flourished at her new school and I am eternally grateful to all of the staff at the new school who have helped with this.

Now that she isn’t in pain all of the time her reading has gone off the charts! I’m having to go to the library to borrow books for her as she’s read everything at home and for her year in school! (did you know that you can now borrow 30 books at a time on a children’s library card? Thanks Su for the heads-up!)

Her maths is still behind because she missed most of YR and a lot of Y1 as she was so poorly but she’s getting up to speed quickly.

She has lots of friends in her year and is WAY more chatty that she used to be (double edged sword) probably because she isn’t in pain now. It’s been wonderful to see that she’s been in a year where the children are all down to earth and, apart from one child, there has been no bitchiness or nastiness.

Even the school Mum’s are all lovely. Yes, there are a few cliquey’s but nowhere near as many nasty Mum’s (there were lots and lots of lovely Mum’s there too!! Just in case my friends from there are reading! <facepalm>) as there were at the old school.

With hindsight we probably should have moved Miss NHM to another school earlier but we were struggling with getting her well again and that was our focus. I do believe that everything happens for a reason and when it happens when the time is right.

I’m thankful that we moved her AFTER her diagnosis so that her “unexplained” sickness didn’t carry with her and I’m beyond grateful that the “new” school have been so fantastic.

Based on my experience, if your gut is telling you that your child isn’t happy in their current school have a look around at other local schools and go and visit them. Literally everyone I know who has moved their child to another school has found it a very positive experience for the child in question.

I’m really looking forward to Y3 and seeing how Miss NHM continues to bloom, to become more healthy and overcome her anxiety and thrive. Thank you to those of you who have supported us along this journey so far! I’m very, very thankful for all of you!!!

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