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HELP YOUR CHILD TO SLEEP BETTER WITH THE NEW GRO-CLOCK. The ingenious Gro-clock uses fun images of the sun and moon to help children understand when it's time to sleep and when it's time to get up. Comes with a lovely Sleepy Farm bedtime story book, too.

Hello from MNHQ...

Where we're chuffed to announce the arrival of Mumsnet: the Pregnancy Guide. Bulging with honest, helpful and hilarious Mumsnetter wisdom – and Boco's very funny illustrations – we think it's the must-have accessory for every trimester. Run to bag a copy, rifle it for your quotes, rate it on Amazon - and then rave about it to your mates. Pretty please.

We've a veritable panoply of webchats this month, kicking off on Friday (4 Sept, 1-2pm) with Dr Dawn Harper talking about colds and flu. Then there's author and Red magazine editor Sam Baker talking about step-parenting next Tuesday (8 Sept). And, on Wednesday (9 Sept), Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families will talking about, er, education, education and education.

Don't forget to take our Mumsnet column in the Daily Mail poll (read about the reasons for it here): we really want to know what you think.

Now for this week's parenting news ...

Mums doubt wisdom of swine-flu jab: Almost half of pregnant women will refuse to be vaccinated with the swine-flu jab, according to a Mumsnet survey out this week. The women are a target group for vaccination, following a US survey which showed they are at greater risk from the virus, but only 6% of mums-to-be polled by Mumsnet said they would definitely be vaccinated, while 22% said they probably will and 48% said they probably or definitely would not. There were 1,458 responses to the poll. Similar proportions of respondents said they were reluctant to get their children immunised as well. (Guardian 01.09.09)

Free school lunch trial: All primary school children in two areas of England – County Durham and Newham in London – are being offered free school lunches under a £40m, two-year trial to see if behaviour, health and academic standards improve. In Scotland, all children in the first three years of primary school will be entitled to free school meals from August 2010, following pilots in five areas. (BBC Online 03.09.09)

Other stories in brief

TELL US ABOUT SCHOOL MEALS - AND YOU COULD WIN A £250 VOUCHER! The School Food Trust would like to know about the school meals in your child's school (or why you choose to give your child a packed lunch instead). They're also interested in your views of the school meals you had when you were a child. The survey is open to all mums in the UK with at least one child at school. Everyone who takes part will be in with a chance of winning a £250 voucher for a store of their choice. 

Hot threads


This week's prizes are:

It's easy to enter (and keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name has come out of the hat). 

TAKE PART IN THE JOJO MAMAN BEBE BUGGY FUN RUN - AND HELP RAISE FUNDS FOR CHARITY. The JoJo Maman Bebe Buggy 2.5km Fun Run takes place in London's Battersea Park at 10.30am on 15 September 2009. Sign up and help make a difference to less advantaged parents, babies and children.

Quote of the week

Sidge squirms at the news that prolific parent Michelle Duggar is pregnant with her 19th baby: "Flipping heck, her innards must be pâté."

Looking for somewhere to take the kids this weekend? Mumsnetters' suggest:

Find more Mumsnetter recommendations for great days out near you in Mumsnet Local - and once you get home, please add a review in our Days out/Attractions section.

Aitch's TV round-up: Jesus is Magic, Thurs 3 September, Channel 4, 11.10pm
I'm trying again with Bad Sarah because, for some freakazoid reason, this was dropped from the schedules when I last recommended it back in June. So hear this: Sarah Silverman is a terrible, terrible genius and you must watch. There was a thread a while back talking about how she'd bombed on the Jonathan Ross show, how she couldn't respond to his quick wit and how she just generally embarrassed herself by being arrogant and crass. WRONG...

Blog of the week: Understanding
serenedays reaches another indecisive point in her relationship: "We stopped off at fish tank shops. The Man [DH] is looking at tanks the size of Swan Vesta matchboxes. I am looking at tanks you could pickle cows in. This is supposed to be a joint birthday present and we have less than a fortnight before Son 2's big day. It took us 17 years to decide to have children. In the end, we asked Son 2 if he'd rather have a rabbit..."
Bursting to blog? Why not start your own?

Recipe of the week: Cazmo's apple and blackberry crumble
Fend off those end-of-summer blues with this classic comfort pud, oozing with lovely, mellow autumnal flavours beneath everyone's favourite crumbly, sugary topping.
Review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?

That's all, we're off to check in a jolly good new book whether pâté's even allowed when you're pregnant...

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