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Hello from MNHQ...

Where we've been admiring your work on the 'career women are bad mothers' thread. Nice work, Mumsnetters, on getting that stoopid ad removed.

We had a very jolly webchat with Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg on Wednesday. Our favourite moment? When he suggested coldtits might need to turn the heating up...

Actually, we're upping the temperature ourselves this Friday (8 Jan, 12-2pm) when the MN kitchen plays host to our first Mumsnet bake day. We'll be making muffins (see our Recipe of the Week) with award-winning baker and food writer Dan Lepard. Bake along with us and/or pick Dan's culinary brains during the webchat.

Now for this week's parenting news...

Toddler speech worries: Some children reach the age of three unable to say a word, according to a survey from I CAN, the children' s communication charity. The survey, of 1,000 parents, found that boys were almost twice as likely to struggle to learn to speak as girls. The average age for a baby to speak their first word is 10 to 11 months, but 4% of parents reported their child said nothing until they were three. Toddlers between the ages of two and three should be able to use up to 300 words, including adjectives, and be able to link words together, I CAN says. I CAN chief executive Virginia Beardshaw said parents should interact as much as possible with under-fives to encourage speech. Dummies should only be resorted to at bedtime. (Times 04.01.10)

Sleep good for teens: Going to bed earlier protects teenagers against depression and suicidal thoughts, new research suggests. Of 15,500 12 to 18-year-olds in a New York survey, those who went to bed after midnight were 24% more likely to have depression than those who went before 10pm. And those who slept fewer than five hours a night had a 71% higher risk of depression than those who slept eight hours. Around 80,000 UK children and young people have depression, and the problem is more common in girls, older teenagers and in those who had a lower self-perception of how much parents care about them. (BBC News 02.01.10)

EXTREME WEATHER PROTECTION FOR BABIES. The Beebyhart Carricover is a unique fleece-lined, waterproof rainsuit designed to quickly fit over front carriers. Ideal for snow/rain/wind. Keep in pocket or handbag when not in use. £29.95 from Also available: Carricover LITE for not-so-extreme weather.

Other stories in brief

Hot threads

This month'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). 

Quote of the week
TheMollyRogerAndTheIvy polishes up her CV for the MNHQ Tech job: "I am fluent in Java, Illey, Greggs, Quinoa, and Primani. Working knowledge of Gale Force 3, Lima, Dogger, Farquar, Herringbone, dodecahedron and Doilies. Am going on a course covering butterdish 87 and can get by in mandarin and clementine. Do I get the job?"

Looking for somewhere to go in (or out) of the snow? 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: Wild at Heart, Sun 10 Jan, ITV1, 8.30pm
It's the African veterinary drama that will not die, so we'd better start having some fun with it. A Sunday night drinking game would be too daring for us sensible parenting types, so simple point-scoring (soooo much more MN's style) would be best: 1 point when hilarious drunken Afrikaner Doop gets pissed and ends up in a 'scrape'; 5 when Steven Tompkinson winces for no apparent reason; 10 when you spot Dawn Steele's dirty fake tan elbows; 25 when a black person has an Actual Proper Part to play in the plot; 150 when you can reconcile the fact that Ashley Pharoah is responsible for this series AS WELL AS Life on Mars. Who's in?

Recipe of the week: Ponymum's carrot and apple muffins
Scrummy, really-honestly-quite-healthy cakey treats that are the culinary stars of our very first Mumsnet bake day on Friday. Bake them as is or check out some of our bake-day supremo Dan Lepard's citrusy twists here.
Review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?

That's all, we're off to brush up on butterdish 87...
Love, Mumsnet Towers

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