27 Feb 2012

Party Season

When we went to NCT antenatal classes, we met a great bunch of parents to be and most of the mums meet every few weeks even now. It's lovely to be part of the group and see how they all develop and in the beginning it was comforting to know that hub and I weren't the only ones going through all the trials and tribulations.

I can't quite believe it but we all met over a year ago now and all our babies are turning one (or have just turned one). Bubba came back from a party last Saturday slightly worn out...i.e. we had trouble rousing her and, for the second time since she became a big girl, she fell back asleep on Hub.

What leaves your little one's exhausted?


24 Feb 2012

Snack attack

Whenever I've read any books on weaning or feeding a youngster, they always tell you to eat with little one to promote a healthy relationship with food. Well I'm not ready for my dinner at 5pm and don't always fancy being really virtous and heading to the fruit bowl. Now I think I've found the answer (for me at least) in the form of a Graze food box.

You get to choose how healthy you want to be (and get a good selection of different foods) to nibble on. The best bit is that it gets sent via the post so lands on your doormat ready and waiting to be eaten. This week I've found it really helpful just to grab a handful of nuts or some cracker bits to eat whilst feeding Bubba.

ps. you don't have to be too healthy...this is my half demolished flapjack!

23 Feb 2012

Fickle pickle...

Now I'm not sure if it's just me or all parents encounter this but Bubba often makes me out to be a liar. I find myself saying things like 'oh don't worry she's never been sick' to my friends, only to turn around to find that she is in the process of being sick on their brand new carpet! Or telling the health visitor yesterday that Bubba is very vocal for her only then to clam up and just stare the lady out but not utter a word!

Well for weeks Bubba has been off bread, before a sandwich would be demolished in seconds but after a bout of sickness she shunned bread completely. It didn't matter how many times I tried to feed her finger sandwiches only for her to clamp her mouth shut and shake her head. That was until my mum was showing her how to throw out bread to the birds, Bubba decided the bread was too good for the little peckers and launched her own attack on it! Luckily it was a fresh slice from the loaf. I guess that means she's back on the bread!


22 Feb 2012

Listography - 5 Things That Make Me Happy

I saw this on Kate Takes 5 and knew I had to join in, see I am a woman who loves a list and also a '5 things' list is my all time favourite. I have loads of them in a word document that I look at often (5 smells I love, 5 noises that make me smile...the list is endless).

1. Making Bubba laugh
Not just a little giggle but the big whooping belly laughs that cause hiccups

2. Rain on a sunny day
Its just the greatest thing because it makes everything look squeaky clean in the glint of sunshine

3. Cupcakes
Big or small, they make me happy

4. Hubby making me laugh
I'm blessed because this happens often. I'm not sure if he is funny or I'm just delirious!

5. Spending time with the people I love
Parents, siblings and friends - all adds up to a good tingling feeling that only a chinwag can induce (especially when coupled with tea and cake.)


20 Feb 2012

Nanny knows

I picked up Bubba from my mum and dads house last week and took this picture (which made me laugh), nanny was helping Bubba surf around the living room on a cushion! Little one loved it and found it highly amusing, it looked hard work (for my mum!). Just goes to show, it's not always the big expensive toys that get the best responses but rather the simple pleasures in life like tummy surfing or sitting in a cardboard box!

Also a new addition was a baby laptop which mum picked up in Sainsbury's and using her nector points cost almost nothing! Bubba loves opening and closing the lid with some force!


19 Feb 2012

Post Party Excitement

All pooped out after a little friends first birthday party yesterday. She couldn't keep her eyes open once we got home.


18 Feb 2012

Maclaren Quest Sport - Champagne

We received our Maclaren from Mothercare on Monday (fab service as only ordered it late last week). I was excited from the start of the day because I couldn't wait to get home and open the parcel. I put together a little video and honestly the hub has made it look so much harder to open then it really it. I love it already and want excuses to go out and use it.


17 Feb 2012

Cosy Sleep Pretty.Little.Things

I was visiting the lovely Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three this morning and decided to join in the Pretty.Little.Things theme this week.

I took some pictures of Bubba over the last couple of days as she has been sleeping in very unusual positions which don't look particularily comfy.

It looks rather chaotic in her bed because she had been playing just before falling asleep. She loves her teddy 'Bubbles' and often I can hear her talking to him when she wakes up in the morning. She is on the whole a good sleeper and can happily stay in her cot until we go in to get her which is lovely for us.


16 Feb 2012

Sweet treats

When the mummy madness gets to much and the afternoon is getting you down...a quick 105 calorie fix is on hand.

M&S Glitter Vanilla cupcakes.

Only trouble is that one is never enough.

15 Feb 2012

Five things - Kitchen cheats

I didn't think that it would be hard to put meals together for Bubba but I spend most of my time in a quandry because I'm not sure what to give her (or she refuses a food that she previously loved). So these nifty gadgets have saved me.

Apple corer and slicer
Looks like a gimick but I use this loads as Bubba loves a slice of apple to munch on and this gets regulated slices and gets rid of the core in a jiffy. I also like having the slices in a bowl as a snack (but don't get me wrong, I'm no angel and prefer a cake if there is one going!).

Mini Grater
I got this free with a christmas gift and it was to grate chocolate onto your hot chocolate (fab idea). We use it now to grate cheese onto Bubba's food and she loves to watch me doing this whilst she is waiting in her high chair. Not a necessity but keeps her quiet and lets me grate small amounts without a lot of mess.

I now use these to put food into individual portions and in the freezer for Bubba. Her favourites at the moment are Lamb hotpot and cottage pie.

Bullet food processor
This is lovely for small amounts but a bit of a faff if I'm trying to chop large amounts of food to freeze in bulk. Its easy to use and great for a quick blitz of an individual portion.

Cookie cutter shapes
Started to use these to cut out sandwich shapes but I think they'll come into their own when Bubba gets older (and fussier). It makes meal times a bit more interesting.


13 Feb 2012

Play today

Wooden puzzles are the play for today. If I haven't got them out of the toy box, Bubba will reach her arms up and sort of point until I get them. She has mastered clearing the boards but can't quite put the pieces back in the right places yet...its a work in progress!

She also likes to bite (or chew) on the wooden pieces and I think it helps when she is teething. The best bit is I know its completely safe and she won't hurt herself. Double bonus.

11 Feb 2012

Mummy Matters

Real mums telling it how it is...

Bubba name: Riley  

How old is your little one? 2 and 2 months  

How has motherhood changed you? My life revolves around Riley, in a good way - most of the time. I am a lot more aware of the dangers around us now, things that I may not have considered before.  

What items are in your handbag (baby related)? none- I try to keep all baby items in the nappy bag. Have you any gadgets or information that proves invaluable in every day life? I do keep some toys in the bag for any moments of boredom and always have a dummy on me for emergencies.  

What things could you not live without? Are there any time saving things that help you. Any groups or people that make life easier? I have a lot of family around so there is always someone to help take care of Riley if I need to do something. Wipes, we always have wipes, good for wiping hand and faces aswell as the obvious and also for cleaning any surfaces when we are out.  

Any good advice you received (or could give)? Take it day by day, all babies are different and will get there in their own time.  

Do you use any good books or websites that you’d like to share to help you? Annabel Karmel baby and toddler food book, I've used this since we started weaning and am still using it today, we even have some of our own meals from this book. Also the Sainsbury's Little ones recipes are fantastic.  

Describe your life now in one word: Amazing.

10 Feb 2012

Books, books, books

One thing I've tried to do since Bubba was little (2 months old) is read to her. We have a bedtime routine where at 6pm I take her upstairs, she has a bath and then gets ready for bed. Then I sit in a comfy chair (Ikea 'Pello Armchair' which was a bargain at £25 and they do one for children in the same design - very cute). At this point we read a book and we have about 15 to choose from!

At the moment our favourites are 'That's not my...' series of books. They are great because each page has something to touch or look at and she loves turning the pages. During the day we have books around for her to play with (although she often ends up chewing the spines and I have to fish out bits of cardboard)!

She got a couple of good books from the Book Start pack we got at her 8 month check and I think she gets more at a later stage too.

9 Feb 2012

Stroller strategy

Before Bubba was born, as all expectant parents, we poured over the internet and went into stores looking for the perfect travel option for our new born. There are so many options from prams, travel systems and strollers, it seemed a daunting choice seeing as they all seemed to do very similar things (getting Bubba from A to B) but cost all different amounts. We only have a dinky car (really dinky) so opted for something that could fold down small which happened to be fairly cost effective (compared to other prams and buggies). It was Bebe Comfort Streety travel system and we are still more than happy with it.
But recently I've started looking for a stroller to just push around the shops, something light weight and easy to fold up and down. After an exhaustive search we decided on the McClaren Quest Sport buggy which is on special at the moment (about £40 cheaper than usual). It feels like a big step knowing that we will no longer be able to click the car seat into place on the wheels if she is still asleep but at the same time I'm excited that this new chapter is starting for us. Lets hope the McClaren lives up to its great feedback.

8 Feb 2012

Five Things - Feeding

Bubba is now becoming proficient in feeding herself (to the point that she no longer deems me able to do it for her). So recently I've had to hunt out food that she can hold and feed herself with...I often look wistfully at the sweet potato mash in the freezer knowing it won't see the light of day for a while.

Weaning spoons
My favourite spoons are cheapy Morrisons own brand weaning spoons and small pots. They have a shallow scoop on them and so more food goes in than is left on the spoon.

Food pots
I've tried many and the ones that I find the most useful now for snacks and individual portions are from our local pound shop for six small pots. They fit easily into her lunchbox and stack brilliantly.

Two brilliant (can't live without) weaning books are:
Annabel Karmel's 'New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner'. We've now also got her 100 finger foods book and the family meal planner. Sainsbury's 'Little Ones' meal planner. Also recommend recipes on the Sainsbury little ones website.

Feeding mat
This is pure brilliance: 'Summer Infant Tiny Diner Place Mat'. So simple but effective, comes in either pink or blue. Its a mat that rolls up small and is made of plastic, you can stick it to a table and let your little one put their food on it without having to worry about cleaning the highchair (especially good for feeding when out and about). Its made by Summertime and we got ours from Sainsbury for £8.99 (I know they are also available at 'JoJo Maman Bebe')

I joined all the main food provider baby websites such as Cow&Gate, Plum and Ella's Kitchen. They give a wealth of information and some send out starter kits and weaning guides. A lot of them also give recipes and ideas to get you started. Bubba now doesn't eat anything not made by me (although this is a nice compliment, it can sometimes be a pain if we are out and about).

7 Feb 2012

Play today

I sometimes wonder (as Bubba isn't crawling yet) whether she gets bored with my toy selection for her. I do try and mix it up, giving her different toys on different days when we are at home but still its not ideal that she can't pick what she wants.

So I decided to give her the whole toy box to select what she wanted, she spent ages emptying the entire box and then putting everything back in (without playing with any toys on the way). It was lovely to watch her being so productive.


6 Feb 2012

Bar Issues

For a little while we had a spell of waking at night or rather being woken by Bubba because her arms were sticking out of the cot (she had no idea how to get them back). I had brought cot bumpers whilst in my pregnant glowing bubble but soon realised that we shouldn't use it (or read all the horror stories on the internet how they are bad for baby).
I found that 'Airwrap cot bumper's' really helped. At first it made the room feel a bit surgical but it stops Bubba's arms or legs escaping and waking her up and its a breathable material so there is no chance she'll get smothered.

5 Feb 2012

Sunday lunch

Food Glorious Food...


4 Feb 2012

Play today

Sometimes its the most simple things that get the best response. Bubba has a wealth of plastic fantastic toys (which she loves), most are noisy in one way or the other and I find myself singing the inane songs whilst washing up or clearing up at the end of the day.

A few weeks ago we discovered the most simple of pleasures...being sat in a cardboard box and being pulled around the living room. Bubba didn't tire of this game (although my arms and legs did after awhile). Still it was good exercise for me and great fun for her.

3 Feb 2012

Five Things - Teething

Bubba started teething early, she was born with teeth and although not broken through they were clear when she was screaming (which was often)!

We had a often fraught (her and me) introduction to teething and bless her, she really did struggle with it to start with.

The five things that got us through

Sophie Le Giraffe
Poor old Sophie got pulled about, bitten and now looks a little worn around the edges but she was a life saver. Bubba could hold her legs easily and swing her around, now she sits loftily in a corner of Bubba's cot, almost forgotten but occassionaly she'll get a swing around for old times sake.

Dribble Bib
These natty little bibs that make Bubba look like she is a cowboy in an old spaghetti western. But they do save her clothes from dribble saturation (my mum often used a normal tiny baby bib under Bubba's top to do the same job. We have them in an assortment of colours to go with different outfits!

We aren't big dummy heads and try to restrict as much as possible but sometimes it can't be avoided and is the only thing that makes our dribbly tearful bubba content.

Teething powder
Not entirely sure these work to relieve the pain but it would always stop Bubba in her tracks and give us all a few moments (or minutes) of peace.

Not a remedy as such but it helped us both, a walk cleared my head and gave Bubba something else to think about other than tooth ache. It could all be in my head but we would both come back a bit calmer.

As yet we haven't been very successful with teething gel, one whiff of it and Bubba clamps her mouth shut and doesn't allow any to pass her lips. So far I've managed to get it on her nose and tongue but not her gums. I'll keep trying...

Five Things - Sleep aids

As we've gone along I've found things that have helped our lives become a little easier and so I decided to narrow these down to five things.

No better place to start than sleep (or lack of it).

Slumber Bear
This lovely bear would activate a heart beat every time Bubba cried and instantly comfort her in the process. We kept it in the beginning at the top of her moses basket and as she got bigger we attached the monitor to the side of her basket.

Baby Secrets by Jo Tantum
These two go hand in hand and we can't recommend them highly enough as our Bubba slept through the night from 8 weeks old (although with teething - more of that later - and other reasons to wake it hasn't all been plain sailing).

Muslin square

From very little we gave her something that smelt of 'mummy' and one night in my sleep deprived state I cut a muslin up and sewed up the loose edges. Every time she sleeps in her cot she reaches out for this and drapes it over herself (and out and about we used to give her a muslin just to play with whilst getting to sleep). I have two which I wash regularly and keep in case one gets lost.

and for me,
Neal's Yard Remedies Seaweed & Arnica Foam Bath
In late pregnancy when I was moaning and tired and very very big, hubby came home with some of this and it saved me. I still use it now when life and being a mummy gets on top of me.

Bach Rescue Remedy
For when I needed rescuing (which was often in the beginning).

2 Feb 2012

Play today

Things that have been popular in our house today to play with...

HappyLand People

Although Bubba is only 10 months old, she loves happy people. Sticking them in her mouth, looking at their faces and generally just carrying one around. At any one time I have at least three in my handbag and can't recommend them highly enough.

1 Feb 2012

Nanny knows

I'm so lucky to have a very hands on mum myself (alongside my supportive hubby). She has been there for us from the beginning, in fact she was by my side (and hubby's) during labour and was the third person to meet Bubba. I hope that Bubba looks upon her nanny (and granddad) as an extension of us and go to them if she ever feels she cannot come to us. Probably sounds all a bit melodramatic but I have a strong bond which I hope she too will have with them.

Well anyway, my mum is an invaluable source of information and good ideas that I just don't think of or realise. She has helped on many occasions and calmed my jangled nerves, for instance when Bubba stopped eating due to illness I panicked but my mum calmly reassured me that she would start eating when she was ready and that Bubba liked her food too much to not eat(this turned out to be very true and life has returned to normal).

Only this week, I arrived at my parents house to find that the room had been set up like a baby sensory experience with different areas and different toys placed to tempt Bubba (as she still isn't crawling or walking). I've tried to emulate this at home...it works, she gets less bored as I move her around the room.


The start...

Life was pretty uneventful until last year and then things got a lot more interesting with the birth of my first child. Nearly a year ago one chilly morning my daughter was born, its been a huge learning curve which is fun and thrilling, scary and draining all at the same time.

I decided to create this blog so I could keep track of our ups and downs and to log all the interesting and useful things we come across.

For the purpose of this blog, my bundle of joy will be called Bubba.

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