29 Mar 2013

Britmums - I'm on my way


I only went and booked myself a place at this years Britmums Live being held in June, this is a big step for me. Last year I watched on twitter as the awards ceremony was underway and people were congratulated on winning. I even tweeted myself that I wished I was there and at the time I vowed to myself that I'd attend next year, well I lied! This year when the conference was announced and the early bird tickets issued, I thought to myself 'Nah that's not me, I'd be too scared to go and be amonst all these well known bloggers' I felt a bit of a fraud. I have no idea why because I'm blogging and learning and enjoying so why shouldn't I go.

This week I booked myself a ticket and hotel room (yep I'm staying up London alone for a whole night) and I'm really looking forward to going. That's not to say I won't be so scared when it comes around but I'll be there and although you may see me skulking around in a corner or two (I'm not always very confident in large crowds and I'm more of a listener than a talker a lot of the time) I'll be doing it and loving it.
Promise I won't look this shocked!

So if you are going then please do watch out for me lurking and do say hello, I'm friendly once I get going.

Also the nominations are now open for the Bib (Brilliance in Blogging) awards and it really does mean a lot to those who are nominated. There are lots of categories you can vote in and even if you aren't a blogger yourself but really love a blog you follow then do go over, take a minute and make someone's day.

ps. If you want to vote for me I'd fit nicely in the family blog or the fresh voice (being only over a year old now). You can check out the categories here.


27 Mar 2013

Breakfast Munch

When I was sent Lizi's Granola to try I was initially struck by the packaging (I'm a sucker for that sort of thing), it made me feel indulged and the next thing to hit me was the smell as I opened the packet...good lord it smelt lovely, a rich nutty pecan smell. We have the treacle pecan variety.

So far I've had it with skimmed milk, on its own and with Bubba's fromaige frais. Each time it was delish and doesn't disappoint. It's also a healthier version than most other granola on the market with slow release carbohydrates to really keep you fuller for longer.

The only draw backs I can find are that Hubby and Bubba keep trying to steal it off me. Also I seem to be having cheeky small bowls at different times of the day because I just can't stop eating it...it's slightly addictive, try it yourself. Also check out the website because it has some great recipes on how to use the granola.

Cheeky afternoon snack!

We were kindly sent the granola to try and all opinions are my own.

25 Mar 2013

The Power of "NO"

When bubba first started saying 'No' with conviction I found it amusing

She added a shake of the head and a scowl, I thought it was cute

The odd sulk was all rather endearing

A Sulk in Progress

Running off and shouting over her shoulder 'no' added a spin on things

She turned two and in the last week the words now tumble out

So we acquired 'not me' to the end of her 'NO'

Just to make sure we are listening a whine and stamping feet completes the ritual

Letting me know exactly how she feels!

And now we have crying...welcome to the terrible two's


22 Mar 2013

Helping Children in Schools - NSPCC

Bubba has not enjoyed going to nursery over the last year and now she has moved up a class she is even more unsettled. When I collect her she seems happy and runs up to me which makes it a bit easier but she has been saying, by the time we get home, 'no Bella, no stop' over and over and gets fairly agitated about it. I have asked if Bella is in her class and whether she takes things off of Bubba. To both questions she answers 'yes' but you can never be sure what is going on and toddlers are usually not very good at sharing so I'm not to worried at this stage. I'm going to ask the teachers if they have noticed anything or whether Bella is in her class and if the two girls play well together for the most part.

It did get me thinking, how would I deal with issues that arise as she gets older, do I confront the parents, tell a teacher, leave it to sort itself out or a whole combination of those things. Will I even recognise or would Bubba feel comfortable telling me if she has a problem?

I was also talking to a friend whose little girl is in primary school (age 5) and she told me how another little girl was being a bit of a bully and controlling situations and telling the children who they can and can't play with. She scribbles over their work and generally makes the other children feel uncomfortable. This child is known at the school as having a few behavioural issues but my friends little girl didn't really recognise that she was being treated badly until a chance conversation. She just thought it was normal and couldn't understand why she was being singled out.

I worry so much that Bubba may get bullied (or be unkind to other children) as she gets bigger. I won't always be there to know or she may not want to come to me if she has problems. This is why I think the new ChildLine School project is brilliant. A trained volunteer goes into primary schools and talks to the kids about recognising the signs of neglect, bullying and abuse. It's a very soft approach and the children are told who they can speak to if they feel worried. Then there are follow up activities and discussions in the classrooms a few weeks later to make sure the children understand the information. If you would like to learn more then see the NSPCC website.

I hope that Bubba gets to be involved in such initiatives when she starts school because I think getting children to understand and talk about these subjects may help others in the future.

This was a sponsored post but the promised sponsorship failed to materialise. However, I'm passionate about this cause and feel its important to share such great initiatives

20 Mar 2013

Easy Meal - Taco spice mix

The Hubby and I love having cheat 'fake away' these days on a Friday or Saturday night. We like to feel like we've had a naughty feast but in reality it's been all good and relatively cheap compared to a real take away.

We sometimes go fajita's or curry and occasionally Taco's. Well that 'occasionally' is going to turn into often with this mix (until now I've only used the packet mix).

I fry the mince (or in this case tiny chicken strips) until it's got colour and then add the spice mix, peppers and onion. I add a splash of water and let it all cook through until the onion has softened. We like it quite spicy so you can modify to your taste.

Spice mix:
2tsp chilli powder
1 clove garlic ground
1tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1tsp oregano (but I only had mixed herbs which worked just the same)
1tsp chilli flakes (ground)
Pinch sea salt
Pinch pepper

Serve with warm Taco shells, salad, salsa (again we make our own) and cheese. Sometimes we have some cheeky black eyed beans too (I know, daring eh!). The only decision left to make is how are you going to load up your Taco...

17 Mar 2013

Unpredictable Sleep - How it feels

I wake with a start and look at the clock, it's dark and I can just about make out the time but I'm slightly dazed. Hubby is still beside me as I let out a sigh, he turns and speaks into the darkness "are you awake?" Before I have time to answer, I hear the noise again...a drawn out "Maammaaa" it's low but clearly distinguishable.

My heart thumps loudly and lurches into my throat, I swing my legs off the edge of the bed and the cold hits them and I shiver. The crying and calling is getting louder as Bubba wakes more and becomes more determined, I really don't want to get up. It's almost automatic and the louder the noise the more I'm drawn from my bed, it feels like a thin thread pulling at my heart, pulling me up to sitting. I sigh again, I feel beaten up in the way that only lack of sleep on a nightly basis can do to you. I'm tearful and scared during the day that she won't sleep through the night ever again, how can my good sleeper turn so bad? It feels never ending and the abrupt wake ups sound louder and more menacing in the dark. It's not like the newborn stage where sheer exhaustion and adrenaline get you through, it's different because I know what a full nights sleep feels like and how I feel afterwards.
I swing my body so I'm sitting up, trying to determine what sort of cry it is, will she go back to sleep, how can I help her? I'm tired, I don't want to get up and by going into her room it's like disturbing a hornets nest, once I'm there she won't go back down to sleep willingly and will cry louder once I leave. But if I don't go then she may not sleep either and she may just need me to be there for her, it's hard to sort it out in my head at this time in the morning. Just as I start to get up, hubby puts his arm out and just says "wait, she'll settle" we tend to snipe at each other more in these early wake ups than at any other time. Sometimes it can turn into a small argument as we try and negotiate on the appropriate approach and just as quickly as it started, Bubba abruptly stops yelling and is quiet. I then sit there panicking that something is wrong and again wrestle with my conscience as to whether I'm doing the right thing. I slump back into bed and try to sleep myself, although I feel anxious that she'll wake again as soon as I start to drop off to sleep.

I think it's the whole teething process again as the last four teeth try to push themselves out but who knows really, it could be her age, the future or just a fluke. Hubby tells me not to over analyse it and I try not too but can't help it, I don't like the unpredictable nature of her sleep patterns.

14 Mar 2013

Party Pressure - Bubba's 2nd Birthday

Just like the wedding industry, kids parties are getting bigger each year. I can't remember as a child having huge elaborate cakes and party bags. What I can remember is sandwiches, balloons and various party games in our front room with my friends.

I felt the pressure as we approached bubba's second birthday to make it elaborate. Last year I made her cake and this year was going to buy one...until I found out how expensive it would be and some cakes work out more expensive than our wedding cake...although we didn't even spend that on our wedding cake.
Our wedding cake
A lot of people are going for organised parties at local fitness centres and soft play places but I've bucked the trend (& probably look really stingy) by having tea and cake on bubba's actual birthday with family. Otherwise it gets too expensive and each year I'll have to out do the year befores effort, plus it was also Mothers Day so going out anywhere would be busy or closed!

Already I've crumbled and got a cake from the bakers, looked on Pinterest for party ideas and decided on a theme. Hubby is bemused that a 'theme' is even needed and thinks we should just let the little critters run wild. I bought lots of balloons, banners and ducks galore because my girl does love a duck.

 And what was her favourite part of the day? It was squealing and jumping on balloons in her play tent with her cousins. It was lovely to watch, kept them all quiet for ages and she really enjoyed herself.


12 Mar 2013

Mummy Matters - Real mums share advice

This month the lovely Becca from Keeping up with the Joneses has agreed to share her great tips on bringing up baby.

Name: Becca

Bubba's name: Little E

How old is your little one?
18 months

How has motherhood changed you?
I terrified of having children right up until the point that little E was first placed in my arms, then everything changed in a matter of seconds. I felt this overwhelming urge to look after and protect this tiny little person which I still feel to this day.

What items are in your handbag (baby related)?
I usually carry around a spare of her toy bunny, Doudou. Leaving Doudou at home can prove disastrous. I also can’t live without my iphone, E’s entire life in photos is stored on my phone. Our camera was stolen from the hospital just after little E was born so I am paranoid about backing up all my photos, my iphone does this automatically for me.  My phone is also loaded with baby apps which are essential for keeping E entertained when we travel, Peekaboo fridge is her current favourite.

What things could you not live without?
I really could not manage without the help and support I receive from my family, especially my mother who looks after little E whilst I work part time. As for baby items, that would have to be my Beaba baby cook. When little E first started on solids I would use it to steam and blend everything. I still use it to steam her veggies and defrost anything I’ve made beforehand.

Any good advice you received (or could give)?
As a mother of a young baby, everyone feels the need to impart their advice (and opinions) on you which can feel a little overwhelming especially as an exhausted and often sleep deprived new mama. Remember that as a mother you know your child better than ANYONE and always trust your instincts.  

Do you use any good books or websites that you’d like to share to help you?
Honestly I find parenting books and websites a little scary and prefer to play things by ear. If I’m really stuck then I will often discuss things with my mum or my sis who not only has little girl 6 weeks older than E but we’re also pregnant at the same time once again so we’re often going through baby and pregnancy related stages at the same time, which is amazing (we didn’t plan it, honestly!)  

Describe your life now in one word:


If you would like to be involved and share the things you've found useful then please do send me an email at: Kaz@bubbababble.com

7 Mar 2013

Things I need (probably more than she does)

My baby is growing up quickly now and a lot of things I took for granted are now changing, this week we started putting her in big girl vests (not the babygrows any more) I know its late but she is such a diddy little thing that I haven't needed to change them. For me this was a big step to take (which I know sounds a bit soft and silly) but it's another sign that my baby isn't a baby any more. This led me to think of the other things that she used to need and now it's more me who needs them.

Reassuring cuddles
I'm always asking bubba for a cuddle or kisses. Sometimes she thinks about it and then says no. Other times she bounds straight over and throws herself at me. It's always short lived and I think it's me who needs these cuddles more than her now as when she was little she always wanted a cuddle.

Bottle of milk sat on my lap at bedtime
We've always done this and only recently a couple of times have I sat her down to drink it on her own. Until that point I hadn't really realised how important it was to me. Luckily she still prefers to cuddle up on me for this but probably not for much longer.

Constant checking in with me
She calls me constantly, if I leave the room and she can't see me then she will chant 'mumma, mumma, mummmaaaa? Until I reply or return. I used to find this (and still do really) brain numbing and it drills into my subconscious but I'd be lost without it. There will come a day that she isn't interested in what I'm up to.

Baby clothes/reminders
She is growing out of things and I have got rid of a lot of clothes and kept a lot for any more Bubba's but there is a small pile of things that I'm keeping for me. She has grown out of these bits and pieces but I just can't pass them on and can't think of putting another child in them. She doesn't need these things anymore and probably won't want them in the future but I just can't let go of them.

The time we spend together as a twosome
I have two days off a week to spend with Bubba, I find I really look forward to spending time with her just being at home pottering about. She on the other hand asks hopefully for 'nanna' and 'gaga' and if we go out alone and don't meet up with them she gets really crestfallen. I guess mama just isn't enough anymore.

4 Mar 2013

Language Barrier

It's sometimes hard to decipher what bubba is saying now and funny the names she has for certain items. I've no idea where most come from but sometimes she seems to simplify the whole language issue and leaves me thinking 'yeah that actually makes sense'. She has more new words every day and The Mr Men & Little Miss books are her favourite at the moment and so she is repeating a lot of words from them.

Shouting 'purple balls' at the fridge the other morning left me offering her the minnie mouse ball from her toy box, daddys juggling balls (trying to teach himself to juggle) and the play dough, to no avail, it turns out all she wanted was blueberries from the fridge. Why didn't I just stop and listen in the first place!

She often calls herself 'you' and I think it's because I often show her pictures and say for instance "that's daddy and you in that picture" but still won't say her own name. If questioned further 'can you say your name?' She often looks at me like I'm dense and simply says 'yes'. So I'm really none the wiser on whether she can say it or not!

She is really working the system now: when putting her down for nap she can often be heard from other room saying "oh no dodo (dummy) gone" The first time I looked in the door to see that her 'dodo' was still in her mouth. Think she figured someone would come in and look for it!

1 Mar 2013

Home Alone - My first time

The other day I found myself in the unusual position of being home alone for the first time properly since Bubba was born (that's almost two years ago). It hasn't been a conscious decision to never be in the house on my own, it's just that if Hubby tried to take her out and I was at home she would be yelling for me to go with her or wouldn't leave without me (besides we have fun as a three so if they go somewhere I don't want to miss out either).

So what did I do with my three hours in doors...firstly I sat and caught up on some trash tv - my guilty programme is Geordie Shore, I can't believe what they get up to but love it all the same.

I then ate some crisps and drank tea - I know, proper rock and roll stuff.

I flicked through a few glossy magazines, without small sticky fingers trying to turn the pages.

Then I got bored...so I made dinner and put the slow cooker on, I then hoovered downstairs and also clock watched until it was time to go and pick up Bubba.

I realised that all this time I have spent wishing for some time alone and feeling hard done by, it turns out that when I am alone I pine for Bubba to make a mess. I'm not sure where I went wrong but next time (if there is one!!) I might put a plan in place first so I maximise the time I have.

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