28 Oct 2014

How Life Looks 6 Months In

This is my boy at six months old - He seems to be growing at an alarming rate and it's fun to watch but scary all the same that time is passing so quickly.

So far he likes to eat - the most unfussy child ever, he just keeps opening his mouth for more food, regardless of what it is. His current favourites seem to be sweet potato and petit filos

He has started to shun sleep during the day, preferring to fall asleep on me rather than in his cot. Great for him, nice sometimes but a bit difficult with a unruly three year old in the mix.

Cub wants to walk and isn't happy laying down any more, he now sits unaided but still falls if he is tired. More than anything he is happiest on his feet.

His sister is his world, he tries to touch her hair at every opportunity and laughs if she even looks at him. She in return seems to be thawing towards him and wants him to sit in the back of the car with her and she sometimes holds his hand. A real improvement.

A new sound he is making is "ga ga" and he also now moans a lot too. It seems almost constant! 

On that note, I'm hoping its teething that makes him moan as we now have two bottom front teeth of which I'm immensely proud.

His preference is always to have his legs up and arms behind his head. A proper little lad.


20 Oct 2014

Nursery School Friends

We've been doing the school run for three weeks now. It's a stressful fifteen minutes and often a blur, thankfully Bubba is still buying into the whole walking to school business.

She goes in fine and has a little friend who she wanders off with. The problem is that no one wants to be my friend, I'm aware that makes me sound stalkerish!

Our first morning (I had to stay) I chatted to a few mums who also had to stay. I came home feeling optimistic and excited for Bubba and myself on this new journey. I smiled and chatted over the next few days to the same woman (& a few others). I'm not naturally an extravert and find it difficult to push myself out there but I do try my hardest.

Over the last two weeks some women seem to have bonded and stand in little gaggles together. A few already know each other as they have older children at the school, a few have made friends as they wait. The same woman who I spoke to and asked how her son was getting on in those first days, she ignores me now. She has made a friend and the two women wait for each other, stand together and she will literally blank me now.

Hubby tells me not to worry and who cares. But it's not so easy when you are the one seeing the same women each day and nobody talks to you. I feel invisible and don't want it to rub off onto Bubba. I can't often think of what to say, anxiety floods my brain and I can't think of intelligent things to start a conversation off.

It feels like I'm back at school being ignored by the popular girls. I'm more relieved than Bubba that it's half term this week. It's nice to get away from the feeling that I'm in a live version of Mean Girls, it's honestly like being back at school myself. Oh well, only another year of this class, next year we get to go to big school and then it'll be the same parents throughout her school journey.

16 Oct 2014

Copying Sentences

This girl started nursery school last week and already she has an air of maturity about her, in that 'I know best' way.

She has become like a little parrot, repeating things we say in context and at a later date, it can be fairly funny but also slightly mortifying.

Shamefully one of my sayings "Oh God" has been something she has started to say, So now if she drops something like lego, she'll roll her eyes and say it. I'm now trying hard to say 'gosh' instead but she hasn't picked up the change.

The other day she said "mummy don't come downstairs, I've made a right old mess", that comes from hubby and I found it really funny as it sounded exactly like he says it.

My other two bad habits are saying 'right' at the begining of every sentence and now she copies that. I also say 'ok?' at the end of a sentence which again she now says.

The other week, weary with tiredness I managed to drive the car into the side of a kerb at Bluewater, damaging one of the tyres (our third in two weeks) so I became slightly distraught and said 'sh*t' and all I could hear through my shocked tears was "sh*t, sh*t, mummy what does sh*t mean, mummy what's sh*t". As you can imagine, not my finest hour!

It's funny but also alarming that what we say comes directly out of their mouths and I'm hoping that they don't come out at school!

14 Oct 2014

Wonderful Weaning - 5 Step Weaning Plan

Now my boy is fast approaching six months, it's about time his taste buds get a look in. With Bubba it was a flurry of activity and excitement, I couldn't wait to get started making huge batches of home cooked meals and purees. I had everything I needed: bibs, spoons, tiny pots and a raft of Annabel Karmel books to get me started. 

I started her at 5 1/2 months and took my role very seriously, this time I'm slightly in denial and I don't want my baby to grow up. But he is ready and so I'm going to try a combination of puree and baby led weaning, taking it easy and slowly.

The wonderful people over at Cow & Gate have created a brilliant '5 step weaning plan' on their website which provides information on the five stages of weaning and gives recipes and suggestions along the way.

 I love the simple, uncluttered approach on the website, we've always been fans of Cow & Gate as we use their baby milk powder anyway. I read the first few steps on my phone, after a long day with the children. I didn't have a great attention span and this site was really helpful in letting me digest the key information quickly. It's sometimes difficult to take it all in and conflicting advice can have your head in a spin, let alone adding in a healthy dose of sleep deprivation.

I love the little snippets of advice along the way, it wasn't condescending or waffley but clear and simple.

"They all get there in the end, so don't rush - it's fine to repeat steps until your baby is ready to move on".

I found this helpful and comforting because even as a second time mum, a lot of what I learnt last time has got lost in my vacant mind. The steps give you goals to work towards and it explains what you should feed your baby and why.

I especially loved the top tips section which has a nice conscise summary and advice you sometimes forget although it's so simple

"Smile - if you show enthusiasm for a new food, its more likely they will too!"

You get to see lots of recipes and a precise shopping list and you can add your details, pictures and recipes to your own page too so it becomes a very interactive place.

It's actually getting me excited again where as before I was slightly fearful on how I'd fit in feeding my boy new tastes as well as all the pressures of family life.

As you can see from the photos: So far he wasn't keen on carrot, liked the Cow & Gate pouch of apple and pear (Bubba also demanded some of this so the two shared a pouch at lunchtime). Most of all he loved mashed banana.

Next week it's parsnip, butternut squash and another pouch as it's easy to take these out and about on our travels.

If you are thinking of weaning or just want a reminder, do go over to the website for a quick peek. There is also a great competition at the moment where you can win if you upload a video of your baby trying new tastes.

I want to thank Cow & Gate for bringing this fab website to our attention and the extra bits to help us on our way.


12 Oct 2014

The Grind

I've written and scrapped this post several times as it just sounds like a whingefest. So I apologise in advance but thought it important to document the difficulties as well as the fun times.

I'm weary, tired and down right lost somewhere in this motherhood maze. I seem to turn a corner thinking "this shizzle isn't too bad, I can juggle this kid business" only to go three more steps and wonder why the hell I'm doing this and the children don't even seem to like me very much.

My preschooler has started big school nursery and I can feel her worry and tiredness seeping out the edges every day. The boy has decided he wants to be on the move but unfortunately hasn't got the ability yet. So he moans.all.the.time.

Sleep isn't on our side which always makes things feel worse. The boy wakes and we put the dummy back in, then Bubba wakes from a nightmare (seriously these darn things are regularly waking us all up). This is an ongoing situation.

I'm trying to loose weight and I'm now 1 stone 7lb lighter but it's getting harder to keep myself motivated. I often wonder what the point is and yeah I'll just have a bloody cupcake if I want one.

I feel rather inadequate, one of those 'am I good enough, does anyone like me, will my children learn the right things from me?' How am I supposed to teach them to love themselves when I'm making such a shambles of it.

How can I tell Bub to make friends at school when I struggle with the mums in the playground. A smile but chewing over in my brain 'how have these women got so much to say to each other?' 'Do they know each other'.

My mind is in overdrive and the grind is getting to me a bit. How do you cope with it? What can I do to get myself out the other side?

10 Oct 2014

Sleep No Sleep

Another weary morning where my eyelids feel like they have sandpaper attached to them and scratching at my eyes. Sleep was interrupted several times in the night and it was another early start with both babies. They seem unaffected by the early start / night waking and are as lively as anything.

My brain feels like its dripping with treacle and my throat is rough and tender (stress always attacks my throat first).

Last week I was fairly philosophical, telling hubby "Well they are kids, they don't always sleep, we have to suck it up" as he grumbled  through the morning.

This week I'm not so easy going, I actually feel right royally pee'd off.

Lack of sleep breaks you when its consistent, you can't remember what sleep was like and for me I feel like my soul weeps. It's hard to focus my way through another full day with two mini dictators.

The worst bit is that it isn't even the littlest causing us the most pain, you'd think at five months old that he is within his rights to get us up and keep us up. He is, after all, a baby!

But no one told me that by 3 1/2 my lovely girl would be a regular night waker. Her motives are a little more complex than the boys 'I need a wee' or a slight accident in bed (we've been lucky it's happened only a handful of times but these are fairly concentrated in to a few weeks).

The biggest surprise is that her imagination is keeping us all from our sleep 'mummy I had a dream, a moth with bright blue eyes was chasing me'. That was enough to give me the willies too! Or 'talking dogs daddy, they woke my sleep up'.

She does now (usually) go back to sleep but no one ever chuffing told me that nightmares could be so disruptive for us all.

At least twice a week we have been woken by her, 1am and 3am seem to be when her mind is the most active. We follow a relaxing bath, book, bed routine and leave a light on as she isn't too keen on total darkness.

It feels like we may never get sleep ever again. At the moment the boy seems to be a good sleeper but a few teething issues have had us up and I'm sure those darn teeth will start to keep us up more and more.

I can't imagine a time when we will get sleep again and it becomes a rare occurrence that we get woken. Well I can imagine that time but not for many years yet! At least the little one gets to catch up on his sleep.

8 Oct 2014

Easy Meals - Flashy Beans

As a mother of two small people and a Slimming World convert, my meals have all become full of veg as it's easy to cook and quick.

So now, at any opportunity I try to pump as much veg into each meal as I can.

We decided to have jacket potatoes for dinner and I do like normal beans but sometimes I want something a bit different. Now I don't think we will go back to 'normal' beans any time soon as this packs a punch on flavour and texture.

Red onion
Borlotti Beans (tin)
Plum tomatoes (tin)
Mushrooms (cut up smallish)
Chicken stock cube
Smoked paprika
Onion granules
Garlic Salt
Cayenne (or chilli) powder

 Fry the onion and mushroom

Add the plum tomatoes and all the spices

Boil vigorously for five minutes to reduce the tomatoes

Add the beans and turn the hear right down to a simmer

Add water (1/2 tin) but it depends on how juicy you want it

Cook with lid on for another ten minutes



3 Oct 2014

Book Buddy Review - Life Canvas Stationery

As part of the Parragon book buddy scheme we get to review a fantastic selection of books.

This month is a little different as we got sent a lovely Paris set which is part of their Life Canvas range.

I love a notebook and they are scattered around our house, much to hubs amusement.

My girl also likes a book to write in or pretend to use as an order book for her pretend restaurant.

But this book is just for me, so far I've used it to make our holiday prep lists and now it's used to jot down ideas for the blog. I like that it's small enough to take around in my bag and I do have to have a bit of a tussle with Bubba as she tries to scribble in it.

I have relented and allowed her to take charge of the set of sticky notes. She likes the Parisian theme and I'm finding them stuck on walls everywhere.

Check out more reviews over on the Parragon Facebook page.

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