Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Weaning Wednesday - first tastes

Baby girl began her weaning journey just a little while ago.  We recognised the signs of hunger - feeding every two hours again, not settling after a feed and waking two or three times a night (again - agh!).

So we decided to introduce her to the brave new world of food.  And she loves it!

I made all our own baby food when our son was weaned, and I'm enjoying doing the same for our daughter.  I looked at the pouches of food in the supermarket - they're so expensive!  Some of them had sunflower oil added to the puree too - yuck.  It's so quick and easy to make first purees; I make a batch and freeze loads which always lasts a week or two.  No nasty oil added either.

If you're really short of time, you can always buy frozen fruit or veg too.  I only ever use frozen apple slices.  Three of those with a tablespoon of water, microwaved for 40 seconds and then mashed with a fork - perfect.

Here she is enjoying banana, strawberry and blueberry - just like a smoothie:

She also loves:
  • Butternut squash - this gets gobbled really quickly
  • Carrot and apple - sounds strange but again, this gets wolfed down fast
  • Totally tropical - banana and mango.

We love mixing Ella's Kitchen first porridge into fruit for breakfast too.

Do you have any favourite recipes?  I'd love to hear them!

Friday, 26 July 2013

The joy of an older age gap

It took us a while to decide to have our baby girl; much longer than the traditional two year age gap.  Our son was three and a half when I fell pregnant with our daughter and I was a bit worried how a four year age gap would work.

After so long with our full attention, I didn't know how our boy would adjust to 'sharing' us.  I wasn't sure how he'd feel about his old room, bed, clothes and toys all being used by another baby.  Most of all, I was worried he'd want to send the new baby back - you hear so many horror stories.

I shouldn't have worried.  I'm so proud of our little guy; he's grown up and adjusted so well in the last four and a half months.  He loves his sister so much and never once has been jealous of her.  He shares his toys (agh, that's too small!) and always looks out for her and makes sure she's ok.

I'm sure it's because he's an older brother.  He understands when I explain I'll only be a few minutes sorting out a nappy and then I'll play.  He knows he has no use for baby toys and doesn't mind his sister playing with them.  He understands when I explain to him that he must stay close because I can't run after him with the baby, and stays close.

I think they look so much alike too, they really are two peas in a pod.

I'd love to hear how your eldest adjusted to a younger brother or sister arriving.  Was it plain sailing?  I still don't understand why so many people think a two year age gap is ideal - do you?

Friday, 19 July 2013

Pre-schooler play - counting days

In a previous post I talked about baby play colour days, where you take baby out for a walk, pointing out everything of a single colour.

For our older son, we have counting days.  So while we're pointing out colours for our baby girl, our son counts things that are the same while we're out walking.  As he's car obsessed, this is usually cars!

On motorways we always count Eddie Stobart trucks (our highest records was 28 Stobies on one journey!), but walking around our estate at home we usually go for obscure cars - Alfa Romeos, Fiats etc.  This keeps him interested and looking around, whilst still challenging him to remember and count in order.

He loves to keep a tally and will remember it all day until his Dad gets home from work to tell him.  In the early days, it definitely helped him practice his numbers and counting too, although these days he just loves spotting the cars!

How do you keep your pre-schooler amused on walks?  I'd love to hear your tips!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Baby play - colour days

I try and take our baby girl out for walks regularly to get some fresh air, but sometimes the motivation to get out can be a bit lacking if we haven't got anywhere to go!  To combat this, I choose a colour theme for the walk and point out everything to her of that colour.

This gives us something to 'talk' about, gives us a reason to get out and discover how much we can see of a single colour, and will eventually help her with colour recognition (at four months she's a bit young at the moment!).

Earlier in the week we went for a 'yellow' walk, and we saw:
  • Four yellow cars
  • Lots of yellow flowers, but mostly dandelions
  • A skip
  • Yellow numbers plates on cars
  • A yellow poster in a shop window.

It might sound silly, but it helps me get out and about and share the world with her.  Do you have any quirky habits or ideas that get you out of the house?  I'd love to hear them.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Charles Clinkard festival Hunter wellies competition

Charles Clinkard, the high quality footwear store, is currently running a competition to win a pair of Hunter Wellington Boots.  To enter, you have to create a styleboard of your perfect festival look, including a pair of Hunter Wellies available from its website, and submit your link to their website by 5th July.  You can read about the competition and prize here.
I went to Glastonbury a few times in my teenage years, but thought with a young family my festival days were over.  That was until we went to Carfest North last year!  We took our then three year old and had such a great time that we have tickets to go again this year.  The challenge is that we'll be taking our now four year old son and for the first time, our six month old daughter.  We're hoping that the sun will shine again, and the family party atmosphere will remain the same as last year.
So my festival look is (hopefully) both stylish and practical, with something for all weathers and eventualities.  It also includes an essential or two for a young family, and a large umbrella for the rain and also so we can spot ourselves on any TV coverage!
Here's my style board:

Let me know if you enter the competition too, I'd love to see your entry.