Tuesday, 29 July 2014

We had a lovely week of family time

Last week we spent family time at my folks caravan in Northumberland. 

It was lovely having time just the 3 of us doing what we want, when we wanted and just spending quality time together.

We had lots of trips out - will be writing lots of posts about our trips

We had a week of firsts for Baby M - again keep your eyes peeled for some great posts

I had a lovely relaxing birthday

However now we are home and it's a crazy week of cat collecting, appointments and visits from family

I will hopefully get some posts written this week but my new "no stress" approach means that if I don't there will be lots of great posts for you to read next week (and for the coming weeks too with all that we did!!).

Please check out my Instagram page where there are lots of photos from our week away

I also have some great reviews coming up

Watch this space!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

It's my birthday!!!!

Today is my 32nd birthday and my first as a mummy

This is one of the reasons Mr M is off for the week

Whilst I'm on maternity leave this year I think that you should be given your birthday off, no one should have to work their birthday if they don't want to.

Here's to a day of family fun, cuddles from my little man and my lovely parents are looking after Baby M on Saturday night so we can go out for a meal.

Happy birthday to me :)

Monday, 21 July 2014

Enjoying a week of family time

There won't be any blog posts this week as Mr M has a week off work and we are enjoying family time together.  It's also my birthday this week.

I will post again once everything is back to normal

Have a good week everyone

Friday, 18 July 2014

We have a new favourite toy

We have a new favourite toy

It's the Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo

He loves it!!

I wasn't going to get one as one but he turned into a Tigger and was forever bouncing when you stand him up.  So much so that i was worried he would damage himself in his walker bouncing so much

I'm so glad we got one.

He laughs and giggles so much.  And boy can he bounce!! Sometimes I think he's going to take off.

He has some quiet time in it too playing with the toys.

The hardest part of putting it together was the seat part but other than that it was pretty easy to assemble.

We have a very happy little boy

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Weaning update

Our weaning journey is continuing.

I know that Baby Led weaning is pushed but Baby M just isn't keen on it.  Maybe it's because he's a boy - people keep telling me boys are lazy.

As you know we started weaning when Baby M was just over 5 months.

I tried making my own purees but he just wasn't keen on them.  I had someone tell me it takes 10x or more for a baby to like something - REALLY?? Here's me trying everything once - NOT!  I tried for about 3 weeks with no luck so I turned to jars and pouches.

He loves them!

He's tried such a wider variety of tastes too than I would have been able to give him or even thought of.

When Baby M turned 7 months we started to introduce more lumpier jars/pouches.  We've had some funny reactions to the lumps but I think we are getting there.  He needs to understand that food isn't runny.

I give him a spoon as well as the one I'm using so he can feed himself if he likes.  He does sometimes hold onto the spoon I use and we feed him together (if I let go he lets go).  I praise him when he does hold onto the spoon and smile lots.  I also let him put his hands into the bowl and feel the food.  He has yet to put his fingers in his mouth to eat what's on his fingers.

I have also been giving him breadsticks and Heinz Biscotti - he loves to eat them when I hold them but won't feed himself.  I have some fruit pieces to try this week with him

He used to point blank refuse water but now he will take some from his cup but again when I hold it.  When I encourage him to do it himself he just throws it around banging it off the floor/seat.

He is slowly cutting out bottles himself.  At breakfast he has porridge and sometimes he will refuse a bottle after.  At lunch as well he will only have a 100-150ml bottle at times.

How have other mums found weaning?  Any tips to get Baby M to feed himself? 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Every changing friendships

I'm kind of used to friendships changing.

I'm not one of those people who is still best friends with their primary school best friend - and I'm not talking about 'Facebook Friends'.

We moved when I was in my last year of primary school and then when I left High School I was the only person who went to the city I studied in.  Five years ago Mr M & I left that city to move 200+ miles away to a completely new city.  I'm used to having to try and make new friends.

My longest friend is from university, she lives far to far away for my liking but we text nearly every day and phone when we can - she works nights and when I was working shifts would get in the way.  I can still tell her anything and everything and I know she's there for me, if not in body.  She doesn't have children - yet!

My other friend that I've known for nearly as long now has 3 gorgeous boys and again we don't see each other that often but meet whenever I go up to visit Mr M's family and she is free.  Through the joys of Facebook and text we are able to keep in touch and up to date with our growing families.  She has been a great help with mummy related issues.

I have however been feeling REALLY lonely lately!  I go to mummy and baby groups and am trying to talk to other mums but there are cliques and its hard to break in.  I'm determined though and haven't let that stop us going to the groups.

To some of my friends I seem to have fallen off the planet since I had Baby M.  What makes our friendship so different now I have a child??  It doesn't to me!! So I bring him along to coffee catch ups - he's so well behaved he doesn't cry when we are out so it's not like he's badly behaved/screaming/wailing.  I can still go on nights out as Mr M can babysit.  I have even more free time on my hands which means I can meet up WHENEVER.

I text and text trying to organise catch ups.  Generally I get fobbed off or we make plans then they cancel.  I know people have busy lives but we met up before!

Mr M keeps telling me to focus on those friends who do still want to meet up, who do take the time to reply to me and who genuinely seem interested in Baby M. I know he's probably right but I've always been a bit of an overthinker/worrier.

I had the "is it me?" thoughts.  I am someone they don't want to be around??

Maybe when I go back to work and I'm busy with that and spending time as a family I won't be so bothered.  But friendships are really important to me and I think we need them to stay slightly sane. 

I shall continue to persevere and maybe follow Mr M's advice of focusing on those friends who do make that effort.  With many things I have a 2 strike rule (as in 2 strikes & you're out) I feel that maybe too harsh for friendships though. 

I'm trying to organise cocktails/drinks for my birthday.  I'm hoping that people come and I'm not sitting there Billy-No-Mates.  I used to have fancy dress parties every year for my birthday from about 19-25 (they were AMAZING) but I'd always get upset by those people who'd say they were coming but never showed up, just be honest with me!!

I will keep going to the baby groups and trying to make new mummy friends.  

How have other mums managed their friendships since becoming parents?  Have your friendships changed?  How have you found making new mummy friends?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Hevea Kawan teether - review

Baby M is in full teething mode at the moment.  I really hope they come through soon!!

We were sent a Hevea Kawan Teether to test and reivew.

Hevea is so called after the Latin name for Rubber Tree.

All their products are made from natural rubber and from a sustainable source.  The products are also biodegradable.

Because their products are made from natural rubber they are soft and pliable.  This was the first thing I noticed when I took the teether out of the packaging. 

The teether is called Kawan, which means Friend in Malay, the company has strong ties with Malaysia.

Baby M noticed the softness of the teether when I gave it to him, at first he didn't want to put it in his mouth.  After some encouragement he seemed to enjoy chewing the head and I think the softness of the head appealed to him.  All teethers you buy seem to be solid.

The teether is a great shape and Baby M was able to hold the teether easily and in various positions.

The texture on the beak and eye area seemed to help relieve Baby M's pain when he was having bad days, although there were times when he wouldn't chew the teether and appeared in a lot of pain.  Nothing seemed to help at these times apart from Calpol.

The Kawan teether isn't in the shops yet, it's due to be released very soon.  Without being in the shops it was shortlisted for the Loved by Parents Ethical Babycare Product award.

I would recommend this teether, it's the first that I've found that isn't solid.  It's also made from natural products so you know there aren't any hidden harmful chemicals in there.  I also love the shape!

This post has been added to Family Fever and We're going on an Adventure's #TriedTested - go check out other great reviews

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review however I was sent the product free of charge to test and review.  All views are my own

Monday, 14 July 2014

Old Holly Farm

We have been looking for places to take Baby M locally that won't cost us a fortune to go.

We discovered Old Holly Farm which is a fully working farm that is open to the public.  Even better it's FREE!!  They ask that you don't bring your own food and therefore buy food (if you want to) from their cafe.

Baby M is fascinated by both our cat and family dogs so we thought we would love the farm.  We were interested to see what his reaction would be to all the different animals.

At first we had Baby M in his pushchair but we decided to take him out so he could get a better view of the animals

 There were a variety of different animals including cows, sheep, chickens, goats, horse, donkey and alpaca.  There were also some calves in a shed area that you could feed (and wash your hands after).

Due to the farm being a working farm there is a dairy on site and they make their own ice cream - it looked delicious.  We opted for a lovely lunch and scones instead.  Seeing as you can't being your own food I expected the prices to be a little high but they are really reasonable for the portion size you get, which is very generous.

There is also a play barn next to the cafe.  Children under 1 get in for free so we thought we would take Baby M in as it was quiet.  We had gone on a week day so there weren't too many people there, I can imagine it gets very busy at the weekends.  Baby M went on a toy tractor and had his first experience of a ball pool.  I think Mr M had more fun in the ball pool though - he's a big kid!

We had a lovely time and will definitely be going back again very soon.  I think as Baby M gets older he will enjoy visiting the farm more and more.

The farm is just off Junction 33 M6 so is easy to get to even in your don't live locally.  

This post has been included in this weeks #CountryKids over on Coombe Mill's blog - go check out other great ways to get out and about as a family

This post has also been included in Red Rose Mummy's #WHWH - go check out What's Happened, What's Happening.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Swimming Progress

Baby M has come on leaps and bounds recently in his swimming.  We are so proud of him

When we first started the pool was cold and he would get very upset about having to go underwater and even half way through his class would become upset.  He was wearing a wetsuit too.

Since we moved to the new pool he has been improving slowly and building his confidence again.  Our instructor has been amazing and a great support to both us and Baby M. 

At our last class he seemed to improve so much.  He did 3 underwater swims with no crying.  Big grins from mummy and daddy.  He is holding onto the side himself.  His kicking is fantastic too, he's always kicking his little legs. 

The best thing though is now when we get into the pool he has a big grin on his face and starts splashing and laughing in the pool

We're so proud of our little water baby

Thursday, 10 July 2014

7 months old

Baby M is 7 months old today

I say this every month but time is flying!!!

Baby M has come along so much in the past month.  He can now sit up all by himself - even at the baby groups other mums have commented on how sturdy he is when he's sitting.

We still aren't crawling yet but he is getting there.  His legs go and then he stops and puts his arms into the push up position.  When he realises he needs to do both then I think he will be off.  He can move in circles and backwards.  He also does cot gymnastics, he's never where we put him at night.  He's usually found up at the top of the cot on his front so he must wriggle himself up there some how.  He's in a sleeping bag too!

Although we are probably a long way off walking he loves being in his walker and goes backwards.  Over the past few days he's also started bouncing A LOT.  I think he's turning into Tigger.

We are now trying lumpier foods.  We've introduced water - Baby M isn't that keen but with the hot weather has been drinking it occasionally.  I've also been trying to give him biscotti - he'd rather mush it in his hands but will suck on it when I hold it for him.  Is this a lazy boy trick?

Baby M is much more aware of his surroundings and is still such a giggly smiley boy.  Whenever anyone meets him for the first time they comment on how happy he is.

I look forward to discovering what the next month has in store for us all 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Visit from Auntie and BBQ

We had a lovely visit from Mr M's sister at the weekend and her dog Frankie. 

Frankie is a 11 month old Jug (Jack Russell/Pug) and Baby M loves him visiting

The weather was lovely so we went for a walk to stretch Frankie's legs after his car journey & also to get us moving.  My sister in law also has a FitBit so like me is keen to walk lots each day

We then came back to the house and enjoyed the sunny weather.  Mr M decided we should have a BBQ.  Impromtu BBQ's are always the best

It also gave Baby M a chance to spend some quality time with his Auntie. 

As I've said many times before it's hard living so far away from all our family

We look forward to the next visit from family :)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Our trip to Bologna & Italian cooking

Mr M won a trip to Bologna last year from TNT magazine, the company (Ponti's Italian Kitchen) were kind enough to let us take the trip this year due to the fact I was pregnant last year. 

We knew that our trip would include a cooking lesson, a visit to a Paresan maker and a Balsamic vinegar maker but other than that we weren't really sure what to expect.

We were a little anxious about leaving Baby M but he loves my mum and we knew he'd be in good hands. 

Our trip was with Bluone Tours and the lovely Marcello and Raffaella.  We were collected by Marcello at the airport and taken to our hotel to freshen up.  We then went straight to our cooking lesson.  Our timetable for the weekend had changed slightly due to the Parmesan maker's daughter getting married and also Marcell and Raffaella's youngest son has a rare for of Leukemia and was coming out of hospital after failed chemotherapy treatment.  The day we arrived friends of the family had raised $600k for him to go to USA for treatment in a week - a pretty amazing feat!!

Our cooking lesson was at the family home, we were expecting to be in a restaurant with other people so this intimate lesson was great. 

In total we had 5.5 hours cooking and eating.

We started making the ragu (spaghetti bolognese doesn't exist in Bologna)

Whilst Mr M was making the ragu I was making the pana cotta

We next made meat rolls

Next we made the ricotta filling for the tortellini

We then cut up courgettes as these would be cooked as a side for the meat rolls

Then we made an appetizer of courgette flowers dipped in a batter containing olive oil and grappa - so tasty!!

We had some prosecco before our meal - I love prosecco!

After we ate our courgette flowers we started making our pasta.

You need to make sure your pasta is rolled equally and thin

With Mr M's pasta we made tortellini, with mine we made the tagliatelle for the ragu

In between the pasta courses we had the meat rolls.

We were so grateful to the family for welcoming us into their home.  We had an amazing evening and learned so much!

The next morning we went to a Parmesan maker, we saw the process from start to finish - it was incredible that within an hour the cheese had formed.  The cheese was then placed in salty water for 20days then put in storage to be tested in a years time to see whether it reaches the grade of Parmesan cheese. 

We bought some cheese to bring home with us.

Next we went to a Balsamic vinegar producer.  I quite like Balsamic here but it's nothing like the real stuff!  Balsamic vinegar can only be called this once it's been fermenting for 12 years - anything less than this isn't traditional balsamic vinegar.  It's made a little like wine however the casks have a hole in them so air gets in and alcohol isn't formed.  White grapes can also be used, its the wood from the cask that turn the balsamic vinegar the dark colour.  I found this visit fascinating and of course bought a bottle to bring home

We then had free time for the day and we spent time exploring Bologna.  We walked up the tallest leaning tower in Italy that you can walk up - 498 steps.  Amazing views though

The next day we met Raffaella to walk around the food markets.  We tasted some lovely meats and cheese

The rest of the weekend we had free.

The weather was amazing.  The food and drink was incredible.  The people were so friendly

I would definitely recommend putting Bologna on your "to visit" list!!


 Disclaimer:Mr M won this competition last year before I started blogging.  At no time was a review/blog post offered. 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

I'm back

I've been using the time since my last blog to seriously think about my blogging future.

After reading other bloggers posts about their blogging futures I realised that I'm not alone and that as parents we do enjoy beating ourselves up!!

These posts plus chats with my blogging friends, mainly the lovely Gemma of Confessions of a nagging mother I realised that I don't have to be Super Mum and do it all.

I'm going to blog when I can and not beat myself up if I don't do a post every day.  I'm going to make sure the posts I do write have my full effort into them and not just write posts because I feel I should.

Ok I might not win awards and maybe I won't be one of the "top" bloggers out there but I am going to do my best.  My main focus is enjoying spending time with Baby M and being the best mum to him I can be.  Our time together and family time are my top priority, everything else comes secondary.

I've got lots of posts planned including our amazing trip to Italy, Baby M's swimming transformation and fun days out we've had. So please come back soon