30.3.13

523. Easter Crafting.

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Earlier in the week I made an extensive list of Easter crafts for us to do, inspired by Pinterest. Needless to say we had a crazy busy week and we managed ONE. I do have plans to make chocolate nest cakes with the boys tomorrow though! I had grand plans of cutting out little bunnies and sticking cotton wool onto them, and little chicks with yellow tissue paper, and making them both into bunting. Maybe next year. I did manage to cut out a hundred coloured eggs, chose some bright coloured paints and let the kiddos create their own Easter egg designs. It was short-lived, as somebody spilt pink paint all over one of my suede chairs, but they had fun doing it!

Happy Easter!

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

29.3.13

522. What Daniel Eats...

I thought it would be fun to share what my toddler eats on the daily. Like most other two-year-olds, Daniel is rather fussy and I often struggle with ideas for meals for him. I love reading blogs that share food pictures, for inspiration, and wondered if y'all would appreciate seeing what we eat too. It's also a way to encourage me to become more creative, if I have to show others too! Without further ado...

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Fruit salad with mango, grapes and strawberries.

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Madagascar animal spaghetti shapes, wholemeal toast with butter, and apple slices.

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Excuse the poor quality lighting. Brown rice, vegetarian sausages and peas. Green peas, as Daniel likes to double check.

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A couple of Easter theme lunches! Duck/chick shaped toast, beans & a chocolate nest cake (made at pre-school, the eggs had disappeared by the time we got home!)

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Lamb shaped jam on toast, with apple slices & clementine segments.

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Rice cakes, breadsticks, cheese goldfish, cucumber & carrot sticks.

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

28.3.13

521. Currently...

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FEELING cold. This time last year we were outside in t-shirts (thanks Time-hop app!) and today we had to layer up in coats, gloves, scarves and hats! I'm fairly sure everyone is wondering where spring is, we've had enough of this cold weather, snotty noses and freezing toes!

IMAGINING my boys when they're older. It's fun to think about what they'll be like as they grow up, and their personalities develop. Especially Joshua, I wonder whether he'll be the outgoing one or even more shy than Daniel.

CONSIDERING a little re-vamp of the blog, I'm not HTML smart at all, but I want something fresh and new, hopefully I'll find the time soon!

LISTENING TO some so-awful-it's-brilliant reality TV and Vampire Diaries while Colin's out playing football. It's nice to have a night to myself, to watch what I want, paint my nails, blog and probably online shop too!

MOVING as little as possible tomorrow. We've had another busy week, and without my car I've been doing a lot of walking! That calls for a pyjama day, lots of baking for my Mum's birthday on Saturday, and maybe a little housework too.

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

27.3.13

520. 3-6 month essentials.

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Our favourite baby items, the ones that we couldn't live without. Part of my essentials series, I started to write a 6-9 month post but realised I hadn't written a follow-up to the 0-3 month essentials, so here we go!

Musical instruments, this particular set is great for small hands to hold and shake to their hearts content. Joshua loves anything that makes noise, and singing is one of our favourite activities!

That's Not My... Books are wonderful for story time, for touching and feeling & discovering new textures. We have so many of these books and both boys love them!

Sophie the Giraffe, great for chewing on those pesky gums, and great for squeaking to distract grumpy babies (and toddlers!) If you have a Sophie, you know already, if not, get one! I'll be buying one of these for all my pregnant friends!

Bumbo, we haven't ever put this away since we got it for Daniel, he's two and still sits in it! Great for strengthening little backs just learning to sit, and those desperate to see what's going on from a new angle.

Links are everywhere in our house - the changing bag, the pushchair, the carseat, the sofa - they attach easily so won't get lost, and we attach other toys to them too, to stop them getting lost! Great teethers, and the different textures are fun to explore for little fingers (and mouths!)

Playmat/gym, this isn't our particular one but this one is so cute! A safe, clean place for when you have to put baby down (though I would prefer to hold him 24/7, my toddler and my arms wouldn't allow it!)

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

24.3.13

519. Our Week in iPhone Photos [075]

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001. It's been a little quieter here this week,online at least! We've had an action packed few days! I'm trying to be more intentional with my time with the boys, which means less social media & blogging. Especially Colin, we're guilty of just sitting in front of the TV, playing on phones or iPads and barely talking in the evenings, which sucks really. We're setting aside a couple of evenings a week, for dinner together and for a movie night, no distractions. It'll be nice to really talk.

002. We went to Whoosh this week, a local soft play centre, and the boys loved it! It's quite small, but only a 30-minute walk away, and actually the size was perfect because Daniel was happy to go off and explore and I never worried he had gone too far. We arrived at 10am and I had to convince him to leave at 12:30 because Joshua was tired! Definitely worth the £4 entry, we'll be going back pretty regularly! It was a great way to burn some of his crazy toddler energy, encourage some independence by letting him go by himself, and make new friends! Daniel actually went and played with another little boy, running around together, going down the slides together and interacting! He's never done that before!

003. I'm attempting to potty train Daniel through the night. We cracked nap times a couple of weeks ago, and his nappies aren't fitting properly anymore so he p's waking up with a wet bed anyway so I thought I might as well. We're on night three, the first night I got him up at 11 and he was already wet, then up again at 6 soaking, last night he was dry when Colin lifted him but wet this morning. I'm not 100% sure he's ready, but how do you tell?! I'm going to give him a week, any top tips would be very appreciated!

004. Mama went out out last night! My wonderful parents hosted a Race Night for Marie Curie Cancer Care (they are also doing a crazy night cycle in London, for this great cause!) and by the time I arrived at 10pm, after putting the boys to bed, everyone was very very merry! Hilarious to watch! It was great to get out, see some lovely ladies (& men!) I hadn't seen in a while, and even have a glass of wine (or three!)

005. My Dad and I took the boys to an Easter Egg Hunt today, even though it was SO cold it was still fun - Daniel got 5 eggs, painted a coaster, won a little car and saw some baby farm animals! I'm excited to do some more Easter activities with him this week too!

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

23.3.13

519. 12/52

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"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Daniel, feeling a little under the weather today, probably due to lack of sleep. Everyone comments on his eyes.
Joshua, chipper as ever after a surprisingly good night's sleep. Everyone notices his smile, complete with a teeny tiny tooth!

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Inspired by the wonderful Jodi, from Che and Fidel

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

20.3.13

517. Nine months.

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Nine months old. This kiddo has been out in the world for as long as he was in my belly. Which is terrifying because it feels like only yesterday he was in my belly. & I already miss being pregnant, but that's a different story. Joshua lights up my world, he's such a happy, smiley baby and I can't imagine life without him! He's so friendly, always happy to see other people, but doesn't often like to be held by them. Still a total Mama's boy, and will shout at me if I leave the room, chasing me. He's crawling at the speed of light, especially when Daddy gets home or there's food in sight. Also coasting along/between furniture, but showing no signs of wanting to walk, even with his hands held he just sits down. Thankfully!! Joshua's love for his brother hasn't changed at all, in fact it has probably grown. As soon as Daniel sits on the floor Joshua's over to him like a shot, giving him cuddles and stealing his toys. When we have M over (a friend of Daniel's) and they wander around, going on holiday and all sorts, Joshua follows them around like a puppy dog from room to room, watching them play,
Joshua now gives high fives, and dances to music - bouncing but we're also working on some hand movements! Officially says Mama, shouting it all day long! When I put my arms out to him he lifts arms up to be picked up, and for a cuddle. He wraps his arms tight round my neck, melting my heart - especially when paired with a (slobbery, open-mouthed, normally on the nose) kiss!
Eating 3 solid meals, and a snack or two in between. Usually Weetabix with fruit, or Cheerious, yogurt and fruit for breakfast, toast, cheese and fruit for lunch and pasta/rice/potato with a little purée, vegetables and yogurt for dinner. We're still breastfeeding too, but just three feeds during the day - first thing in the morning, after lynch and before bed - and normally two during the night. I'm pretty sure Daniel wasn't feeding this often at this age, which I'm so happy about as I was dreading stopping with Joshua so soon, we're just not ready. I love the bonding time we have, those little moments where he suckles quietly and gazes up into my eyes, those gorgeous eyes which haven't quite decided on a colour yet but are breathtaking the way they are. His hair seems to be lightening up too, but is still much darker than his brother's (who was totally bald until, at least a year!) A little dry skin, specifically on his arms and back, but coconut oil seems to be clearing it up wonderfully.
I went into the loft to get out some of the 9-12 month clothing, because his vests were a little tight over his giant nighttime nappy, but everything else is miles too big. My little squirt. 6-9 still fitting perfectly, and I have no idea what size nappies because all the writing on the tags has washed off! Exclusively using reusables though, which I'm proud of myself for! Speaking of clothes, socks are a total nightmare, pulled off within seconds, accompanied by the cheekiest grin you will ever see - taking after his Daddy and his brother! Though he definitely looks more like me, and my side of the family, even in the face. He celebrated turning nine months on Sunday with a teeny tiny tooth just poking through, it's still taking it's sweet time, though it doesn't seem to be bothering him much!
Joshua's favourite things are balls, cups, sponges. He's pretty uninterested in baby toys, though he loves his sensory basket and everything his brother plays with! Pulling hair is also a favourite pastime, and eating leaves/dirt. Things that make noise are also good fun! Joshua's least favourite things are nappy changes, it's nearly impossible to pin him down! & the carseat, or even your pushchair when you're not moving!
I wrote a post on sleeping earlier this week. Typically, Joshua apps in his cot in the morning, though rarely for longer than 30 minutes and wakes up incredibly grumpy. He has another nap at around 2pm, when his brother does, so he sleeps on me to avoid waking him. Lasting anywhere between 1.5-2.5 hours, I often have to wake him when I hear Daniel's dulcet tones. Sometimes, depending on how long he has slept for, he can fall asleep again around 5pm, but only if he's in the pushchair or being rocked. Playing The Lumineers can send him off within minutes, especially when I sing along and pat his back. He goes down for the night around 8:30pm, nearly always feeding to sleep and transferring to the cot no problem. Often up around midnight, then 3/4am, then anytime between 5:30-7:30am, at which point I bring him into bed with me, begging for a little more sleep, which he usually obliges to. A lot of people mentioned co-sleeping on my sleep update, but I don't sleep very well when he's in bed with me, I tuck him into the crook of my arm but I'm still paranoid about squishing him, and my arm often goes dead! I know this stage won't last forever, and I'm relishing in the fact I'm still feeding him so often, so I'm feeling pretty positive about it right now.

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Joshua Reg,

I love when you reach up to cuddle me, nuzzling into my shoulder and letting me cover you in kisses.

I love the way you lift your arms above your head when you're excited, especially when I can see those scrummy underarms & belly to blow raspberries on.

I love the way you giggle when your brother sings you a song, or makes funny noises to cheer you up.

I love holding you longer than I should when you're asleep, just watching that peaceful little face.

I love when you splash in the bath, surprising yourself with the spray, and how it makes you smile. Even when your brother splashes you back and sends you spluttering for air, as you always do when water gets on your face, you still continue to smile.

I love you, my sweetheart, you make my world complete.

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

18.3.13

516. Sleep update.

I'm not sure I've ever written a sleep update before. I've touched on it in Joshua's monthly update posts, here and there, but I've always been too worried about jinxing things. Every time I tell anyone that J only wakes once, that night he wakes a million times. Every time I moan to someone that he's up often, that night he wakes a million and one times. Jinxed, fo sho.

But I'm reaching the end of my tether. It's Saturday night (Sunday morning) when I've started this post, 3:41 am. Joshua's already up for the second time since 8:30, the first at just after midnight. He's always up at least once a night, though often two or three times. Usually every three hours, for about 20-30 minutes. So I'm getting about 2.5 hours sleep at a time. It's pretty exhausting, to say the least.

We've tried sleep training. For Joshua's naps, I wrap him up in a loose swaddle, put on some music and rock him for a couple of minutes before putting him in his cot. Even after a few weeks he still cries himself to sleep, often I have to go in once to comfort him and lie him back down, as he's sitting up. He does eventually drift off to sleep. But night times are a whole different kettle of fish. I feed him at around 8, after a bath, massage, jammies & bedtime story. 99% of the time he's pretty tired by then & feeds to sleep, and I transfer him to his cot. Tonight he woke just after midnight, and I decided to feed him in the hopes I'd get a longer stretch of sleep in. No dice, he's up again at 3am. I decided I was going to be strong, and not feed him, he's 9 months old & shouldn't need feeding every three hours at night, it's just a comfort. Right?!

Here's where I'm stumped, because even after 30 minutes of on off screaming - he sounded like he drifted off twice but woke back up, and I rocked him twice - he's still awake. I've given in and fed him, because I'm fairly sure by this point he's woken Daniel, Colin and even our neighbours (I can hear them shouting and can only think we're to blame) He was getting louder and louder, what started off as a shout just to keep himself awake had turned into a "come-and-get-me-right-now-this-very-second!" scream. Not even a hungry scream, and when I pick him up he doesn't root for food, but it's the only way I know how to get him back to sleep quickly and quietly. I just don't know what to do. I've spent the last half hour talking myself into the fact I'm doing the right thing, that I need more sleep, but now I feel like I've made a mistake, for selfish reasons. But if only he would learn to self soothe, this would be over quickly and we'd ALL sleep peacefully!

I don't think my child will be emotionally scarred by letting him cry for a little while, but I am struggling to tell if he's genuinely distressed or just shouting for attention, and I'm doubting my own mothering skills. I don't like hearing him cry either. I have heard countless horror stories of people who's son didn't sleep through the night till he was four, you know the ones. I'll literally be a caffeine independent mess by that point. I cope quite well on little sleep, but it's going to start totting up. When is enough enough? Daniel's a great sleeper, which I'm thankful for, but we did sleep train him, through the night, at 10 months & I often wonder if that's why.

Sometimes, often actually, I'm happy to get up in the night with Joshua. Quiet time, to myself, is quite nice. Another chance to snuggle that warm, sleeping body & watch that sweet face, two of my favourite things in the world. Things I don't get to do with my biggest, because he sleeps soundly in his own bed, and I'll miss it when it stops. I don't know where I'm going with this post really, I've been meaning to write about sleep for a while & tonight I needed to get it off my chest. I'm sure everyone and their mother's cat's doctor's wife will have some advice for me, but really I have to decide what's best for US. I hope I can figure it out soon!

***

Typically, the next morning Joshua came into bed with us at 7am and then slept till 10am, unheard of! But then last night? Even worse - up every two hours and then for the day at 6:45. Boo. There IS a little tooth poking through, and a nagging cough, so either of those could be to blame. I've decided to quit letting him cry it out, at least at night, and just feed him when he wakes. It's easier for us both, and I can often squeeze a nap in while the boys do, or just start going to bed earlier. He is only going to be this little once!

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

17.3.13

515. Our Week in iPhone Photos [074]

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001. My obsessions this week? Bagels and smoothies. Particularly cinnamon & raisin, or red onion and chive (bagels!) and smoothies with mango in - my favourite fruit. 8'm sticking with cream cheese as a topping for the bagels, but I'm having fun experimenting with smoothie flavours, and the extra nutrients aren't bad!

002. The boys' obsession this week? My washing basket, and colourful plastic balls. We used to have a little plastic paddling pool to put the balls in but I can't find it, and the basket works! It has also been a rocket, and a pirate ship. Daniel was very upset the other day when I had to use the basket for actual washing!

003. Joshua is nine months old today, and to celebrate a little tooth started poking through! I can't believe he's been out in the world for as long as he was inside me now, I feel like I was only pregnant yesterday! Hoping to take some monthly photos tomorrow, adding that to my mental to-do list of all the housework, a run/shower & a visit to my parents' before they go away.

004. This week we made brownies and cookies. I might have a problem. But the brownies disappeared all too quickly and I was in a terrible mood the other morning so obviously baking cookies was the only way to shift it. It worked!

005. I've jumped on the bloglovin' hype. I don't really understand all this GFC business, and always used the blogger dashboard to read blogs, but after a little browsing with bloglovin' I actually really like it! I still use it to click through to the actual blogs, but I like that I can follow any blog now, all in the same place! There's a little button on the right to follow me there if you'd like?

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

16.3.13

514. 11/52

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Daniel, being silly with his Daddy, laughing with pure joy.

Joshua, gazing at his two favourite boys, laughing too.

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."


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Inspired by the wonderful Jodi, from Che and Fidel

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Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

15.3.13

513. What Joshua Eats...

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Grilled cheese sandwiches are a favourite lunch in our house, I've probably mentioned before how Daniel won't eat sandwiches unless they have jam in or cheese unless it's melted (fusspot!) but these he'll devour! Joshua now likes to have the same food as us, he will shout if we're eating something different and it looks better than what he has, so he mostly eats table-food with a little purée for good measure. It's fun searching for and adapting recipes for our whole family. This was Joshua's first grilled cheese, made with wholemeal bread, filled with cheddar and unsalted butter. He was a little skeptical at first, but as you can see he definitely enjoyed it! These sandwiches worked well as they didn't fall apart, and were easy for him to grab. After a little while he started throwing them around, so I broke one up into smaller pieces and he seemed to approve. I think this will be a great way to sneak otherwise-refused foods into his diet too - I used to put chopped ham in Daniel's until he got too clever!

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx