Friday, 31 May 2013

Lunchbox challenge

Tots 100 and Walkers recently set a challenge for parents across the land, to make up a delicious lunchbox for our little ones including the yummy Walkers Hoops and Crosses.

This kind of challenge was right up my street and so i present Sebs lunchbox! 
In the box we have
  • Toddler sushi! Seb loves this! Banana wrapped in rolled out bread with a layer of peanut butter and topped with a raisin.
  • Tangerine segments and some watermelon cut into a star shape.
  • Raisins and dried apricots
  • Walkers Hoops and Crosses or X's and O's and Seb likes to call them!

This post is an entry into the Tots100 #HoopsandCrosses competition

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Brocolli and carrot savoury muffins

I mentioned before that i was going to start making some bits for both boys to eat together now Alex is really getting into feeding himself. I like to offer different things daily for them to eat, it's so easy to get stuck in a rut with food.

I dabbled with savoury muffins when Seb was weaning but the ones i made this time are much nicer!
I used cake cakes as i didn't have any mini muffin cases and full sized ones are too big for now. Although not just for small people, these really are perfect for baby led weaning.
 
225g self raising flour
175ml full fat milk(i used full fat as they're for the boys)
1 free range egg
55ml olive oil
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 large carrot,peeled and grated
brocolli florets, steamed and chopped

Preheat the oven to 200°C. 
Mix your cheese and flour together and add in the carrot and brocolli. 
Mix the wet ingrediants seperately and then mix the two together, you'll end up with quite a lumpy mixture. 
Spoon the mix into cases, bear in mind that these didn't rise loads. Pop into the oven for around 20 minutes, they should be golden on top and the kitchen should smell lovely and cheesy!

I give these for lunch or as a snack for Seb. I also freeze them.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

TotsBots Parma Violet Potion

I won't lie, my least favourite part of using cloth nappies is the washing of them, putting them into the machine can be an eye watering job but needs must. To wash my nappies i usually use a basic sensitive non bio powder because obviously the nappy is on the most delicate areas and it works fine but it's a little boring :/

Shortly after the excitement of Real Nappy Week i saw that TotsBots had launched some scented nappy washes and of course i wanted to try it out so i placed an order for the Parma Violet scent along with a couple of other bits. I like that the potion is enzyme free and has been allergy tested.
When it came i had to have a sniff right away and yes it smells exactly like Parma Violets! 
I like the packaging, the potion comes in a cute tub with carry handle which means i can reuse the tub after for sand or water play. There is a scoop included inside plus a guide on the tub to show you how much to use depending on water hardness where you live. 
I popped my nappies into the machine, added the powder and set them off on their normal cycle(40degrees with an extra rinse), once the cycle was done, i took the nappies out and had a sniff. They smelt lovely and fresh with an underlying scent of sweeties and this scent stayed once dry too. 
 I ordered my potion from the TotsBots website but it is also available elsewhere. It also comes in a mint humbug version and unscented too. The tub costs me £5.99 and should last around 15 washes. 

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The potty...part 2.

After my last post on potty training, all went quiet on the potty front for a few days, we'd all been poorly(again), busy and Seb wasn't that interested, as before i didn't want to push him so let him lead.

On Thursday after lunch Seb decided he didn't want his nappy on, so i left him to it. He used the potty until bedtime, no prompting from me for him to go he just sat on when he needed to go, just lots of praise when he did use it.
On Friday he used the potty for the whole day, again i didn't prompt him, he just took himself over to it when he needed too and used it and again lots of praise from me. He did have one accident in the morning while he was busy playing but thats to be expected and i just cleaned it up and said nevermind, next time try and get to the potty.
The same over the weekend and we even got a poo on the potty which was great(you know what i mean!). Of course there have been a couple of accidents but thats to be expected.

Today Phil has been off work and it hasn't been as good, we've had more accidents then wees on the potty. I'm not sure if it has been due to Phil being at home or something else but i'm sure i'll find out tomorrow when Phil is back at work.

Once we are back on course, i'm going to try him with pants on, i think this is where it might get tricky for us, but we shall see....

Friday, 24 May 2013

Cranberry and white chocolate muffins (recipe)

Seb had a day out this week with his grandparents and i had pencilled in to do some baking while he was out as much as i love baking with him, it isn't the most relaxing experience! 
I fancied some muffins as i've not made them in forever.
 To make 12 muffins

1 egg
120ml milk
4 tablespoons veg oil
200g plain flour
100g caster sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon of salt
handful of dried cranberries
handful of white chocolate chips

Pre heat your oven to 200C
Beat the egg then add the milk and oil and stir together. Add the sugar, baking powder and salt and then add this mixture to the flour and lightly stir until mixed together. The batter should be lumpy.
Then add the cranberries and chocolate chips and stir through.
Fill your cake cases and pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes.

I didn't have any muffin cases in(i've rectified that now!) so my muffins are a little small but still yummy.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Co-sleeping

Co-sleeping has been a hot topic over the last couple of days.after reports from new research saying that bed sharing raises the risk of SIDS. (article here). Throughout yesterday there was uproar on twitter and on some facebook groups with people being both pro and against co-sleeping.

At some point all parents will have to decide if they are happy to cosleep, be it with a fussy newborn, a teething baby, a poorly toddler or simply a lifestyle choice.

I have always been pro co-sleeping; my mum did it and we did it sometimes with Seb though really he has always been such a good sleeper it was never a regular thing, more when he has been ill, in fact just last week i slept in his bed with him as he was ill and wanted cuddles, though as he is a big strong 2 and half year old i don't worry about sharing with him these days.

Alex is not the best sleeper, he ends up in our bed around 2 or 3 nights a week. Sometimes all night and other times he wakes up in the night and we put him in with us, we know he will settle in our bed and we will all get the sleep that we need and it also means he won't disturb Seb. Though i don't breastfeed Alex, he still likes to be close to us and i always think it must feel like the safest place in the world to a baby and i love having those extra cuddles and waking up to a little smiley face(or a foot in my face).
I have researched into the safest ways to share a bed with a baby in order to minimise any risks and follow them, there is some good information here.



I understand why professionals do not advise co-sleeping and nor would i slate them for doing so but i do think it is unrealistic not to expect parents not to do it. Surely would be far more helpful to advise parents that there are risks involved but if you do wish to bed share then there are ways of making it as safe as possible?

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Weaning update

Alex is really getting into the swing of weaning now. Apart from a short blip last week while teething he is doing really well. 
He is in the highchair now and it is so cute seeing him and Seb sat together and they often hold hands, although i do have to make sure Seb doesn't try and give him food. 

As i previously said i am giving him a mix of purees and finger foods and he enjoys both.He still mainly has fruit or veg but now also has snacky bits like rice cakes or carrot puffs, some breads and he has had some fish pie and also some chunks of turkey and pepper when we had a stir fry.

Today he had natural yoghurt with strawberry for breakfast, for lunch he had fingers foods including cucumber and kiwi and for dinner tonight he had brocolli and cauliflower cheese.

He loves mango and melon, particularly watermelon as you can see here in the photos.
 I've lots of purees made up in the freezer already so next week i'm going to make some healthy finger food bits that both the boys can have. I made loads when Seb was small but have been slacking recently! 

What foods did your little one love when weaning?

Monday, 20 May 2013

Messy Monday #8

It's Messy Monday time again, where i invite you all to link up your messy and sensory play posts.
 
This last week we have all been ill and Alex has been teething as well so it's been a bit of a drag to be honest and we haven't been up for doing too much playing. However on Friday i made up a sensory tub for Seb and he played with it for about 2 hours solidly! This was actually amazing as i was struggling to keep my eyes open let alone entertain him.
I half cooked some spaghetti until it started to soften and drained and left it to cool. Meanwhile i filled a tub with some coloured water, lots of foam letters that we found in the playroom(i thought they'd been binned) and then added the spaghetti and a net. Sort of like an alphabet soup. 
 At first Seb ignored the spaghetti and got out all the letters, lined them out and telling what each one was.
 Then he discovered the pasta, he scooped it up in his hands, filling the net up with it all before letting it all drop back into the tub of water.
 

 The finally of course it all had to come out of the tub. I'm glad i put a towel down on the floor!
 Such a simple and super easy to prep playtime!

  So now it's your turn to add your links below
All i ask is that you link back to my blog or display the Messy Monday badge(in my sidebar) on your post, and please try to visit the others who join in. 
If you tweet me your link @sebsmummy i will retweet too :)

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Ahoy there me hearties


When we moved into our house i couldn't wait to get the rooms sorted. We rent so decorating is out but luckily the house was newly decorated and cream walls and black carpet are pretty easy to work with! 

 I wanted a room that will easily adapt as he gets older, and figured pirates fitted the bill. There is quite alot of pirate-y decor out there at the moment but i didn't want to open a page in a catalogue and order everything matching and i am not a fan of charectery things so that ruled out quite alot of things too. 

We started off with the vinyl poster above,  we got this for Sebs first birthday party and i stored it away knowing we would use it again one day.
The bed is a basic single from Ikea, i think this is pretty much perfect for a first bed as it is low down to the floor, you can paint the bed frame and i really want too as i hate that the wood doesn't match but Phil isn't keen on the idea. The small chest of drawers were my parents, they match the wardrobe in the room and Seb loves storing random bits in them. The pirate bunting is from ebay, it covers two walls both at the head and alongside the bed.
We currently have 2 sets of bedding for the room, my favourite is the moustache print bedding and the other is black and white stripes. Both look suitably piratey with te addition of the Jolly Roger flag.
 
The blue cushion was homemade made using fabric from Laura Ashley, the Hello cushion is from Primark and the pirate was 99p from ebay!
Seb has a huge wardrobe, this was actually mine in our old flat but we got a new one so the boys inherited ours. I decided to get a pinboard for each boys room to fill with photos, artwork and souviners, it's a bit bare at the moment but it won't take long to Phil and Seb already loves looking at it.
I love these Instagram prints that i ordered, they look fab!
In the other corner of the room we have a toy area. The toybox has his train track, books and a few other bits, he has a megablocks wagon and then his soft toys are on the chair along with another cushion made from Laura Ashley fabric. The chair was a bit of a quirky find, i was orignally going to get beanbags but went to Ikea and saw this reduced to £10 and couldn't resist it. I painted a wooden skull and crossbones and stuck them onto the toybox to make it fit with the theme a bit more, i also have some wooden letters that spell out Shiver Me Timbers to paint and stick on the front.
Above the chair hangs a Japenese paper balloon jellyfish, i love this and it twirls in the breeze. 
The 2 black frames are also Ikea, the pictures inside are wallpaper. I ordered a roll from Laura Ashley(it has the same print as the cushion fabric) and cut it to size to fit the frames. I'm really pleased with how it has turned out, and we have lots of paper left over for colouring in!
And that is pretty much it! I still want to get a rug for the floor, perhaps a red circle one? As there is alot of floor space and i think it'll fill that a little.

How is your little ones room decorated?

Friday, 17 May 2013

The potty

When your child gets to a certain age(usually 18months to 2 years) people start to mention the P word to you. Yes thats right..the POTTY! Everyone seems to have their own opinions on when a child should be dry and how to do it. 

Now i used to work in a toddler room in a nursery and while i don't claim to be an expert, i did learn alot. So many parents would force the potty on their child when the child clearly wasn't ready. This generally made potty training a long drawn out process that can become frustrating for the parents and upsetting and stressful for the little one. I don't blame these parents, the pressure to potty train can come from grandparents, other parents and even websites, all saying your little one should be doing these things. 

I vowed that when i had children, i would let them do it at their own pace. I didn't want it to be 'training' as such, more a natural development when the time was right.

Seb has been able to tell me for months when he had a wet or dirty nappy, he always come to the loo with me or Phil and shouts instructions at us "knickers down mummy" and we've talked about the potty and read lots of books and he knows where the potty is.   Recently he has been taking off his nappy and not wanting one on but not wanting to use the potty or toilet either(he will sit on it for a few minutes but hold it in), kind of frustrating and not very pleasant at times(huge poo on the kitchen floor!), his newest trick this week has been to put his hand down his dirty nappy and to show me his hand, he even put his poo covered hand in his mouth earlier this week(why?!!)

Anyway this evening i took his nappy off and cleaned him then gave him his fresh nappy and pj's to put on(i am not allowed to help anymore!) while i changed Alex. He pottered around a bit in just a vest, in the way children do when trying to delay bedtime then suddenly he grabbed his potty, sat down and did a massive wee! Cue much excitement from me, telling him how clever he is, and ringing nanny(Phil was at work) so he could hear me tell her how clever he is and we took it to the toilet and waved goodbye and then i got him a biscuit for being so clever. Lots of positivity!
I coaxed him into a nappy for bed and promised that he could use the potty tomorrow if he wants. 

Watch this space....

Toblerone Cheesecake (recipe)

Last week i attempted to make my first ever cheesecake and i have to say i was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Phil requested a Toblerone cheesecake and so his wish was my command. I roughly followed a recipe from BBC Food, as it was my first go i stuck to the measurements though next time i think i would add more biscuit as i prefer a thicker base. 

150g digestive biscuits(broken down into crumbs)
50g butter(melted)
300g soft cheese(i used Philidelphia Light)
175g Toblerone(melted)
200ml whipping cream(lightly whipped)

Add the melted butter to your biscuit crumbs and mix through, then press the mixture into the base of a greased springform tin. Pop in the fridge to chill while making the topping.
Beat the soft cheese until is smooth and then fold in the cream and the melted toblerone. This looked a bit odd at first but soon changed and looked delicous.
Pour on top of the chilled crumb base and chill for at least 3 hours.
I grated some leftover Toblerone and sprinkled it over the top of mine.

The base was a little crumbly but overall it was really tasty :)
Toblerone cheesecake

What is your favourite cheesecake?

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Cleft Lip and Palate Awareness Week

This week is Cleft Lip and Palate Awareness Week
Cleft means 'split' or 'separation'. During early pregnancy separate areas of the face develop individually and then join together. If some parts do not join properly the result is a cleft, the type and severity of which can vary. The condition affects approximately 1 in every seven hundred babies born in the UK and is the most common congenital craniofacial anomaly. Taken from www.clapa.com

When i was pregnant with Seb, i joined an online group for November 2010 mummies and in that group one of the ladies Carla had a beautiful baby girl Louisa who was born with a cleft palate. Following their journey over the last 2.5 years has helped me understand more about Cleft Palate and realise that there needs to be more awareness.
Carla has kindly written about her and Louisa's journey for me to feature on here today.

I was born with a cleft palate in 1978.
When I found out I was pregnant I asked my mum a few times whether our baby would be born with one and her answer was "well u was the first in the family" so who knows.
I never really thought about it much to be honest and never once mentioned it when having my scans and nothing was ever picked up.
We found out we were expecting a baby girl due around the 23rd of Nov 2010. (Well that was from one of the scans) my dates gave me the 7th November.  We had a 4d scan done and I remember saying to Jamie my fiance that she had right chubby cheeks.
 
Well my waters broke at midnight on the 10th November and Louisa was born on the 11.11.2010 at 11.33am, weighing 5lb 14oz. We were very happy with our bundle of joy.
I tried to breast feed her but she wouldn't latch on, the midwife who delivered her had a feel in her mouth and said she had a small cleft palate.  Didn't worry us to be honest. They rang for a paediatrician to come and check which she did and we was told no she was fine keep trying to feed her. So we listened to the higher person and again attempted to breast feed. Again she wouldn't latch on so another midwife checked and again told us she had a cleft. So we got another paediatrician and she agreed!!!! Was very annoyed to be told yes then no then yes. So they contacted the local cleft team and asked them to come and see us which was going to be the next day. So Louisa had a ng tube fitted so we can feed her. She then spent her first night away from us in the hospital nursery.

The next day the lovely lady from the cleft team came to see us and gave us lots of leaflets. She also said that Louisa had something called Pierre Robin Sequence which means her bottom jaw was far back so the tongue would fall back into the hole and she could stop breathing.
We were told she would need to go to special care for a few days until we got to grips with her feeding and we were also told that she could only sleep on her side. Those few days in special care were so so hard. Leaving her in hospital when we went home was so so hard. We got prepared at home and brought a baby monitor with the sensor pad which was a god send. We were taught how to tube feed her and had to be shown what to do if she ever stopped breathing before we could take her home.
After a week we could go home under the care of the community nurses, who I must say were fantastic.  There were many a time that we would need them in the middle of the night where the little toad had pulled the tube out. We saw the cleft team every few weeks and tried her on the bottle but she was a lazy bum. 
She had an ng tube in for 10 months which was horrible as her poor little cheeks couldn't take the constant putting on and pulling off of the tape. In the end it got so bad that her cheek got infected so we pushed for her to get a tube fitted into her stomach. It was eventually decided that this would be fitted when she would have her palate repaired. This was to be done at great Ormond Street Hospital. She was due to have the operation done Sept 2011. But whilst she was on the operating table the surgeon rang us to say he couldn't do it as her mouth was too small.
So she had the tube fitted and grommets put in her ears.
The operation was then rescheduled for January 2012 and the date was Friday the 13th.
Unlucky for some but not us. Watching her be put to sleep was the hardest thing ever and it certainly doesn't get any easier.  Since the operations she amazed us she started drinking from a bottle and started eating foods.

She is now 2 years and 6 months and has no tubes.
She is a typical toddler.
We have been told if we have another child there is a chance of them having a cleft palate and or lip.

For more inforamtion or to donate visit the  Cleft Lip and Palate Association here

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