When it’s cold and wet outside there’s nothing better than coming back to a nice home cooked meal.
When I’m at uni I tend to cheat with dinners and cook whatever is easiest straight from the freezer. I get home quite late and after six hours of lectures the last thing I feel like doing is spending ages cooking. So when I’m not at uni I try and make a bit more effort.
Last nights dinner – for Rob. I had a veggie option – was cottage pie. Cottage pie is a brilliant way to get extra vegetables into a meal. You can mix mashed parsnip in with the mashed potatoes and can put all sorts of vegetables in with the meat. If you chop them up small enough little mouthes won’t even realise.
Rob had his with green beans and spicy jalapeño and beef nacho bites – obviously you would not give those to a little person. They’d burn their little mouth. But otherwise a perfect meal for my titchy princess. She has four little ones frozen in the freezer for other nights.
Tomorrow Amelia is 7 months old. My tiny little baby – who went down to just over 5lbs after being poorly – is 7 months old!
So what has changed?
Then she was in micro nappies – the size below size 1 that are made specifically for premature babies. Now she is in size 3s.
Then she was in tiny baby clothes with the sleeves rolled up. Now she is 6-9 months and her legs are long enough that they are not going to fit much longer.
Then she was only drinking milk. Now, as I write this, she’s eating a carrot puff from Aldi. She has porridge for breakfast and a little meal with a pudding for lunch and dinner. Her favourites at the moment are rice crispies, banana porridge, Ella’s kitchen strawberry and banana puffs and cottage pie.
Then she couldn’t keep her eyes open. Now she can sit, bum shuffle, stand if holding something, giggle and say ‘dada’.
Then she was in hospital, very poorly, with four hourly blood tests and photo therapy. Now she has been discharged and just has to be weighed every 3 weeks, more often than other babies her age because of the initial struggles.
In the cot in the hospital at 2 weeks old
Watching her grow every day is so much fun. She’s such a smiley, happy baby and every time we go shopping someone says how beautiful she is.
Look at this little cheeky face. Below are just a few of things I want to do with her in the lead up to Christmas
I can’t wait to take Amelia shopping in Canterbury. I go to university there and the Christmas lights are beautiful. Over the weekend the little Christmas huts have been set up amongst the shops, selling a variety of home made gifts, food and drinks and a variety of Christmas decorations. The hot donuts stall had a queue of people and the fudge and chocolate stall had equally as many perusers when I walked by yesterday.
Newnham Court Shopping Village
Notcuts is home to one of the most beautiful Christmas decoration department stores. They stock everything from personalised cards to six foot snowman sculptures. We took Amelia a couple of weeks ago and she was mesmerised by all of the twinkly lights and sparkly decorations. They also have a wonderful gift section, with an array of hampers and chocolates.
Chatham Dockside Christmas Market
This is not somewhere we have visited yet but the Facebook page has sold it to me. Much like the style of the huts in Canterbury, this market comprises of a number of stalls in german style wooden huts. One of the stalls that particularly caught my eye was an image of a food merchant making Yorkshire pudding wraps – a roast dinner wrapped in a giant Yorkshire pudding. As a vegetarian this is probably not for me but I’m sure all the meat eaters out there would love this.
As it is Amelia’s first Christmas we have to take her to meet Santa. He can be seen at a range of venues throughout December, including Maidstone town centre, Notcuts and Canterbury high street to name a few.
Wingham Wildlife Park
Also in Canterbury, wingham wildlife park is one my favourite family days out. In the run up to Christmas I would imagine it will be particularly popular as it houses penguins. I have been several times before and can not wait to take Amelia to see my favourite animal. Penguins are featured in everything at Christmas – I even found penguin gingerbread men in Morrisons.
All the shops and markets are free entry. The Santa’s grottos begin at £3 and increase in price depending on location. Wingham wildlife park is £17 per adult and £14 per child, under 2’s go free.
With Christmas just over four weeks away I think I have brought most things. Everyone’s presents are either here and wrapped or on order. We’ve brought all our Christmas decorations – most of them from Tesco – although we aren’t putting them up until the 1st of December. (I confess the only reason they are still in boxes is because Robs birthday is end of November and I don’t want to put them up before his birthday.)
I keep picking up bits for Amelia. The latest Christmas item is a hair bow which I ordered from ‘ribbon and bows.’ a lovely company on Facebook and Instagram.
We’ve wrapped all of Amelia’s presents and put them in her Santa sack and stocking. She also has a Christmas Eve box with a pair of pyjamas, a Christmas book, a Christmas dvd and some Christmas chocolates.
These days people are so quick to wish their lives away; can’t wait for the weekend, can’t wait to finish school, can’t wait for my holiday, can’t wait for my baby to sleep through the night.
The Earth has been here for more years than any of us can begin to fathom. We are here for so little time in comparison.
I am making a conscious effort not to wish Amelia’s childhood away. Every time she wakes in the night I don’t think of it as an annoyance or an inconvenience. It’s what baby’s do. Instead I let her snuggle into bed next to me and am grateful that I am that comfort for her.
Every time she smiles I treasure it, equally when she cries I love cuddling her to make it better.
My titchy princess is growing up so quickly already. She’s sitting, eating proper food, trying to crawl, jumping in her jumperoo. As I write this she is asleep on my lap.
So take the time to cuddle them a bit longer, give them that attention they are craving. Because they won’t be small forever.
There is a lovely blogger named Amy that I encountered on twitter (@blogsbyamy_). Amy is a fashion and beauty blogger and if you’d like to read her blog you can find it here. She has recently put together self care packages and I received mine yesterday morning.
The package was so cute, arriving in a pink postal bag with a yellow label. Inside there was a note addressed to me and a little list of the items inside.
There were three beautiful quotes printed on photo paper which I can’t wait to frame; 2 wax melts (I don’t have a wax burner at the moment but this gives me the perfect excuse to purchase one); a teabag to take a little break and have a relaxing drink; a pack of love heart sweets and a garnier face mask.
The items are so thoughtful, everything you need for a little pamper evening. I can’t wait to have a sit down with a lovely cup of tea, the gorgeous smell of the wax melts and a face mask on. The wax melts were bubble wrapped to ensure they reached me whole and the business card she included had the most gorgeous pink glitter back. All in all a lovely service and a wonderful product.
This week we welcome Jo, author of Midland Mummy
1. Going for a walk
I often take my little baby boy for a walk in his pram when I’m feeling a bit low, it gets us both out of the house, sometimes it’s a walk to my local lake to feed the ducks and have a look around or even just a walk around the supermarket, it’s just lovely to have some fresh air.
2. Treat yourself
I often try to treat myself, even if it’s just a little bar of my favourite chocolate or a magazine, nothing too expensive but it’s something that’s just for me and something to look forward to having.
3. Make time for yourself
As a new mum, I find it very hard to get any time to myself as with breastfeeding my little baby boy, he gets his milk from me but it’s getting easier now he’s weaning, but I always make sure my husband takes him,even if it’s just for 30-45 mins each day, it allows me to go have a shower, check my emails and just have a bit of time for me, to stop being mummy for that time.
4. Talk to someone
Sometimes especially recently, I can find myself in the house with the baby and although he’s very cute,I can’t have a conversation with him yet, so I often find a phone call or using FaceTime to speak to someone, be it a friend or my mum just allows me to speak about my day, I suffer with anxiety and I find that speaking about what is worrying me, can often help.
I love baking, I’m not the best baker in the world (Mary berry is safe) but I love making cakes and trying new recipes out, especially since my little baby is choosing to baby led wean. Finding healthy recipes for him and watching him explore is great , but I find dancing around the kitchen with my wooden spoon highly therapeutic, plus he thinks mummy’s dancing is hilarious !
I have been vegetarian for nearly eight years. For the first year I ate fish and on a couple of occasions during my pregnancy I ate mackerel – I craved it and anyone who has been pregnant or has interacted with a pregnant woman knows cravings are not to be messed with.
As Amelia gets older we are asked increasingly often whether we will raise her on a vegetarian or meat based diet. Rob, the dad she adores and my other half , is most definitely not vegetarian. Yesterday morning was a perfect testament to this as I made him not one but two bacon sandwiches for breakfast.
Rob lets me decide most things related to Amelia as he believes I know the most about babies out of the two of us. Vegetarianism and babies is a very unpopular topic. I have been told numerous times by people that obviously don’t know much about a healthy diet that not allowing her to eat meat would make her extremely poorly. However my midwife made it very clear to me throughout my pregnancy that being vegetarian was perfectly healthy for me and baby provided I ate a balanced diet. She even said that changing my diet to include lots of meat just because I was pregnant was not advisable; it was likely to make me sick and my body just wouldn’t know what to do with it. So anyone who tells me it is not healthy for Amelia would be very wrong.
That said I am not going to stop her eating meat. Her dad does not eat meat everyday as I will not cook it everyday so she will have it when ever he does. If she decides she’d rather eat what I am eating then she is welcome to that too. She’s a little person and is welcome to chose whichever version of the meal that she’d prefer.
Last night I made a vegetarian tagine using a wonderful meal kit from Marks and Spencers. Instead of using chicken I used quorn chicken fillets and rob was quite happy with that.
This idea that we must eat meat with every meal is a bit silly. It’s expensive, often full of unnecessary amounts of fat and is very limiting. There are so many meat free foods to try. Why limit yourself to the traditional meat and two veg type dinner when you could try so many other things?
I know everyone’s now planning for Christmas but for our little family with our perfect titchy princess there is another event at the end of the month…
We’ve never been big on celebrating Halloween in my family but once you have a baby everything is more exciting.
Amelia’s five months old now and I love an excuse to spoil her. I made her up a little Halloween bag. It contains:
1- a Halloween bib from Sainsbury’s
2 – a pumpkin vest from pep and co
3 – a little book I found in our local charity shop
(Amelia’s daddy also has a Halloween goody bag but we can’t write about it yet as he is probably going to read this)
As much as I like the look of all the fancy costumes, Amelia just doesn’t need them. She will look adorable in her little orange pumpkin vest and it will be a lovely keepsake. When she’s old enough to go trick or treating, then we will go all out with a full costume.
For a little Halloween treat for older babies and adults too I found these fun limited edition muller corner yoghurts, strawberry flavour with chocolate biscuit skulls
What are you doing to celebrate Halloween this year?
Doing the simplest of daily tasks with a little one is difficult. Amelia is five months old now and if she is in a particularly clingy mood then I can’t even go to the bathroom without carrying the little pickle with me.
And I can forget showering or bathing alone. Amelia’s bouncy chair now lives in the bathroom so that she can sit and talk to me whilst I’m in the shower. For some reason turning on the water is really entertaining and she will giggle until I turn the taps off.
Aside from being Amelia’s mummy, I am also back at uni full time, I return to my part time job in February and I am currently doing my best to maintain my blog. As I write this Amelia is bouncing in her jumperoo, mesmerised by the birds that are dangling from it. To keep up with my coursework and to post regularly I just make the most of the time that Amelia is occupied. Nap time is housework time and then if she’s still asleep I get my laptop out.