Sowing the Seed for Imaginative Play with The Field!

Baby is all about farm’s and farm animal’s at the moment. His favourite book is ‘Moo Moo’ and every night, at bedtime, he demands that I read it to him numerous times. I don’t even have to read the actual words now as his obsession has lead to me knowing them by heart. So I was very excited when Irish company, The Field, approached me to review one of their products.

The Field promises to spark your child’s imagination by encouraging imaginative play. The possibilities are endless. Create a farm scene, check! Create your own football pitch with some Lego figures, check! I had an inkling that middle and baby would love it. Middle loves to create elaborate scenes with his teddies and toys and comfortably creates different scenarios, nattering away to himself as he does so. Baby is most content at the minute when throwing multiple objects, mainly at me but, I knew the moment he saw all the farm animal figures, he would associate it with his book. Eldest I wasn’t sure about as he doesn’t often partake in imaginative play. Something that has worried me off and on. He much prefers logical play- building with Lego and creating large marble runs that take over any space we have left in the living room (sigh). Standing on multiple marbles is worse than Lego, I can assure you! Why are both everywhere in my house? Arrgggh!

The boy’s have played with the toy for over a week now and it has surprised me how well they not only interacted with it but, calmly played together. Even if baby keeps taking the farm animals off them! Eldest has actually played with it the most which has greatly reassured me after his P1 report showed he isn’t overly creative (I said that didn’t I?). Baby has thoroughly enjoyed placing some Lego men on it and playing away, as has middle. I’m loving the change from them wrestling the daylights out of each other on the trampoline. Peace at last!

You can purchase The Field at: https://www.thefield.ie/ and prices range from £27.00 (24.99 Euros) and upwards.

Baby having fun with The Field and some Lego
Even cousin had a play with it

Remembering Our Furry Friends Amidst The Madness

It’s no secret that the boys provide me with endless material. Their weekly antics are usually enough to fill multiple pages, let alone one. But, not only I am mum to three, boisterous boys, I am the proud owner of the only other female in my life- Mad Molly (as one groomer named her- whoops!). Molly was there long before the boy’s and, even long before the husband. That little white, ball of fluff has been present during all the monumental stages in my life. Through breakups, makeups and breakdowns. I can’t even detail all the occasions she has lay on my lap whilst I sobbed into her hair and offloaded all my woes. It was me and her against the world.

Then, eldest arrived. Nothing much changed, albeit I had less time. She got walked the same amount as before and, doted on even more so. From the second we arrived home with our blue, bundle of joy, Molly was in love. She adored him and, as he grew, the feeling was mutual. Then something happened. That something was the walking madman that is middle! He didn’t respect her space, despite repeated telling off’s. He mounted her daily screaming “giddy up MoMo!”. In the end, Molly became wary of him and, rightly so. Now she also has a baby to contend with who loves nothing more than tipping her water bowl over his head. The dog deserves a Victoria Cross for patience alone.

Whilst becoming increasingly exasperated, I stumbled across a series of books. Zara DogDog promises to teach children how to act around dogs and, read their body language. Middle loves books at the minute (Peppa and Paw Patrol one’s mainly) but, he became completely absorbed in the story. He also loved the illustrations and we had lots of fun pointing out the dog on every page. I read this to him three nights in a row and there was a marked change in his behaviour around the dog. It was almost like he suddenly respected her, in as much as middle respects anything. These two pages resonated with me, as a mum:

When I’m not running late in the mornings, Molly usually accompanies us on the school run. Kid’s are drawn to her. As a West Highland, she shouldn’t have floppy ears but does. She is an adult puppy essentially.  Kids can’t tell nor, understand that she is thirteen and doesn’t like certain things. They swarm around her and dispense a multitude of affection, of which she can tolerate in small doses. This book (one of a series) will make your children stop and think before approaching a dog and realise that they have their own boundaries and feelings too. There is no better lesson in life than to respect our non-verbal family members. You can purchase the book I reviewed here: https://www.zaradogdog.com/. Not only this but, you can also register for their club and receive tips to help both you and your children going forward. It’s so easy to become submerged in daily kid’s shenanigans and forget how much our furry friends are dealing with. We love you to the moon and back doggies!

Poor Mad Molly!

Leading Baby to Taste Sensations with Baby Led Spreads.

You might not know this but, in July, I became a MyBump2Baby favourite blogger, whoop! Because of this, every month they send me an email advising of new products that are out there. BabyLed Spreads was mentioned in their last email. I’ve never contacted a company before but, in this case, I felt I had to. I was intrigued. There’s nothing worse than forcing full jars into babies when they obviously don’t like it. There is also nothing worse than having to slog over doing that. With baby I have been doing jars, homemade blended things and, bit’s of food I know he won’t choke on. He is my third so, I am mega relaxed about trying a bit of everything with him and figuring out what works best for us both. The main reason being, I in no way want him to be as fussy as eldest! I had the same attitude when weaning middle and he will eat everything under the sun, notably my dinner after he has eaten his.

The first thing that struck me, when my neighbour brought these over, was how beautifully packaged they were. Steve Job’s has made us all think aesthetically. It was so exciting even opening the package and observing all the lovely flavoured jars inside. So, the question is, was baby led?

I know he loves pasta, he is his mum’s son after all! So, I decided to use the sweet potato and red lentil jar with some pasta. I cooked it all up on the hob, added some water and blended. He went nuts for it!! I can’t even lie here and pretend I didn’t eat some when feeding him. It was so lovely! I actually wonder will they make huge jars for adults. Please?

There are so many beautiful flavours contained within this pack:

Green pea, rocket and dill and, spicy chickpea and pumpkin to name a few. Baby especially loved the spicy chickpea one on some Crackerbread. This is a much cheaper alternative to buying those branded flavoured snacks. These jars are also 100% natural and, I double checked the ingredients to ascertain this which, I’ve learnt, you always have to do. It’s always a plus when you are saving some money doing the family shop. Middle was also able to eat these on some toast, which I found to be a huge bonus. He also kept stealing the Crackerbread of baby, so it must have been nice. Eldest wouldn’t even venture to try any. But, one can hope that in the future he will pluck up the courage. He did say he hated fillet steak until he tried it, then, was demanding steak every night for dinner! Yeah, nice try son.

BabyLed spreads retail at £6.50 per 9x jar packs. You can also buy bigger packs and, dairy and non dairy ones also. Check out their website here: https://www.babyledspreads.co.uk/ and be prepared to introduce your little one to some new tastes and, ones that will stand them in good stead going forward. Ain’t nobody got time for fussy eaters- trust me!

 

 

Becoming the next Bradley Wiggins with Biky Biky!

My track record with cycling is not good. I can sum it up quite simply by saying that, when I was nine, I decided it would be a great idea to cycle around our street, close my eyes, take my hands off the handlebars and see what would happen. What happened was that I hit the nearest kerb, flew into the air and rather badly damaged myself. What did I expect would occur? Luckily, eldest doesn’t appear to have inherited my complete lack of brain cells and utter recklessness when it comes to cycling. At least not yet anyway!

Myself and hubby have been debating taking his stabilisers off for a while now. Mainly I have been too afraid to but, hubby has been all for giving it a go. It’s a huge milestone getting your stabilisers off, isn’t it? I equate this to him not being a little boy anymore. Coupled with him starting school in September and, I am an emotional wreck! The other day I succumbed, however, mainly because the lovely people at Biky Biky sent us this rather nifty safety jacket:

I loved the sheer simplicity of this product the moment I set eyes on it. Why didn’t I think of this? Essentially, it is a jacket with a handle on the back that you use in conjunction with removing their stabilisers. You put it on your child and, you can walk behind them holding the handle and ensuring they stay balanced. It also saves you hunching behind them, walking like some kind of eighty year old, whilst you attempt to keep them upright. In the case of near crashes, you can also pull them up and off the bike in one swift swoop. The jacket comes in four different colours (blue, pink, green and purple). They are safety tested to hold up to seven and a half stone and, they are machine washable. Anything machine washable with all these boys gets a high five from me!

Eldest became quite enamoured with the jacket the moment we put it on him. He is so fussy with any kind of clothing so, this was a huge plus. He said it was comfortable and he liked how brightly coloured it was. Hubby took his stabilisers off and away we went out the front for a trial run. Middle joined us and, randomly wanted to bring the ride on he had when he was one. Although shaky at the beginning, eldest picked it up relatively quickly. It was so easy to hold onto him with the jacket on and, more importantly, in a way that was comfortable for us both. As we were cycling outside our house, on the footpath, I liked how the brightly coloured jacket alerted neighbours to his presence. Check out this video for how we got on: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmMBbVaHR9y/?taken-by=youandmeplusthreex

I would highly recommend these for both would be learners and would be trainers. Biky Biky vests retail at £24.95 and you can find them on their website here: http://www.bikybiky.uk. Good luck to you and your little one on their road to independence!

He did it!!!

Cooking Up A Storm With Annabel Karmel

Prepping our cocktail sausage casserole.

I’m going to level with you all. I am not the greatest of cooks. Infact, I would even go as far to say that hubby is much better when it comes to the cooking in this house. It’s not that I don’t try because, I really do. I just don’t appear to be that successful at it. But I was a little bit excited when the guys from Bluebird Books sent me Annabel Karmel’s new kid’s cookbook- Real Food Kids Will Love. I don’t know if you are familiar with Annabel and her work but, if you aren’t, you better get acquainted and fast! Annabel is a cookbook author, focusing exclusively on meals for babies, toddler’s and families alike. Not only does she have all these things under her belt but, she also has an MBE. A huge seal of approval if there ever was one! I have tried a few of her recipes now and, despite my lack of cooking prowess, find them easy to follow (so they must be easy!).

When we received our new cooking bible, we sat down as a family and went through all the recipes. Eldest and middle loved looking at all the bright, scrumptious pictures contained within the pages. I asked them which recipe sounded the yummiest. Eldest quickly responded ” the cocktail sausage casserole. Because, we like the chicken one and, cocktail sausages are mine and Owen’s favourite”. It was a done deal. Off we went to Tesco’s, ingredient list in hand. The boy’s picked all the stuff we would need themselves- onions, peppers, garlic and carrots. I mean, they got distracted by the weighing and sticker machine multiple times but, we got there eventually. We then went home and I put the cocktail sausages in the oven.  We pulled some chairs up to the kitchen counter and they observed as I began chopping our newly acquired, colourful veggies. This completed, we added them and, some tinned tomatoes into a pot, then took it in turns (amidst them fighting over whose turn it was) to stir. When the cocktail sausages were done, we placed them in our mixture and I transferred it over to the slow cooker. The slow cooker part I did of my own accord. Mainly because I find it so much easier focusing on one cooking aspect at a time, come dinnertime. As a woman, I should definitely be better at multi-tasking. Maybe they run courses on that or something?

Hubby arrived home at six and we set about trying something new as a family. To say it was a hit would be an understatement. I have never witnessed eldest eat so many varied ingredients. If you knew how fussy he was, you’d realise that Mrs Karmel deserves more than an MBE! I think it helped that he had not only chosen what he wanted to make but, prepped it also. The fact it contained their favourite thing on earth (cocktail sausages) helped matters too. What kid doesn’t love them? I cannot wait to try some of the other recipes and, sooner rather than later. It will just be difficult picking which ones as they all sound to die for. Look at this fab idea for Christmas even :

How cute!

*Real Food Kids Will Love is out on the 28th June and retails at £16.99.

Weaning The Wee Un

This week I decided it was time to fully commit to weaning baby. It’s funny how, no matter how many babies you’ve had, you forget all these little stages. Mainly, I had forgotten about the huge mess and the next day nappies. What have I done?

With eldest, I began weaning him at four months (those were the guidelines four years ago). Middle was weaned at the same time, despite the guidelines having changed to say six months.  This was mainly due to the fact he had awful reflux from birth and would consume milk only for it to erupt back up again from the depths of his stomach. Usually, over myself and him. I would spend most days changing both our clothes six times a day and, that was on a good day! Although baby does not have the dreaded reflux, he is a major gorb. The bottles just aren’t cutting it any longer. I also feel it’s important to introduce different textures and tastes, even just little bits, so they get used to them and don’t become fussy eaters. All you can do is try after all.

I would lovingly spend hours boiling various vegetables and fruit and mashing them up with the firstborn. Not that he ever ate my creations, mind you! I won’t take this too personal however as, he is now four and, still a nightmare when it comes to food. With middle, I just didn’t have the time nor the energy and had obviously learnt a valuable lesson with eldest. This is why I decided I would stick to jars to see how he fared. I was fortunate in that he loved most of them. He also wasn’t on them very long before we were introducing proper food. With baby, I have decided to do a mixture of both, by way of a compromise. The lovely guy’s at Baby Wings (https://www.babywings.co/) kindly sent me their nifty little Mash ‘n’ Stash weaning pots. I’ve found these fantastic! I can make up batches of pureed food for baby, freeze them, defrost some, pop them out, and heat. I cannot tell you enough how time-saving they are proving. As a mum of three boys, I live my life surrounded by mini men and one fully fledged one. When they want to be fed, they want to be fed and, baby is no exception. The pots also come with a few simple recipes to get you started. Great if this is your first time having to do this and you are struggling for some kind of inspiration! Baby has loved everything I have made this week and that is a great sign going forward. He is a natural! Though that’s my shopping tripled in price each week now.

Check out Baby Wings Amazon store, as I did, to see some of the other handy items they sell. Us mum’s need all the help we can get when it comes to making life that little bit easier and Baby Wings seem to get this:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?marketplaceID=A1F83G8C2ARO7P&me=A7L8SL7GPEEML&merchant=A7L8SL7GPEEML&redirect=true

Loving his grub! Help from middle also