This week I have mainly been…. contemplating selling middle on Ebay to recoup the money he has cost me with his YouTube obsession!

I hosted a Halloween party for twenty-eight adults and kids on Monday evening. I’m not quite sure how this happened as it was my sister’s turn (I did it last year). I had all three kids on the day in question as it’s half term. Baby had also been up most of the night screaming and I was shattered. I knew I had to somehow find the time and energy to clean my house, make a chilli and, keep them all alive. At 9 am, I got to work cutting all the ingredients for the chilli. Two minutes later I turn around to observe that middle has taken off his pj’s, is brandishing a plastic sword and yelling “I be a crazy boy!” all over the place. The day was obviously starting as it meant to go on.

Baby proceeded to cry all morning whilst I tried desperately to complete my to-do list. I would clean one room only to re-enter a while later and realise that eldest and middle had trashed it again. By 2 pm I was losing the will to live and my sanity. I finally got baby and middle over for a nap, handed eldest his Nintendo DS and, was able to get stuck in. I had all the decorations done at the weekend (to make things easier) but hubby kept going on about putting colour changing light bulbs in the hall. I had no idea what he was going on about until I switched on the lights and realised he had them set to red and my house now resembled the red light district in Amsterdam. Not only this but, the front door has windows all around it . Welcome to a brothel kiddies!

The hordes arrived at 6:30 pm. I got so overwhelmed with all the cooking, I forgot to put the cocktail sausages on, of which I’d bought 70 of! Considering this is the main thing kids want at a party, utter fail on my behalf. Crisis amended, everyone fed and watered and, the men away with the kids trick or treating, I rewarded myself with a few glasses of wine! This was the first time all evening I had been able to sit down and actually talk to anyone. A few hours later and everyone was away and the kids asleep. The house got wrecked of course. Why do us women feel the need to clean hysterically when people are coming round when we know we will just have to do it all over again when they leave? Baffling. The following day had to be better surely?

Well, upon checking my bank balance on a whim that morning, I was confronted with the fact that I was now £108 overdrawn. What?!! After some investigating, I discovered that it was Vodafone who had emptied my remaining funds. “This must be a mistake!” I kept repeating to eldest. “My bill is only £23 a month usually”. So I called them and, a mistake it was not. Middle had managed to rack up £83 in additional data charges during the period 23rd September to 1st October!!!! Considering I have 4gb of data included in my monthly allowance, this is some kind of epic achievement. Our broadband had gone off for three days during ‘the storm’ that week but, how he managed that extortionate amount is beyond me. The guy at Vodafone was very sympathetic as I had an utter nervous breakdown at the realisation it wasn’t a colossal mistake on their part. He advised that they couldn’t do anything as it had been paid by my bank but, he would give me an additional 5gb of data a month for free, until the end of my contract. My kind friend also advised that he would put a block on the data so I could never go over it (they should do this as standard surely?). ‘Shout out to middle who has cost me £108 in data charges watching YouTube’ I raged on Instagram. My dad then comments under it ‘I remember my eldest girl doing the exact same thing’. Oh dear. Why yes, I did do this. I once ran up a £120 phone bill at his house voting for Brian Dowling to win Big Brother. I mean, I don’t understand what his problem was. That was obviously a legitimate cause and not a cost acquired from watching f#cking baby shark and daddy finger. Why are these kid’s so like me?? I need to think carefully about what else I’ve done and be prepared for the karma to hit me square in the face. The karma, it just keeps on coming 🙁

** I have ended up spending all day in hospital with baby due to his breathing. Not even hand, foot and mouth related. Wheezing and very laboured breathing. After five hours, nebuliser’s and steroids, they finally got it under control. What a week (as always)**

Welcome to the new Amsterdam, right in the heart of Greenisland

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!

 

 

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