Dad Talk – The Unexpected Benefits Of Feeding Your Baby

Having five children mildly self-sufficient in the eating department (apart from one who cannot eat anything without dropping it down her clothes, at 13 I might add) with a five year gap to our youngest, I had completely forgotten the joys and perils of feeding a baby.

The weaning process is relatively straight forward as they just sit expectantly and eat whatever you give them, relatively little mess apart from those first few delightful multi coloured, smelling nappies.

The fun really starts as the touching and feeling starts and the realisation of how fun their little hands really are, the different textures and tastes that are to be explored.
Now one of Milo’s favourites and my nemesis is porridge. In the early days his mouth opens, in it goes. Occasionally it would come straight back out but harmless, not anymore it really is a full-scale operation.

It starts with:-
• Make sure we are on a hard-based flooring;
• Have distraction at the ready;
• Full bib is absolutely necessary;
• No 3 goes for me too!;
• Wet wipes at the ready.

The first few mouthfuls are fine, but then fingers start to go into the mouth mid spoonful. Distraction tactics – start the train, the plane zooming through the air, the silly facial expressions. Mrs H @allabouthurr always laughs at me as with each spoonful I open my mouth completely through habit in the hope that he will mirror the action, but I’m sure he’s just laughing along with Mummy at silly Daddy. Then as the spoon is on its way it’s like a pendulum course trying to avoid the hands to get to the mouth. He seems to be able to move at lightening speed and my reflexes just aren’t up to it. Before you know what’s happening he has a spoonful of porridge, he then proceeds to rub it in his hair via his ears, eyes and nose. Now I don’t know what it is about porridge but I am sure you could build houses with it. As soon as it makes contact, it sets like concrete aahhhh!! It also seems to multiply as soon as it touches a wet wipe and it spreads and spreads – as you can tell I love the stuff.

We have discovered that although yogurt is a big favourite Milo cannot tolerate it so by the time you are releasing him from his chair he is rather nicely giving you a lovely sick present down your back. Another feeding peril is the clap of doom where he manages to perform the perfect two handed clap with the spoon in mid-air which ends up 99% of the time with me having a face-full of yoghurt. On the plus side I hear it does wonders for your complexion. Although I can honestly say spaghetti bolognaise does not have the same effect.

His best trick at the moment is the joy of having two top and bottom front teeth, the spoon goes in and there it stays clasped between his teeth until (and I believe the genius is showing here) he picks the opportune moment and the correct amount of resistance to let go and send the contents back from whence they came. Then the cheekiest and cutest of grins spreads across his face with the look of ha got you again.

At the moment we are up to self-feeding with an array of cereals fruit and vegetables for him to discover. I love the way that he eyes mouthful after mouthful and takes it all in, chews, spits it out whilst putting the next handful straight in. I’m really not sure he ever actually eats anything.

He adores pineapple and Cheerios but once again the game continues. As soon as he sees Petal our Jack-a-poo he starts launching food at her. Most dogs are like hoovers and will consume almost any food although but she seems to draw the line at soggy Cheerios. Me on the over hand I love them as I discovered at breakfast this morning whilst drinking my cup of tea. There mid gulp as the expanded soggy mass of a cheerio hit the back of my throat I found that he also has an excellent throw and had managed to get two in my tea.

Oh the joys of feeding time. I’m off to remove my yoghurt facemask and wash the spaghetti bolognaise out of my hair whilst finishing the new protein drink of cheerio tea!

 

 

The Elf Will NOT Be On Our Shelf

Social Media is full of pictures of the mischievous things elves have been up to in households across the country but not in our house. It’s not something we have adopted as a Christmas tradition and I’m not about to begin now. Remembering things on a day-to-day basis just for life to run relatively smoothly is enough and in the run up to Christmas life can get pretty hectic, I’m just not organised enough.

I’ve seen some really impressive tricks caused by the Elves, but I always wonder, who has to clear up the mess?  In our house, that would be errrm, me!  We aren’t completely Baa Humbug though, we do have an Elf who sits quite happily on the unit (with his lady love), just watching.  The children love them, and are quite happy with Norman and Doris.

There is an enormous pressure to get Christmas just right.  The right tree, the right decorations, put up at the right time, in the right position, the right advent calendar (supermarket chocolate ones apparently are so last year), visiting the best grotto, with the best Father Christmas (garden centres just don’t make the cut), the best fresh free range turkey, the best presents (bought and wrapped by the end of November) the list just goes on.  I think most of the pressure comes from ourselves, keeping up with the Jones’ and all that jazz.  I don’t know why we do it to ourselves.

Christmas for me is shortbread, tins of chocolates, Christmas TV, board games and blankets!  It doesn’t matter whether we have a personalised plate to put goodies out for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve with a space for the carrot and mince pie.  Christmas won’t be ruined if we don’t have Christmas bedding or matching pj’s.  Our Christmas tree doesn’t have a ‘theme’ and the children decorate it with things they’ve made, it’s pure cheese!  For many people these are traditions that they follow every year and are important to them and I am not belittling their importance.  However, to some they are just an unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves to make Christmas perfect.

The simple truth is Christmas is not perfect.  There will be arguments, tantrums, massive highs from overdosing on sugar and the inevitable lows, tummy aches, headaches, laughing, crying and things that you don’t imagine possible.  On paper putting up the Christmas tree should be idyllic, but in reality it will probably be quite stressful.   This year we were treated to putting the tree up, decorating it, realising it’s too small, taking it down, putting another one up and redecorating it – twice the fun!  It’s the things that don’t go to plan that make the best memories and the stories to tell.

Whatever your traditions, they are important (but only to you!) remember that the day will come and go regardless of what you do and don’t do/buy/make.

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m A Liebster Award Nominee

“The award is a way to be discovered but also to connect and support the blogging community. A great idea in promoting your own blog and others. Originally it was given out to blogs with less than 2000 readers but this has slowly lowed as the reward has gained popularity. It is now only 200 readers or less.” – The Global Aussie

Thank you to Romina at Mini Mummi Blogger for the nomination for the Liebster Award. Romina is a first time mum to a baby boy. Currently on maternity leave she is putting her writing/publishing to good experience through her blog. Helping mummies navigate through wealth of often conflicting information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!

Random Things About Me

– I love knitting and hoarding wool;

– I like eating cake;

– I have the same Birthday as Jason Donovan;

– I have an obsession for buggies, can you ever have enough?

– I’m a morning person.

Questions from Mini Mummi

What is your favourite season, and why?

I love Autumn – The bright days and chilly evenings, lighting the fire and snuggling up with the children. The shops have chunky knits, which I love and all the clothes are warm colours. Woodland walks at the weekend and dark evenings.

Whether you blog anonymously or use your name on your blog, tell us a bit about why you chose the option you chose.

To be honest, I do a bit of both. The names are out there and I’ve used them on posts. I didn’t want to give the children numbers or nicknames because I’d get into a mess with that. I’ve used “this little dude” or “this one” sometimes if I’m talking about a photo and refer to the children are oldest or youngest. It doesn’t always work, so in those cases, I use names.

What is your blogging philosophy?

As long as I’m enjoying blogging, I’ll keep doing it.

Which established bloggers inspire you?

I follow Family Days Tried and Tested and love reading about what they’ve been up to. They’re a family with 8 children, so I can relate to what I’m reading.

Which childhood book/holiday/film/activity are you most looking forward to sharing with your kid(s)?

I went to Florida when I was 11 with my whole family and that’s also where I got married. I ‘d love to take the children there one day.

What is your favourite holiday season, and why?

I love Easter – it’s Christmas without the stress and presents. We always have a Christmas dinner with the family and there’s lots of chocolate!

My Nominees

Kathleen from Mummy to 5 Boys

Emma from Little Miss Eden Rose

Laura from Honest Motherhood

Jordan from Disorganised Harmony

Bella Louise from Documenting the Drews

Questions For The Nominees

– If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

– When do you find the time to blog?

– What’s your favourite type of cake?

– Who you gonna’ call?

– Are you a morning or night person?

What Next?

Please leave a comment here letting me know you’ve completed your acceptance post. I’d love to read your responses.

If you have any questions on accepting the Liebster Award Global Aussie is a fantastic resource on steps to follow. You also need to make sure you comment on that post letting them know you’ve been nominated.

Thanks again to Romina Mini Mummi Blogger for the nomination, it’s lovely to know that someone is actually reading what you’re writing.

Rebecca – All About Hurr

The Preparation Has Begun!

It was around this time last year that I had just finished our Christmas shopping.  Lets be clear this was only because of the timing of the arrival of #6, there was no way I was going to be worrying about Christmas presents after having a baby.  I wanted to be at home, snuggled with my new addition so I got my bum in gear and by the end of October everything was wrapped and ready!

I don’t think for a minute that I am going to be that organised again this year, as I don’t have the same drive (or finances!) but I have to admit that I am feeling quite smug after a shopping trip today.

My eldest has a massive make-up addiction and is contantly showing me new products that she just must have!  Now I blame myself for her expensive taste as I told her right from the begining of her new found love never to buy cheap make-up, always buy a good quality products that are kind to your skin.  My mum used to work as a make-up consultant for Estee Lauder when she was younger so she taught me the value of good quality make-up and I felt that this was worth passing on!  Financially I don’t think I thought this through.

As the mum of 3 girls, this could potentially be very expensive.   Ok, my younger 2 aren’t old enough to worry about make-up other than a little bit of tinted lip balm but my eldest is completely obsessed with all the high end brands and last year she discovered Cosmetic Advent Calenders. We were however a bit late to the party and everywhere had sold out, so this year I’m on it.

They range from the quite reasonable £15 to the totally ridiculous £300 and beyond. It seems everyone is jumping on the wagon now with M & S offering a make-up and skin care calendar for £35 (available from 9th Nov), John Lewis have one which contains both full and travel sized products for £149 (available now), Charlotte Tilbury offers one for £150 (available in stores from 5th Oct) and Jo Malone has one (exclusive to Harrods from Nov) for £300.

Some of the best ones I’ve found have to be the Benefit calendar (exclusive to Debenhams) for £34.50 (available from 11th Nov) and my favourite Decleor which offer 3 full sized products inside for £65 (available now).

 

My oldest daughter would love any of these but the main problem I have (aside from the price!) is that half the products in them she wouldn’t need. Anti-wrinkle cream for a 13 year old? Night cream? And they’re not suitable for my younger girls.

But, I found this lovely calendar in Superdrug, which is perfect for younger girls. It’s has 6 mini lip glosses, 6 mini nail polishes, 6 mini eye shadows and 6 lip and cheek tints, and it’s on offer (as at 24/09/17) for £8 instead of £16! Perfect, it’s not massively expensive, doesn’t have inappropriate make-up in and they will feel “all grown up” for having make-up.

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For my older daughter, I’m going to make my own calendar for her, that way I know she is getting the products she will actually use/want and it (hopefully) won’t cost the earth. I’m going to be cheeky and ask at make-up counters for any testers and put in make-up remover, blenders and cotton wool pads – A win, I think!

 

Buried In Clothes

One thing about having a large family is the amount of clothing that we have floating around. Not just waiting to be washed or put away but also clothes that children have grown out of.

I find doing the washing really satisfying and am quite organised, but tend to shuffle piles of clean washing around for a few days before actually putting it away. I start with good intentions. I get up and sort the clothes on my bed ready to put away and then seem to forget all about them! They’re still there when I go to get in bed, I move them back on to the floor and repeat this for a few days usually until someone asks for a clean school t-shirt!

It’s the clothes that the children have grown out of that is the problem.  It’s a full time job keeping their wardrobes sorted out.  Children grow so quickly out of clothes, nothing seems to get worn so the clothes are still in great condition.  I keep anything that can be used again for younger children, and that’s a lot of clothes!

We are drowning in clothes; we have bin bags in the garage, piles of clothes in the bottom of wardrobes, bags of clothes that we have no one to grow into, clothes which I have no use for but just can’t bring myself to part with and clothes that I’m going to be creative with and turn into something else!

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So now I’m on a mission to completely cull the clothes in our house. I am going to donate, sell and re-home anything that isn’t being worn. I’ve put some of the designer clothes on Ebay to make a little bit of money (to buy more!) and this is great, if you can be bothered to package and post the clothes.  Car boots are great as well but I find that I buy just as much as I sell and the weather’s not that great at the moment.

Having a good clear out is very therapeutic and it’s always great to clear a bit of space with an ever expanding family isn’t it.  What do you do with clothes that your children have outgrown?

It’s Ok To Have A “Meh” Day

We've all had one of these days haven't we? It's a lovely sunny day outside and your life is skipping along quite nicely, no dramas, you've nothing major to complain about yet you feel like you got caught in the rain (usually on the school run!) and you're soaked through to your knickers.

You don't want to get out of bed. You don't want to tidy up (again). You don't want to cook tea. You don't want to move off the sofa. You don't want to make polite conversation. Sometime life and all it's hectic day to day 'things' makes you feel a bit off. These are the days when we should be kind to ourselves and prioritise what's important for that day. It's ok to not hoover or dust and this is why we have fishfingers and chips in the freezer.

There's much more awareness today about mental health and depression. I have suffered with post-natal depression so I'm well aware of how it can make you feel and am always very conscious of my mental wellbeing. There is a difference between "meh" days and "meh" weeks or months.

Getting out of the house to walk the dog or to do the school run can actually make you feel better. Having something to occupy you can change the day. The benefits of being active and in the fresh air have been widely reported. Sometimes you just need to indulge the 'meh' day and give in, be kind to yourself and do as little as is possible. Tomorrow is another day where you'll feel differently and unfortunately, unless you have a fairy godmother, all your household chores will still be there!

The best medicine I think, a cup of tea and gossip with your friends (even better if there's cake) because there's no one in this world that hasn't had a "meh" day!

My Lucky #6

This little fella amazes me, I know every mother thinks and says the same of their baby but seriously, he does!  He is the baby I never thought I’d have after a devestating ectopic pregnancy, and who I  look at everday and am so grateful he is here and healthy.

My pregnancy, like all the others was text book.  I suffered morning sickness for months and never really felt the “glow” but actually out of all my pregnancies this was the most enjoyable.  The days and week flew by and some days we were so busy I almost forgot I was pregnant.   I didn’t have a huge bump and actually enjoyed being pregnant for the first time.

With all my other pregnancies I reached the lovely stage of eating everything, especially anything sweet but with #6, nope I couldn’t eat anything sweet and actually towards the end of the pregnancy I was actually losing weight because I had lost all appetite.

At 32 weeks I was diagnosed with Obstetric Cholestasis (ICP).  Normally, bile acids flow from your liver to your gut to help you digest food.   In ICP, the bile acids don’t flow properly and build up in your body instead.  This put me at a high risk for stillbirth, premature labour and turning yellow!  I also had too much fluid around the baby (Polyhydramnios) which put me at a higher risk of premature labour and a prolapsed umbilical cord.  I was put on medication, vitamin K tablets and cream to ease the itching, had blood tests and monitoring twice a week for the next 4 weeks and was then induced.   The labour was quick (35 mins) just like with the others but unfortunately the placenta didn’t come away and I haemorrhaged, losing just under 2 litres of blood.  I was rushed into surgery and unbeknown to me Milo was taken to NICU because he was having trouble breathing.  I didn’t see or hold him until the following day.

We had the most amazing midwife who took photos of those first precious moments that I missed and I’ll be eternally grateful to her for that – and for the liquid morphine!

Obviously this wasn’t something we had thought was going to happen as all my other labours were quick, straightforward and we were straight home again.  Both me and Milo were very lucky to be alive.  For the next 9 weeks Mr H looked after me and all our 6 children, he was amazing.  I never thought that I could love him anymore, but honestly he was my superman (sorry, a bit gooey).

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Milo was small and fragile and over the following weeks he developed chest, throat and lung infections one after another, and we were back and forth to the hospital.   But today, he is a healthy, happy and unbelievably loved little man; I cannot put into words how much he is loved by his older brothers and sisters.  Seeing the way they are with him really is the most amazing reward as a mother.

My liver has returned to normal and my blood levels are slowly improving.

So you see, Milo really is my lucky #6 .  When I look at him not only do I see a gorgeous baby boy (who I was convinced was a girl all through the pregnancy) who I am so grateful is here and healthy.  But I also feel unbelievable pride in how my older children adore him, I feel an overwhelming love for the most amazing man who really was the glue who held us all together, my superman, and I am reminded that I am incredibly lucky to be here.