Tuesday, 27 May 2014

dear fergus

hello wee guy! you are 18 months and 3 weeks old and have become the most charismatic and cute little person! you say daddy, mama, poppy and lily with such clarity and sing us songs and give us amazing hugs and blow us kisses... your big white teeth are really coming in and you smile with an intensity and so freely that it's hard not to smile back. at bedtime you ask to go 'upstairs', you say 'grandpa', 'up', 'please', 'more', 'eat', 'car' and 'duck duck'. when you dance you press one ear to your shoulder and spin around. and when you get mad you are so hard to console, you feel things so wholeheartedly. and that's okay because that is who you are; you are sensitive and emotional, playful and charming. you are cheeky and adventurous, caring and empathetic.
our daily routine revolves around poppys nursery drop off but you don't seem to mind. you spend your days immersed in play, chasing your big sister and your best friend, the dog! you love poppys 'big baby', books and your pull along dog. you love to sing and can sing twinkly twinkle, happy birthday (which sounds more like happy daddy!) and the chorus to golden slumber!
fergus, we love you and cant wait to watch you grow into the man you are going to be.

Friday, 9 May 2014

monkeys, lions and a surprise rainbow

back in march it was my little girls 4th birthday. four. i have no idea where the time has gone! to mark the occasion we decided a trip to the zoo was in order... ten years of living in edinburgh and not one visit to the zoo (except as a photographer)!

i baked a cake. this cake. and i made a hole in the middle which i filled with m&ms before icing it.

i decided that there was a lot of colouring involved in the making of this cake and that i would make the layers using natural colours found in food... so i used grated carrot, juiced spinach, juiced beetroot, egg yolk and blueberry puree. making the colours was a lot of fun and poppy really enjoyed helping me with this bit! she was off to bed for the actual cake making though...

the zoo is a great place to visit with children, plenty to keep them occupied, lots of space to run wild, toilets dotted around and best of all it's fun for adults too :)

it was a really fun day and the sun even came out for a wee bit so we could enjoy our birthday picnic, cake and bubbles! we all knew it was time to go home when poppy dropped her beloved pink rabbit into the penguin enclosure and cried like she had lost the love of her life. a very lovely young man leaned over and saved him for her and thus saved the day!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

connecta, osha or tula?

since the devastating news story about the baby who died in a baby wrap recently, i have seen so many articles blaming babywearing and making out that it's dangerous etc etc.

one even stated 'your baby will die if you use one of these baby wraps'!! i mean... come on! sadly, babys die in cots, beds, cars and prams all the time, a lot of the time for no real apparent reason. there are no scaremongering articles slamming parents for using them!

now i'm not disputing that it can be dangerous... as can many things involving small people. but when done safely and responsibly, babywearing is positive and calming for baby and mum (and dad too!).

i have various slings, baby carriers and wraps. i use them all depending on where i am going and what i am doing...

i have a ring sling which is an osha woven wrap. i use it for the school run for quick ups and downs. being one big length of fabric means it will grow with baby and can be worn in different ways to suit mum/dad/granny etc and of course baby.

i have a full buckle carrier which is a tula. i use this all the time. it is great for front and back carries, is fully padded along the waist band and straps so is comfortable to wear for a long time. it has a sleep hood which is detachable so perfect for snoozes! it is stunning in grey zigzags and is by far my favourite go to carrier.

i have another full buckle which is a connecta. this is my emergency carrier. it comes on the dog walk, trips to the park and food shopping! it folds small so fits in my bag or under the pram for that emergency carry when little legs cant carry on. it has a sleep hood, but as it is not as padded as my tula (and i have jaggy hips) it's not as comfortable for two hour long naps (although these are rare!)

i have a back pack style one and a baby bjorn style one. but these don't get used at all and don't come close to the ones above. the narrow seat in these mean baby hangs off me and makes my shoulders sore within minutes. the wide seat of the above carriers (and others in that style) spread baby's legs in the most supportive way (for baby and mum) that it makes babywearing not only convenient but comfy and enjoyable.

there needs to be so much more information available to new parents with regards to babywearing... i meet so many mums who think wraps and stretchys are primitive! or some who have only ever seen the high street carriers and didn't know there were other options...

my advice? buy a good quality carrier, use your instincts and follow the TICKS guidelines :)

Friday, 28 March 2014

baby carriers and cloth nappies

now anyone who knows me will know that there are two loves in my life that teeter on the brink of obsession! i talk about them. i recommend them to anyone who will listen. i trawl preloved pages for them. chat on forums about them. and of course. use them!

so. what are they?

not my kids... although they are my favourite thing in the world and i do obsess over them!

no. it's cloth nappies and baby carriers...

i recommend both these items to all my new mum friends because they have changed my life (granted, having children kind of did that anyway :) but why? being able to carry my children has meant i have been able to stay sane when everything was working against me... a toddler and a newborn who were both reluctant nappers. building housework. a dog to walk. mums to meet. groups to attend. and me. a mum of two who resisted buying a double pram. who hates spending frivolously. who holds napping in high regard (i had an ap!) who needs to keep doing things and finds it hard to slow down.

a sling lets me do all the things i need to do and not compromise baby's nap time. the same piece of fabric also provides an 'up' for my tired toddler who after a week of nursery just cant manage the last few meters home.

cloth nappies mean i never run out and need to run to the shop (unless i don't stay on top of the laundry!) they are kind to the environment, my pocket and my baby's bottom. stinky disposables leak gelly things on sore bottoms after a long nights sleep. and it doesn't stop there... cloth wipes mean i don't need two bags at nappy changing time as they both go into the wet bag! no overflowing bins on bin day for us :) plus they look super cute. you cant resist a big bummed baby!


i just need to convince the rest of the house on family cloth...

Friday, 21 March 2014

mothers day craft!

bath bombs

i found this great blog the other day with some inspirational crafts... this one really stood out for many reasons... seasonal, kid friendly. mum friendly! can't go wrong :)

it was so easy to do with the kids and acted as a great sensory/messy play activity! but best of all, the ingredients were all in the cupboard! so here's how...

mix two cups bicarbonate of soda and one cup cream of tartar with a splash of oil and a few sprays of water. then add a small handful of dried lavender and another of dried chamomile (i used the contents of a tea bag)
mix until it holds together when pressed - you may need a few more squeezes of oil or sprays of water.
press into a silicone ice cube tray and leave for a few days... the longer you leave them the harder they go!

as i was giving these as a gift i made up some baskets (string/twine soaked in glue and wrapped around a small balloon, leave to dry and pop balloon!)

i loved these so much i made a second batch but added a drop of beetroot juice to colour it and stored them in this lovely jar in the bathroom!

there is nothing nasty in these so they are suitable for kids and adults! i am going to look out some fun animal or robot shaped moulds and make up a batch for the next party bags!

Friday, 28 February 2014

buttons and booties

last christmas i decided to be more crafty and make all gifts for friends and family. i have lovely long evenings to fill now that the wee folk of my life sleep all night! so the sewing machine got dusted off and there has been no stopping me since! there has been leg warmers, lavender hand warmers, crayon rolls, mug warmers, cross stitch samplers, soft toys and badges... not to mention hand stamped and printed greetings cards and tags!

i love it! it's birthday season now and we kicked off with some shiny and glittery play dough and another crayon roll! we have three parties this week so have cheated by buying some sticker books but plan to get some more creations made and ready for the next party!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

five days, five meals, one packet of mince... really.

i bought a pound of mince from the local butchers and for the first time ever, i meal planned. properly.

i always, always make a huge batch of something and freeze portions. always have done. always will. it makes me feel frugal. and thrifty. and housewife-y!
but this week was different. this week i made a big batch of mince and made five meals out of it. yes. FIVE.

here's how i did it...

i browned the mince with some onions, garlic and oil. put half of it into another pan.  i added chopped carrots, mushrooms, courgette and a red pepper to both and to one i added two tins of chopped tomatoes to one and some tomato puree.

meal one - mince and tatties ~ add baked beans to the left overs and cover with mash potato in a casserole dish to make meal two - cottage pie.

meal three - spaghetti bolognaise

meal four - add chili powder and kidney beans to the the left over spag bol mince and hey presto we have chili con carne {add rice}

meal five - add all the left overs from meal two and meal four together with some cooked fusilli {any pasta would do though}

now, we are a family of four. four big eaters. and this was plenty of food! okay, so i bulked it up with lots of veg, chopped tomatoes and i added potatoes, rice and spaghetti {and a sneaky garlic baguette or two} but i still managed to feed the entire house {except the dog} a home cooked, evening meal for five nights. wholesome? i think so!