Domestic Quest – Little Man’s very own alphabet!

We have been working on setting up Little Man with his very own play area, the downstairs of our house isn’t very crawling baby safe or free flowing so we have had to section off the front room, but I wanted somewhere safe to pop LM while I hoover or cook, somewhere where he can play without me worrying about what he is up to. I will be posting more on this soon as we are nearly done. But one idea I had was that I wanted to block off the bottom of the radiator, when LM first started crawling he’d roll near it and almost hit his head on the underside, we had some MDF left over from his tree, so Hubs quickly cut it down to size and I hatched a plan to make LM his very own alphabet full of geekery. Much of the credit for how this turned out goes to Hubs, without his drawing skills, this would have just been a great idea very poorly executed!

First we decided on what each letter would stand for, then I painted the wood with a few coats of primer and some white silk paint, and then I got designing LM’s letters on Photoshop, using free fonts from DaFont to create letters that were similar in style to their theme.

We then printed the images onto paper and cut them out. Hubs then traced around the letters and freehand copied the detail, sometimes with incredible attention to detail!

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We then began to paint each letter with acrylic paint:

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When each letter was completed we outlined the detail with permanent marker.

2014-04-14 19.35.07We still need to seal the finished alphabet with some acrylic paint sealant to keep it wipe able to stop little hands getting it grubby, but we are so happy with how it has turned out, and LM loves it.

My favourites are P, F and Y!

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Little Man’s Alphabet:

A is for Avengers

B is for Batman

C is for Cat in the Hat

D is for Disney

E is for Elephant

F is for Fish (One, Two, Red & Blue!)

G is for Gruffalo

H is for Harry Potter

I is for Isaac

J is for Jedi

K is for King

L is for Love

M is for Mickey Mouse

N is for Nemo

O is for Octopus

P is for Pooh Bear

Q is for Queen

R is for Rainbow

S is for Superman

T is for Tiger

U is for Umbrella (Yellow of course *HIMYM*)

V is for Very Hungry Caterpillar

W is for Where the Wild Things Are

X is for X-Men

Y is for Yoda

Z is for Zebra

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Domestic Quest – Immunity Boosting Vegetable Muffins

Little Man has come down with his very first proper miserable cold, he’s had the sniffles before but not like this, he’s sleeping lots but understandably groggy and upset when he’s awake, so I wanted to make him some food to help bump his immune system so he can get back to playing and being his usual cheeky self soon.

I used a recipe from the amazing free PDF I have mentioned pinning in previous posts as a starting point and adapted it to include lots of Iron and Vitamin C containing veggies.

We are still keeping clear of eggs as we’ve not had a chance to see if he reacts again on a day when Hubs is home in case he does have a reaction, I’ve had mixed results with using flax seed as a substitute so today I decided to try using one of the Ella’s Kitchen purée pouches I have lying around. I’ve seen many recipes citing applesauce as an egg substitute so thought I’d give this a go.

Cheesy Super Vegetable Muffins Makes 12 Muffins

3-4 Broccoli Florets
4 handfuls of Baby Spinach
6 Cherry Tomatoes (deseeded and chopped)
225g Self Raising Flour
100g Grated Mild Cheddar
175ml Whole Milk
55ml Olive Oil
1/2 Pouch of Ella’s Kitchen Spinach, Apple & Swede Purée (or 1 egg or applesauce)

Method
First preheat your oven to 200•c/180•c Fan, then:
1. Steam Broccoli and wilt spinach, then chop.
2. Mix chopped vegetables with flour and cheese.
3. Add in milk, oil and purée (or egg) and mix well until you have a lumpy thickish batter, adding a splash more milk and purée if you feel the mixture is too thick.
4. Separate into a lightly greased muffin tin and bake for 20-25mins.

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The result is a lovely light and fluffy muffin packed full of goodness, the puree seemed to help it all hold together well. I think next time I will add in some spices and perhaps leave out the broccoli, add some courgette and use feta cheese, the recipe I started with really is a great base muffin recipe to experiment with.

20140501-182125.jpgThey went down very well and will make a great on the go option. Here’s hoping the veggies give my little man the energy boost he needs!

 

My Quest to become a Domesticated Mum!

The first word that people would use to describe me would definitely not be Domestic….creative maybe, lazy possibly, determined and prone to obsessing…definitely! So this is my quest…I am determined to become a better mother to my 7 month old little man and a better wife for my long suffering husband, using my current skills and trying to develop some more domesticated ones along the way.

I’ll be updating this blog mainly as a way to keep myself motivated, but also want to have some fun and discuss things that make us feel like we are doing a great job for our kids and also sometimes the things we wish we could be better at or even just little silly things that make you feel like you’ve had a rubbish day.

I think the bulk of my posts will be about the new food I’ve tried with LM, or the new sensory play that we have enjoyed and some of the more creative things that I do for my family, as even though these aren’t traditionally classed as motherly or parental duties, I think that creativity is so important and want LM to be super creative and imaginative growing up, plus it is the thing I enjoy most in the world and as a result I bring an enthusiasm to it that I just can’t apply to domesticity.

But nonetheless I am going to try hard to step out of my comfort zone both as a mother and a wife at least once a week, but hope for it to be more, some of the things may seem small, but so far each action has made me feel much better about my place in the parenting world, and after all that is what is important.

The quest I am setting myself is:

– To make at least two new meals a week and enjoy them with LM and Hubs. This is probably the biggest challenge for me as I really don’t enjoy cooking, baking I love, but cooking just stresses me out, I time things all wrong and get flustered, plus Hubs loves cooking so much that over time it has meant that he does most of the cooking in the house.

– To undertake play, particularly sensory play with LM every day and try at least one new activity a week. As an avid pinterester, I have pinned way more activities than I have tried, but now that Monkey is able to sit up so well I am eager to get stuck in.

– To acknowledge the things that I do that make me feel like I might actually be pulling this whole Mum thing off, rather than fixating on the things I feel I’ve done wrong, or on my negatives.

– To help any other mums out there who feel like what they are doing might not be enough, even though it is more than likely more than your little one could ever need or imagine, we are all doing things differently but we all need to stick together and support one another through the highs and lows of being a parent.

I’m also going to blog about things that make our lives easier as parents and I’m sure there will be a sprinkling of geekery along the way!

Right lets get cracking!

Bubs Neighbor Totoro – Grannies Totoro Jumper…..the sequel!!

So you’ll remember in my last post I was showing off the amazing Totoro jumper that my Granny knitted Little Man for Xmas and also mentioned I that hoped she may get the bug and create some more amazing one of a kind Totoro things for him. Well Granny came through, on our last visit she handed us not only another amazing jumper which comes with its own take along Totoro complete with pocket, but also a Totoro hat (I am yet to get a picture of little man happy in this as he is having some teething pain at the moment, but as soon as he smiles in it I shall post a picture pronto!). All of this was done yet again without a pattern. She’s the best!

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I’m going to start documenting my quest to be more domesticated, and less, well….lazy, and, so I hope that you continue to follow me, hopefully it shall be lots of self deprecation, sensory play, geekery and food as well as serving hopefully to be somewhere to celebrate all angles of parenthood, both the highs and the lows.

To Spoonfeed or Not to Spoonfeed?!?

Little Man is now nearly 6 months old! It’s going terrifyingly quickly but I’m learning quickly… as soon as you’ve got one thing figured out something else comes along! For us this is now the minefield of weaning.

After a lot of procrastination and stressing we have finally decided to do a combination of the two main methods, baby led and traditional weaning, mainly as it is going to fit into our lives easier that way, my husband works shifts and we can’t always guarantee we could eat together, we don’t always cook fresh each night and sometimes (between me and you) I’m just plain lazy if I’m on my own.

At the moment the plan is to spoon feed little man his breakfast which at the moment is mashed banana but as of next week will be porridge and then let him feed himself for lunch and dinner with occasional mashed veg if we are in a rush or at a friends house where the mess and time elements of BLW are more of an issue. I know this goes against how a lot of people do BLW but to be honest it’s going to work for us and although it’s taken me a while to accept mixing both, as long as it works for us, that is all that matters. Also I think it’s important to remember that spoon feeding and force feeding are two different things, once little man lets me know he has had enough, I stop.

I’ve struggled a lot making decisions about weaning and I’ve realised that a lot of my struggles with making a decision comes down to feelings I still have about deciding to bottle feed little man, it’s the next big decision that directly effects his health and well being and deep down I still have the guilt that many bottle feeding mamas feel about not being able to feed their baby, even though I know stopping was the right decision for us and helped me keep my sanity, so I have been over thinking it and worrying about making the wrong decision again. I also find it hasn’t helped that a lot of opinions are quite polarised so it is difficult to find advice on combining methods in a way that works for you as an individual family, it also seems BLW is a natural step on from breastfeeding, and as such much of the advice is based around a breastfeeding baby. Because of this I found the incredibly useful book Weaning Made Easy by Rana Conway, it is a non biased look at both approaches, pros and cons of each and also a guide to combining the two in a way that suits you, and although much of it is common sense I found that it made me feel less crazy for obsessing and struggling so much with the decision to combine self feeding and baby led.

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So far he seems to be enjoying both methods, he is definitely hungry so I’m glad I’m feeding him one meal so I know he’s actually getting something (I know he doesn’t need a lot but he definitely wants something), but I’m enjoying watching him discover food during lunch and dinner. We started him slightly early as he’s been sat up on his own for a few weeks and he seemed ready, so, so far he’s only had veg & fruit – banana (mashed and split in half), avocado, steamed carrots and roasted and mashed sweet potato, I think the carrots have been his favourite as they hold their shape long enough for him to have a good gum. Although I haven’t yet made a puree, I did spoon feed him some mashed sweet potato tonight, whilst also letting him go crazy with his hands on a ball of it, I think i will mash rather than puree when I do use this method so that he still has to chew the lumps and won’t just get used to swallowing, but I do plan on making some fruit purees to mix in with his porridge and eventually, yoghurt.

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I am looking forward to him turning 6 months next week and being able to branch out to meals other than veg & fruit. Stay tuned as I hope to share some of our favourite food discoveries.

Please share any favourite recipes or tips and feel free to discuss any struggles you’ve had deciding on the best way to wean your little one.