I am absolutely desperate for Little Legs to crawl. Yes I know I'll need eyes in the back of my head as well as on both sides and I know she'll run me ragged but I'm still desperate. You see I'm back at work in three weeks time (I have tried to write a post about that a few times now but I just end up in tears) and I just don't want to miss it. I don't know how I'll cope if I do.
She's so close and I think even she can sense it as she's so frustrated with herself. She's up on her knees and rocking, sometimes she manages a little jump forward with both legs like a little frog and she's a whizz at crawling backwards. She just can't get her head around the coordination needed to go forwards.
I'm getting quite obsessed now. At every opportunity I'm encouraging her to get up on her knees. I even get down on all fours next to her showing her what she needs to do but its just not happening. Today my desperation reached a new low and I opened one of her Christmas presents with her. M went mad. Its a little snail which rolls along the floor playing a little tune. If that doesn't get her moving I thought to myself, nothing will. Well it didn't. It just rolled along the floor singing its little ditty and Little Legs didn't even bat an eyelid.
So Little Legs this is my plea to you. Mummy would love to be there when you first crawl sweetheart. I think it will break her heart if she misses it.
Since I was about four months pregnant I have suffered from a well known affliction called "Baby brain". The condition has worsened since Little Legs was born. For the last few weeks I have been praying for a cure due to my impending return to work. In the job I do such a condition could have disastrous results but Friday proved that the symptoms are here to stay.
On Friday I received a phone call from my beautiful niece who had just turned 21. ("You're not old enough to have a 21 year old niece", I hear you cry. I didn't actually hear you cry that but in an ideal world you would be reading this and thinking exactly that). "Thanks for the birthday money" she said. I said "You're welcome hon". She said "Auntie Carrot....?" I said "Yes". She said "Is there any reason why the card was blank?". Doh. I'd dutifully chosen a lovely card, put a bit of dosh in, sealed the card and lovingly addressed the envelope, completely forgetting to write in the card at all. The only reason she knew it was from me was because she recognised the writing on the envelope.
Later that day I went to visit my friend. Autoglass turned up to fix a chip in her windscreen and the guy knocked at the door to ask if I could reverse my car slightly so he could park his van. He was quite cute so not sure if that caused the distraction but do you know what I did? I unlocked the car, got into the passenger side and just sat there. The guy just looked at me and held his hands up in a bit of a "What are you doing you freak gesture". I didn't even have the wherewithal to try and cover for my mistake by pretending to get something out of the glove compartment or pick something off the floor for gods sake. I got out of the car, beetroot colour and scuttled round to the drivers side mortified as he stood there chuckling. I returned to the house deciding not to mention it to my friend. In my view what happens with the Autoglass man should stay with the Autoglass man. He on the other hand had other ideas. He promptly knocked on the door and said to my friend "You'll never guess what she just did..". I mean come on, it wasn't that big a deal. Weird maybe but not a big deal.
Since I decided to write this post and shed some light on the baby brain phenomenon I have been trying to rack my brain and remember what the third thing was. I can't.
....A cot activity centre. Completely ridiculous invention and here's why.
Little Legs has been more or less sleeping through the night since she was about 12 weeks old. Chances are she may have woke up during the night but she always managed to settle herself back to sleep quietly. NOT ANY MORE!
M came home the other day with a cot activity centre. From now on I'll call it CAC(appropriately). He'd been given it by a friend and didn't like to say no. It looks lovely, little piano keys which play nursery rhymes, a little bell which sounds like a door bell when you press it and little animals hidden behind little doors which you can open. There's also a huge sun with a big orange button in the middle. When you press it it sends these little balls clacking against each other and starts another tune. You get the picture.
The first night with the CAC went something like this:
0243 hours - door bell chimes. Not the house one, the one belonging to CAC.
0448 hours - London's burning followed by Row Row Row your boat followed by Oranges and Lemons, half of London's Burning again, bit more of Row Row Row your boat, London's burning again, Oranges and Lemons again and lets finish off with another huge dose of London's burning.
0510 hours - Clack Clack and another annoying tune
0510 hours and 30 seconds - M turns CAC off
0600 hours - Curiosity gets the better of Little Legs and she decides to peep behind each of the doors hiding the little animals with a little clack of the door each time. After having a quick peep at all four of them she couldn't quite remember which animal was behind which door so she had another look. Four more clacks.
Now I have a moral dilemma. Is it wrong to remove a toy from a seven month old baby? I can't help thinking that a melted down CAC would make a great Wordless Wednesday photo.
We put the Christmas decorations up yesterday and whilst we were decking the halls with boughs of holly, faa laa laa laa laa laa laa laa laa I remembered some Christmas's past which I bravely thought I would share. We're going away for a couple of days this weekend so won't be back in Blogland until Monday. I hope I still have some readers by then.
1) I discovered that Santa Claus didn't exist when I was about 9 years old. I was sleeping peacefully in my bed when I heard an almighty racket. Super excited I jumped out of bed and ran to the landing, desperate for a glimpse of Santa. I saw my Mum spreadeagled on the stairs, Santa hat askew with a pillow case full of presents splaying out behind her. "Bollocks, sorry kids" she said. "Too much wine". Thanks ma.
2) School Christmas assembly circa late eighties. I decided to sing "Little Donkey" to the tune of Bananarama's "Love in the first degree". I was promptly removed from assembly by Mrs O, pulling me by the ear.
3) Waking up one Christmas morning to find I was the proud owner of a gorgeous new jogging suit. Mint green colour complete with penguin motifs. Loved it. Loved it so much that in my excitement I peed in it. This wasn't last year, despite what you're thinking.
4)My elder sister is a total pig when it comes to chocolate. When we were little she could demolish three selection boxes before Christmas dinner. This particular year she decided that hers didn't provide nearly enough nourishment so she stole mine too. She tried to tell me that our fat golden retriever had eaten it. The only flaw in her plan was the fact that all the wrappers had been neatly opened, chocolate removed and the wrappers left in the box. The dog was clever, but not quite that clever.
5)Last but not least and my favourite of all. This time last year, sitting with my hands resting on my almost six month bump imagining our first Christmas with our beautiful baby girl as she wriggled around inside me.
Has something ever happened in your life which made you stop and think? Made you promise to yourself that you would never again take anything for granted?
It happened to me back in 2005. My heart got broken you see and the only way I could help it to heal was to take some time out and get to know me again. I needed a challenge, I needed to regain my self confidence and I needed to believe in happiness again. So I took a sabbatical from work and took myself off around the world. The first stop was Nepal and to be honest, from there I didn't need to travel anymore, I found everything I was looking for in an orphanage full of the most amazing children I have ever met.
The children had nothing to call their own other than the clothes on their backs but they still greeted me every morning with a huge smile ready to face the day. They had no toys, no games, no books, none of life's little luxuries. I remember that they were all fascinated by my CD Walkman, squabbling over who would listen to it first. They'd never seen anything like it before. To me it was just something to ease the boredom during long journeys.
Perhaps the most humbling moment for me though was when Gita a beautiful little girl found a small packet of biscuits on the way home from school. Most children I know would have wolfed them down, perhaps not giving a second thought to sharing them. Not Gita. There were 15 children in that orphanage and I watched in amazement as she divided the biscuits equally between all of them giving herself just crumbs and making sure the younger children got enough. My heart went out to each and every one of them that day, and although in theory I was there to teach them, I don't think they realised how much they taught me.
When I left I cried but I made a promise to myself that I would never ever take anything for granted again. It surprises me now when I look back how quickly something which had been so life changing began to slip to the back of my mind. The promises I had made were quickly forgotten as I settled back into the daily grind. Just now I was on the Internet, looking for even more presents to buy for Little Legs. Then I took a moment to think. I shut down the shopping pages and began writing this post. This post is part of that moment and I'll read it every time I need reminding of what life is really about.
As much as I hate you I seem to be spending quite a lot of time with you lately. This morning however I am particularly cross with you. Last night I had a night out with the girls. You knew it was happening and you also knew that I had been looking forward to it for a long time. You also knew that M had taken a few hours off work this morning just to help me avoid seeing you for a few hours. I think it was actually my first lie in in seven months. But you couldn't wait could you? You pounced on me at six thirty am and gave me a raging thirst and a banging head. Thanks. You've now decided to stay all day despite me trying desperately to make you feel as unwelcome as possible. You and Little Legs do not make good companions. Please leave.
Me x (Actually scrub that kiss, you don't deserve it)
Recently I've had a few emails and contact from people who are having some problems or wanted some advice about baby led weaning. You'll see from some of my earlier posts that I'm definitely not an expert but I think I'm well positioned to offer some reassurance. We've definitely bounced up and down the weaning road with some success but also some notable failures. For those of you out there who may be worrying about whether your baby is eating enough, or whether baby led works for you I hope this post helps a little bit.
Somebody mentioned baby led weaning to me before Little Legs was even 5 months old but I didn't have a clue. I was already a bit worried about the whole weaning process anyway as we'd had such a difficult start to milk feeding in general. I won't go into the ins and outs of my problems with breastfeeding because thats a post on its own but needless to say we battled on until she was 12 weeks old and then switched to formula. I felt as though we'd only just got the milk feeds established so the thought of weaning her was daunting to say the least.
Then two things happened. Someone leant me Gill Rapley's Baby Led Weaning book, and the highchair arrived. I started to feel quite excited about introducing Little Legs to solids so we started. I started her with baby rice as she was only five and a half months old and I was too much of a coward to give anything else.
Then I started to get a bit braver, I started giving her rice cakes, cucumber, banana, fingers of roasted veg. I batted off the concerns of friends and family with a nonchalant wave. Baby led weaning was the way forward for us. I remember my Mum looking on with horror at every meal time as Little Legs would gum her food happily but then launch it across the room, Eating a big fat nothing every time. I wasn't worried though, I was quietly confident that she would eat in time. I thought it was a doddle, but then it happened, "that incident" as we now call it. Little Legs choked. She didn't just gag, she actually choked. The culprit was a piece of sweet potato. All I remember was screaming as I saw her gasping for breath. I frantically got her out of her highchair. All my well intentioned first aid training went out the window as all I could manage in blind panic was to tip her upside down. It worked. Little Legs went back to giggling, as she does best whilst I sat with her on my knee and just cried.
Needless to say, the book went back to my friend and it was on with the purees. But for me, something just didn't feel right with spoon feeding Little Legs. She's such an independent little madam and seemed so curious when she saw us eating that I decided to give baby led one more try. It was the best decision I ever made.
Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been without its anxieties. There have been a few more gagging incidents but thankfully no more choking. For a long period of time Little Legs did just play with her food but when we started to relax a bit as opposed to monitoring every mouthful she was eating, so too did Little Legs. We slowly but surely realised that there was less and less food on the floor, and in the nooks and crannies of the highchair, and more and more in her nappy. Then the scales tipped the other way, I started to worry that Little Legs was taking too many solids and not enough of her milk as you'll see from my earlier post Baby led weaning and formula feeding.
Little Legs turned seven months old this week and everything has finally fallen into place. She's well established now on three solid meals and three milk feeds a day. Her weight gain is good and she's a bright, beautiful little baby. The purpose of this post isn't to push people down the baby led weaning path. I guess I just wanted to say that you should do what feels right for you and your baby. Follow your instincts, your heart, and your baby and everything will be fine.
I needed to do a supermarket shop today. Problem is I had a hungry seven month old relying on me to provide her with a tasty treat first. Provide I did. Little Legs had a lunch of:
Pineapple Baby corn A finger of cheese Half a breadstick 2 potatoes cold (roasted the night before) Cucumber Avocado mashed on pitta bread Yoghurt
I in return got a nice clear fridge with no waste for M to moan about, and a very happy baby. The dog used to make a good dustbin. Little Legs is certainly giving her a run for her money. Do I win the prize for giving the most random lunch? I think contents of a later nappy will be prize enough.
Here is your award. I must explain. I typed my post in draft last night and I included you on it and published the post this morning. I love reading your blog and thats why I gave you the award. I didn't read your post about your pregnancy until this morning, after I'd published my post. I read your post and it made me cry and after reading all of the lovely comments people had sent you I just didn't feel right giving you an award for "Honest scrap". Anyway in light of your latest post please don't be offended by this award its heartfelt and just a way of saying I love your blog.
Thanks to planb. Although I wasn't so grateful after I had to delve into my dark side for ten things that no one knows about me. Its at times like these that I'm glad my blog's anonymous.
Anyway, I'm going to steal my first two from planb
1) I sort of want another baby too. 2) I also don't know what a meme is.
Now for my own, if you are of a sensitive disposition it's probably best not to read on:
3) I once tried to steal one of those yellow flashing lights you see at roadworks. I hid it in my coat and glowed like ET. The police saw me and made me put it back. 4) I hate small talk. A lot of people I know would be surprised by this due to the amount of rubbish I've been known to utter on occasions 5)Once when I was hungover I went to Burger King and ate three bacon and double cheeseburgers in quick succession. I wasn't sick 6) I sometimes pick my toenails in bed 7)When I lived abroad I had a sink in my bedroom which I peed in once when drunk 8) I am totally confused by commas, semi colons and colons as readers of my blog will testify 9)I've got an old Roxette tape which I sometimes play when no one's around 10)I used to think that the longest day of the year was longer than 24 hours.
Anyway, in the tradition of the award I have to pass it on and ask that the lucky recipients reveal 10 things about themselves that noone else knows. And the winners are....
For those of you who don't know, M's my husband. He's not had too many mentions of late, mainly due to the fact that I've seen very little of him since his new Playstation game arrived.
Picture the scene, its 5am on a Friday morning and my contractions start, quickly followed by my waters breaking. I decide to let M sleep as he was late in from work the night before. Between contractions I put some washing on, clear a bit of ironing, do the washing up, have a quick hoover round and feed the dog. By 7am my contractions are coming thick and fast so I decide to wake M and tell him the news. His exact words were "Right, I'll have some weetabix then we'll go".
Half an hour later we set off for the hospital. M decided to take a detour. "Where are you going" I screamed. "To Somerfield. I'll need some supplies for during the day" he replied. I sat in the car timing my contractions, which by this time were four to five minutes apart while M strolled round the supermarket filling his basket with goodies.
When we got to the hospital I thought that would be it. He was well stocked up for the day so I thought he'd remain by my side, the dutiful husband. I was wrong. We'd been there less than an hour when he piped up "I'm just going to get some sandwiches from the canteen for later. Just in case it closes". During the rest of my long and painful labour he proceeded to consume said sandwiches, the bag of supermarket supplies plus hot cross buns, toast and more sandwiches lovingly prepared by the midwives. Yes,you heard right, the midwives!
After a long and agonising delivery, M's first words? "There, that wasn't as bad as you thought was it?" I didn't have the energy to do any more than pinch him. But pinch him I did, hard.
Its happening. I can feel it. Its creeping up on me bit by bit. I hear it in the things I say, I see it in the things I do.
When I was little I hated vegetables. Mum tried every which way to get me to eat them. I remember spoons hurtling towards me, loaded with the stuff as Mum made the strangest noises desperately trying to persuade me that eating vegetables was fun. It didn't work. She used to tell me that carrots were goldfish. How she thought that would persuade me to eat them when I had two fish happily swimming round in a tank in my bedroom is beyond me. I guess she was desperate.
Then she got crafty. I would tuck into mashed potato only to discover broccoli, carrots, cabbage, you name it hiding in the middle. It didn't work. So she got craftier. As I cleaned plates of my favourite foods she would grin at me. "There was grated carrot in that you know" she would say. Yeah? Cheers.
But I did it today. Whats worse is that my daughter isn't a stroppy seven year old, she's barely 7 months and I'm already resorting to dirty tactics. Today, I actually took the trouble to hide bits of broccoli in her macaroni cheese. As if that wasn't enough I spread the leftover green stuff on the bottom of a rice cake handing it to Little Legs clean side up. So you see despite my many protests during my twenties that I wouldn't turn into my Mum,I quite clearly have.
I'm not going to think about this post too much, I'm just going to type just to get my thoughts and worries down in print so forgive me if its all a bit disjointed.
We've been doing really well with the Baby led weaning. Its really worked for us and Little Legs is becoming a dab hand at feeding herself. I'm able to cook the same meal for all of us, sometimes with a few simple adaptations, and then we all sit down as a little family and eat together. Its exactly what I imagined at meal times.
Until recently, I never really worried about how much Little Legs was eating, food was for playing with and she was still taking 5-7 oz formula five times a day. I was happy for her just to explore different tastes and textures, confident in the knowledge she was getting all she needed from her milk.
But things are starting to change. Little Legs is eating more and more and seems to have a really good appetite for solids. Don't get me wrong, I'm over the moon that she loves food and this is the point of weaning, obviously, but is she cutting back on her milk too quickly?
She'll eat three good solid meals a day, but when it comes to formula, although I'm offering it four times a day, she seems to have no appetite for it. Yesterday, at a push I managed to get her to take 17oz over the full day but I don't think its enough.
She's putting on a good amount of weight, she looks healthy but have I let her lead the way too much taking baby led weaning too literally? I don't know the answer. I really don't. All I want to do is whats right by her and for her to grow up healthy and happy but sometimes I just feel as though I'm feeling my way in the dark.
After a shaky start to weaning, I began to gain in confidence all the time. Every time I watched Little Legs tuck into a meal I was more and more sure I'd made the right decision. Now I'm having a wobble again. Hopefully its a temporary one, hopefully someone can offer some reassurance. Hopefully Little Legs will start guzzling milk again. Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully.....
About a year ago I was pregnant with Little Legs and convinced I was going to be Super Mum. It was in that optimistic madness that I signed up to do an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Psychology via distance learning. I remember colleagues and friends with children looking at me like I had three heads but I thought I knew better. When you've read every leaflet, article and book containing the word "baby" during your pregnancy you're perfectly equipped. Aren't you?
Then Little Legs arrived and my world was turned upside down. She was a beautiful little bundle but she was totally dependent on me and I didn't have a clue. You see she didn't do what it said in the books. My attempts at breastfeeding looked nothing like the pictures in the book, I couldn't even hold her properly. She didn't fit into the times in the Gina Ford book even The Baby Whisperers renowned Eat, Activity, Sleep and You time didn't work. The only activity I managed was looking at Little Legs in my sleep deprived haze, apologising for the fact I was a crap Mum.
My pre reads arrived in August. Of three huge books I managed three chapters. One in each actually. After reading a chapter in one I would put it to one side hoping the next book would be easier, or at least have more pictures.
I had to start interacting via discussion groups with my fellow students. It was then I realised I was completely and utterly out of my depth. Debates about 'crime genes' and 'psychopathy' went way over my head. No one wanted to discuss whether Dr Browns bottles really helped with wind, or bedtime routines or the pros and cons of baby led weaning. But I did. I struggled on but last week had to admit that it was time to call it a day. Today I received an email confirming I have been officially withdrawn from the course.
At first I felt sad, like I'd failed but now as I put the books away I feel a sense of relief. My baby brain may have replaced my academic one temporarily, but I'm happy with that. Over 6 months I've learnt to be a Mum and I'm not brilliant but I'm not bad either. Right now I can look Little Legs in the eye and I've got nothing to apologise for because we're doing okay.
One day I'll dust the books off and dive straight back into my studies but for now I'm delighted with my lot, she's gorgeous.
Little Legs is not well. She was fine in herself all day yesterday, a little bit of a cough and a bit off her food but nothing we couldn't cope with. Then I got scared. We settled down to watch a film last night but when I listened to her on the monitor she seemed to be breathing really really quickly. I woke her up and she was burning up. Anyway, to cut a long story short, after a dose of Calpol and a quick chat with NHS Direct her temperature and breathing had both settled down. The nurse thought her breathing might have been a way of cooling herself down which I suppose makes sense but it didn't stop us being absolutely terrified. M and I spent hours pacing the floor trying to get her back to sleep and then I spent another few sleepless hours on the blow up bed in her room because I was too scared to sleep.
It could be teeth, it could be a viral infection we just don't know so today we've decided to hibernate as a little family and see how it goes. I think M was secretly delighted at this idea as he just got up at the crack of dawn to collect his new "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" game. There will be some mysteries of this 33 year old man which I will never solve. His need to play war games on a daily basis is one of them.
Anyway, after a long night and possibly a long day ahead of us this little man put a grin back on my face
My Mum's coming to stay on Thursday. I can't wait. Last time she came Little Legs was at the stage where if any food did make it into her mouth she promptly spat it out. Mum was understandably worried about the whole baby led weaning thing and very tactfully mashed up the little roast potato we were giving her. I can't wait for Mum to sit down at the table with us now and watch Little Legs get stuck into her dinner. Sods law says LL will choose that moment to refuse everything offered, but we live in hope.
Mum coming has made me think about my memories of food as a child. I come from a big family, and as the youngest when it came to mealtimes I learnt the meaning of "you snooze you lose" very quickly. I remember my plate being put down in front of me and knives and forks appearing from all directions as the best bits of my dinner were snaffled by my siblings. That bit aside, the fact is that we all sat round the table as a family every night and discussed our day. I loved that. It was this particular memory which has encouraged me to go down the baby led weaning route. Little Legs sits at the table with us at every meal time and the swell of pride as we watch her tuck in is overwhelming.
The other thing I remember about food as a child is the sheer variety. I'm mixed race, a combination of Jamaican, Chinese and English. West Indian food and rice dishes formed a large part of my diet as a child and my Mum's cooking is fabulous. I'm ashamed to admit that none of us have ever asked my Mum to teach us these recipes and I would hate to think that one day they could be lost to our family forever. So, this time when Mum visits I'm going to don my apron and learn. I hope one day Mum will still be around to teach Little Legs West Indian cooking which has been in our family for generations and I hope she'll be as proud of her heritage as I am.
I made homemade pizza yesterday. Actually, I'm not sure you can call it homemade with a shop bought base but I think its a fairly close call. Anyway I topped a pizza for Little Legs with 3 tablespoons of passata spread over the base, grated mild English Cheddar and some nice pieces of ham. I sprinkled some oregano over the top and a drizzle of olive oil. Get me. In the oven at 200 degrees for 10 mins and hey presto.
I decided to share the pizza with Little Legs in my never ending quest to lose some poundage. I gave her three slices and I tucked into the crusts. (The sacrifices we make!) I looked up from my plate (I'm fairly tunnel vision when it comes to food) and realised the three slices had disappeared. When I say disappeared, I mean disappeared. Not mushed up somewhere, not stuffed down the side of the highchair, not hiding in the folds of the curtains. Gone. The dog was nowhere in sight so I couldn't blame her. All I could see was Little Legs, her face smeared with tomato sauce and a stringy bit of cheese hanging out of her mouth.
One of two things is now going to happen. I'm either going to discover the whereabouts of the pizza within a nappy, or there's going to be a stink of cheese from the vicinity of the highchair. I'm not sure yet which way its going to go.
Its the time of year when panto comes to town but why not try something new this year and let your children experience the fun first hand by starring in their very own panto!
Robinsons have designed an interactive website which allows your children to do just that. Visit http://bit.ly/PutOnAPanto and see what fun there is to be had. The website is really user friendly so you can leave your little ones to navigate around it on their own. The site will take them through the steps from planning, to practising and finally performing the show. They can even upload their own photographs to appear on a poster and invites advertising the performance.
I used to love things like this when I was a little girl and the website had me wishing Little Legs was a bit older so we could do our very own show.
There's scripts, props and costume ideas for Snow White, Peter Pan, Cinderella and Aladdin and M was loving the sound effects you can produce just by using your keyboard. When I asked him to do the washing up he managed to drown me out with a loud booing.
Now where's my old bridesmaid dress, I feel a Cinderella moment coming on?
The time is nearly upon us when we'll cut out your 10pm "sleepy feed" as we call it. Maybe we should have done it by now, who knows? Now you're well away on solids though the time has nearly come. So I just wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how much we'll miss that time.
Every day you're changing and growing so fast. I'm so proud of you. You're learning so many new things now that you'd rather be exploring everything and everyone rather than sitting with me and getting cuddles. But that is as it should be and for me this means letting go a little bit.
You won't know this but when 10pm comes, me and your Dad race to see who can run upstairs to your room the quickest. We usually collapse laughing at the top of the stairs, trying to compose ourselves so we don't wake you up. But when I win I relish those quiet times with you, in your dimly lit nursery.
I smell your hair and skin and watch your beautiful little face. This is the moment when I steal cuddles and rather than wriggle away trying to explore anything close, you snuggle into my neck and your little fingers nip the skin on my neck as you sleep. I could hold you close like that forever, my precious little girl.
Last night we tried to miss your sleepy feed out but you woke in the early hours looking for a feed. Maybe, just maybe, you don't want to leave this time behind yet either.
I've said it before and I know its daft but even with a vast array of foods to choose from I still find myself struggling to come up with new and interesting ideas, particularly for lunchtimes.
For that reason I've decided to set up a new link where I'm going to keep a list of fingers foods we've tried together with some hints and tips as to how best to prepare and serve them where appropriate. I've made a start tonight but only got to "B" so bear with me. The link is http://weaningtalesrecipes.blogspot.com/ or click in the right place on the sidebar and all being well it should take you straight there. I'm hoping to complete the basics of this in the next day or two with a view to adding to it over time so I hope for those of you doing BLW that you find it a useful resource.
This made two Little Legs size burgers and four adult size burgers. M ate three. No need.
Use two of the bread rolls to make breadcrumbs either in a blender or by hand as I did. I used wholemeal bread but to be honest, any will do. I then mixed the breadcrumbs with the lamb, a bit of lemon juice and a couple of teaspoons of Dijon mustard. Mix it all together make into burgers and pop into the fridge for at least half an hour.
Make the potato wedges by par boiling for 5 to 10 minutes and then cook in the oven at 200 degrees for about half an hour. The burgers take about 10 minutes frying turning regularly.
Me and M managed to escape for a nice lunch today leaving Little Legs with the grands. As we usually do when we're away from her we spent the majority of the time talking about her and then M started looking at the menu going through what he thought she would like to eat if she were there. This got me thinking about M's perspective of BLW and what we're doing. To be honest I did all the research. I only spoke to M about it briefly and then took it upon myself to introduce it. Looking back I don't think he even had a say in it so I was interested to see how much he knew about what we were attempting. The conversation went like this:
Me: What do you think Baby Led Weaning is? Him: Giving Little Legs sticks of food, not mush. (Nicely put)
Me: BLW is usually seen as an extension of breastfeeding why do you think that is? Him: The baby's used to having something more substantial in its mouth (Hmmm not quite)
Me: What do you think about it Him: Its messy.
Me: Where do you think the idea of BLW came from: Him: A man
Before I could ask any more he said "Never mind fluff head what do you fancy for lunch I'm starving".
So there it is M's perspective of BLW in a nutshell.
On a more positive note we seem to be making some progress. There's definitely less waste on the highchair, on the floor and up the walls and more in the nappy. Three dirty nappies between 7am and 11am is taking it a bit far though. Saying that, after a random tea tonight of rice cakes, cottage cheese and porridge pancakes I can kind of see why that might be happening. Thanks to C-star by the way for the pancake recipe, they went down a treat. If you want to give them a try have a look at her fab blog called "Jacob Led Weaning". The link's in my blog roll.
I've lost two pounds. Two pounds isn't exactly earth shattering I know but I've been trying to shift the last few baby pounds for months now to no avail and now its happening. I don't think its just coincidence that this has happened since I started writing my blog almost two weeks ago. See now in my spare time I don't think about food I think about my blog. I no longer raid the cupboards I think about my blog. And, when I'm not thinking about my blog I'm thinking about other blogs. I could spend the time I spend blogging exercising but Little Legs is exercise enough for now thank you very much.
Who needs pumpkin costumes? Give Little Legs a hefty portion of tomato and tuna pasta and she'll dress herself. She did quite a good job of making the kitchen look like a house of horrors too.
I made the tomato sauce myself. Just a basic one, garlic and onion fried together till soft, add a pinch of mixed herbs, a tin of tomatoes and some tomato puree and you're away. Again, a good one for the freezer.
Add the sauce to some tuna and the pasta, mix well and pass to baby. Wait for the fun to begin. This isn't for the faint hearted.
Any pasta will do by the way.I used penne but fusili is probably a bit easier for baby to hold on to. I had no choice in using penne. M decided to do his first shop of the year and reminded me of the true reason I don't let him do it. He's an advertisers dream. "Pasta was on special offer" he told me, unloading ten huge bags of the stuff from the car. With a best before date of May 2010 Little Legs better get munching.
Back in my single days I used to set the stereo to snooze and drift off to a background noise of calm, soothing music. When I met M the sound of his breathing as he slept used to comfort me. Now I listen to Little Legs breathing deeply. I hold the monitor up close to my ear and smile as she lets out the little contented sigh which lets me know she's in a deep happy sleep.
Don't get me wrong I still like to hear M sleeping but its more of a snore now as he collapses into bed, exhausted, and, its funny but the little monitor which produces the most beautiful sounds at night has become my least favourite alarm at stupid o clock in the morning.
Captain Birdseye didn't come to tea but I wish he had because he could have helped me skin and bone a healthy portion of fish. These were a great finger food and a good way to introduce little legs to fish. Any white fish will do and the recipe made enough for me, hubby, and baby plus some to freeze.
Ingredients Approx 3-4 medium size potatoes 5ish spring onions 350g fish 2 eggs Plain flour (enough to coat cakes before frying) Olive oil Salt and pepper and lime juice to season for the adults portion
1) Chop the potatoes into even pieces and boil for 15 minutes or until soft. Leave to cool and then mash. 2) Add chopped fish and spring onions to the mash once cool and mix well 3) Beat the eggs before adding to the mash mix and combine all ingredients well. 4) Take a handful of the mixture and flatten into a pattie and coat each side with flour. Once I had removed enough for little legs, I also added a dash of lime juice, salt and pepper and a cheeky slug of tabasco for the adults. (Sorry M) 5) Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the cakes for approximately 10 minutes turning frequently. These are lovely served with some salad and sweet chilli sauce.
Little legs liked these but the cakes were a little bit crumbly once cooked so next time I'm going to add a little bit of milk, just to bind them together a bit more.
There's still a strong whiff of fish coming from the highchair. I daren't investigate. Might just leave the dog to sniff that one out.
On the baby led weaning front generally, things are going okay. Its daft really, the whole point of doing weaning this way is so that you can introduce baby to a whole array of different foods. Why then am I struggling for inspiration?
Lunch times are the hardest. There's only so many times you can offer cucumber, banana and rice cakes. We ventured out for lunch today. I lovingly chopped all the above and made up a little packed lunch for Muncher. Typically she preferred the toasted teacake I was eating. Mum 0 Little Legs 1.
She's been hard work the last couple of days. Everything has come along at once to give us a big fat slap in the face. Like it does. Mick's away on a course, Little legs decides now is as good a time as any to cut another tooth and to top it all we're still recovering from the clocks "falling back". When you're in you're pyjamas by 4pm because you can't be bothered to change your clothes for the third time, its been a bad day. Lil legs has launched vomit, broccoli, porridge and pear at me today,not necessarily in that order, but sometimes technically all 4 at the same time if you know what I mean. As I said, its been a bad day. Not a good time for Mick to ring and declare "I've just had my dinner and a pint and I'm just lying on the bed watching Britain's Best Dish" put it that way.
But a moment just changed all that. (Well, it didn't change it as my clothes are still all covered in debris), but it did soften the memory.
So, the moment went like this. I was in her room feeding her when she started to push the teat of the bottle in and out making it squeak. I'll be honest, I wasn't paying much attention. My mind had wandered downstairs, already planning the military clean up operation. When I looked at her though she was watching me out of the corner of her eye, smirking. I laughed, she laughed, then I laughed some more. She then belly laughed, laughing at me laughing at her. It was just one of those moments. You'll know the ones I mean.
I'm going to make Tuesday an offical "Do a job you hate day". The fact that I've made it Tuesday has nothing to do with the fact that its a whole 6 days till it comes round again. Tuesday just seems a good non descript day to do it, a day which is usually devoid of invites to drink coffee and eat cake with the girls. Not sure why that is. Maybe because everyone is already doing the jobs they hate. Who knows? Will make a note to ask them.
There's so many of these jobs but I seem to have an excuse every time the perfect opportunity arises for me to do them.
Me: I'll do them when I finish work before I have the baby Excuse when time arrives: Way too fat
Me: I'll do them when Little legs is with her grandparents Excuse when time arrives: But I never get to enjoy a Starbucks in peace!
Me: I'll do them during the week sometime Excuse when time arrives: Sunday's the best day for jobs like these
Me: I'll do them on Sunday Excuse when time arrives: Work on the Sabbath? Moi?
And so it goes on. So what are these jobs? It would be painful to mention them all but here's a select few:
1) Clean all the nooks and crannies of Little leg's highchair carefully, not a cursory wipe with a Flash cloth 2) Clean the ensuite properly. That room's way too small to manoeuvre but not really a good enough excuse to avoid it completely 3)Clean windows inside. The fact that the window cleaner cleans the outside 4 times a year is just not good enough. 4) Clear out the airing cupboard. I don't have a clue what's stashed in there anymore. Enough said 5) Clean the oven. The fact that oven cleaner stinks and may upset Little Legs is again not a good enough excuse. Doors and windows to kitchen do open. 6) Clear wardrobe of all items that I honestly don't wear anymore. The good the bad and the ugly. 7) Wash curtains. Does anyone actually do this? 8) Clear freezer of all food that's so freezer scorched its almost burning 9) Oh god, that reminds me of another one. Clean fridge. My friend gets something in her fridge which she calls 'fridge wee'. Now I know what she means. 10) Rid ironing basket of all items that I hate ironing hence they have sat there since circa 2001.
I am way too depressed to write anymore. I'm starting Tuesday. Will update you as to success. Alternatively, will post excuses.
If you fancy joining me post your jobs and successes/failures here. If by some stroke of genius you manage to get someone else to do the job for you then let me know that as well.
This recipe takes minutes to cook so its a great quick fix. Its a great example of a dish which is delicious for adults but the ingredients can work so baby can play along too.
Ingredients 300g of sirloin or rump steak. Beef frying steak works just as well A thumb sized piece of ginger 2 cloves of garlic Half a red chilli 3-4 spring onions Coriander - fresh or dried 2 tablespoons of Black Bean Sauce 2 table spoons of Soy sauce
Peel and finely slice the garlic, ginger, chilli and spring onions add to a bowl with the beef which is best sliced in finger sized strips. Sprinkle with coriander. If using fresh, use the stalks and save the leaves for dressing before serving. If this was just for me and M I would marinade all of the above in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil but last night I just used a tiny bit of olive oil instead due to my allergy paranoia. Leave to marinade for a couple of hours.
Preheat wok till its very hot and then add oil. If you're happy to, ground nut oil is delicious but again I just used olive oil. Add all the ingredients to the wok and stir fry for a couple of minutes. At this point I took out a few pieces of beef for Little legs, and added the black bean and soy sauce to the remainder. Way too salty for her.
I served up with broccoli and noodles and she had a field day. She didn't get beyond sucking the beef but the noodles and broccoli made it down the old food tube.
Disappointed to say the least. Dispatches on Channel 4 was a missed opportunity in my view.
Put your hands up if you didn't already know that Coco Pops, Frosties and the like are crammed full of sugar? One look at the sugary and chocolatey images on the front of the box will tell you that. I wanted something more and I'm afraid for me, it was a case of I want never gets.
In the past 10 years cereal manufacturers have reduced the levels of salt and sugar in their cereals by 44 per cent but,according to the programme, a bowl of Kellogg's cornflakes still contains more salt than a packet of Walkers ready salted crisps. Cereal manufacturers are still getting away with marketing products as good for us. A box of Sugar Puffs for example can use the words "Honey Goodness" and "Wholesome goodness". I mean come on! But the programme completely failed to challenge anyone about this.
During the programme we saw a family part with their sugary cereals for a week and eat "healthy". All they did was eat porridge. Is there anything else? Are any cereals okay? Should we just boycott the lot? The only thing I did take away is that supermarket brands own cereals in the main are cheaper (never?) and on average contain less salt and sugar. Genius.
What I must confess to finding interesting however is how the cereal manufacturers get round the ban which prevents them from advertising during children's television by taking their campaigns into schools. By using ploys such as 'Box Top Books' and the like, manufacturers can ensure that children are still bombarded with their logos. I couldn't believe that Tony Tiger the sugar demon even appears on school swimming certificates due to Kellogg's hefty sponsorship of the Amateur Swimming Association. The result, "they're Gr-r-reat!" and they make you fit as well!
Many cereals contain the Healthy Heart Logo. Does this mean they're healthy. Does it heckers like. Should we be suspicious of the fact that the Senior Advisor and Nutritionist on the Healthy Heart Product Approval Panel used to be advisor to the Association of Cereal Manufacturers. Too right we should.
Tried and tested and proven to work. When I say tried and tested I mean in the loosest sense. Probably more accurate is crushed up, examined closely then stuffed in mouth in true Little legs style. She loved it though. The recipe below cooks up a big enough omelette for one greedy husband, one trying to lose weight Mum and a 6 month old with a growing appetite. I served it with baby potatoes baked in the oven but salad or other veg will do the trick just as nicely.
Olive oil 2 onions (optional I left these out for fear of wind repercussions) 1 clove of garlic 1 red pepper - chopped 4-5 eggs 2 large potatoes chopped into cubes Parsley to season - Dried or fresh work well
Par boil potatoes for 5 - 10 minutes. In a seperate pan heat oil and fry onions, garlic and red pepper until soft. Whisk eggs and stir in potatoes, onion, peppers and garlic and add parsley to taste.
Pour the mixture into a hot pan evenly and cook for about 5 mins until its begun to set. After, place under a medium grill for 3-5 minutes to cook the remainder. If you're feeling a bit naughty, add cheese and a dash of Lea and Perrins before you pop under the grill. Also feel free to mix and match your veg a bit. We've tried this with all sorts of ingredients eg chorizo, spring onions etc, but this is our basic version.
Et voila or y voila I should say. Not sure that's right but it'll do.
Little legs is a formula fed baby which doesn't really fit with the ethos behind baby led weaning but I think she's proving it can work.
I started her yesterday on 3 solid meals a day. Prior to this she was having just lunch and tea so time to introduce breakfast. It was nothing more than pieces of apple dunked in yoghurt but it seemed to go down well.
For lunch I decided to offer an array of finger foods - pitta bread, cucumber, and cheese (mild English Cheddar was just the ticket). She tucked in with gusto and the finger of cheese disappeared literally within seconds. There's something quite clever about Legs. She's clearly worked out that if she uses two hands she can shove loads more in but at the same time it hasn't occurred to her that her mouth offers only limited capacity and she needs to swallow to free up a bit more space. Anyway, lunch went down well too but then something happened.
During the afternoon I noticed a couple of tiny red marks on her face. I wasn't sure if they were just where she'd scratched herself with those lethal fingernails of hers, or whether they were a more sinister allergic reaction. But to what? Not very bright at all to offer dairy and wheat not just in one day but in one sitting. Doh. Anyway, thankfully the little red bits disappeared from her face and alls well that ends well. Well it ended in me feeding her pureed pear and baby rice for tea. Cowardly I know but there's probably some sense in there somewhere. Tomorrow I will revert to sensible baby led weaning. Promise
Slightly off topic I know but did you know that in a survey conducted by a well known Baby & Toddler Club, 56 per cent of the respondents said that a trip to the hairdresser was the most popular beauty treat after becoming a mum – even beating a long, luxurious soak in the bath.
Count me in that 56 per cent. Yep I went and did it and had my hair all chopped off. Its official title is a "long bob" but if I call it that I have to contend with the fact that all the celebrities were getting that done last year. So I'm a year behind the times. Who cares? I'll call mine a Mum bob instead. In theory its going to be easier to manage but am beginning to doubt that after I've used the GHDs three times already this morning to curl those rebellious bits under. Headache.
I got my hair cut hoping that would be the inspiration I needed to lose the rest of the baby weight. It hasn't worked. To celebrate new hair do I used up some more of the babysitting credits I've been storing up with M and went out for a bottle of wine or two with my friend. I couldn't stay in with a brand new haircut and Little looked suitably unimpressed so thought I would unleash it on the general public. To celebrate use of babysitting credits and the fact that I still had my wine drinking skills I then had a pizza. Whilst eating it I justified my troughing with the thought that it was all in the name of Little legs and baby led weaning as she could have any leftovers the next day. But there wasn't any leftovers, the salt content was way too high for legs so I did her another favour and ate the lot. Lush.
If ever I needed to see that baby led weaning really does work, the proof was quite literally in the Yorkshire pudding last night.
Anyway, starting at the beginning, Little legs has a tooth! Time to update the baby record book, or books I should say. I've got three. Probably verging on OCD but if you're going to record something monumental about babys development, why not do it 3 times? Oh dear. Have just realised that the books are going to require 3 seperate halloween costumes for the "My first halloween pictures". )Note to self - do not dress baby up in fancy dress costumes for own amusement)
Whilst we were out at the baby sensory room M decided he was going to cook a roast chicken dinner. Baby sensory room?? - Although I can claim this is wonderful for Little leg's development, really its an excuse for me to sit her in front of a big tube full of running water with coloured things bobbing about in it, whilst I lounge around on a bean bag chillaxing. Anyway, we made a sharp exit from there after she decided to try out her newly sharpened gums on some light cables and we went home to the delights of a roast dinner. After my little bit of serenity and feelings of earth motherness due to the stimulation I had provided for her it was all guns blazing with the baby led weaning. Lets give her a roast too! M looked at me sceptically, "but I've shoved a lemon and some garlic up the chickens bum" he said. Nice.
Well bum stuffing or no bum stuffing we decided to proceed and promptly sat legs in her highchair with roast chicken, roast potato, roast parsnip, roast carrot and Yorkshire pud. She quite literally ate the lot as the photo will testify. This was her first experience of meat, and I must admit I was terrified of her choking, but she handled it like a seasoned pro. Lush. M swears it was down to the fact he cooked it. Maybe he's got a point......
Mango was on the lunch menu again yesterday. This time pureed. Yep, I bottled it and got the hand blender out sending mango splats flying all over M's pride and joy, his coffee machine (not Little legs, although technically she is. What I mean is she's not a coffee machine, she's M's pride and joy too). Little legs seemed to appreciate my hard work and wolfed it down.
So riding high on the back of this success I then started to do what all new Mums do and started worrying. Is she developing a sweet tooth? Am I giving her too much fruit meaning she'll never eat veg ever again? Now I've pureed it will she be able to cope with finger foods again? OH GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE? Rang M at work with all above questions, and met with a resounding "eh???" so decided to get a grip of myself.
In order to test all of above fears I made Little legs green beans and roast sweet potato fingers for tea. Now potatoes have always been a big hit, sweet or otherwise. "Move over Mr Potato head, and welcome.... "Baby potato head" aka the Little legs. So what about the green beans? She loved them. She sucked all of the insides out leaving the skin. At one point we caught her with one in each hand stuffing them in. M then got braver, passing her some asparagus off his plate. She snatched that away and shovelled it the same way the beans had gone. The lady loves her greens! Now what was that I read about asparagus wee??
Have been thinking about my tantrum on Friday and think I've discovered why it happened. I'm sleep deprived! Okay, so thats just an excuse, but its a good one. Here's the reason why: Little legs has been rolling over onto her belly for some time now but unfortunately hasn't quite grasped the idea of rolling back. This has meant weeks of interrupted sleep for me and hub (well me mainly) as we've made the endless trips backwards and forwards to her room to turn her over. I rang M yesterday, excited as hell to tell him the good news "She can roll back! Yay!" We settled into bed last night excited about our long night of sleep ahead only to discover that yes she can roll back, but she's damn well going to spend half an hour talking to herself as she does it. Does it mean I'm a bad parent if I turn the monitor down? (I said down, not off) Hell no!. I'm sure it was just a private conversation Little legs was having with herself anyway not really for Mum and Dads ears.
So, back to the food. Lunch time yesterday was mango. I love mango and couldn't wait to see little legs enjoy it too. Trouble is I hadn't thought about the practicalities of it. How slippery is that stuff? Anyway after slivers of mango flying about like autumn leaves I moved to Plan B. Mush it and give it on a spoon. Does that still count as baby led weaning? Can't see why not if I give her the spoon. Not mushed enough so time to move to Plan C. Mush it a bit more and add yoghurt which is always a bit of a hit. Still doesn't work so move to Plan D. Empty entire contents of bowl onto highchair tray, take a deep breath and factor time in to give Little legs a major hose down pre nap if reqired. Again, amount ingested - limited.I tell you what, if there was nutritional content in her Upsy daisy doll, the remote control and all of her books then we'd be onto a winner.
To puree or not to puree that is the question.....
Little legs is now hurtling towards the grand old age of six months (25 weeks to be exact).
Weaning officially started a couple of weeks ago but this is turning out to be such a hilarious time that I felt the need to share our experiences via this blog. Take from it what you will. There are very few pearls of wisdom (Little Legs being our first and all that) but if you take away a few food ideas and a lot of laughs then I'll be happy.
So, this is the tale so far. To sum it all up: 1.Foods tried - potato, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, swede, cauliflower, apple, pear, peach, baby rice, rice cakes, yoghurt, cucumber, pasta, toast, courgette, tomato,broccoli, 2.Foods thrown on floor and up walls - loads 3.Foods actually eaten - limited 4. The favourites - potato, sweet potato, courgette, cucumber,rice cakes, apple, pear, peach 5. The hated - carrot, parsnip, swede, broccoli 6. The maybe I shouldn't have given because you're not old enough but did anyway - pasta, scrambled egg, yoghurt, toast 7.The downright dull - baby rice
Having read Annabel Karmel, Gina Ford guide to weaning, and Rapley baby led weaning book, not to mention enough weaning leaflets to fill a wheelie bin(I know because I tried) we were none the wiser. So, in true us style, we decided to try a bit of everything. And do you know what? Its working. Well, sort of...for details of a major kitchen catastrophe, read on.
Imagine the scene. Its Friday night, the weekly shop is done and I think to myself lets try a new recipe. Root veg patties for Little legs and there would be no waste as I'd cook a load of them up for me and hubby to have with our fish. So, husbands playing in the lounge with Little legs and big dumb boxer dog is laid at my feet getting maximum heat from the oven, where said root veg are roasting along with our fish. Cosy eh? Think again. On closer inspection, fish cooked, root veg raw. Solution, remove fish from oven and whack oven on full pelt to cremate veg. Half an hour later, fish cold, root veg still raw. Never fear I thought, it'll be okay mashed and fried. Half an hour later hand held blender has refused to mush the roast parsnips (the only thing which did cook, or overcook more precisely), and sent most of the veg up the walls. What to do? The only thing a stressed out Mum new to the weaning process can do..throw huge tantrum and throw everything including saucepans, remaining veg and fish up the wall. Dog leaves kitchen, husband shuts door to kitchen so our innocent little daughter can't see Mum in full melt down.
For tea that night? Rice cakes for Little legs, cereal for Mum and pizza for Dad. Champion!
I'm a first time Mum to beautiful baby Little legs who is now almost 6 months old. I hate to take life too seriously but being a Mum has turned me into a serious worrier. This blog gives me a chance to give some air space to my calamities and anxieties which if nothing else will make you feel happy in the knowledge that you're not as daft as me.