Saturday, 27 August 2016

A wee bit of weaning...

Weaning... I can't actually believe we are at this stage already. It only feels like a few months have passed since Ethan was born and now we are preparing to wean him on to solids.

He's just over 5.5 months now or 25 weeks and in the past few weeks he has shown all the signs that he is ready to start eating food. I was adamant that I wanted to wait until 6 months but I'm also a great believer in following a baby's lead and if he's physically reaching out to grab food off my plate and eat it I think he's ready. 

I, on the other hand am not.

After overcoming a few struggles at the start we have mastered breastfeeding and I feel sad that he will no longer be dependent on me as his sole source of nutrition. We have also reached the stage of it being easy - just whip the boob out and that boy knows what to do. Milk is there on tap, no planning is needed. If we want to stay out all day all we need to make sure is that we have enough nappies but now I'm going to have to think about food and snacks too.

The concept of Baby Led Weaning really appeals to both us of and if I'm honest I can't be bothered to puree a load of food that may or may not end up on the floor. I also like the idea that it teaches babies to chew before they can swallow compared to traditional weaning where solids are introduced after the puree stage.

We've started offering Ethan a few little bits and pieces of our plates and he's loved it. It also means we can eat meals in peace as I plonk him in the highchair and he has food to play with. He gets that it goes in his mouth but then he spits it out most of the time as he hasn't quite realised that he needs to swallow it.

Both myself and Mr T love our food and we want to instill a love of food in Ethan too. I want him to see how food is made, teach him to cook (and bake of course!) and see food as something to be enjoyed, not just fuel for our body. I'll hold off on the sugar for as long as possible, we aren't saying no to sugar but he won't miss what he hasn't had. There is plenty of time for sweet treats in the future.

As exciting as the whole process is, I feel nervous about it too. my biggest fear is choking but from what I have read as long as the food isn't the same diameter as the windpipe then the baby will be fine. Also if they cough it means they are clearing their throat, I only need to worry when he can't cough as that means something might be lodged in the throat eep!

We went to Asda last week to get a few snacks and some emergency pouches to keep in the changing bag if we are caught short when out and about and Ethan needs to eat. I stood staring at all the food for ages - there were biscuits, crisps, rice cakes, smooth purees, lumpy purees, ready meals, baby alternatives of adult food, Ella's Kitchen, Hipp Organic, Heinz, Organix - the list goes on and on. In the end Mr T suggested I pick a few things at random and see how we get on with it. Also how expensive is it?? Pouches are just for emergencies, I don't know how people afford to use them every day.

I also stocked up on some new tupperware and had far too much fun choosing little pots to fill with food for Ethan to eat when we are out and about. I'm actually really excited about filling them with healthy snacks that I hope he will enjoy.

I've never been great with veg but I'm hoping the weaning process will open my eyes to new foods and new ways of cooking. I said to Mr T we can't buy chocolate and fizzy drinks as often now as we don't want Ethan reaching out for them. I want him to see us making healthy choices regarding food and in turn have a positive attitude to mealtimes and what he chooses to eat.

We are away this weekend so the plan is to create a baby friendly meal plan when we get back and offer Ethan food every time we eat. I'm thinking porridge or weetabix might be good for a first breakfast, some finger foods for lunch and a stir fry for dinner as he can easily hold the meat and veg pieces. Mr T isn't back to work until the 5th so it's a good time to start and he can be involved instead of missing out on all of these first tastes.

Maybe he will crack it instantly or maybe it will take a month or two before he starts eating solids and dropping milk feeds. We will follow his lead and see how it goes. I'll post another update when weaning is well under way and let you know how we get on.

The IKEA highchair has been purchased, we have more bibs than we know what to do with and I've a dustpan at the ready.

Let the weaning commence...

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

A Wee Digital Detox...

I've had a bit of a digital detox recently and it was completely unintended. You may remember from my last post that Mr T broke his toe. Well he was supposed to go on a diving trip at the start of August but that couldn't happen so my plans to fly home while he was on his trip changed to him coming too (but bringing the car on the boat) and having an extended trip away. Even though walking was difficult at times he found driving a lot easier and therefore the crazy man drove to Scotland to get the ferry to Ireland!

Mum's cousin who I see more like an auntie has a holiday home in Donegal so after a cheeky request to see if it was free she said we could stay there for a few days. We spent many a childhood summer exploring this glorious county but in all the years Mr T and I have been together he has never been there. I've trailed him round many other parts of Ireland but for some reason Donegal was never on our radar.

Even though it's just over 2 hours away from my parent's house in Belfast we broke the trip up by stopping in Derry for a little bit. Mr T was keen to explore the Bogside area and walk the city walls (well as far as he could with a broken toe) which were fascinating to see. Many of the gable end's in Derry are adorned with murals depicting scenes from the Troubles and even though they are similar it felt very different to those in Belfast.

After a few hours of mooching around we headed across the border to and up to Portsalon where we would be spending the next few days. It always makes me chuckle when I think of the border, the only way we all know we are in the South is when our phones change from a UK network to an Irish one. This meant I had no access to 4G and could only get online if there was free WiFi somewhere.

Now I'm a total social media addict and both Mr T and I spend far too long on our phones/laptop/iPad so it was really nice not to have the distraction and spend some quality time together as a family. Unfortunately the weather wasn't on our side for most of our stay but that didn't stop us getting out for a little bit. The Tuesday was a cold and blustery day (12 degrees in August!) but we braved the bracing Atlantic winds and drove to Fanad Head to visit the lighthouse. Standing proud and bright amongst the rugged coastline of Donegal, this stunning piece of architecture has been around for over 200 years.

On one of the days it rained and it rained and it rained. There we were, in a house in the middle of nowhere with no internet and only Sky tv and each other for company and if I'm honest it was the best day of the whole trip. We stayed in our pjs, played with Ethan, watched some cheesy tv and just enjoyed each other's company. We both said if we had been at home we would have been doing odd jobs around the house or faffing on Facebook but instead Mr T lit the fire (yes, I know it's August, but we were in Ireland remember!), I finally finished my Baby Led Weaning book and had a few naps with Ethan. That night we drove to a local seafood restaurant for dinner and as we watched the choppy waters across the bay I felt so relaxed and content.

On our way back to Belfast we took a slight detour to Omagh to visit the Ulster American Folk Park which I strongly recommend you visit. Consisting of old farmhouses and buildings from the 19th and early 20th century it explained all about the Irish immigration to the USA. There were peat fires burning in many of the houses with a lady dressed in traditional costume telling you the story of the house and the family who lived there. Even though I learnt about a lot of this at school I thoroughly enjoyed our visit and we both said we would take Ethan back again when he is older.

Before we headed back to Leeds we had a few more days with my family who just spoil Ethan rotten. He is one lucky boy and I think he's found it odd since we got back not to have constant entertainers on hand.

Our break away was just what we needed - from time with my family to our digital detox in Donegal and savouring each other's company, it truly was a wonderful trip. It also gave me time to think about this blog and what direction I was to take it. Cake and baking will always be at it's core but I enjoy writing these lifestyle posts and sharing snippets of our family life too.

A few photos from our trip...

12C in August???

My boys love fire

Beach time! Too cold for sandcastles so this was the next best thing...

My happy boy!

One of the cottages at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Proud Grandparents 
Proud Uncles

My wee family!

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Me and Mine - July 2016

How on earth is it the end of July and how have I not blogged in almost a month? I missed Me and Mine in June as life was just hectic for us and July has been just as busy. School has finished for Mr T, we've had family come to stay and had lots of lovely days out with friends or as a little family.

It's also been an eventful month in other ways. We have had a few sleep issues with Ethan and he's been teething big time. He's also discovered how to roll so keeps waking himself at night rolling and getting stuck. We have been using the Snuzpod since he has been born and even though he still fits in it length ways he no longer has enough space in the width. On Friday we decided to take a trip to Ikea and buy him his cot. I know most people buy the cot before the baby is born but as we planned to use the Snuz for as long as possible we didn't see the point. We also still live in a rental and had planned to have moved by now but the right house for us hasn't come up yet.

Another big thing for us this month is that Mr T broke his big toe! We were at a friend's house after our Ikea trip and he stumbled coming down the last few stairs. Initially we thought nothing of it but then he noticed through his sock his big toe looked weird, took off his sock and saw the toe was at a weird angle. Cue a trip to Otley Minor Injuries where they couldn't fix it and getting sent to the LGI. All I can say is A&E on a Friday night is grim. Thankfully they were able to reset it, Mr T was strapped up, given crutches and sent home to wait for an appointment for the Fracture Clinic. Unfortunately this means his diving trip next weekend is cancelled and I don't know if I'll be able to fly back home to see my family which was what I had planned to do while he was on his trip. He can't drive now, we live somewhere with poor public transport and can just about manage getting about around the house. Guess we will just have to wait and see...

Ok so that was a bit of a ramble but on a plus we did get two photos taken this month which was much more organised than last month. I still can't believe Ethan is almost 5 months old, time truly is flying by and it won't be long until we start weaning eep!

As always I'm joining in with the Me and Mine linky, make sure you take a look!