Time to eat my words?!

This time last week, I was determined to wait until A was 6 months to start him on solids, so we could do baby led weaning. This week, I’ve kind of changed my mind. Well, there’s no kind of about it….

We’ve had a bit of a hellish week. B came down with some hideous virus on Sunday and even now, on Thursday, is not 100%. So between A being up every 2 hours during the night most nights, and B being up not well, on Monday I was like a zombie. I did my Tesco shop online in a sleep deprived haze, and for some reason I decided to stick some Ella’s Kitchen pouches into my basket. In the end, I was at the doctor with B when the shopping was delivered on Tuesday, so my mum, who was minding A for me, unpacked everything. She left the pouches sitting on the worktop, where they remained until yesterday morning – a morning which followed another sleepless night.

I remembered that before we’d started weaning properly with B, I’d let her play about with baby rice on the tray of her high chair. OK, I thought, let’s let A puddle about with some fruit puree at lunchtime. OK it’s not BLW, but it’s not spoon feeding either. Lunchtime got closer, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. Then had an attack of the guilts that B’s first foods had all been homemade, and I decided I couldn’t give A something out a packet (nothing against Ella’s Kitchen, B still loves a “fruity pouch”!!). I had some pears in the fridge so I whipped up some pear puree. As you do.

I made myself a sandwich and popped A in his highchair – he’s been sitting at the table with us for a week or so now. I spooned some of the pears onto the tray and waited with great expectation. Nothing. He didn’t even notice they were there! Our highchair isn’t great for self feeding as the tray is quite high, and we’d planned to get another one after our holiday next week, so I helped him get his hands on to the tray and dipped his fingers in the puree. Still completely non plussed, and his hands fell back into his lap. Then I remembered reading about pre loaded spoons as part of BLW, so I got a spoon from the drawer (he’s been playing with a spoon and a cup while he sits in the high chair), loaded it with pear and held it out to him. He took it straight away, and put it straight to his mouth. A look of surprise crossed his wee face as he got his first taste, then he kept chewing on the spoon. We repeated this process five or six times. Some ended up on his face, some ended up down his front, but some definitely went in his mouth!! I was quite excited (and also hoping hubby wouldn’t be mad that I’d done it when he wasn’t there!).

Last night, A woke up at 11.20pm, which is a wee bit early for his night time shenanigans to start. Hubby went through and managed to settle him back to sleep, and I though that might buy us an hour or so before he woke for a feed. Next thing I was aware of was B at my bedside asking for Calpol. I looked at the clock. 4.45am!!!! I was so surprised I actually went to check on A before I saw to B. Needless to say he was fine, and he remained sound asleep until 6.15am, when I took him in beside me and he dozed off again until after 7am.

Now it could have been complete coincidence. I also had no caffeine yesterday for the first time in ages, so that could have been a factor in better sleep too. But I’m not taking any chances!! At lunch today, he had carrot puree (same process, pre loaded spoon) and a slice of avocado (which I think pretty much all got spat out!). I hadn’t planned to give him anything at teatime, but he was grouchy so I gave him a bit of broccoli from my plate. He ended up chewing on three bits of broccoli – again, some of it was spat out, but I think a wee bit went in.

So I’m not sure what kind of weaning we’re doing, but safe to say the process has begun, even if it is three weeks earlier than planned. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks we’ll lean more towards BLW, but in the meantime we’ll just take it as it comes (and hope for a few more good nights!!!). And I’m sure the Ella’s Kitchen stuff will come in handy next week when we’re away.


Family frustrations!

I’ve mentioned before that my mum (and dad, but particularly my mum) does a lot for us as a family.  Since I went back to work, they keep B one day a week, meaning I get paid for three days of work but only have to pay for two days of childcare.  They are the only babysitters B has ever been left with, not just to let me and hubby go out for the evening but to let me get my hair cut, go to the doctor or the dentist, or even go to the supermarket in peace!  In the almost three years I was back at work before going on maternity leave last year, I never once had to take a day off because B was poorly – mum and dad would always step in and look after her.  Since A was born, they have helped me out with bathtime and bedtime when hubby has been out or away, they’ve popped round and taken B out for an hour when we’ve been having one of ‘those’ days.  And as if all that wasn’t enough, my mum has done our ironing since I fell pregnant with A!!

I suppose as a result of all the extra help they give us, I do sometimes bite my tongue about some of the things they do with B.  Nothing major, just too much “treaty” food, too many new toys/comics/colouring books etc, and especially recently when her behaviour has been very challenging, they sometimes undermine what I’m trying to do at home.  But that’s what grandparents are for, right?!

However, I think me and my mum might be about to clash a little bit.  A is not sleeping very well, after being brilliant as a newborn he is now up sometimes every hour between midnight and 5am, at which point he usually ends up in beside us.  He only feeds once, around half past midnight or 1am – the rest of the time he tends to be awake and grumpy, but not interested in feeding.  Despite this, my mum keeps saying I should be giving him a bottle of formula at bedtime so he’ll “sleep through”.  Gah. 

Last week, she said (and I quote), “I assume you’ll start him on formula once he’s on solids?”.  Ermmm, no.  Why would I?  “When did you stop feeding B?  Wasn’t that when you weaned her?”.  Well yes it was, but she was combination fed from about 6 weeks, and by the time I stopped breastfeeding, I was only giving her the first feed in the morning.  Plus I didn’t enjoy feeding her and couldn’t wait to stop!  Mum knows that this time around I feel totally differently about bf-ing, and ultimately it’s working out for us – A is gaining plenty weight, ok he’s not sleeping but if it’s not hunger that’s waking him then formula ain’t going to help!!

The final straw was yesterday when they dropped B off after her ‘Nana Papa’ day.  We’d spoken about weaning A before and I’d mentioned my plans to do baby led weaning, so yesterday I said that before I start him on solids I would let her read some of the stuff I’ve gathered on BLW.  She looked a bit sceptical, so I explained that babies who start off on finger foods can quite often gag, and it’s important to know the difference between gagging and choking.  I then also made the mistake of saying that in the first few months it doesn’t really matter if he doesn’t eat much, as he’ll still get most of the nutrition he needs from breastmilk.  Cue various comments about how can I expect him to sleep through in that case, finished off by the statement “Well if I’m looking after him he’ll just be getting proper baby food”.

Now I’m not saying that A will not be fed anything off a spoon at all, but that’s my decision to make once we get started.  Mum’s remark is the equivalent of her saying “Well if I’m looking after him I’ll just give him a bottle of formula instead of expressed milk”.

I’m not really too sure how to address this.  In a lot of ways it’s probably not even worth bringing it up again at the moment – we’re still a few weeks away from weaning, and I don’t have any plans to leave A with my folks for any length of time in the immediate future.  But at the same time, I feel like I need to make it clear that all these things are my decisions – how long I breastfeed for, how we move on to solids – and I need support, not someone questioning my choices, however well intentioned it is.

I suppose part of it comes from an increased confidence on my part – as a first time mum I constantly asked my own mum for advice and for her opinion on what we were doing with B.  Maybe Mum is feeling less needed this time around.  Maybe I need to make more of an effort to involve her with our day to day routine with A, and she’ll come to appreciate my point of view on the bigger decisions.

I shall keep you posted!


1. What are you wearing?
Black skinny jeans, pink top
2. Ever been in love?
3. Ever had a terrible breakup?
Errmmm, terrible at the time as in I had my heart broken? Yes, twice.
4. How tall are you?
About 5ft 4 in my heels!
5. How much do you weigh?
8st 4 – I got the scales out especially to check!
6. Any tattoos?
A dolphin on my back. B always asks why the paint on my back hasn’t washed off!!
7. Any piercings?
Just my ears
8. OTP?

According to Google this stands for One True Pairing or One Time Password. I’m not telling you my passwords!!!  So I’ll say Scott and Charlene from Neighbours (showing my age!!!!)
9. Favourite show?
Masterchef, X Factor, Big Brother, One Born, Call the Midwife, Homeland

10. Favourite bands?

All time favourite is Take That, currently loving The Vamps.  Basically anything with a few good looking young pups singing pop songs!!!
11. Something you miss?
Long lies!
12. Favourite song?
Rule the World by Take That
13. How old are you?
14. Zodiac sign?
15. Quality you look for in a partner?
Someone who can make me laugh, someone who shares the same values
16. Favourite Quote?
“Nothing lasts forever so live it up, drink it down, laugh it off, avoid the bullshit, take chances and never have regrets, because at one point everything you did was exactly what you wanted” – Marilyn Monroe
17. Favourite actor?
Ryan Gosling. Purely for his acting skills you understand….!!
18. Favourite colour?
Purple or turquoise
19. Loud music or soft?
Depends on my mood.  Although I do like singing along in the car at the top of my voice!
 20. Where do you go when you’re sad?
My mum’s
21. How long does it take you to shower?
Could easily spend half an hour in the shower, but not much chance of that with 2 little people around!
22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
Anything from 10 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on previously mentioned little people!!
23. Ever been in a physical fight?
No, I’d be rubbish
24. Turn on?
Nice eyes, nice shoes!
25. Turn off?
26. The reason I started blogging?
I was enjoying reading lots of blogs, and I enjoy writing (it’s one of the few things I miss about my job!) so thought I’d give it a bash
27. Fears?
28. Last thing that made you cry?
Miserable day yesterday with A teething, combined with headache and lack of sleep 😦
29. Last time you said you loved someone?
To B when she left to go to Nana’s for a sleepover (along with warnings to behave!!)
30. Meaning behind your blog name?
Two of my favourite things – a fine piece is a cake and a blether is a chat!
31. Last book you read?
The Believers by Zoe Heller
32. The book you’re currently reading?
Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth
33. Last show you watched?

Masterchef on catch up
34. Last person you talked to?
Last person I talked to was A, last person I talked to that can talk back was my mum!
35. The relationship between you and the person you last texted?
36. Favourite food?
Jaffa cakes and smoked salmon.  Although not usually together.
37. Place you want to visit?
Would love to go back to New York
38. Last place you were?
The park
39. Do you have a crush?
I’ve had a crush on Mark Owen from Take That since I was 12
40. Last time you kissed someone?
A when I tucked him up in bed
41. Last time you were insulted?
Ermmm, can’t think! Oh, we had a friend from B’s nursery over to play in Feb and both kids and mums had a fab time, well I thought so anyway, lots of “Oh we must do this again”! But the invitation has never been returned. So I suppose I am mildly insulted by that!!
42. Favourite flavour of sweet?
Cola bottles
43. What instruments do you play?
Played the violin and the flute as a kid, doubt I could get much of a tune out of either nowadays!
44. Favourite piece of jewellery?
My engagement ring
 45. Last sport you played?
Sport, don’t make me laugh!!!
46. Last song you sang?
Do You Want to Build a Snowman (from Frozen)
47. Favourite chat up line?
LOL, been a long time since I’ve been chatted up!
48. Have you ever used it?
Ha, see above!
49. Last time you hung out with anyone?
What, other than kids/hubby/my mum?? We went to friends on Tuesday so the kids could play, does that count as hanging out?!?
50. Who should answer these questions next?

When Grandma came to stay

As I mentioned in my last post, my mother in law lives in New Zealand, having moved there about 11 and a half years ago.  This of course means that we don’t see her very often – we Skype with her once a month or so, but actual visits are few and far between.  So there was great excitement in the house at the end of last week as Grandma was coming to stay for five days (she spends 3 or 4 weeks in the UK in total, but comes to Aberdeen for only a part of that).  It would be the first time she would meet A, and she hadn’t seen B in 18 months.  I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t feeling that excited – the thought of a houseguest when I am surviving on about 4 hours sleep a night thanks to A did not really float my boat, plus MIL is a vegetarian, so I had to get creative with my weekly menu!!!

Things got off to a bad start on Friday evening when Grandma’s flight up from London was delayed.  We’d told B she would be with us for teatime, but because of the delay that didn’t happen.  It also meant hubby wasn’t home for tea as he was picking her up from the airport, so me and B sat eating the vegetable and chickpea stew I’d made in the slow cooker (could have had meat after all!!!!!), with B asking every two minutes where Grandma was….  Eventually I could keep A going no longer, so gave him his bath, got B washed and told her to get into her pjs while I fed A, so at least she was ready for bed – and I promised she could stay up late if there was no sign of them arriving by the time I’d got A settled.  Just as B was getting her pjs on, the front door went and she shot off downstairs, only to return less than five minutes later.  I think she had just got over excited, and was tired after a busy day at nursery, and had just been a bit overwhelmed by it all!!  I managed to persuade her to take a book downstairs for Grandma to read her – then I heard hubby saying “But Grandma needs to have her tea”, at which point I very nearly shot off my chair with A still feeding to tell him not to be so bloody ridiculous, the poor child had been waiting for 18 months and two hours to see her Grandma, and surely dinner could wait five minutes!??!  Thankfully Grandma’s common sense prevailed and B got her story, then settled down to sleep no problem.

We had various things planned for B to do with Grandma over the course of her visit, so in an attempt to let Grandma spend a little bit of time with A, I managed to persuade B to go to her drama class on Saturday morning.  Added bonus for me was that it meant an hour on my own sitting in the café reading my book while I waited for her (I know, not as daft as I look!!!).  We headed home at lunchtime (sandwiches, easy!), then B had a skiing lesson in the afternoon which she wanted Grandma to watch.  When they came back from that, B wanted to do some colouring with Grandma, then we had lots of fun singing and dancing to the Frozen soundtrack!!  To give her her due, Grandma joined in with gusto!  Tea was a Chinese takeaway, so easy to cater for everyone’s tastes.

Sunday morning we went swimming, followed by lunch at my mum’s to fill some time!  It turned into a lovely afternoon, so when we got back from mum’s B wanted to go out on her bike, so that got everyone out from under my feet for a while!  I’d planned to have pasta for dinner, but my mum had made minestrone soup for lunch, so I had a quick change of plan and we had pizzas and salad instead.  By bathtime B was nearly asleep on the living room floor – all the excitement and exercise was wearing her out!

We had no specific plans for Monday, but it was the start of the school holidays and I’d seen a craft fair and play session advertised in Union Terrace Gardens for that morning, so we decided to head there.  It was a bit of a let down unfortunately – there were two ladies who were in charge of the play session, but they made no attempt at all to engage with us or get B involved.  Not that B was fussed, she got stuck in anyway, playing stepping stones with bits of wood and building a tower and a bridge out of plastic bits.  I think the intention is to encourage free play with equipment that they provide, but a “welcome” would have been nice!  Similarly, there wasn’t much to the craft fair either – a guy displaying 3D printing, and the opportunity to do a drawing to be added to a giant Easter Egg that will be displayed in Aberdeen Art Gallery.  So B did some drawing, by which time it was starting to rain and A was due a feed, so we headed to the shopping centre – B and daddy for a browse round the Early Learning Centre and me, A and Grandma to the John Lewis café for refreshments!!  After lunch at home, B decorated a couple of eggs for her nursery Easter competition, then hubby suggested taking her to see the Lego movie.  The cinema trip meant another couple of hours of one on one time for me and A, which is always nice, and while he napped I made the pasta dish I’d planned to make the previous night, with lentil and veg sauce (recipe here courtesy of Tealady Mumbles!).  The cinema goers came home having thoroughly enjoyed the film (daddy possibly most of all!!), and straight away B wanted to get her Lego out!

Yesterday saw another trip out for B with hubby and Grandma, this time to the theatre to see Aliens Love Underpants!  B loves the theatre, and I think it’s great to give kids the opportunity to go to things like that if you can.  Again me and A stayed at home, but went into town and met the other three for lunch after their show, which was a big hit with B.  We went to Café Rouge, who incidentally do a really nice kids menu.  While hubby was off walking A in the buggy in an attempt to get him to nap, he came across free face painting in the shopping centre, so we headed over there after we’d eaten and B got her face done as a butterfly!  We headed home about 2.30 so I could get tea started (prawn pilau, hooray for fish eating vegetarians!!) and B and Grandma literally spent the rest of the afternoon playing Barbies.  I wasn’t allowed in B’s room!  Because it had turned into a gorgeous evening and we were finished tea pretty early, B then got out for a bike ride before her bath – a lovely way to round off Grandma’s last day.

This morning Grandma’s cases were all packed, and my dad arrived to take her down to the station to get the train down to Glasgow to see my brother in law (nicely timed to coincide with his 30th this weekend).  I thought B would be upset when she left, but she gave her a hug and waved from the window, then got on with getting ready for her day at my mum’s.  It was then I realised that she doesn’t really have any concept that she won’t see her Grandma for at least another 18 months.

We had all this ‘stuff’ planned for when Grandma, but I bet if I ask B what her favourite part of Grandma’s visit was, she would say playing Barbies, or Grandma pushing her on the swing in the garden.  I certainly appreciated the extra pair of hands, whether they were keeping B entertained, or carting A around when he was grouchy.  I don’t suppose I’ve ever really thought about it before, but it does make me wonder how different things would be if she lived in the UK.  It also makes me appreciate once again how lucky I am to have my own parents on our doorstep, sharing so closely in my children’s lives as they grow up.