Sunday, 25 October 2015

Baby Sensory Activities - Part 2 - Finger painting with edible paint

So, the last installment of my Baby Sensory Activity series was a No-Mess Finger Painting how to, this installment is the complete opposite - a very messy edible finger painting DIY!

I was looking for something for Ella to do today and decided to give this one a go - courtesy of Pinterest, of course - it was incredibly messy and in fact most of the paint just ended up in her mouth rather that on the paper but for those of you whose babies may be a bit older or have a slightly better attention span this could be a perfect fun, tactile activity! She had fun eating it and playing with the paper anyway.

Here's how you do it...

One very messy baby! I managed to contain most of the mess though by taping sheets of newspaper down to the kitchen floor - which I would definitely recommend! She was straight into a bath after this.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Q&A #2

I asked a few of you to throw some questions at me to answer be it personal, baby or blog related. So here they are - your questions answered!

Let's start with the most hard hitting question of them all...

1. Who was your favourite spice girl?

Posh Spice. No idea why though, but I even dressed up as her all the time. I had the haircut and the little black dress, my friends and I all dressed up as them, sang the songs and did the "peace" sign all time - no one ever wanted to be Scary Spice though.

2. How has it been going from two parents to solo at the moment?

I have days of feeling super in control and onto it and then days where I struggle and feel exhausted. I don't think it's been as difficult as I was anticipating because I was already the primary caregiver of Ella anyway. I think the hardest part is there isn't really much respite at the end of the day, no looking forward to Tom coming home so he could take over and give Ella a bath and get her ready for bed, it just makes for longer days.

The other side to it is that your partner's not there to talk about things or bounce ideas off. I miss having adult communication in the evening after Ella is in bed and I miss waiting for him to come home. I miss just having him there. It's hard having a long distance relationship and it sort of feels like everything's been turned upside down. I know it's not forever and it's just for a few more months but it is a struggle some days.

3. My go to/ easy meal ideas.

When dinner rolls around quicker than expected and I don't have anything planned for dinner for Ella my go to meals are normally pasta or mashed potato, kumara and mixed veggies. I try and plan dinner in the morning but when I don't get around to it these are a couple of pasta meals I fall back on...

Spaghetti or Penne in a tomato sauce.

Boil up some pasta and add some Tomato & Basil Passatta, chop up some cherry tomatoes, grate some cheese on top and away you go. If you wanted to add more veg you could heat the passatta in a pan first, add in some spinach, allow it to wilt and then use a stick blender to blend until smooth - a good way of getting extra veg into a fussy baby's diet.

Chicken and Bacon pasta in a garlic sauce.

This is a favourite of Ella's and is hoovered down within minutes If your baby is not used to garlic you could add a little less or substitute pesto. Pan fry some small bits of chopped chicken and bacon. Put some spiral pasta in a pot to boil. In a clean frying pan add a decent knob of butter (a tablespoon or two) add two tablespoons of pureed garlic (the store bought tubs with no added salt) and fry off a little. Sprinkle in a tablespoon or two of flour and mix with a whisk, allow the flour to cook off a little bit and then add 2/3rds of a cup of milk and half a cup of chicken or vegetable stock (reduced salt or no added salt) and allow the sauce to reduce until thickened. Add sauce to your pasta, bacon and chicken and then great a little parmesan cheese on top.

Crumbed Chicken or Fish Fingers

To crumb your protein coat in flour, dip into (one) egg beaten with a fork, and cover in breadcrumbs pan fry with a tiny amount of butter, vegetable oil or even coconut oil until cooked through you could even bake if you prefer. This could be done in half an hour but if you have more time you could roast some pumpkin, kumara and potato's with a little olive oil and serve alongside your fish fingers as chips. Add some peas or mixed veggies and your away!

4. Have I planned Ella's first birthday party yet?

Yes! It's going to be a (light) woodland creatures theme with touches of pink and gold. I haven't really bought anything yet but I have just sent out invitations and will slowly buy the things I need over the next month. I will also do a blog post on the whole day, including details on decor, party food.

5. What do I want to do with my life when all my babies are in school?

Get back into Makeup and try to make a good go of it! Whilst I was pregnant with Ella I went to makeup school and graduated with a diploma in fashion makeup artistry. I sort of lost interest a little bit - after an intensive few months of constant makeup applications - especially in my last term of pregnancy when I was so tired and was in the process of nesting in preparation for Ella's arrival. Now, that she's almost a year old I have started to build my kit back up again bit by bit - which is NOT cheap! - in the hopes of getting back into it properly next year! I want to try and get my freelance business off the ground and hopefully earn a steady income from weddings mainly.

6. Do you find that people only talk to you about Ella and being a Mum now? If so, how do you feel about it?

Yes! I quite enjoy it, to a point, though - honestly I could talk about Ella all day haha, but I think most Mum's would do that though. There are times where I miss talking about things other than babies though and I crave normal adult company. I also find now, that as soon as I see someone it's straight away talking to Ella, I'm sort of an afterthought, I miss being my own person not just Mum or not just Ella's Mum - you sort of lose your identity as an adult when you become a Mum and it's nice to just talk to people that want to talk to me - about things other than babies.

7. Favourite colour for Ella to wear?

Blue, red or peach! She suits blue so much, because of her eyes I think and I love peachy colours on her as well. I try to not put her in pink too often because I think it's nice to not constantly dress her in the typical "girly" pink - not that she never wears pink!

8. Do you have a "go-to" or old faithful outfit?

Two words. "Mum Uniform". The standard t-shirt and jeans! These days I dress for practicality and comfort. I still like to dress nice though. Normally, I'll wear a t-shirt with an oversized cardigan, jeans and ankle boots.

9. Do you watch teen Mom?

Yes! Well I used to anyway until they brought out so many series'. I liked to watch the original girls Maci, Catelynn and Amber.

10. Favourite baby clothing store?

Cotton on kids! Hands down. Second to that would be the Carters range at Farmers.

11. Favourite meal?

Italian! Anything italian! Mainly pasta or lasagna. You can't beat a good Italian. I'm longing to go back to Italy to eat "proper" Italian food, I am yet to find a place that really matches up to authentic italian food - Jeez, I sound like such a snob! Haha

12. Ella's favourite food?

Cherry tomatoes, Cheese and yoghurt! Haha

13. My opinion on dummies?

Simple. I love them more than Ella does! Haha. Honestly, though each to their own. I don't judge, if you want to use one - great, if not that's entirely your opinion.

14. How many children do I want to have?

At least two (including Ella), I quite like the idea of three but I'll see how I feel after having a second one.

15. Does Ella have any teeth?

She has four now - two on the bottom and two on the top - and I think possibly another one coming through.

16. Favourite TV program?

The Block or anything home and renovating related. My Kitchen Rules as well.

There you have it! Another Q&A done and dusted. I hope you learned a little more about me or maybe just some useless pieces of information! Haha

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Survival guide - flu season with babies!

I've pretty much been sick for the last 6 weeks - which is very unlike me but ever since I've had Ella I seem to get sick more. I think it's because we are exposed to it more often because it seems babies and children are like a hotbed for germs and illness haha. Ella is currently on the mend following a  really nasty case of the flu, requiring antibiotics, which I am thankful for and hoping that now it's getting warmer the flu season will finally be over. There has been so much sickness going around this year it's ridiculous!

I was thinking, since we have had our fair share of the flu this year, I would share some of the things that helped Ella feel more comfortable or my MUST haves for any Mum with a baby approaching the flu season or just things that are handy to have all year round.

Starting with a few of the products in my "flu fighting" arsenal!

1. Vicks Vaporizer - I don't actually own one of these myself but a friend suggested I borrow hers to try help with Ella's congestion at bed time - I will definitely be purchasing one for future use! It produces warm steam with Eucalyptus, Camphor and Menthol to help clear airways overnight (for 12-18 hours).

2. Kiwiherb Herbal Chest Syrup - A completely natural, herbal remedy to help ease chesty coughs in all ages. Kiwiherb have a great range and variety of natural remedies for various different ailments. As there are no medicated cough syrups on the market for babies up to 1 year old - this natural one fits the bill just nicely.

3. Vicks Baby Balsam - A reduced strength vapor rub for children aged three months to five years. This is a staple for colds in my household, it gets slathered all over Ella's chest, back and feet. It really helps to clear her nose - especially overnight, when sleep becomes difficult! If I was to choose only one product to assist with congestion it would be this - it's a MUST HAVE!

4. Fess little noses saline drops - It's an alcohol free, non-medicated saline solution that helps to thin mucus and moisturise a baby's nasal cavities to help them breathe easier. A baby's natural instinct is to breath through their nose, so when they can't it can make sleeping and feeding very difficult. This one also comes with a great nasal aspirator!

5. Snuffle Babe Nasal Aspirator - A very non-glamourous part of Motherhood can often result in you being required to suck out baby snot - ick - so rather than doing it yourself I suggest you invest in a nasal aspirator, such as this one to do the job for you. This one I bought from Countdown. Whatever nasal aspirator you decide to choose make sure that it's one that has a slim nozzle that actually fits in your baby's nose - I made the mistake of buying one that was way too big!

6. Pamol Infant drops - When baby has a temperature or needs pain relief it pays to always have a bottle on hand, whether it be Pamol infant drops or the paracetamol from the pharmacy this is a MUST HAVE for my last resort. Suitable from 3 months up.

7. Nurofen for Children - Much the same as Pamol and does the same job but I have heard some Mum's feel Nurofen is more effective although Pamol works fine for Ella. Suitable from 3 months up.

Now, a few tips I found that were also necessary or helpful...

1. Raise one end of the baby's bed or cot. It can help with breathing and congestion to have baby sleeping slightly more upright rather than completely horizontal. Although, if you have a vigourous roller like Ella is it becomes somewhat pointless, as she rolls down to the bottom and that's where she stays.

2. A thermometer is a great tool to have, even though you can generally feel a temperature by touch but it helps to have a proper reading. I am on the lookout for an amazing thermometer - my one is a bit unpredictable - if you have a good one you swear by let me know!

3. If baby only wants to sleep on you, then let them! There is nothing better than Mum or Dad's hugs to help soothe an unwell baby.

4. If in doubt, about anything in terms of your baby's health or wellbeing don't hesitate to consult your Doctor or healthline (0800 611 116) who are an amazing support service!

What is your number one tip for coping with the flu?

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Ella's 10 Month Update

I've just realised I am yet to do Ella's monthly update! 

She is now officially 10 months old so it's about time I updated you all on what's she's doing, eating and loving right now.

I weigh - 10kgs (at a guess)

I am:

- Not proper crawling but I have just started to commando crawl.
- I can pull myself up onto things to stand.
- Eating well, with three meals a day and still three formula bottles.
- Pointing at everything.
- Clapping
- I can say Mumma and Dada and various other sounds.
- Still sleeping 12 hours overnight.
- I have three teeth, two on the bottom and one on the top with another about to cut through.
- I am in the middle of leap 7 - sequences.
- I have just got over a really nasty case of the flu!

I love:

- My Mummy and Daddy, but I miss my Daddy alot.
- All my family.
- See my Grandparents.
- Playing with my friends.
- Playing with the cats - they love me now!
- I love my food, tomatoes, cheese, yoghurt and pasta are my favourites.
- Going to wriggle and rhyme.
- Being sung too.

I can't believe my baby is a year old at the end of NEXT month, there will definitely be some tears from my end. I honestly don't know where all the time has gone, it feels like it's on fast forward. It feels just like yesterday where I was holding my baby for the first time and I can remember it so clearly. Wahh!!!!

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers