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 strawberry picking farmer copleys20140718_074448“A portrait of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014″.

W: I took Winston and Rufus strawberry picking earlier in the week (although R just slept in the baby carrier). We are quite late in the season; making the strawberries harder to find, but I think it made it more fun. W enjoyed it once I finally prised him (kicking and screaming) from a vintage tractor they have near the entrance – no easy task. When I put a strawberry in the punnet he said: “Thanks Mum” and when I showed him a new find he would say: “Fantastic Mummy”. Aside from the tractor incident (!) I felt that we had such a special time together, doing something so simple.

R: This cheeky guy is on the move this week – maybe it’s the food? Ha. He’s a bit crazy to be honest. He can confidently and quickly roll over and drags himself along the floor to get toys. Winston is having to learn sooner than expected to share. Ru hones in on something and goes for it. I’ve heard Winston saying to him: “I’m going to have to move you now, Rufie Ru”…along with some not so pleasant shouting. I feel like things are changing too fast – I was enjoying the stage we are at.

E xx

Why I hate weaning.

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Rufus hit the 6 month mark last weekend. Weaning has been in the back of my mind for a while, but I didn’t want to start properly until I’d had a little refresher session using my usual books and websites. I probably sound slightly crazy.

The truth is – I hate weaning for two reasons. Firstly, it is so messy, unbelievably messy (particularly when they start to self feed) and secondly because now I have to take extra clobber with me when I leave the house. It is great having the only food your baby needs on your body – it’s one less thing to think about. Now I have to think about bibs, spoons, bowls, jars, snacks…the list goes on.

We were so excited for Winston to start on solids when the time came – Jared and I decided the date and made sure we were set up to video the whole event. We were bursting with excitement and fully expected him to wolf the whole lot down. It was the biggest anticlimax ever. He started gagging, doing a strange quivery dance and he didn’t swallow a thing. On the video all you can hear is me saying: “I think we’re about to kill our child on camera”, “Do you think he’s ok?”, “Stop filming!”…over and over. Hardly ideal. Then a few hours later we could not stop laughing at how ridiculous our expectations had been. Why would a baby suddenly know how to swallow when all they had ever known was milk? I look back on that moment of naivety with great fondness.

Over the past week or so Rufus has tried bits and bobs such as strawberries, blueberries, nectarines, corn on the cob, sweet potato, avocado and banana. I started him properly a few days ago and he seems to be enjoying himself. He’s eaten everything he’s tried so far and he’s much better than Winston was at swallowing (sorry W).

weaning baby

 

I don’t subscribe to stage feeding or baby lead weaning. It comes down to confidence and practicality, so I do a bit of both. I have mixed feelings about Gina Ford, but I do follow her timings for when to introduce meals to encourage them to sleep through the night, which means breakfast is not introduced until later. Winston slept through from 7 months once he was established on a couple of meals a day. Is eight hours sleep too much to ask? I have high hopes if you’re reading Ru.

I make a huge batch of pureed veg to put in the freezer (so I know he’s getting some nourishment) but then let him munch on bits of fruit and veg here and there. I keep the veg slightly lumpy, add herbs and then add some olive oil for a bit of healthy fat. They look very unappealing I know. And even less appealing when you’re cleaning it from the floor. I might have overdone it with the cabbage greens, but they were on offer so it was rude not to.

Weaning recipes for baby

Recipes

1. Sweet potato, cabbage greens, carrot, mint, olive oil and black pepper.

2. Sweet potato, courgette, cabbage greens, mangetout, coriander and black pepper.

3. Carrot, peas, cabbage greens, spinach, olive oil and rosemary.

4. Swede, carrot, parsnip, olive oil, rosemary and black pepper.

first baby foods

I’m going to leave it a while before introducing any wheat based products and a couple more weeks to introduce protein. This is my plan for now anyway. I feel so out of practice, so it could be all change.

How exciting must it be to discover so many new tastes and textures?

E xx

A handmade hen party

One of my younger sisters gets married in a few weeks time and I somehow volunteered myself to organise the hen party. It was always going to be quite a low key, relaxed affair at my parents house, so it wasn’t at all stressful to organise, and secretly I love having the opportunity to try out a few ideas from Pinterest.

Friday night we had a party with games, desserts and chatter, then Saturday morning we crafted (which could possibly be the worst Pinterest fail there has ever been – see below) and were beautified. I now have Shellac varnish on my fingers and toes and I am loving it. I’m hoping it lasts a while. Saturday afternoon the bridesmaids and my Mum headed to a spa.

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I could not stop laughing! They couldn’t actually be any worse.

Home Bargains is always my first stop for party paraphernalia. I cannot get enough of that place! Where else can you find candy stripe straws for 99p, flumps for 69p, brown tags for 59p, brown paper for 99p and stencils for 69p? It’s a life saver as well as a money saver.

hen party decor

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I was thrilled with how my DIY tissue paper pom poms turned out. I had no idea that they were so easy to make, or how expensive they to buy ready made. I used this tutorial here and the lady at my local craft shop gave me a great deal on tissue paper as I bought rather a lot. Winston and I had fun painting hearts onto the brown paper with potatoes. I was really pleased with how this turned out and it didn’t take long at all. I recently bought a label maker which came in handy.

homemade pom poms

My sister is going to be moving a little further away from us than we would all like (!) but on the bright side; we will all get to explore a new part of the country that perhaps we wouldn’t ever go.

All that is left to do now, is it enjoy a really lovely wedding day, of a truly wonderful couple!

heart hand printed wrapping paper

E xx

Some plans for Summer

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A number of challenging events have been going on in my family which has meant my thoughts have been all over the place, and I’ve been worrying quite a lot. Thankfully, things have settled down over the last week and I’m sleeping better, but as a consequence I feel this year has whizzed by far too fast and it won’t be slowing down. Jared’s brother is getting married the day before my sister, and I have a number of tasks to get done for both (including adjusting a wedding dress). My nieces and nephews are visiting from China, and I’ve also been asked to make a dress for a very special baby that my sister in law is carrying – an honour I will treasure forever.

We are going on holiday to Cornwall with my family mid-August which I am eager for. My brother has been in South Africa as a missionary for two years, so it will be the perfect opportunity for us all to catch up with him. I’m hoping to have a surfing lesson and swim in the sea more than just a couple of times. Swimming in the sea has a strange effect on me – it makes me feel renewed, like a whole new person.

With life not slowing down, I would hate to get to the end of summer and see opportunities I’d missed to go out and do, so I’ve decided to note down a few things. Nothing major or ambitious. Just something to provide me with some focus. I’ve also decided that summer ends in September.

  • Finish my quilt
  • Go to Ilkley Lido
  • Visit Whitby Abbey
  • Go camping
  • Get chickens
  • Take Winston pond dipping
  • Complete Park Run a number of times and improve my time
  • Buy a bike trailer
  • Get Rufus sleeping through the night
  • Read a book, other than craft books – suggestions welcome!
  • Strawberry picking
  • Redesign my blog
  • Keep on top of my diet and exercise

I’ve been organising my summer wardrobe too. I’m a definite trouser person, but I would love to wear dresses and skirts on a day-to-day basis. Trousers can be too warm and be uncomfortable, but I do love this pair I recently bought from Topshop. Printed trousers are everywhere and I love everything about these. I’ve been wearing my dungarees a lot too!

topshop aztec trousers

Trousers: Topshop Tee: Gap Sandals: Office Necklaces: Topshop Frizzy Hair: Free! Sunglasses: H&M

What are your plans for the summer?

E xx

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20140710_085944IMAG0691 (1)“A portrait of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014″.

W: I love this photo for a number of reasons. Winston is attempting to give me a smile; albeit a fake one, but at least he tried and isn’t turning his head away. He is rather attached to the grey pair of boots he is wearing (a hand me down from one of his cousins). They are a size too big but he keeps getting them out from where I store them upstairs. I also love how he decided the plants outside the front door needed trimming, so that’s exactly what he did.

R: Rooster sporting a make shift sun hat using one of my Dad’s hankies. So many uses. The quality of this picture isn’t great, but I love his expression in it.

E xx