Poodini and the first roll

At 19 weeks, Baby E has done his first roll this week.  He’s been trying really really hard for about a week now and he suddenly managed it after a fair bit of trying to pull his weight over.  This is the age I started writing about Z over five years ago and I can suddenly see a bit of a difference in their personalities.   Z has always been impatient to do everything quickly right from when I was pregnant.  It used to feel like he was always trying to break out of my womb and he’s been in a rush every since.  E seems to be a lot calmer with a sort of chilled out personality.  When Z rolled over he was in a rush to get moving straight away.  E, on the other hand, hasn’t bothered rolling since. It’s almost as if “rolling over, check!  I’ll just lie here and try to eat my feet now”.    It’s fascinating to watch his personality emerge and a bit wonderous to see that parts of their character and nature are formed even before they are born.  

  
It’s also been a week of poo. Lots and lots of poo.  Pooing up ones back, to be precise.  I know it’s all related to teething and will probably go on for a few more weeks but I’ve been trying everything so that he’s not leaking into his clothes constantly and nothing is working.  This little poodini somehow manages to get it up his back no matter what.   We have gone up a nappy size, changed nappies, listened out for squelching noises and moved faster than a ninja, and still.  Poodini manages to still get it into his vest. And he always looks very happy about it too.  We are now trying double nappies and so far so good.  It’s been about 24 hours so far.  

I’ve realised how much I dress him in babygros even at 4 months.  I suppose I should put little boy clothes on him a lot more but babygros are just so cute. They really don’t stay little for too long so I’m just going to do it until he’s walking.  Ok, a bit before that.  Plus I’ve brought about a million of them so I should make the most of it. 

Post linked up to Project 366 / Project 53 and My Sunday Photo. Thanks for reading!

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The Golden Baby Age

  According to one of many baby milestone emails that I read, 4 months is the golden baby age.  The time when babies laugh lots and interact, look very cute, and stay in one place still, making them easy to handle.  It’s a very lovely age.  Baby E is now constantly pawing at faces and trying to either wolverine it off or lean in enthusiastically for a slobber on cheeks. He’s also under the impressing he has springs for legs.  The jumperoo is assembled and getting a good work out. E bounces away happily for ages squealing every so often.  I think he thinks we’re around for jumperoo-ing too, constantly wanting to bounce in our laps the minut we pick him up.

I’m also pretty sure teething has well and truly started.  We have rosey red cheeks and various degrees of poonamis through the week.   I forgot how you can have a baby in a very cute outfit one minute and then have to change them about 33 minutes later.  Sleeping is a bit more stable again, which is lovely! There are of course nights that are still a bit up and down but, on the whole, he is sleeping much better and that’s rather wonderful for my eye bags.  I now need to desperately get my hair cut and take my huge hat off that I’ve been donning for the past 4 months.   It does keep my ears and head wonderfully warm though so I think I’ll miss it.   

I think there’s lots more golden moments to come, 4 months is not the best of it.  There is the first crawl, the first words, the first steps, so many firsts.  Having a baby laugh heartily at your crap jokes is the perfect audience for any kind of self esteem boost though!  I’ve noticed he can roll over now and is putting a lot of effort into trying to get his foot into his mouth.  I’m making a lot of effort in trying to capture that moment.  Another first. Any day now…I think!

Post linked up to Project 366 / Project 53 and My Sunday Photo. Thanks for reading!

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The judgey couple

On a recent lunch date with a lovely friend we decided it would be nice to drive into the depths of Yorkshire and visit a pretty little place in a pretty little hamlet.  It was a place she’d discovered on her travels. It looked more than 500 years old, had a huge open fire and made those delicious home cooked meals that people were obviously travelling far and wide for.  It also looks very popular with couples and groups in the week days.   One of those couples were seated across from us and saw us arrive with a buggy and baby in tow.

They must have been late 60s and looked like they were staring for a brief while at us then discussing their observations with each other.  They looked back over and observed some more, eyeing up the baby, the buggy and back to the baby.  Uh oh.  I hoped Baby E would behave himself.  Of course he read my mind and started grizzling to be let out at once so he could have a good nosey at everything.  Thankfully he was most pleased at escaping his car seat, his little head darting about like a meerkat.  The couple looked over again.  Arrrgh. 

Eventually I caught the lady’s eye and she opened her mouth to say something.  Uh oh, what could it be that had her starting at the baby so much?  She opened her mouth and it all came out…

“We just can’t stop staring at your buggy! The things they can do these days.  Those wheels and that car seat with the air bags!”

All this time they had been amazed by the advances in travel systems.  They hadn’t been bothered or paranoid by the baby one bit!  They commented on how good he was and we talked about how old he was, if he was good generally, friendly baby chit chat. Mr stare a lot briefly reminisced about parenting their own brood many years ago.  They left with one last look at the baby and the travel system they were so fascinated by.  

So, the moral of this mini story is that, more often than not, those you think that are judging you, aren’t judging you.  Or your baby.  In fact, sometimes they’re admiring something you never even thought would attract any attention.  So enjoy the long overdue chat with your friend wholeheartedly, as well as your sticky toffee pudding with the hot caramel sauce. 

   

 

Post linked up to Project 366 / Project 53 and My Sunday Photo. Thanks for reading!

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Dear David Cameron – This Muslim girl can. Because of her mum

Dear David Cameron,

Yesterday you linked the lack of english speaking skills to terrorism and specifically honed in on Muslim women stating that there is a section of society susceptible to being swept away and lured in by ISIS.  I was left a bit baffled by that.  But then I increasingly am these days whenever you say something.  My eyes hurt more and more from all the eye rolling.  Your confidently made statement was so flawed but you’ve promised £20 million to start fixing the problem.  I just don’t get it.  Personally I think you should spend that on the Northern floods but that’s by the by. Let me explain. 

You did have a valid point about integration and about how everyone should speak the English language better.  That’s not a just a Muslim woman issue though.  It’s a hang up that is part and parcel of migration and affects all cultures.    You will find pockets of these communities all over the world.  Ex-pats living in a country where some will easily integrate into society and some will live amongst like minded people.  With that you get places like China town, the curry mile, the amazing bagel places.  It’s not a problem unique to England and most definitely not down to Muslim women not learning the language.

You stated Muslim women with poor English language skills need to improve them and then went on to link it to combating terrorism.   From what I’ve seen over the last few years, 100% of those home made videoes from ISIS recruits have all been made by young lads with rude boy accents who “talk like dat, you get me”.   I’ve never once seen an army of Muslim women talking about killing non-believers, gesturing wildly as their English skills are so bad.  I could be wrong, I’ve stopped watching the news too much these days.  Maybe it’s because you talk about ISIS so much that everything is starting to look the same now?  

A massive chunk of those with poor English skills are migrants that came over to England between the 50s and 70s.  There was a huge drive for labourers at the time, to fill up the mills, to rebuild the country after the war.   Those migrants are now 50 and above and you won’t catch them flocking to terrorism.  You’ll find them looking after their grand kids during the week days and sat about at family parties at weekends complaining about how their joints ache, their diabetes is out of control, how their little terror of a grandchild is running them ragged but how they wouldn’t change it for the world.

The majority of those migrants with poor English speaking skills settled here decades ago and raised their kids without their own family around for support, pushing their little ones hard through education so that they would have an amazing future.  My mum was one of those, an Indian migrating to England from Kenya.  She gets by politely with her English.  Her kids improved it a lot through the years and her grandkids continue to do so day after day.   Because of her (and her husband, my dad), her kids speak 4 languages each, got degrees and now work in good jobs.  They give back to society by paying their taxes, paying it forward to charities and trying to raise their own kids right.  Because of her, this Muslim girl can and did.   

Some of my closest and oldest Muslim friends come from a similar background. Between us there are doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, accountants, orthoptists, care workers, teachers, IT workers. I could go on all day.  90% of their parents possess limited English speaking skills.  It didn’t lead them or any of their kids to terrorism.  Their work ethic, thirst for education and hard work led their kids to having a better future.  I’m not special, this isn’t just unique to my circle.  You’ll find this in the majority of communities and cultures; people striving to do their best.

And I bet you, if you asked each one of these individuals they would say this Muslim did. Because of their mum (and dad!). 

Watching the siblings

I’m pretty sure I’ve made a firm discovery over the last few weeks.  I’ve joked about it before but I’m now certain that Baby Es favourite person isn’t either of his parents.  It’s his big brother.  He will allow himself to be hugged and squished pretty firmly and will generously shower his big brother with lots of hugs, now grabbing onto him as his grasp improves during the big 4 month leap babies go through.   It’s been a week of a lot of hugs and cooing, some for mum and dad, the majority for little Z.   Little Z still wants to drag his baby brother around the playground showing him off to everyone.  Even the dinner ladies get a regular viewing now.

There’s been hard attempts at trying to roll over.  He tries very hard but is only able to manage about half way whilst his little owl head will turn all directions to locate his older sibling.  I get the feeling a full roll may not be too far away and that of course means growing an extra pair of eyes and hands.  This time though, I do have little Mother hen Z who happily runs about after him and showering cuddles whether the baby wants them or not.  It’s also the start of me losing, what feels like, all my hair.  I was a bit shocked when it happened after Z, not realising this was one of the post pregnancy joys that all women go through.  This time I’m just sad to see my shiny hair go, in clumps!  I should strongly consider the Sinead O’Connor bald look at the rate it’s falling out (and going grey!).  Baby E is always either covered in it or is trying to put a newly discovered strand in his mouth.  Lucky for me, my little helper makes sure Baby Es tightly curled hands are hair free. 

This phase is lovely.  I’m sure once Baby E is on the move he will become more irritating to his big brother as he makes a swipe for all his toys and Lego bits.  It’ll also mean moving a lot of things and putting them out of reach of tiny hands. So for now, I’ll enjoy watching them together and snapping one too many photos.  

  

Post linked up to Project 366 / Project 53 and My Sunday Photo. Thanks for reading!

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The nearly 4 month sleep regression

The first time with Z I didn’t realise there was such a thing as the 4 month sleep regression.  He slept so terribly I’m not sure I really saw much difference.  He was my cuckoo clock baby, waking every 2 hours without fail.  I was like a grumpy zombie for months and months.  I never ever slept the same way ever again. In contrast, Baby E has been a huge sleepy blessing.  He doesn’t sleep through but he does do a 5 or 6 hour stretch some nights and it’s bliss. Of course there are are terrible, grumpy, zombie inducing nights too, but this time round, Baby Es 4 month sleep regression isn’t too bad… Just yet.  

Maybe it’s that I just don’t sleep the same post Z, or maybe it’s that a 5 hour stretch is an ok block for a couple of days.  Whatever it is, I really hope Baby E doesn’t decide being a jack in the box baby every couple of hours is a fun thing to do.  As he’s now discovered his voice he will shout very happily through the evening which keeps Z wondering about the kind of party E is having downstairs. It’s possible E is looking for his mentor Z in order to observe and take in his antics.  With everyone struggling to get up for anything during these wintery days there’s been some extra early nights this week, which still requires dragging little people out of bed in the mornings.  I think we’d love to be able to spend the whole of January like we did the Christmas holidays, in our pjs, but alas, it seems the year with its new resolutions has already started.  I’ve decided I will rub my eyes, stretch out my arms long and wide, cower and wince at the light and wake up properly in February.

  

Post linked up to Project 366 / Project 53 and My Sunday Photo. Thanks for reading!

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Delicious food and recipes from Gousto – A review

Gousto is a company that let you pick ingredients and recipes for delicious meals directly to your door. The concept is a very simple one. You go onto the Gousto website, pick the dishes you would like to cook, pick the date you’d like the ingredients delivered and checkout with the whatever you have placed in your basket. You then sit back and wait for the ingredients and recipe cards to be delivered to your door and off you go.

We were lucky enough to review 3 meals not long ago and we opted for 3 vegetarian dishes; Courgette pasta, beetroot risotto and a black bean curry. As you can see the dishes are varied and the menu ranges from very simple classic dishes to more complex recipes for the more adventurous diners. There are 10 choices to choose from and I’ve noticed these do change every so often, presumably to keep up with the seasons and provide fresh high quality ingredients at all times. The delivery came nice and neatly packed in special bags so I think, if you were out, your neighbour could easily keep it for you for a few hours.

Gousto

Gousto


Gousto

Gousto

The recipe cards included are simple to follow and take you step by step through the whole thing. There are also pictures along the way demonstrating what to do so you can’t get lost or get anything very wrong. I am not the most accurate of cooks and even I didn’t get anything hugely wrong.

Gousto

Gousto

A Gousto box is a great idea if you want to expand your skills a bit. I would never think to put beetroot into risotto, grated at that, but its a very nice combination and not tart at all. I also would never have thought that just courgette with pasta sheets would make a nice meal but it was so delicious I’ve made this one about 3 times after that.

Gousto

Gousto

A Gousto box is not something I would choose to get on a weekly basis but I do think it would make a lovely treat every so often or an excellent present for someone who may be recovering at home. Having had a baby not long ago I think it would make a lovely present for someone who’s finding it difficult to pop out for some food and needs a nice little pick me up.

We were provided with a Gousto box of ingredients and recipe cards to review. All opinions and taste testing are honest and my own.

The Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym – A review

Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym

Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym

The Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym is an excellent first toy for a newborn. It’s a compact toy that grows with your baby and compact is just perfect in our house. It comprises of a colourful arch with friendly looking animals hanging off it and, whilst a newborn can lie on the mat and look up at the toys, it becomes a lot more fun once they can reach out and start hitting and trying to grab the little smiley creatures. Baby E started by smiling at the toys and, now at 14 weeks, has started trying to reach out and touch them.

Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym

Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym


Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym

Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym


Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym

Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym

Assemble is ultra easy and doesn’t need any tools. There are 3 major parts that slot together very quickly. The mat is in addition to these parts and you can easily hook it on and off if you need to clean it.

The mat is comfortable but thin. This isn’t a problem if your room is carpeted but if, like us, you have a wooden floor then I’d suggest putting a thicker mat (like a changing mat) underneath which makes it all a bit more cosey.
The arch is sturdy but light enough to pick up and move about and slot away somewhere in your house. We have another HUGE playmat that is always hard to store away. This one slots easily between our sofas out of the way when we need it. It’s also the perfect height to still play with when baby can sit up. The arch at the top lets you roll balls into the zebra and giraffe. There are little flaps that can be opened to let the balls roll out from the toy and forms another game for when they’re older still.

Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym

Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym

It comes with a switch to let the arch show off twinkly lights and 20 minutes of music. The music is non-annoying which fantastic although I do switch it off after about 5 minutes, playing the toy in mute is completely fine by us.

Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym

Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym

Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym

Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym

The Fisher Price newborn to toddler gym helps develop sensory, fine motor and gross motor skills and its something that’s really enjoyed by Baby E. It’s a really good toy to have around baby for a while and we’ve now been enjoying it for 3 months. I think it’ll last Baby E until he’s toddling about at least and able to chuck the balls about the house. I’d definitely recommend it as either a purchase for your own baby or as a present for a newborn.

We were sent the Fisher Price newborn to toddler play gym to review. All words and opinions are honest and my own.

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