Finger food – the reality

Well weaning is an interesting journey of discovery not only for Peanut but for me too. We started with what may be seen at the more traditional way to weaning by spoon feeding purees – trying one vegetable at a time. Now we have passed the 6 months mark our weaning world has opened up to a whole new array of things it is deemed safe for her to try.

In a bid to follow the baby led weaning example I thought that now would be a good time to try finger foods and allow Peanut to try and feed herself. Well…..it was an experienced of nothing else. Trial and error play a big part in this. My advice be prepared.

We are not lucky enough to have a dining kitchen with lots of space for a high chair and wipeable surroundings (frankly we don’t even have a dining space – good old plates on knees in our flat). This resulted in my already questionable disgusting living room rug now being splattered with whatever attempts at culinary delights I thought peanut would like (safe to say the rug should probably come with a warning, it now has a lot of interesting stains and I ruined it with shake and vac).

In my wisdom (well what I thought might be a slight moment of wisdom – was wrong), I though broccoli was a great place to start. Peanut has no invented a new game. Squish broccoli into high chair table, sook broccoli til all the tiny florets come loose, smash broccoli off of high chair and drop off the side of high chair table. This ensures she is covered, her high chair is covered and aforementioned rug is covered. Short of throwing it at me up until this point I have got away with not being covered.

My next plan was to buy one of those lovely bamboo sectioned plates in the shape of an animal that suctions onto the high chair. Surely this would reduce the instances of food being unceremoniously dropped over board as it were. Nope. Instead we now have multiple different veg in the go, being smooshed, battered and the disguarded.

We continue to do a mixture of weaning dependant entirely on time,what’s in the house and whether or not I can take the clean up. You may question my motivation – trust me I do on a daily basis. It works for us. She loves food and I’m glad that she does, but I’m never going to be the homemade granola bars mum.

So with hindsight here are my top tips for getting started with baby led or finger food weaning:

1- Put the high chair on a wipeable surface – be it on a kitchen floor or buy a wipeable table cloth and put it under. Nobody wants to pick mashed food out their carpet.

2- Use the bibs with the plastic backing. They are going to get stained with whatever foods your little one attempts to put in their mouth, rather them than their clothes.

3- Be prepared to also get covered in food. It’s inevitable that you will be hit with a piece of rogue, wet, mashed something.

4- Marks And Spencers Antibac spray – it’s non toxic and can be used to clean food prep areas. Ideal for cleaning the high chair, it smells nice and is considerable cheaper that Method.

5- Try and enjoy the experience. I got stressed and ended up spending a lot of the time Peanut was smooshing worrying about my poor flooring. Mess is gonna happen, just give in to it.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

Being a mum – 6months in…..

Well if you were hoping for some light hearted chat then unfortunately this is not the post for you. This is almost an extension of my last post. Most of the time I’m pretty easy going and will make a joke about something to see me through but the truth is that being a mum is bloody hard. 6months feels like not only a massive milestone for her but me as a parent.

I don’t think I misconceived the job, I just don’t think I had seriously thought about it. Never did I ever consider that I wouldn’t one day be a mum – my whole life has probably been built up to this. If people asked me what I wanted to be most in this life my answer (apart from obviously a millionaire) was always a mum. I don’t come across as the most maternal person (well I don’t think I do) although I do like to know everyone around me is ok. I don’t think I’ve ever excelled at childcare (having only babysat a handful of times). I was a rainbow leader for a short period in my teens. None of this prepared me (or made me think twice) about becoming a mum. I think in my head it was forgone conclusion.

I understand now that actually, nothing in life is a forgone conclusion (I have my divorce to thank for that). I was lucky, we didn’t struggle to have our daughter. We so easily could have. So many do and go through what I can only imagine is gut wrenching misery to seek the joy that is parenthood.

So let’s be honest about the first 6 months of motherhood (parenthood if you will). It’s a bit repetitive, you don’t really know what day it is unless your going to work (those who are lucky enough to escape for a few hours), you drink a lot of coffee (if you didn’t drink coffee before this will definitely make you learn quickly how to) and you spend a lot of time jingling maracas (not a euphemism) at a baby whose not even looking at you.

Obviously there are the cute highs – the first smile (that you know isn’t wind), when they giggle (like a proper belly giggle) and then the love (they love you even when you put their nappy on wrong, dress them in a questionable outfit and haven’t washes your hair for what seems like weeks).

The first six months is hard. It will out pressure on your relationship. You will wonder what you did this for. Then one day the will roll over and your heart will feel like it’s gonna burst with pride. Every day is a new adventure and frankly the next six months will no doubt be doubly as hard (she will started moving and we are not even close to baby proofed) but hey nobody ever called parenthood boring, it is

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

Half a year …

Peanut is 6 months, 26 weeks, 1/2 a year, how? I mean 5 minutes ago she was born. Tiny little helpless bubba just needing love (and all the food). Now we have a little independent lady. She can sit, she eats real food (albeit mashed),she reacts to her name, she sleeps through (most of the time). I love that she is growing and finding her own way but where is my baby. Now I know that it’s not like she doesn’t need me but I’ve become very aware that at some point she won’t want to hold my hand anymore or have a snuggle.

Yes I am overreacting but it’s true. My other half often asks why people have more than one child when we’ve been woken at an unreasonable hour to change a very stinky nappy and often I agree with him. I think I get it know though, who doesn’t love the baby bit. Ye it’s hard but soooo worth it.

It would seem my growing baby has made me broody and I hadn’t realised. Although I’m in no rush I actually am now begining to think maybe I do want more than one. This is a complete contradiction to all my previous thoughts and let’s be honest of she is up tonight I will probably be back at – nope, never again.

Ok so I had a crap pregnancy, the birth was definitely not average but that’s all forgotten in the cuddles of a baby. My little pride and joy. The apple of my eye. Dare I say it – my little princess.

The last 6 months have been a whirlwind. There have been highs, lows and everything in between. She has tested me, I have tested me and we have still made it this far. Here’s to the next 6 but please don’t grow up too quick baby girl.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

Running through my head……

So it’s 4am and I’m awake. Not because Peanut is up or because I have somewhere to be but because my good old noggin has decided. Why has sleep decided to evade me? I’m tired, yawning and sleepy but nope, not tonight sunshine, tonight you shall be awake and lying wondering why the cow jumped over the moon or did Humpty Dumpty fall or was he pushed?

My biggest fear when I fell pregnant was ‘ how am I gonna cope with no sleep?’. I’ve always been good at it. Solid 8 hours kinda gal. I should not have feared as my pregnancy certainly geared me up for it. I mean I’d quite happily settle for a solid 5 hours now. This still doesn’t explain why my brain thinks that in the early hours of the morning (given peanut has been successfully sleeping through for quite some time now) it’s time to consider life or make lists I will forget because is 4am!

Weirdly other blogs or Instagram feeds have become my 4am splice. This may not be helping my brain want to got back to sleep because of the screen time – I get that – but what’s a gal to do. No I’m not getting up to start my day, it’s too damn early. Any hour between 11pm and 6am is bloody uncivilised these days.

I know that a little bit of my 4am wake up call is worry. Truth be told there is a lot of things I probably don’t wish to consider worrying about. I’m quite happy to just shove the whole pile under the rug and deal with it some other more considerate time. My brain it would seem has other ideas. I’m pretty sure that no counsellor ever offered 4am appointments – for the aforementioned uncivilised nature of the bloody time.

My other half in a bid to be helpful suggested I take myself off to the gym given its 24hours and I’m awake. Again I’m not keen as I frankly don’t want to set foot out of the bed I want to be asleep! (Also I’m cosy in bed, going to the gym means going outside which I can guarantee will not be cosy in February).

So what’s the plan – beyond attempting to not reach for my phone when I awaken or contemplating the nature of every child programme I have allowed myself to endure that day (or beating myself up for the amount of TV I have allowed myself to just sit in front of). Well sleep is the plan. Maybe it’s time I got myself a bedtime routine – something to say ‘right brain, time to have a rest’. Maybe I need to try lavender oil or white noise or maybe (dare I say it) my other half is right and I need to get myself to the gym. Right now is no hour to make concrete plans but for now I’m tired (yay) and I may have exhausted my brain just enough for a couple more hours on the land of nod.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

Co-Napping……

Its not new to the world that Peanut isn’t keen to nap until she can’t fight it anymore. I’ve tried to put naps into her routine but she has absolute FOMO (fear of missing out), that she either sleeps for only 15/20mins or just rolls around in her cot.

When I was ill with the cold and really choked up and feeling sorry for myself, I wanted her to nap so badly so I could. This resulted in me taking her into our bed for an afternoon nap. She slept for an hour or more, not only was ill me very happy but I thought it that’s all it takes then we could be on to something.

So now in the afternoons of we are at home we co-nap. I was also very against bringing her into our bed as I didn’t want to start something that I maybe would struggle to stop, however, she still sleeps absolutely fine in her own bed at night, so no current issues.

I am aware that it’s something that I’m gonna have to stop at some point but it we can at least establish some kind of afternoon nap routine, then I will try and move her to her own cot.

If being totally honest though I really like have snuggle time with her. I read a poem that someone shares on Instagram about not knowing when something will be the last time, i.e the last time they hold your hand or need cuddled when they are ill, for now I’m just cherishing that she needs my comfort to nap and savouring every moment before she’s too wriggle or inquisitive to lie still from cuddles with mummy.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

Roly Poly Baby…..

She rolled. I mean we knew it was coming and she’s been at a half way house for weeks but finally she did it on purpose. Now there is no stopping the little roly poly. I mean originally she rolled over and couldn’t get back which was a lot of me putting her back and her rolling over again, for her a fun game, for me a constant game of turn the baby over. Thankfully now she has figure out rolling back because she was so frustrated with getting stuck. We haven’t hit the rolling again and again and again yet but I’m sure it’s not very far away.

I absolutely cherish every milestone that she reaches. Its too often we take for granted that our little ones will obviously make those milestones that might seem trivial. We need to spare a moment for those little ones whom take a little longer to reach them. Those babies who fight to roll over and when they make it, it really is a milestone. Everbody has their own mountain to climb and every baby is the same. People may say I’m lucky as I have a healthy happy child who is developing as expected. I say yes I am but every parent is lucky to have their little one. Every baby is cherished, hoped for, wished for and loved with every fibre of their parents being.

Peanut is developing every day, way more quickly than I realised. I never understood how little time you have a newborn for. She wants to explore and understand her world. Everyday is a new adventure and frankly I wake up every morning wondering what the day will bring, excited to see what she will conquer.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

All the cuddles for mummy….

As if parenting isn’t hard enough you then get hit with a barrage of colds, viruses and every other bug a small person can share. We’ve been pretty lucky so far that Peanut seems to have a pretty good immune system but when the cold caught up with us this time, it took us all down.

I’m not gonna lie, I am the worst kind of ill person. I like nothing more than a good moan about it and I really do feel like I’m the only person in the world to ever have a sniffle (but only within the realms of my own home, out with I suck it up). Having a coughing and spluttering child does not allow for wallowing in self pity. I’m actual fact it takes all the sucking up.

Not only did I have to go back to feeding on demand which seemed to be like all the time, naps were even lighter on the ground and we were back awake through the night. Safe to say, my cold definitely broke me and we ended up in a fort in mummy and daddies bed (which she was sick on, no one wants to change sheets when they are ill). Her poor dad, also snot filled and coughing had shifts at work to get through (on day two I would have swapped him, just for the chance to pee alone).

There were points that we reminiscent of having a newborn which I clearly had blocked out. I in hindsight have no bloody idea how we managed on now sleep, constantly being slept on and feeding like all of the time. Its absolutely true that it’s horrible to see them ill, even if it is just a cold but it’s almost impossible to look after them when you, yourself are not firing on all cylinders.

I feel like I say it all the time but this job is bloody hard. I’ve never felt it more so than when I just want to sweat my cold out in a hot bath and o can’t because I’m needed as a bed or just as comfort. I wouldn’t trade cuddles for all the tea in China and being a mum is easily the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done but it really should come with a big flashing warning.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

More drool than a blood hound…….

We are currently all drool and no teeth. I mean it’s pretty hard getting a 5 month old to cooperate long enough to get a look but there is definitely no signs of teethy pegs. We do however have rosy cheeks, dribbling like there is no tomorrow and a love of chewing.

Between the constant changing of dribble bibs (thankfully I over bought in that department and so I’m actually fully equipped for dribble) and the don’t chew that/put it in your mouth, I feel a little like a cd on repeat (or an MP3/download…whatever…. I’m so not down with the kids – get me a tape). I mop her chin all day in a bid to avoid the dreaded drool rash just for her to believe it’s a game and dribble some more. Then there is the saving of the dribble just to spit out just as she has been placed on her play mat, which she proceeds to roll her head in (how many baths is too many in a day? – who am I kidding, unless it’s sick I wipe her hair and let her play).

Frankly I’m a little disappointed about the lack of teeth. I mean she’s been showing signs for at least 2 months and we have nothing. She doesn’t seem in any major discomfort which is good and we’ve not had any (touch wood) bad nights with her because of it, I sense these will come soon enough though. I’m looking forward to her little smile with two little cute pearly whites but maybe not so much the chance of being bitten (that seems to be a hazard of the parent job).

We have copious amounts of teething toys. If they have been adventure and well branded the chances are they reside in our toy box. The best however was the cheap water teething rings my best friend (her godmother) bought her when she was first born. Supermarket own brand, stick them in the fridge to chill them and bobs your uncle, absolute hit with Peanut (she was a little weirded out but the cold the first time). I now keep a steady supple of cold teething rings in a sandwich bag in the fridge for days she seems fussier. Also a massive fan of all things Sophie La Giraffe. Not only is she cute ( I love giraffes) but also just easy for Peanut to manoeuvre (and easy to pop in the changing bag).

So all in all, we are prepared for the teething. She will get her first little teeth soon enough and I’m sure the drooling will not stop then. We may need more bibs (never thought I’d see the day I needed more ) and we may need to continue to carry a weeks supply of clothing. It will all be worth it though for her cute wee teethy pegs.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

January……it’s been a long month

So we are a month into 2019 and those goals are still….well goals. I have to say that my motivation came out of the blocks well and frankly lost its spirit a little. As for the actual 10k training – I started really well, then I was ill and it’s kind of fell by the way side.

February is another fresh start. We don’t need the start of a year to start something or make goals. My plan for February is to aim to complete a 5k.

My healthy eating was going super well and I even managed to lose 3kg doing a 21 day challenge with Herbalife but then on day 22 there was chocolate and wine (the begining of the slip). Again February is a fresh start and I have been super good with my weekly meal planning and stocking to it meaning there has been a lot less takeaways, comfort food and snacks. I plan to continue this and hopefully reduce the chocolate binging, I mean I’m not giving up chocolate but the binge isn’t as satisfying as you think it’s going to be.

Another one of my goals for 2019 was to read more. In essence this was really just so I would take some time for me in a busy family house. So far I I have read one which is progress, whether or not I manage one a month who knows but I have managed to set a side time for me, even if it’s just five minutes reading before bed rather than playing on my phone or watch down mind numbingly boring TV.

I’ve been trying not to beat myself up to badly about waivering from my goals a little (in a bid to be more positive). They are still achievable and I’ve made progress so I should really be celebrating but not with chocolate lol.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags