Life got a whole lot messier a month or so back when we made the decision to start weaning. I held off for as long as I felt I could (another case of feeling anxious about bloody recommended guidelines). We started off slowly at about five months with a small portion of baby rice around tea time, yes in the hope that it may of helped him sleep- it didn’t (of course) but he quickly showed signs of being ready to move on. We spent a couple of weeks trying different purees of single veg, constantly amusing ourselves with the over exaggerated faces he’d pull when trying a new flavour. We then started to move onto combinations, quite quickly he showed he preferred purees thicker and a little lumpier and by the time we got to six months he was having breakfast, lunch and tea. He’s been having a bit of finger food to play around with too.
He absolutely loves food, which has been a relief after months of bottle refusal and terrible sleeping patterns and this has been such a fun stage.
I love cooking anyway but being able to cook for him and come up with combinations I think he may like has been a lot of fun. Every time I give him something new to try he pulls a hilarious face as if to say what the hell is this now mummy…
I’ve got a good baby recipe book (Ella’s kitchen first foods) and my friend gave me some Annabel Karmel books which have been useful but I’ve been making things up too. One recipe I came up with is a favourite – butternut squash, rice, cottage cheese and pear, so a baby take on squash risotto with a bit of sweetness. Salmon, broccoli and new potatoes which I mixed with some crème fraîche was also a big hit this week.
I’ve found you really don’t need any fancy equipment for this stage, I’ve just used a colander over a saucepan to steam things and my hand held blender. We moved on to just using a fork to mash things up fairly quickly. Some kit that I have bought which I have found useful though are these weaning trays by OXO. They use the ice cube size portions some of the Ella’s Kitchen recipes recommend and I’ve found them great for batch cooking. Once they are frozen you just pop them out, bag them up and stick them back in. Then you just take out your required portion when needed. Perfect.
I love making things as gifts for special occasions. A few years ago I made my friends little girl a cushion for her christening and last month I had the perfect motivation to get back behind my sewing machine. I’ve made two lovely friends since having Joshua. Mr B and I just did the NHS antenatal class, we decided against nct in the end, so it was only a day session but out of a big mix of people I’ve met two fab ladies who also both had baby boys. One of them had a naming day and to mark the occasion I decided to make him a cushion which he’ll be able to keep as he grows up. Making them for boys always seems harder as thereare so many pretty girlie fabrics (and my studio is full of them!) but I opted for blue linen with a spot fabric and then sewed vintage buttons on in his initial. A week later it was our good friends twins first birthday, again I wanted to get them something that they could keep as they got older. They have such different personalities so I made two different designs but used the same vintage fabric so they work together if they share a room as they get older. I’m sure none of them at this stage are impressed with a cushion but hopefully they’ll appreciate them in years to come.
Last weekend I tackled my much neglected studio. Since the little arrival it’s become a dumping ground for all sorts of stuff. I’d not used my sewing machine in months – probably nearer a year truth be told. I lost a bit of motivation and the desire to sell any bits. But I had some little projects I needed to get underway for the forthcoming weekend. I’ve had a good sort through of all my older stock and am now selling this off at reduced prices. I also uncovered about six projects I’d started but never finished! Anyone else do that?? It was a few hours well spent, and a little bit of me time whilst Mr B entertained the little man. I absolutely love being a mum but it is nice to just have a moment to yourself every now and then. And it’s reminded me how much I love my little craft projects, so I’ve now some fresh motivation to sort out my studio once and for all (and yes I’ve started a new Pinterest board for storage ideas!).
We finally plucked up the courage to leave the little man for a few hours last Friday night. Well I say we – I decided to take Mr B out to celebrate his birthday as a surprise, and I say a few hours but it was actually only 2.5!
It’s amazing how life changes and how used to being three we are. We both said on the drive into Cambridge that it was strange him not being with us. He’s only 19 weeks but we’re now so used to him being part of our family it felt very odd leaving him behind. We used to go out for dinner all the time, we’re big foodies so I thought it would do us good to get out for a bit of a treat. The last time we went out for dinner I was overdue so couldn’t get near the table or fit a lot in!
Mr B declared after two hours and three courses at our favourite Turkish restaurant he was missing his little man so we best get home for cuddles. He’d been as good as gold and hadn’t made a peep for Grandma and Grumps (much to their disappointment I’m sure!). It felt good to get out if only for a short while and have a chance to spend some time together, although I imagine we spent the entire evening talking about Joshua but it did give us a chance to enjoy each other’s company.
I seem to have gone through another phase of buying lots of cookery books (getting a chance to read them all properly is another matter!). I’ve been justifying it by stopping buying food magazines. Instead I download and read them for free on the IPad using Cambridgeshire Libraries emagazine service, which is brilliant. I think this is a service that lots of local authorities run – it’s definitely worth finding out about.
So here’s a couple of short reviews on some new additions…
Mary Berry’s Foolproof Cooking
I love Mary Berry. When I grow up I want to be just like her. This book accompanied her most recent TV series, it’s full of really simple crowd pleasing recipes. I love it, so much so I had to buy another copy to give to my bestie for her birthday (we’re definitely getting old). I’ve made lots from the baking section, which is really bad as none of my clothes fit me as it is (I’m not sure how much longer I can use the ‘but I’m breastfeeding’ excuse and get away with it). It’s well laid out with simple easy to follow recipes that cater for a range of occasions. Definitely another time proof classic.
Lean in 15
I put off buying this book for as long as possible as I’m always skeptical when something’s so talked about. We’re now obsessed by it and for the last three weeks or so have been cooking most of our mid week meals from it. The guy’s a little bit too enthusiastic for my liking on his social media sites but he’s got to be applauded for what he’s doing and the amount of people he’s inspiring to make lifestyle changes. His workouts are really easy to follow too. I can honestly say of all the recipes we’ve tried (and it’s a lot of them) we have yet to come across something we don’t like. The hubby quite enjoys cooking from it too – bonus. So far our favourites are curry fried rice in a hurry, the McLeanie Burger and the chicken pie. All yummy.
I’ve also had delivered Sirocco by Sabrina Ghayour (I adore her first book), I’m yet to cook from it but I’ll report back as soon as I do, oh and a new Paul Hollywood book.
As I write this it’s 3.45am and I’ve not yet gone to bed so apologies for any mistakes. The little man had his third lot of jabs today, well yesterday. I was already dreading it as after the first lot he had a raging fever bought on from the Meningitis B vaccine and we sat up all night with him whilst he cried in discomfort and feeling like a hot water bottle. After the first one his temperature started to rise 6-7 hours afterwards, but after three doses of calpol it started to come down. Tonight’s been a different story, he had the jabs at 9.30am (this time I took my calpol with me to give to him as soon as the nurse had finished) but he was absolutely fine until about 5pm, it just climbed and climbed after that.
Four doses of calpol later it was still up, spiking at 39.4. A call to 111 and a mad 1am dash to Tesco later we’ve now got some baby nurofen down him (I wish I had known I may need that before hand!) and touch wood it seems to be coming down. We managed to get him into his cot at about 2am, but I’m far too worried to leave his side at the moment.
I’m desperately trying not to be an overly anxious first time mum but it’s so hard. Everything is such a steep learning curve and you feel such an indescribable sense of responsibility for this tiny little person that when something like this happens it’s hard not to panic. I’m so thankful though that he’s received the immunisation, especially with all the media attention around it at the moment, luckily we were better prepared for his reaction this time round. Although I think he seems to suffer with it more than some have it seems? No more jabs until he is a year old though. I sense a lot of caffeine will be required tomorrow.
Exactly a year ago today we found out we were pregnant (for the third time). I never let myself imagine that we would get to where we are today, I still can’t quite believe it sometimes. Things can change so much in such a short space of time. And life can be so different. Joshua’s now 15 weeks old and we’ve had a fun evening tonight of planning our first family holiday (a week away in May to the Lake District) and planning a Spanish getaway for later in the summer. We’ve booked a lovely cottage in the Lakes for our May break so we’ll be self catering, and taking advantage of their ‘miles with out stiles’ – which has made so many walking routes accessible to people. We’ll still be taking the baby bjorn though for some proper walking and showing him the sorts of holidays we love.