This too shall pass..

My word of the week this week is fortunate. Now for most of the week I actually would not have chosen this word as it has been a bit of a week, but bear with me!

Friday Hubs came down with a flu type bug. It started as a cough and got worse, bringing a nasty fever with it. By Saturday he was extremely poorly, spending a lot of time in bed with a fever and he was a bit delirious. He was a bit of a zombie so he was in bed while I looked after the kiddies.

This will sound selfish but this was rubbish for me, as I rely on his help at the weekends to actually get the house in some semblance of tidiness and stay a bit sane. Worst of all that it was this particular Saturday though as I was due to visit one of my best friends in London for her birthday and I had been looking forward to it for such a long time and it was now in jeopardy. With my pregnancy being a bit rough last year I cancelled plans a few times to go and visit and this was the time that I should have no reason to cancel. Until all of a sudden I did. A really poorly husband. I spent a lot of the day really very unhappy as I felt like an awful person for even considering leaving, or wanting to leave, but I did want to. So so badly. It was a bit of a vicious cycle.

Thankfully hubs’ fever broke in the afternoon and along with reinforcements in the form of his parents he felt able to take care of the kiddies. So it was a very late call but I made it to London and had a really lovely chilled evening with the girls and restored my sanity a little.

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I got home at around 1am to find hubs awake and that Monkey was now not well either. He had had a little cough too but had otherwise been fine in himself all day. The trouble with coughs is always the night time isn’t it? They interrupt his sleep and he gets himself so worked up that he ends up being sick and I hate it. So he was up a couple of times and hubs and I were both on edge all night that the coughing would wake him. LM then woke up at 530am. Hubs got up to feed her and 10 mins later Monkey woke up crying so that was the start of our Sunday.

Sunday wasn’t terrible but it was very chilled and entirely focussed on Monkey and keeping him happy. He was the poorliest he has been in a long time and spent a lot of the day asleep actually and hubs and I tried to chill out as he was still poorly too and I was knackered after the trip to London and lack of sleep. WP_20150224_11_23_51_Pro

Monday Monkey rallied and seemed so much better so he went to Rhyme Time with Nanny & Pops as usual and Playgroup in the afternoon. He was fine until early evening when he suddenly dipped and Monday night was awful again with coughing and getting himself worked up and being a little sick. Tuesday he was not himself and we tried to chill out – though he doesn’t like relaxing our boy and wants to be on the go. His eyes were drooped and he couldn’t stop yawning but no “I ok, I not tired” hmm really.

We watched Winnie the Pooh and managed to get a healthy lunch in him then he went for a rest. LM meanwhile was refusing to sleep for no more than 30 mins at a time for goodness knows what reason. With both of them finally asleep I sat down for 5 mins and then Monkey’s coughing started, and continued. He got upset so I went up and he vomited all over me, himself, his bed, cuddly toys, floor, well everywhere. I tried desperately to keep him calm so that he didn’t wake LM and got him in clean clothes, downstairs and calm in front of the TV while I got myself changed and did the clean up operation upstairs and got the first load of washing ready to go on when LM woke up. I am not joking I washed my hands 4 times and they still smelt of vomit. I was so not happy.

Then LM woke up, less than half an hour after being put down and I was hugely hugely miserable. Luckily hubs was able to come home a bit early that day and help as Monkey was miserable too (understandably bless him) and I was failing to see the sunny side of life after a good few nights of only a few hours kip.

That night, when we had got the kids down and we were listening to Monkey coughing and wondering what the night would hold, I described the situation as being Hell. Then I checked myself.

I looked at hubs and said you know in comparison to cancer or war. What was I talking about? Yes it was a crappy few days, but hell? I mean come on.

Tuesday night was possibly the worst as he was sick a few times but we did manage to keep him a bit calmer with some singing. LM had a feed before midnight and then was up again at 530am. I was still not hugely happy but Monkey was off to Nanny’s for the day and I was determined to get some jobs done and stop wallowing. All week I had been feeling tired, miserable and at mercy of the situation. Feeling really hard done by when the reality is that we are so lucky really.

We have two gorgeous kiddies and Monkey really is very rarely poorly and is such a good boy. He tries so hard even when he is tired and poorly to put a brave face on. I went in to see him when he woke up this morning and when I asked how he was he said “I fine, thank you” I mean what a cutie.

We have a beautiful home. You know when you can’t see the wood for the trees? Well sometimes I feel like I can’t see the house for the mess. A huge thank you to the lovely comments about our home on the post “So, Daddy” as when I look at those photos (aside from Monkey & Daddy sharing a lovely moment) I see the horrible stained tablecloth, the manky changing station off in the corner with bottles of hand sanitiser and piles of nappy bags. The toys and detritus strewn across the table. But what other people saw was the lovely things we have, the dresser, the chairs, and it made me look again and remember how much I love our home.

I have a lovely hubby. Of course he drives me potty sometimes but I am sure I do the same to him, I do think having children can be tough on even the strongest relationships sometimes. But you know what, even though he was poorly, he still wanted me to go to London on Saturday. He totally appreciates how hard I try all week to manage the house and kids and he knew how much getting a little break meant to me.

We have wonderful supportive families who are close by and who love to help. We don’t ever want to be a burden on them but know that when we need them that they will be there.

I have some wonderful friends who understand when I back out on them or delay seeing them that it’s not because I am lazy or I don’t care. They know I would be there if I could and that family has to come first. But they also support me and encourage me to make sure I take some time for myself too.

I said to hubs the other day “This too shall pass” and yeah life is hard at the moment with a 4 mth old and a very poorly toddler and hubs…. but nothing lasts forever and hard days make way for easier ones. We are so so lucky and there are many who are not as fortunate as we are and it is worth remembering that. I think ” this too shall pass” should be our mantra as it is far too easy to get bogged down in negatives and forget how lucky we are.

Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat this week as there has been more than enough other stuff going on, so I apologise for the lack of blogging, sharing, commenting, and replying to comments. My word for this week is fortunate. How has your week been?

The Reading Residence
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#MaternityMondays week 8

Welcome to #MaternityMondays week 8! Thanks so much to everyone linking up, last week was my turn to host and I really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts!

Emma is hosting this week ao she will be doing the commenting and sharing but you can still link up below!

There was so many lovely baby bump updates, I love reading them all and watching everyone’s pregnancy progress, it is so lovely to think we will be reading up to birth and beyond when these lovely little people enter the world! Aside from the bump updates (which I just couldn’t choose between) I had a few favourites from last week.

There was a fascinating post from 23 weeks socks about working in the NICU and the challenges this presents when you are pregnant. Really interesting post and well worth a read.

Steps with Sarah shared some lovely advice for new mums – I think we would all agree that no matter how prepared you think you, having a baby is a real shock to the system and lovely advice like this would really help new mums!

On a slightly lighter note I also loved El and Baby A‘s list of baby items that multi-purpose as beauty products, this was absolutely genius and every mummy should read!

It’s been a bit of a week here with LM teething, hubs getting a flu like bug, me heading to London on Saturday night to catch up with some friends and now Monkey has caught Daddy’s bug, Quite a few ups and downs for us but Sunday was a lovely chilled day having lots of snuggles with our poorly boy and all of us mooching about in pjs and jogging bottoms, a real rarity so silver linings to everything and I am sure Monkey will be on the mend soon.

This weekend our Little Miss turned 4 months so I am sharing a little update post with you all about how she is getting on :)

Now it is over to you! Please grab our badge and share the linky love by commenting on a few other blog posts, it would be lovely if we could grow a little community to share the highs and lows of motherhood and parenting.

The linky is open Mondays only from 6.30am to midnight.

Don’t forget to tweet your link using #MaternityMondays, and if you tag us in we will retweet, we are @EmmaLander2 and @BecomingaSAHM

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Little Miss is 4 Months old!

After the difficult early weeks the time really does fly with babies! We are at 4 months already and they grow and change so much in these first months don’t they? She is 13lb 1oz, still on the 25th precentile line for weight, but she is tall/long and at 36cm she is on I think the 91st percentile line for height! She is a gorgeous little girl but is still quite challenging at times.

4 mths

So what is she up to?

Feeding and Pooing

We are still using the lactose free formula at the moment and for a while after we stopped the gaviscon, all seemed well and her movements got a bit easier. Lately though she has been constipated again a few times and we are at a bit of a loss as to why really. The other thing is that she doesn’t poo in her nappy. Ever. She will only poo with her nappy off and generally with a bit of help – bicycle legs and lifting of legs. It is a situation which started out of necessity and then became normal and now we are remembering that it isn’t normal, and we certainly weren’t expecting to be doing it at this point. We had thought that by removing the gaviscon her movements would be better and we wouldn;t need to do it anymore, but it hasn’t happened the way we thought it would.

As she is 4 months she should be growing out of her lactose intolerance in theory so we have just bought some normal formula and are going to try her on that. the Lactose free formula can cause constipation so we are hoping that a change in formula will solve all of our problems. FIngers crossed she doesn’t still have a problem with lactose and it works, otherwise we will be of the the GP again! Sorry if TMI about her bowels but it takes up a lot of our attention at the moment!

Sleeping

She still sleeps really well after her sleep training a couple of months ago, which is brilliant. Her little body clock is pretty rigid at night and she goes down at 7 almost every night, regardless of what has happened! Whether she wakes up in the night is more variable, sometimes she lulls us into a false sense of security, sleeping through til anywhere between 530 and 630am or about a week, and then suddenly waking up famished at anywhere between midnight and 3 am for a few days. Because of the varing sleep patterns we still have no daytime routine to speak of (aaaah) though I am very much hoping that a pattern may settle too. We are very much baby led on routine fronts because I just don;t understand how you can force a baby to sleep at certain times or wake up at certain times. I just don’t get it. I wish I did but I don’t. Monkey’s routine fell into place around 4 1/2 mths and I am hoping hers will too. Because she sleeps in her cot we rarely see her asleep but a couple of times this month she has dozed off on me after a difficult afternoon (and once after her jabs :() so we have some shots of sleeping so peacefully!WP_20150205_17_17_16_Pro WP_20150219_15_27_58_Pro

For the most part we get it right and we put her down at the right level of tired and she goes off to sleep without a peep. other times we get it wrong and I hate it as I am convinced she is tired, only for her to ball. Sometimes she wants to go to sleep after being awake for an hour and a half, other times she will be awake for a good few hours, fussing intermittently but definitely not ready to sleep. I don’t cope well with the sound of babies crying, makes me feel like an abject failure to be perfectly honest so I really look forward to the day when we have a routine so it is a bit less guess work! Teething is playing a role in this but more on that below.

Playing

She loves lying on her playmat and batting at her toys. Her favourite is a pink Jellycat Octopus which we were sent to review before she was born. Monkey was too big to get much enjoyment out of it at the time, but she loves it! She loves her playmat more now too and chuckles away at the flashing lights and dangling butterflies above her head.

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She also has a slightly random sense of humour. One thing guaranteed to make her chuckle is Bing Bunny. It is one of her big brother’s favourite TV programmes so it is on pretty regularly, anf well, she loves it, chuckles away at it. Makes me feel like a terrible mother introducing her to TV so young but , ah well I suppose!

chuckling at Bing Buny

chuckling away at Bing Bunny

So far not so random I know, but the other thing almost guaranteed to make her laugh is the pink soap standing on the bathroom sink. Every night after her bath, Monkey has his and often she and I will come and stand in the bathroom to chat to Daddy & Monkey. I stand opposite the sink and she chuckles away for ages. At first we thought it was the taps, being all shiny and sparkly, but nope. Turns out it is the pink soap that makes her chuckle away! See, random eh?

Giggling at her favourite soap bottle!!

Giggling at her favourite soap bottle!!

Other Development

She is so strong now and still loves sitting up though can’t hold herself up at the moment (she falls forward) she loves being propped up by pillows and surveying the scene.

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She is getting happier on her tummy sometimes and she has rolled from her tummy to her back. She did it, just once, nearly a month ago, seemed to scare the heck out of herself and hasn’t quite managed it again since lol! She lifts her head beautifully when she is on her tummy though.

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Teeth

We have been convinced she was starting to teethe for a while because of all the dribbling and because of the general fussiness that has become common, and well we are now ever more certain that we are right as there is the little speck of white on her lower gum of a tooth about to pop through! I know it is early but Monkey cut his first tooth at 4 months so it doesn’t come as too great a surprise. Her upper canines also seem to bother her a lot and seem quite close to the surface so maybe they won’t be too far behind either. We shall have to see I guess.

I hate teething though. I hate it. We have an amber anklet which despite high hopes and reading success stories from other bloggers, I am just not convinced I’m afraid. She is still uber grumbly and obviously in pain a lot (I daren;t take it off though in case she is worse without it!!). We also use teething granules, teething gel and have been sent some teethers to review that so far she won’t have anything to do with. Despite all of this though there are days when she will only sleep, or just generally stop whinging and crying, when she has had calpol or baby nurofen. I hate having to give these to her, especially as she doesn’t have a fever or anything, but she is so much better when I do and it is survival as much as anything. I just hate to see her in pain and she can just be so miserable sometimes at the moment which I find really quite exhausting :( Poor thing.

When she is not in pain she is generally a smily little girl and I hope that once these first teeth make an appearance that things will start to improve and we will see more smiles, and less medicine!

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Ethans Escapades

So, Daddy…

Last weekend, Monkey was pottering about the lounge and Hubs and I were sat at the dining table, having a chat and Hubs had his laptop out. LM was asleep and Monkey was busy so we were enjoying a rare quiet few minutes. Monkey then came and sat next to Daddy. He grabbed the notepad and pencil that was there and said:

“Sooo Daddy, What do we need to do?”

It was a really adorable moment as Hubs and I like our lists and we are often checking things off of lists and talking about what else needs doing. Having said that we haven’t had a “jobs” weekend like this for a while, but Monkey has obviously taken it in previously and out it came.

Hubs and I had a good little chuckle and Hubs had a little chat with Monkey about what we needed to do and they started making a list of things to do. All  important things like digging, and playing lol!

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I love this series of shots, they aren’t the best and some are a bit blurry but it really captured the moment. It kept Monkey entertained for ages telling Daddy what we needed to do and what we needed from the shops. We were really impressed that fruits and veg were at the top of his list – wish he was that keen on actually eating them! Colours are always listed in rainbow order these days and apparently we had to make ginger bunnies in the shape of all the Bing Bunny characters.

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I sat chuckling on the other side of the table as it was so cute watching their little conversation and watching them write their lists, hearing: “What’s next on the list Daddy?”  and “what do we need on the list?” from our little 2 1/2 yr old! It’s amazing how much they take in, and then store away for a later date. I am still waiting for him to repeat some less cute phrases that have been uttered in stress, that we hope he hasn’t taken in!

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Little Hearts, Big Love

5 Cheap Fun ways to Play Outside in Winter with Toddlers

Monkey, like most toddlers, loves getting outside and burning off some energy. So while I would probably prefer to snuggle up in the warm and watch a film, he is generally itching to get outside and have some fun. The good news is that for the most part he is easily pleased with regards to what we do when we are out there and doesn’t need some hugely imaginative activity. The simplest things really are the best sometimes, so here they are, 5 cheap fun ways to play outside in winter.

This post contains a few affiliate links, so basically if you were to click on the link and buy something it wouldn’t cost you extra but I would receive a few pence to go towards the upkeep of this blog (so far earnings from affiliate links have been negligable so not entirely sure why I bother with them) and I never link so something I wouldn’t buy myself :).

A lot of these we do in our garden as it is the easiest place for us to go when LM is having a nap but you can do most of these things out and about if you don’t have any outside space of your own.

bubblesBlowing Bubbles

 

An oldy but a goody and suitable for all times of year really. You can make your own bubble mix (though I haven’t dared to try yet I will admit) which makes it uber cheap or I picked a huge bottle of it up from a garden centre for only a couple of quid. The best investment we have made for bubble fun is a bubble wand. You can get one from amazon for less than £2 so we are not talking a huge investment, but they do make the best bubbles :).

Monkey loves running around the garden chasing bubbles around and they are a great enticement to keep him moving when we are out and about too!

 

 

 

chalksPavement Chalks

 

Pavement chalks are great fun as they wash off in the rain. We have been known to take them out and about with us as great entertainment that do no harm to anyone. We chalk numbers, letters, shapes and even dinosaurs and rainbows! Admittedly most of the big things we chalk at the moment are drawn by Mummy and Daddy but Monkey is getting really good at doing the zigzags down the dinosaur’s back and likes drawing circles and all sorts really. I am sure in time he will take the lead and get really creative. We picked some chalks up from our local supermarket but someone bought us these Crayola ones which I have to admit are fantastic as they have a nice point and were even a bit resistant to snow!

 

 

water paintingWater Painting

 

Give Monkey a paintbrush and a puddle and he will occupy himself for ages painting, decorating, cleaning, and generally pottering about the garden. He just uses a brush that we got as part of a crafty set and after being outdoors for a while it has now started to rust a little on the metal bit, so a fully plastic one may be better, but whatever you have works. For a while he was using a really old paintbrush of ours… which he would probably still be using but I don’t know where it went – it possibly got buried or something :). It’s a great way to practise numbers, shapes and letters too. Once Monkey drew a huge 2, though I think it was a fluke!

 

 

 

puddlesSplashing in puddles

 

Great for rainy days and a firm favourite with most kids I think, puddle jumping! I do recommend a good pair of wellies and waterproof trousers/waterproof all in one to make the fun as comfortable as possible and make it last. We bought Monkey a huge pair of waterproof trousers that were far too big initially (I think I bought them well over a year ago) but fit perfectly now and still have a bit of room to grow – so I am definitely getting my money’s worth out of them! it is nice to know that I don’t have to worry too much about spare clothing too as he can splosh to his hearts content and stay nice and dry. A few weeks ago we found the biggest puddle ever! Great fun :)

 

 

runningRunning around

 

If all else fails there is just good old running around. Monkey likes to run pushing things for some reason. He has a little wheelbarrow and a really rubbish cheap plastic lawnmower, but his favourite thing to push round the garden is his little toy buggy. He adores haring round the garden pushing the buggy round, and I have to admit I prefer him doing in the garden than in the house – there is a lot less things to crash into. He also likes just running around chasing each other too, or running up and down hills so no need for any props really!

 

Do you like playing outside with your kids, even in the winter? Or are you looking forward to getting out more in warmer days?

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#ToddlerApprovedTuesday

Blog Nicknames

I have been thinking a bit about nicknames lately and the nicknames we give our kiddies on our blogs. When I started blogging the original aim was to be much more anonymous – there wasn’t going to be any pictures of Monkey’s face and I didn’t even have my full name associated with it. At 9 months old Monkey was an actual nickname for our little baba and so it made sense for him to be known as Monkey on the blog.

Over time I realised how hard it was to keep the blog anonymous. I reached a point where I wanted to show Monkey’s face as seeing his enjoyment of playtime activities made more sense with the posts. Plus he was so cute and rather than baby spamming my personal facebook I felt my blog could be the place where I shared the cute pictures and gushed over him a little.

Then as I became more involved in social media my name became more relevant and with linking up facebook pages and google plus profiles I just accepted that my name was well and truly associated with the blog. But I still didn’t want Monkey’s real name to be associated with blog. Not everyone will understand why and maybe it is a little futile but I guess he hasn’t had a choice about the fact that is life is played out for the world to see online and by not sharing his name he retains the tiniest shred of anonymity. If his real name was written on the blog my fear is that one day when he is a teenager, or older, if someone were to google his name, they would find the entire record of his childhood.

No doubt the internet will be entirely different by then and who knows if the blog will even be online by then. Like I said, it may be futile, but I feel it is worth trying to retain his anonymity at least!

As I mentioned, Monkey is Monkey’s actual nickname so it made sense to call him that. But with Little Miss, she obviosuly didn;t really have a nickname the second she was born, but we did need a nickname for her on the blog. It took a while to decide and Little Miss works as LM are actually 2 of her initials. But we never actually call her LM or Little Miss at home. We do have a couple of nicknames for her but they are very much related to her name so I don’t want to use them on here.

So it does feel a bit odd sometimes referring to her as LM on here. I find the best nicknames are the ones that evolve naturally. I remember a girl at school saying she wanted a cool nickname and I was very much of the opinion that you can’t choose your nickname, they usually come from nowhere and sometimes they randomly stick. I have had a few nicknames over the years, Cazzabella, which I liked, Poodoo (because my maiden name was Pardoe) which I didn’t like, Paparazzi Pardoe because I always took photos but this ended when I got married, and one I am very glad didn’t stick was Flatuline from my charming roommate at uni!

So I am not really sure what to do, I do call her a cheeky madam sometimes, or cheeky minx or fidget pants  but am not sure how long they will hang around. We will stick with LM for now and then see if another nickname sticks in the future I guess!

Are your children anonymous on your blog? what were your reasons for this? If you do have nicknames, how hard were they to come up with?

My word of the week is Nicknames :)

The Reading Residence

Monkey visits the Theatre!

For a while now I have been thinking about taking Monkey to see a show, and wondering how he would get on. There are so many great shows out there aimed at kids but none of the big ones seem to come to our nearest theatre and I was loathe to take a big trip to one for him then to hate it and want to leave immediately. Shortly after Christmas Auntie Ericha called with a leaflet from our local theatre giving the names of a few child-friendly shows, and, after a bit of umming and ahing I decided that it was worth a go. So this weekend the three of us (Monkey, Auntie Ericha and I) headed off to the theatre for Monkey’s first ever show!

WP_20150216_10_51_13_ProWe went to see a puppet show called Arthur’s Dreamboat, which is aimed at ages 2-8, perfect for Monkey at 2 years 9mths. It is about a boy named Arthur who has a dream about a wonderful boat. He wakes in the morning and wants to tell his family about his amazing dream but they are all too busy to listen to him. He has a boat on his head that grows the more people he tells and eventually the boat gets big enough for all of them to sit in!

Monkey did really well at the theatre, he sat really quietly to wait for it to start although he did keep asking how long it was until it started, thankfully it only started a few minutes late, when most of the stragglers had arrived! When the lights went out he wanted them to be turned back on but thankfully was ok with the dark once the show started. The little boy behind who I guess was a similar age got very unhappy at the darkness and cried his head off – I did worry that the crying would be contagious but he did really well and thankfully the little boy behind us calmed down too.

One of the first puppets to come on was a dog which Monkey did not like “don’t like that” and again I worried that this was the beginning of the end. Thankfully though he did enjoy the people puppets and when they were on he sat mesmirised watching and listening… but every time the dog came on, which was supposed to be funny, Monkey hid bless him! Not sure why really, most of the other children seemed to love it!

arthurs dreamboat

There is a bit where Arthur’s baby sister was hitting a lobster and Monkey really chuckled along. He was grinning away too, though it was so difficult to get a good shot of him in the dark I did manage to get a few pics!

watching

We had a lovely time and I think he did really well as it was a totally new experience. It was 45 mins long and that is about the longest he has ever sat still, even when watching his favourite “postman pat film” at home he is usually up and down and all over th eplace while watching it so this was really good. Maybe we aren’t too far away from taking him to see a longer show, or even to see a film at the cinema!

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Not My Year Off
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Monkey & Daddy Make: Basic Chocolate Biscuits

Monkey loves baking, he would do it every day if he could and I do love doing it with him but I don’t have the energy to do it with as much at the moment. Last weekend as we were having a bit of a quiet weekend I thought it was a good opportunity to try and do some with him. With 2 parents it meant one could bake with him while the other could look after LM.

Hubs loves baking, he was the one who got me interested in baking when we met and he really loves baking with Monkey. He has more patience than I do too so they are a great little team. So it was an easy decision for them to spend some time together and do some baking! one of Monkey’s favourite programmes at the moment is Bing Bunny and there is an episode where they make Ginger Bunny biscuits. He loves it so I wanted to find a recipe where you can roll it out and cut out shapes as most of our biscuit recipes are for just free-formed biscuits really. Neither hubs or I like gingerbread very much though so we though either a plain or chocolatey one would be great.

So I found this lovely, simple, recipe to make lovely simple chocolate biscuits.

225g Self raising Flour
100g Caster Sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
100g Margarine
5 tbsp Milk
A few drops of vanilla essence.

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C and grease 2 baking trays.

Mix the flour, sugar and cocoa in a bowel and rub in the margarine.

Add the milk and vanilla essence and mix in well. Bring together with your hands and knead lightly on a floured service. (Ours still felt really gooey at this point but soon firmed up with some kneading in the flour).

Roll out to a thickness of 0.5cm and cut shapes. The recipe we used 7.5cm rounds and baked the biscuits for 8 – 10 minutes. We gave Monkey the choice out of all of our cutters and ended up with Star and Rhombus biscuits and only baked ours for 7 minutes which was perfect.

Monkey is so good at baking now – a far cry from the early days where all he wanted was to eat the raw ingredients, even the flour, now he is so good at measuring everything out and so careful with it all, and only ate some of the dough when we said it was ok to.

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He was less keen on getting his hands really mucky when mixing the dough, but loved kneading it and helping daddy roll it out (he hasn’t got the hang of rolling it out himself yet).

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Then of course was the important job of cutting out the shapes ready to bake!

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You can decorate these biscuits however you like, the recipe used a Chocolate Glace Icing but we used some little icing tubes we already had in the cupboard and again I was pleased to see how precise he was. Even since the baking we did at Christmas he has got a lot more precise and was great at putting dots and patterns on the biscuits.

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The finished biscuits! Obviously Daddy helped with some of the patterns but Monkey did a lot of them by himself.

These chocolate biscuits are super quick and simple to make although obviously baking them with a toddler takes a little longer but just adds to the fun. Monkey adored making these with daddy and actually they were really, really tasty!

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

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#MaternityMondays week 7!

Welcome to #MaternityMondays week 7! Thanks so much to everyone linking up, we so love reading all of your posts.

Last week was Emma’s turn and here is what she had to say about your fantastic posts.

Loving Life with Little Ones was really close to my heart. Sarah is expecting baby number three and is wondering how she will manage with two other children. I thought the same going from one to two but, so far, we have managed so I am sure everything will be fine.

El and Baby A’s Ode to Mickey Mouse was fabulous. We love Minnie in our house but it is the same kind of thing. Minnie wants to go to bed, eat her vegetables and get dressed on a daily basis so this was right up our street.

The Determined House Wife made me a bit sad. Children do seem to grow to quickly and, while I can still blame hormones, I did have a few tears in my eyes reading this one.”

This week has had highs and lows, after jinxing myself by metioning that LM was sleeping through the night, she now isn’t, at all! But nevertheless I did manage to get a bit of much needed Mummy Me Time last week which was lovely, but hubs had a busy week and didn’t have a very good day with LM while I was gone. All I will say is having kids (especially babies) can be tough on your relationships but thankfully we have a sollid foundation to help through trickier days. We don’t really celebrate Valentines day but we have been making a bit more time for each other this weekend and trying to communicate better, which has been very lovely.

This week I am linking up a post all about my gorgeous kiddies and their developing relationship as siblings :).

Now it is over to you! Please grab our badge and share the linky love by commenting on a few other blog posts, it would be lovely if we could grow a little community to share the highs and lows of motherhood and parenting.

The linky is open Mondays only from 6.30am to midnight.

Don’t forget to tweet your link using #MaternityMondays, and if you tag us in we will retweet, we are @EmmaLander2 and @BecomingaSAHM

MaternityMondays

Weight Loss highs and lows

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Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

I haven’t blogged much about my weight loss lately, mainly because I am not sure where to start! It is up and down and all over the place at the moment really. I have periods of time when I am doing really well, and others where I do less well. Like a lot less well.

Starting with the positive, I have lost weight.  In fact at one point I had lost a stone! Wahoo! I got down to 12st 6, it was a very happy day for me, and it meant I managed to get back into my size 14 jeans, which was awesome! But I then piled on a few pounds again, then lost a few and then gained them back again. I am still in my size 14s buuuuut they are extremely snug again now so the 16s are more comfy again. Booo.

So what is going on? Well I can see why people like the 5:2 diet as it limits the amount of time you are actually on a diet. For me the weekends are the hardest times to stick to the WW plan. For the most part I have no problem with it as it is about everything in moderation, and even if I have a bad day and indulge in some chocolate, the weight has been coming off fairly steadily. But at the weekends it all goes to pot. Why? Because of socialising mainly. It has been a busy old year so far with take away evenings, meals out with friends and family, hen dos and meals round grandparent’s houses. I try really hard to check out nutritional info before I go and budget points…. but then I succumb, to peer pressure but mainly to temptation and my own lack of will power!

There is a bit of leniency in the diet, but lately I have been over indulging more and more. Part of the problem actually is that because I know there is a bit of leniency (and if I am a little naughty I should still lose weight – albeit a little more slowly), I take advantage of it. I push it too far. This last week has been especially poor and has very much stalled my efforts. We had a difficult week with a teething LM and as I may have mentioned before, I am a comfort eater, and so is hubs, so we both over-indulge when things are a bit tricky. On Saturday, for Valentine’s Day (we don’t normally celebrate it as we both feel there shouldn’t have to be a set day to do nice things for each other, but while things are a bit tough it was actually a nice excuse for us to make a little effort with each other!) we ordered a take out from one of our favourite restaurants, which was delicious and then on Sunday we went out for lunch with my brother and his wife. Lovely, but not good for the diet in the slightest!

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Exercise really isn’t happening at the moment either. I bought a postnatal yoga DVD on recommendation and have watched it once. I want to do it but there is a bit of a sticking point for me at the moment. My knee. I think I mentioned that it was bugging me a few weeks ago and I assumed it was related to my back being a bit weak. I have been doing little exercises with my back and that is much better, but if anything my knee is a lot worse and is really quite painful.

I have had a couple of physio sessions for it which seem to help on the day but don’t reallyseem to help long term. I know I need to rest it but with crawling round after Monkey, on my knees changing nappies and being ordered to run around the garden, rest isn’t really happening. I have finally bought a decent knee support which definitely helps so hopefully that will help it get better. But at the moment exercise is a little off putting as I don’t want to make it any worse… though it may make it better.. I have no idea really.

After a very naughty weekend food wise I am ready to get back on the diet again which will hopefully help. Although another problem is that my best friend is getting married in a couple of weeks  and I am a bridesmaid. My dress is already feeling a little loose so I really can’t lose any more weight… but staying the same is a bit tricky… Oh I will probably carry on yo-yoing a little with my eating until the big day is over and then I can try and focus a bit more and hopefully finally lose the rest of this baby weight and get into my 14s for good!

Fingers crossed anyway!

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