The lengths we go to for sleep

Today my little baby bear slept through till half seven. He used to do this frequently, however the last couple of weeks it’s been anything from 5.45 to 6.30. Which is hard going!!!

I know there will be some people out there who just want to shake the screen they are reading. I know I’m lucky…. But trust me, it will happen!!

So last night I decided to time the heating so it would come on at half five in his room and stay on for an hour. I also added to his window two dark blankets to make it even darker.

We have gone through all the usual…. Black out blind type situations, baby rice in the night time bottle… Anything for sleep.

However my biggest piece of advice is not any of the above, it is instead routine. Our days can be bedlam, ever changeable, though our night time routine stays the same.

Once it hits seven o’clock, it is bath time, them into mummy and daddy’s bedroom for drying, moisturising, changed for bedtime and cuddles. I then take my very sleepy and excited little man into his darkened room for his warm bottle.

When our first foot steps onto our stairs, I swear I can hear a sigh of relief from our little man. He knows the routine so well, he is settled and calm.

He sleeps every night on a natural sheep skin, all nice and cosy and most importantly safe. My mother bought us one and then my parents in law brought one back from Australia. They are amazing…. Keeps them warm when they are cold and cool when they are warm and most importantly they can breath through the wool.

So my advice… Bedtime routine.

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The MAC

My husband and I were lucky enough to have a “date night”, well really it was a “date weekend”. My amazing parents agreed to have our little monster for the night.

We stayed in the Hilton in Belfast for the night and ate out for lunch and dinner, had a few relaxing drinks in the afternoon and did the Belfast tourist thing….. even though we actually only live about 20 mins away!!

We had a ball and I have to admit I do feel refreshed after having a wee lie in this morning!! its amazing the difference you feel after sleeping past 7 o’clock… and not waking up to a little person shouting for you. 

Yesterday we stumbled across the MAC in Belfast’s up and coming St Annes Square. The Canteen at the Mac was yummy…. we had our first little glass of wine here to start the weekend off. The staff were lovely, very friendly and approachable. We had the tapas between us, three plates in total and a couple of glasses of wine… the bill came to in and around £15. I thought this was really good, especially as everything was so tasty and the wine was definitely worth wanting another glass (but as I am a little out of practice, I passed on this occasion).

The reason I am telling you about the Mac is not just because of the yummy food and tasty wine, but because of the amazing kids shows and classes they have available. Unfortunately my baby is still a little too young to enjoy any of these wonderful events, however as a mum I couldn’t help myself and had to have a nosey at the leaflet. It definitely will be somewhere we will be frequenting when he is old enough to take part, and to make things even more enjoyable for kids there was a street circus act happening in the square outside.

Belfast is really becoming the place to be!! We had a lovely weekend, very relaxing and ate in some lovely restaurants. We came home to a little man who had enjoyed himself immensely and been bought his first ice cream cone just for himself…. grandparents just cant help themselves!!  

High chair toast

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Any parent will know that sometimes the high chair can be the last place your baby/ toddler wants to be. However when it comes to dinner/ lunch time, the high chair is the safest and easiest place to have your child.

Trust me I have tried everything from feeding him his dinner in my arms, while he is sitting on the floor with his toys and even when he is crawling around the floor….. All to stop a crying session.

My mum came in one day and experienced the crying match surrounding the high chair and within two minutes had turned the whole situation round.

We call it high chair toast….
A bit of toasted and buttered bread cut into tiny pieces.

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The outcome is amazing….

~feeding themselves
~working on their fine motor…. Pincer grip
~concentrating on the small pieces of toast, what they feel, taste and smell like.

And when they are doing all this they are being quiet!!! Yipppeeee

And you can also feed them their dinner in between buttery toast mouthfuls!! Which is the outcome we all hope for…. A tantrum free successful feeding time!

Castle Douglas

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Well we are home and very relaxed after our far too short trip to Scotland. My family and I come from Portpatrick, a very small seaside village on the South West of Scotland. Every opportunity I get, I go back to spend some time there and breath in the fresh sea air.

While on our little holiday we decided to go to Castle Douglas for the day, hoping very much so that our monster might sleep on the way there. However wouldn’t you know it, he slept about twenty minutes of the hour and a bit journey.

Castle Douglas is described as being a food town, however i would beg to differ.

We came across one chocolate shop which I have to admit was lovely, we quickly went in and bought four chocolates to sample….. which were delicious. Being me, I asked the shop assistant if all the chocolates were made on the premises or were they bought in…. and to my surprise they were all made in the shop. It was not actually that expensive, £2.15 for four handmade chocolates….. and they really were yummy!!

Our next stop was a couple of children’s clothes shop….. I have yet to meet a mum that can walk past a kids clothes shop that has a 50% sale banner in the window. Needless to say my little man got a little spoiled!!! lol

For lunch we were recommended to try Designs, a cafe/ gallery. I can safely say that i don’t think I will be returning unfortunately. The waitresses were a little more concerned about how they looked and what went on the previous night, instead of thinking about the customers.

On arriving with a crying hungry baby, I went straight to the counter to ask for the baby’s food to be heated….. thank goodness this wasn’t a bother to them (one thumbs up).

However after returning to my seat the waitress appeared right on my tail to ask what we wanted to eat. At this point my husband was trying to wrestle my hungry little man into the highchair and i was trying to sort out his juice cup. I asked if we could have a moment, however after about three minutes, she reappeared. I then understood that if I didnt give her our order she would not give us peace. I hastily ordered a sandwich thing with bacon, brie and cranberry. All i can say is that Paul Hollywood would have had a field day as the bottom of the ciabbata was that soggy i couldnt actually cut through it. yuck!!

Anybody with a baby knows that lunch/ dinner….. really anytime that involves food and a high chair, can be very stressful. Time is precious and rushing a person to make a decision over a menu is not a good idea. In hindsight I should have said…. you know what love, why dont you take over here for a minute and give me a chance to read the menu and then i’ll decide!!!!

That would have given her something to think about.

Playpen trick

My little man doesn’t enjoy being left alone for any length of time in his playpen…. He likes his freedom. Since he learned to climb, crawl and understand that in his playpen he is trapped, we have had a playpen standoff!!

So I’m trying lots of different techniques and am very keen for any other suggestions. Today I’ve put all his toys in a hessian shopper bag allowing him to pull them out and investigate…. So far it’s not going too well…. But I’ll keep you posted …. Fingers crossed!!!

Ps perhaps it’s because it is nearly breakfast time!!

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Round one of the playpen trick….

Didn’t work too well, i tried it later in the day after little man had been fed and watered and entertained for while, it was a disaster.

 

Round two….

However today i tried a new technique of giving him his bottle in the playpen after i had given him most of it, he lay happily playing with the remainder of it in the pen, I also had moved the playpen into the living room so he had the tv to look at and me. He actually sat/lay very content for about half an hour!!!

I managed to get the ironing done and little man managed to have some down time, on his own!!

I really think I’m going to try to persevere with the play pen, I think it is important that he can play happily by himself and not need constant attention. He has a knack of loving a toy for about 2 mins and then throwing it down and looking for something else…. is this normal at ten months??

Round three….

We have come on our wee end of summer get away, to stay with my grandmother in Scotland…. Portpatrick to be exact. Needless to say we had to get a travel cot and after a brilliant nights sleep last night, we thought we’d try it out as a makeshift playpen this morning.

So off came the natural fleece Alex sleeps with and in went a few toys. He was great because there was only a fewtoys…. Maybe three in total. He seemed more focused on the toys that was there and enjoyed playing with them.

There was also a full length mirror attached to the wall which was beside the cot. He enjoyed standing on his tippy toes looking at himself…. He gets this from his father!!! Lol.

So perhaps fewer toys and maybe a visible mirror is the way forward…. Will retry tomorrow morning and keep you updated.

Maxi cosi pearl

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This week my little baby boy has become less a baby and more like a toddler!! He is ten month and we have persevered with the rear facing car seat for long enough. I was very reluctant about changing him to a front facing seat as I had read all the safety issues etc with front facing when they are too young.

However when my monster was able to turn himself around in his old pebble maxi cosi seat and scream mama at me while I was driving I knew the time had come.

As we have the family fix base the pearl was the next jump up for us. The base is a genuine must for any new parent…. Amazing!!!

Please please consider it if you are pregnant and buying all the needed equipment. It seems like an extra that is not completely necessary…. But believe me after trying to get a pram into the car a baby in the baby seat into the car using a seat belt in the pouring rain…. It is necessary.

The maxi cosi pearl is a very comfy step up from the pebble…. So far, a thumbs up from us!!

Beautiful walk

Antrim doesn’t have a lot to offer…. Well that is what people might have said a couple of years ago. However things are changing!!!

A trip to the castle grounds in antrim turned out to be a lovely afternoon.

A new pathway has been designed to take you in among forest, riverside, lakeside, walled gardens and many more nooks and crannies!!!

The gardens are amazing….. Colours galore and the wildlife is amazing. We saw butterflies, squirrels, bumble bees and a Heron!!!

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The coffee shop is gorgeous…. Very child friendly and dog friendly too, if you are that way inclined!!

Antrim castle grounds definitely gets the thumbs up from me!!!

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And from little man as he munches on his gingernut!

Roast dinner a la baby

So a Sunday at my parents in law…. We had a lovely afternoon and even better we came home with four dinners for my munchkin!!!
Alex is getting to the stage he is really able to eat most foods as long as they are pretty mushed up…. I’m trying to pulse rather than blend.
So as we all ate our delicious lunch, while little man sat with his chocolate digestive…. Just incase you were wondering I had fed him his lunch earlier.
All the remaining veg and some of the roast beef made Little man four dinners!!!! Yipppeee!!

Broccoli,
carrot and parsnip mash,
cauliflower cheese,
mashed potato
a slice of roast beef
some gravy
a little bit of boiling water

Made a yummy tea for him and three more tubs for the freezer!

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