Turning finger painting into magnets

This week Jake and I did a little bit of finger painting. I had Jake in his high chair and taped a piece of paper to the tray, then let him dip his fingers in the paint and encouraged him to smear it onto the paper as opposed to seeing what it tasted like!

Jake really enjoys painting, but it isn’t something that holds his attention for long, but as he was in his high chair I only needed to clean up his hands and face so even for a few minutes of entertainment its not to much hassle to do.

The thing about baby art is that one piece does tend to look like the next, and there are only so many paintings you can fit on your pin board. This is why I like to think of inventive things to do with our baby art, so that it can have a purpose and live a little longer in our household before it gets put in the bin – for example This piece we made for Jakes bedroom.

This time I decided I would use Jakes masterpiece to make some fridge magnets.

I’ve got some sticky backed magnetic sheets that are flexible enough to easily cut with scissors.  I cut Jakes artwork up into different sized pieces and cut out the magnet to match the size, then stuck the two pieces together. This is ridiculously quick and easy to do so I would recommend everyone buys some sticky backed magnetic sheets – I got mine off ebay for a couple of pounds.

The artwork makes lovely colourful magnets, that can be used to stick other creations or photos to the fridge. Jakes magnets are currently being used to hold one of his baby photos to our fridge.

Sport Relief run

 

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I am very proud to say that I have taken part in every Sport Relief run there has been, this year was my forth. It has always been a family affair for us, with my parents taking part or supporting and Jamie and my sister and her partner taking part too. We always follow up the run with a big family fry up which is a really nice tradition.

This years run was therefore difficult or us. It was the first without my mum, and the first with Jake – It is one of many bitter sweet moments I’ve had in the past 10 months and is something I find difficult to express or write about.

I’m glad I did the run as it has come to be a lovely family day for us, and I want that to continue.

Every other time I have ran I have done the 6 mile run, this year we only did three. I am a little disappointed that we weren’t able to run longer but as we now have Jake we haven’t been able to go for runs or train much at all, so signing up for the six mile run just seamed unrealistic. Completing the three miles is the furthest I have run since October last year, so it was the right thing to do and still felt like an achievement.

A Happy Hen Party!

As I’ve mentioned previously, my big sister is getting married soon! Last weekend was her hen party, which is part of the reason why I didn’t blog much (or at all) over the weekend! In the interest of privacy I’m not going to share any photos of the hens at the party, but I will give you an insight as to what we did in case any other maids of honour need some inspiration in hen party, party planning!DSC05276

We decided to stay in rather then go out as it would help keep the costs down and wouldn’t put of any of the older / pregnant people on the invite list. We also thought staying in would be a better environment for people who only know one or two people.

We ended up having about 10 ladies attend the party, which seemed like a perfect number, as there was enough people to feel like we had a party atmosphere but not too many people that it felt overcrowded etc.

The plan for the evening went something like this:

3 – 5 pm Guests arrive to drinks, nibbles and chatting
5 – 6pm – Cocktail making and drinking : )
6pm – We had a mammoth Chinese takeaway delivered
7pm 8.30pm – Play some party games, inc a couple of quizzes & toilet paper bride-
8.30pm – Dessert, a chocolate fountain
9pm – Change into our PJ’s and play Just dance

We didn’t stick to any strict schedule or anything like that, but just sort of went with the flow and introduced games or ice breakers if conversation died down. As a present I made my sister a hen party hamper which had a whole host of cocktail making ingredients, sweets and dressing up items, which went down really well!

The evening went really well, and we all had a great time! In the morning we had a leisurely get up and breakfast and then walked into town to have a Sunday Lunch!

Competition: How to Catch a Star

Its Competition time!! Last week I reviewed ‘How to Catch a Star’ which you can read here and now its your turn tIMG_0613o win a copy of your own, simply complete the required elements of the rafflecopter below and cross your fingers : )

I’m so excited to be able to give away a prize to one of my readers, Jake and I have really enjoyed reading our copy of the book at bedtime so I hope our lucky reader enjoys it as much as we do. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our weaning story

I breast fed Jake until he was just over 7 months old. At about 6 months we started weaning him onto solid food and have found the method we used to be very successful. Now at 9 months Jake is down to just having a milk feed in the morning and evening whilst having three meals and two snacks during the day, he now eats almost exactly the same food that Jamie and I are eating.IMG_1043

We got to this result by weaned Jake in a number of stages which I will outline for you now:

1) Stop feeding milk on demand and swap to regular intervals:

I did this on the advice of our health visitor, at around 5 months she said that Jakes stomach would now be big enough to hold four hours worth of food at a time and that swapping him onto regular timed milk feeds would ultimately help me introduce food into his diet. Jake was generally almost going four hours on him own anyway so this did seem to make sense. This meant I was feeding him milk  a maximum of 6 time in a 24 hour period.

2) Introduce small tubs of pureed food about an hour after a milk feed. Three times a day.

Some people say to add in certain meals first, but we went straight to three small portions of food  a day. Roughly at breakfast, lunch and dinner, but always after a milk feed so Jake wasn’t actually hungry but could just get used to the process and experience of eating. I used a small hand blender to puree cooked softened foods, such as carrot, pear, apple, broccoli, cauliflower etc I would put these into small tubs with roughly 2 tea spoons of food in each and store them in the fridge / freezer.

3) Increase the portion size and gradually drop the night time feeds

This isn’t really something we did on purpose, but we just seamed to find it was a natural progression that sometimes Jake would cry when he finished his food, so we gradually started giving him slightly larger portions, as well as mixing different flavours together such as giving him carrot & pea etc. We found this lead to Jake sleeping for longer periods during the night so that he gradually started sleeping through his night feeds (I never woke him up to feed, but waited for him to wake up and demand food) First we went down to one night time feed and then we dropped them all together, meaning Jake was getting four milk feeds in a 24 hour period, all during the day.

4) Add finger food after meals, and move to mashed food instead of puree.

I decided to spoon feed Jake his main meals as I didn’t feel he could get enough food by feeding himself or get the types of food I wanted him to eat, but I am conscious that I want him to develop his dexterity and be able to feed himself so after he has his spoon fed food he always has finger food, either specific baby finger food, of small pieces of soft fruit such as banana.

5) Increase portion size and add in protein into meals, reduce milk feeds.

Throughout the weaning process we found that  Jake was wanting less milk feeds during the day and taking less milk at each feed. We were generally giving him a milk feed first thing in the morning, mid morning, mid afternoon and before bed. So we decided to drop the mid morning feed. To make sure Jake was getting all his required calories and a balanced diet we added additional food’s he hadn’t had before, such as, cheese, beans, potato and yogurt and pasta. It was at this stage that Jake started to be able to eat somewhat in line with the meals Jamie and I were having, such as Jacket potato with beans, or pasta in tomato sauce etc.IMG_1439

6) Reduce milk feed and add in snacks

At about 8 months we stopped giving Jake a milk feed in the day, so he now just has milk in the morning and before bed. He does however have breakfast, a mid morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack and dinner.

This is our weaning story so far, but I’m really please with how everything has gone Jake eats really well and so far we haven’t encountered anything he wont actually eat. He now quite happily eats almost exactly the same as Jamie and I this include things such as curry and rice, roasted vegetables, spaghetti bolognaise and stew and dumplings!

If I had to offer tips on successful weaning they would be:

1) Stay relaxed and don’t worry, your baby will pick up on this sand you can both enjoy the process

2) Don’t assume your baby wont like something just because you don’t give them as much variety in food as you can.

3) Don’t get too settled into one stage without realising your child is ready to move on. Children grow and develop quickly so what is enough for them one week may not be enough the next.

4) Recognise that if your child has become more active they will need to eat more – Once Jake started crawling we found he actually lost a bit of weight as we hadn’t increased his portion size to compensate for all the extra calories he was burning – therefore I’d also recommend to get your baby weighed regularly during weaning.