5months!!! Little I is growing up fast and has gown out of some of her 3-6mth clothes. I can't dwell on how big she is getting or I'll cry! My baby is inching towards toddlerhood!
Lots more firsts this week. She finally managed to roll from tummy to back so now she doesn't always get stuck (she forgets she can do it sometimes so I still have to come to the rescue!) I managed to catch the first time and she looked really pleased with with herself.
She is getting so strong on the playmat now and lifts her head up so high. She also uses her toes to grasp onto the beams and pivot herself about. Taking after her big sister who was a real climber.
Weaning is going super well. So far she has had tastes of peach flavour baby rice, sweet potato, rice pudding and mashed banana. She has loved them all and opens her mouth really wide for the spoon! She is having a taste once a day but she gets really angry if we eat without her so she commands a seat at the table chewing her spoon.
We have heard the most glorious sounds this week - giggles! Proper full on chuckling at Big Sister E. The most gorgeous sound in the world is hearing my two girls laugh together. A favourite game at the moment is building a den on our bed and Little E is mummy wolf and Little I is her wolf cub who she looks after. This mainly consists of feeding Little I food from the 'fridge' under the duvet.
Twitter has been my friend lately. I don't RT many competitions but when I do they are for products and brands I really love. In the last month I have won 2 competitions; an activity station for Little I and a box of Chocolate Giggles mix from the award winning Sweetpea Pantry.
I was really excited about making these with Little E as I love the ethos of this company. 100% natural baking ingredients including superfoods so you can feel virtuous when baking!
All we needed to add to the mix was an egg white, some melted butter and honey. We didn't have any honey in so we added golden syrup instead.
Little E loved mixing it together and forming a ball. After it cooled down we rolled it out and she chose a heart cutter to cut out the biscuits.
I couldn't believe how many we made! The mixture seemed endless! The finished biscuits held their shape really well. They tasted very wholesome when finished. Not really very chocolatey if I am being honest and next time I would chuck a handful of chocolate chips into the mix. But Little E adored them. She kept asking for more and asked when we can make them again so a big hit.
Breastfeeding is a big part of my life at the moment. I am currently exclusively feeding 5mth old Little I and I thought it would be nice to look back at my first breastfeeding journey with Little E who is now 3yrs old.
Little E's birth was an emergency forceps delivery in theatre. I was already prepped for a C section so pretty much numb from the boobs down. This meant the plan I had to feed her immediately after delivery went out the window. It wasn't the environment I was expecting and lots was going on around me with about 15 people in the theatre. I'm not sure what they were all doing...
So it wasn't until I got back to the delivery suite that a midwife suggested I give it a try. Little E was very sleepy and didn't seem very interested. A midwife rather roughly shoved her onto me but she was only sucking for a few seconds before she fell off and continued her sleepy snooze. This continued for most of the night, never staying on for more than a few sucks each time. In the morning the midwives were keen to get her properly latched on. I really struggled with how to hold her and one of the healthcare assistants had to help me each time but I managed to keep her on for about 20minutes and later that afternoon I got her to latch myself so we could be discharged.
That night she choked on the fluid she had swallowed during her prolonged time on the birth canal. We were back in hospital so she could have her stomach flushed and be monitored in the neonatal unit. It was the most scariest thing that has ever happened to us but it meant 48hours of help from the lovely neonatal nurses to help establish breastfeeding which was great.
The latch eluded me for a while, especially on my right nipple which baby seemed to hate. It would take ages to get her latched each time. The NCT advisor suggested biological nursing where you lay back and allow baby to forage around on your chest until they find the nipple and latch on. HILARIOUS! Little E desperately tried to crawl around the giant watermelon boobs, wore herself out and fell asleep sucking on the bottom of my boob about six inches from my nipple. After a few attempts at this I realised my baby was not going to make it alone and for a successful feed she needed a firm hold in the cross cradle position and not to let her latch until her mouth went impossibly wide.
From here in baby thrived and I always had tons of milk but my nipples were a real problem. They were so cracked and sore. It felt like needles were being shoved into them as baby latched. I would actually shout out in pain. I went to baby cafe only to be told baby was latching perfectly. My nipples just had to toughen up so I used tubes and tubes of nipple cream to help with the cracks and blisters. At about 10weeks they seemed to give in and the pain eased literally overnight.
Feeding became like breathing. I fed on demand which usually meant a feed every 3hrs during the day (more often on hot days) and one night feed at around 4am. Each feed would last about 20minutes and she would only feed from one side which I alternated each feed. I was incredibly lucky that feeding went so smoothly and it continued like this for the next few months apart from a couple of painful bouts of mastitis in my right boob which required antibiotics to clear.
My forceps delivery left me rather 'injured' and unable to do lots of the normal new mummy activities with my little baby. I honestly feel being able to feed her and watch her thrive pulled me through those first six months and kept me from spiralling into depression. I felt like a complete failure for not being able to give birth to her myself but breastfeeding helped me to get over that.
I decided to try moving her onto formula after our holiday to Spain at approx 7mths. She was eating solids well but breastfeeding when out and about was becoming a palarva as she was easily distracted and would spend the majority of the feed craning her neck round to see what was going on. This resulted in attempts to cover her with a wrap to minimise stimulation but she would just whip the cover off in disgust. I was getting very frustrated with it and she was requiring extra feeds to make up for the mucking about when out and about. So I thought it would be easier to move her onto formula for the daytime but keep doing the morning and evening feeds myself. Oh how wrong I was! She point blank refused the formula. She would take expressed milk no problem but formula was instantly rejected. And so began a two month fiasco of express pumping and adding a small quantity of formula (about 10% to start with) then gradually increasing the ratio of formula to breastmilk by minuscule amounts so she got used to the taste. Eventually she was taking 100% formula and would happily drink it during the day from anyone but me. If I tried to give it to her she refused. So the vast majority of her feeds were still breastmilk as it was just me and her most of the time.
She hit 9mths in November and sleep regression kicked in. She started waking 3 or 4 times a night for feeds and I was a walking zombie. I completely broke down after a week and Husband took control sending her off to his mum's with a box of formula for 2 night sleepover. It was the first time I had been away from her overnight. Naturally she was fine, took the formula and slept through the night. I on the other hand had to go cold turkey with the pain of exploding boobs and raging hormone build up.
When she came back she had forgotten about the boobies and was happy to take the bottle. I cried for most of the following week as my hormones tried to work out what was going on. The pain from engorgement was so bad I took to wearing a sports bra to stop my boobs moving as even the slightest motion was agony. I only pumped the smallest amount just to make it bareable. I certainly wouldn't recommend stopping so suddenly but she wasn't going to let me drop feeds slowly.
I felt a dull ache in my right breast for months after stopping and with hindsight I am sure I had a blocked duct under there but eventually it eased off. I missed the feeding terribly for the first couple of weeks, it was so intense it almost felt like grief, but then suddenly overnight I felt fine and actually rather pleased to have my boobs back!
Bit disappointed this week as it is my first gain. 1kg on. I know exactly why. I have eaten too much! In particular dessert. Ice cream is my weakness during the summer. I've vowed not to eat dessert this week so we'll see if that makes any difference...
Current weight: 83.1kg
Total weightloss: 2.2kg (5lb)
Little E gets the biggest smiles from Little I. You can see the bond developing and the love for each other growing. My favourite moments are watching Little E read to her little sister. Magical.
I is for instant
A few weekends ago we went to a wedding with an instant photo booth. Great idea. Little I was with us and just before her bedtime we grabbed some snaps. We had a fab time at the wedding and Little I was so good.
The bride and groom get a disc with all the digital images on. Loving this idea instead of table cameras.
Fast changes this week. Rolling continues and it won't be long before she is flipping back over. We've got the bumbo out and she enjoys playing with her play gym from a different angle.
Mealtimes were becoming a little traumatic for the rest of us because she would scream, trying to get at our food. At a party this weekend our wine glasses weren't safe as she desperately tried to get at the contents.
So we decided it is time for weaning. Last night she had her first try of peach baby rice. She loved it and I was amazed how she moved the food from the front to the back of her mouth so well. No mess for this little one!
We went on a family day to Hobbledown and she loved watching the children running about and was itching to join in. I can see the difference between her and Little E at this age. Having an older sibling brings them on so much faster.
I love watching her sleep. We are trying to give her a bit more routine during the day and I have been putting her down for a nap in her bed which she has taken to really well.
And this week she has found her feet!
A little late due to illness but here is a run down of Little E's June...
Little E has been: gardening
Little E has shown a real interest in gardening now the weather has turned nice. It started with planting the tomato seeds we got free with the ketchup then we were sent a fantastic Little Growers Flower Kit from the lovely people at QVC consisting of a mini greenhouse, containers, seeds and soil. QVC research shows that 90% of us have happy memories of spending time in the garden as children so we need to inspire our kiddies to do the same. Little E has planted her seeds (a variety of flowers including sunflowers) and they are beginning to shoot despite being dramatically over watered! It is a great little kit for kiddies because it all feels very grown up, which they love. Watch this space to see how she gets on with her crop!
Little E has been: baking banana muffins
This has become a regular activity for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are really easy to make. They contain fruit so I can kid myself they are good for her. Husband really likes them so they get eaten. I hate banana so I don't eat them and therefore stay on my diet. If they don't get eaten they freeze really well.
The recipe is super easy:
3 large ripe bananas mashed
1tsp bicarbonate of sofa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
200g plain flour
75g melted butter/margarine
150g caster sugar
Little E has been: running everywhere
Don't get me wrong, she has always loved to run about but over the past few weeks it has become an obsession. She goes out into the garden and runs round and round in circles laughing to herself. At the park she launches herself down the path the second we enter. The energy seems limitless...
Little E has been: playing up at bedtime
Bedtime has been rather traumatic this month. The combination of the sunny evenings and the heat have resulted in a hyperactive, fidgety child who refuses to settle down to sleep. Most nights it is gone 9pm before we can settle her making our evening exhausting with no time to ourselves. The baby is easier to settle!!!!
Little E has been: having a makeover
I finally gave in and painted Little E's nails. She has been asking me for months and I've been resisting but as a special treat for the weekend sleepover at her Auntie's she got bright pink polish. The fingers only lasted half a day as the Polish was removed for bad behaviour before she even got to the sleepover but the toes have lasted. I'm not entirely sure if I'm ok with it as it seems very grown up but as a special treat now and then it can't hurt. Just another way she wants to be like Mummy.
We were sent the Little Growers Flower Kit free of charge but all opinions are our own.
H is for Hobbledown.
Hobbledown is a children's play farm in Surrey which is themed around the story of the Hobblers; A mystical mining folk who love adventure. Little E absolutely loves it and her favourite part of the park is the challenge to find the Hobbler's missing mining crystals which have been scattered around the park. If you can find enough green gems you can swap them for a lolly in the shop as you leave.
Never have so many children been motivated by the thought of a simple lolly! Little E spends the whole day searching for crystals in the giant sandpits and most days we get to swap her bounty for a lolly. It is a great way to keep her busy and focused on our day out. There is so much to do when the weather is nice so if you haven't been wait for a sunny day and enjoy a mysterical adventure (yes, that is a word in Hobbletown!)
A little late with the weigh in post this week as a stomach bug has taken me down! I did weigh myself on Thursday and I can happily report a weightloss of 1kg. Now how much of that is down to actual fat loss or simply because I was so dehydrated from being ill is anyone's guess but fingers crossed it doesn't all go back on this week!
Overall weightloss: 3.2kg (7lb)
Current weight: 82.1kg
Linking up to #healthhop with pinkoddy.co.uk
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.