Teething baby = Grumpy baby!
Bright red cheeks and a fever this week but still no teeth appearing! Little I has not coped particularly well and her sleep has been a bit disrupted as a result but we only had one very bad night.
A new seating position has appeared with one leg twisted backwards. It seems to give Little I more stability and she is able to reach further and pivot without face planting.
She also seems to be bum shuffling imperceptibly forwards. We put pillows behind her bottom and after 10minutes she has moved herself forwards away from the cushions. I'm wondering if she'll bum shuffle instead of crawling as she's not a fan of being on her tummy because of her reflux problems.
She is full of intrigue and her toy boxes are explored each morning, chucking the toys she doesn't want over her shoulder until she gets to the bottom and collapses the box!
The transition to bottle is going well and she seems happy for other people to feed her now, even her big sister! She spent the day with Nanny Ma at the weekend to try and help her with the separation anxiety and she coped ok with us not around. It is still a different story if we are around!
We love bundling up on the sofa to watch a Sunday afternoon family movie. So when Suppose.com asked us to review The Lego Movie we jumped at the chance.
The LEGO Movie follows the story of Emmet, a completely average Lego figure who gets mistaken for 'The Special' - the most extraordinary person in the world who is prophesied to save LEGOkind from the evil President Business.
Despite this being a U rated film it is very funny for adults. The script is hilarious, full of reference to The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix and Starwars to name a few. The voice cast is fantastic and dynamic. My highlights are Liam Neeson as 'Good Cop/Bad Cop' and Morgan Freeman as the godlike blind wizard Vitruvius. Will Ferrell also does as excellent job as President Business (as you'd expect).
The pop culture references went straight over the head of Little E who enjoyed it at face value. But Husband and I were chuckling away at moments such as the flight through 'Middle Zealand', an argument over Gandalf's name actually being Dumbledoor and Batman stealing the hyperdrive from The Millenium Falcon. I couldn't stop myself laughing out loud in a few places to which I received a funny look from Little E who had no idea what I was finding so funny.
It certainly is a fast paced film requiring quite a lot of concentration compared to your usual animated movie. Little E was mesmerised by the fantastic animation, it really is rich and layered. It may be a 90minute advert for LEGO but it is certainly impressive and was self aware enough to take the Mikey out of itself throughout while keeping adults and children engaged. We'll be watching again to spot the reference and jokes we missed first time around.
Something exciting happened this month. Bestie finally gave birth to a precious little girl 13 days past her due date! Beautiful Little Baby T entered the world very swiftly underwater in a birthing pool, floating up to the surface to meet her Mum and Dad. Despite weighing 8lb 11oz, she is a delicate little pickle barely filling out her babygrows.
Congratulations Bestie! I'm desperate for more Little T cuddles!
Tomorrow is The World's Greatest Coffee Morning for Macmillan cancer support raising money for the amazing work they do for cancer patients all across the country.
Little E's nursery are holding a cake sale in aid of the charity. Great excuse to try out an experiment I have been planning; Crumble cupcakes.
Pear crumble cupcakes
3 cups self raising flour
1 3/4 cups caster sugar
1 1/4 cups semi skimmed milk
3/4 cup unsalted butter
6 ripe pears
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
For the crumble
100g plain flour
50g unsalted butter
25g granulated sugar
25g demerera sugar
Heat oven to 170 degrees
Slice the pears thinly lengthways.
Soften in a pan with 1tbsp sugar, 1tsp vanilla and 2tbsp water until very soft.
Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile make the crumble topping by rubbing together with your fingers the butter and flour until fine breadcrumbs are formed.
Stir in the granulated and demerera sugar and set aside.
Now for the sponges. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar.
Add the eggs and remaining vanilla.
Slowly add the sifted flour mixture and milk alternating a cup at a time. Beating well after each addition.
Beat for 2minutes.
Divide the mixture between 24 cupcake cases.
Top with the soft pears pushing them slightly into the cake mixture.
Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top.
Bake for approx 20minutes.
When removed from the oven cool on a wire rack.
This was a complete experiment, making up the recipe as I went along and I was very pleased with the results. The sponge underneath remained very light and fluffy with the soft pears and crunchy crumble on top. I will definitely be repeating with different fruit combinations.
Find out more about The World's Greatest Coffee Morning and the work of Macmillan including how to donate here
The eternal question: How do toddlers do this without waking themselves up?
She is wearing her seatbelt by the way. If she wasn't she'd be in the footwell by now!
Linking up with #wickedwednesdays over at brummymummyof2.co.uk
Big breakthrough this week: Little I finally gave in and accepted a bottle. It only took about three months to break her will... And so began a week where she dropped two feeds including the 4am night feed(!) She still will only take the cheap 80p Tesco bottles but we have to make a big hole in the teat for her.
She is sleeping wonderfully, only waking once for a nappy change and quick cuddle. She self settles very easily. She has begun wriggling this week. We now find her in all kinds of weird and wonderful positions in her cot.
She has taken to cuddling up to a muslin or blanket when sleeping. She rubs it against her face to soothe herself to sleep whilst sucking her middle fingers.
I leave Little I and Husband alone for 5minutes and my phone gets bombarded with selfies! What a pair!
She is still being a clingon when we are out and won't let anyone but Husband or I hold her but she seems to have relaxed at home and is happy to interact with visitors there.
We began baby massage classes this week. She enjoys it but is more interested in craning her neck around to nose at the other babies! Just like her big sister used to. Nosy baby!
It has begun. I am stopping breastfeeding Little I. She has (finally) accepted the bottle and we have dropped two feeds this week. She now only feeds from me first thing in the morning and at bedtime. She has an afternoon bottle of formula plus cows milk in her food.
She has been sleeping through the night which accidentally dropped another feed but last night she woke up and wanted feeding. I refused her and instead changed her nappy, gave her a cuddle and put her back to bed awake. She went straight off to sleep, clearly she didn't need it. A cuddle and a clean bum was comfort enough.
I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. On one hand I am about to get back (relative) freedom after being attached at the nipple to a baby for over 7mths but on the flip side I am creeping closer to my last EVER breastfeed. Which makes me want to cry.
Feeding my babies hasn't been easy. We are talking nipple thrush, mastitis and unflattering underwear but they have both thrived on my supply and the knowledge that I have nourished them for so long makes me feel very proud. Whilst I want to stop, I don't want to. It was easier with Little E because I wanted a second who I would (hopefully) breastfeed so I had the reassurance that I would do it all again. We aren't planning any further children so my last breastfeed really is my last breastfeed...
I've been thinking about why I don't want to breastfeed any longer than I did with Little E (9mths) and I don't really have an answer. I don't know why I want to stop really. Maybe I don't want to but everyone else expects me to. Or perhaps it is my now unstable hormones talking! But I know after the hassle we've been through getting Little I to accept a bottle at all I have to keep going and follow through completely. She has made it very clear she isn't one of these babies you can flick between breast and bottle willynilly. But for now she is letting me cut down slowly which I am grateful for after Little E's point blank refusal to take a bottle from me, forcing me to go completely cold turkey on the breastfeeding.
It all feels so bitter sweet. Cue the tears...
Linking up with The Breastfeeding Diaries at zenas-suitcase.co.uk
Snotty baby this week. Sleep has been disturbed as a result and Little I is sooooooo clingy. We went to London for Mother-in-Law's 60th birthday weekend celebrations and she was a clingon to Husband and I not letting anyone else hold her. Exhausting! She did love the train journey though and had her first ride in a London black cab.
We have started music time recently and she loves the instruments. She has really got the hang of shaking the rattles and bells. She did clonk herself in the head though which have her a bit of a shock!
Her pincer grip has come on this week and she is handling her finger goods more confidently. Baby biscotti, pasta tubes and rice cakes have all been on the menu! She has also started having weetabix some mornings instead of porridge.
Seriously? Another photo? It is enough to make the toddler turn to E numbers! Big Cousin E is soldiering on but the less said about the baby the better...
Linking up with #wickedwednesdays over at brummymummyof2.co.uk
National Cupcake Week starts tomorrow! Great excuse to get into the kitchen and whip up some scrummy treats for the family. Betta Living has challenged bloggers to post our most inventive cupcake recipe for their #bettabakeoff challenge. How could I refuse?!
I asked 3yr old Little E what she thought should go into our cupcake recipe and she decided on chocolate and raspberries. Usually I opt for white chocolate in my cupcakes but I decided to change things up for this challenge by making decadent dark chocolate cupcakes with a rich ganache topping. Chocolate overload alert! Here's the recipe:
Dark chocolate and raspberry cupcakes
Ingredients for 12 cupcakes
175g self raising flour
150g caster sugar
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
150ml sunflower oil
150ml semi-skimmed milk
2 eggs (beaten)
2tbsp cocoa powder
100g melted dark chocolate
For the ganache topping
150ml double cream
75g dark chocolate
75g milk chocolate
200g fresh raspberries
Start with the ganache topping.
1. Place the chocolate in a bowl.
2. In a heavy bottom saucepan bring the double cream to the point of boiling.
3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate.
4. Leave for a few minutes until the chocolate has melted then whisk to a creamy, smooth mixture.
5. Pop in the fridge to cool for a couple of hours until it is semi-set.
6. Whip with an electric whisk until peaks form.
7. Smash half the fresh raspberries into the ganache.
Meanwhile heat the oven to 170c. Line a muffin tin with cases. Now for the sponge...
8. Sieve the flour, bicarb and cocoa into a bowl.
9. Add the caster sugar and mix well.
10. Make a well in the centre and add eggs, oil and milk.
11. Beat well with an electric whisk until smooth.
12. Add the melted chocolate and mix again until combined.
13. Pour into baking cases and cook for approx. 20minutes.
Little E wanted to make butterfly cakes so we chopped the top off of the cupcakes, swirled some ganache on top then decorated with the sponge top 'wings' and some of the fresh raspberries.
With a 3yr old helping decorate they weren't exactly the most delicate looking cakes but they tasted super scrummy - I think her face in this photo says it all, eyes closed to fully savour the first bite!
This is my entry to the Betta Living National Cupcake Week (15-21 September) competition. Share your cupcake recipes this week on Twitter using the hashtag #bettabakeoff. You can find out more here.
Linking up with #tastytuesday with honestmum.com
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.