Tuesday, 27 January 2015

#WeLoveBeebies Brand Ambassador application by Isabelle age 10 months

My mummy told me that Beebies Baby Store are looking for some new 'ambassadors', at only 10 months old I've no idea what this means but I smiled anyway because I'm a happy little lady today. Mummy showed me the website (here) with all the bright colourful toys and I recognise some of the things - my favourites! I pointed and giggled lots so I really want to be a Beebies Baby Store Ambassador... #welovebeebies

I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a little bit about ME,  Isabelle...
 I kept everyone waiting a really long time... I was really happy in my mummys tummy. Then when I was born, my mummy was fast asleep so I got taken to my daddy and we had a really big cuddle. I cried until my mummy was in the room with us awake, then I settled straight away. I'm still a mummy's girl.
 I met my big brother, I remembered his voice as he kept talking to mummy's belly when I was living in there. He's very nice and likes to give me lots of cuddles. I brought him some presents when I was born, some sweets and lego. He loves me.
 So that's little young me and I'd really LOVE to be an ambassador for Beebies Baby Store I want to let all the other babies and their parents/grandparents/friends know that Beebies Baby Store is the place to go! In return I promise my mummy will take so many photos of me having fun being a Beebies Baby Store Ambassador and use social media to spread the #WeLoveBeebies word.
Lots of love,
Isabelle x

p.s. why don't you apply too? Application for Beebies Baby Store Ambassador

Beebies Baby Store Website

Monday, 26 January 2015

Allergy weaning

As you probably already know Isabelle has multiple allergies; dairy, soya, wheat, egg, potatoe, peaches, broccoli and mango. So weaning her has been alot harder than her brother, Oliver and I'm sure there's others out there struggling too.

Although I'm writing this post now, doesn't mean I've stopped struggling, we are still introducing new things slowly to Isabelle and yes she is behind on weaning but I don't care, she's eating, she's gaining weight and shes healthy. I wanted to share our 'safe' foods so far, hopefully it will help someone else in a similar situation to us.

Isabelle's typical food day looks like this:

Breakfast - Organix porridge which is strawberry and banana flavour. She has hers mixed with expressed breastmilk because her formula, Neocate is disgusting and smells horrible.

Lunch - Carrot, sweet potatoe, chicken, parsnip mashed and gravy. Followed by some fruit either pureed myself or an ella's kitchen pouch.

Dinner - Carrot, chicken, parsnip, mashed with rice and gravy. Followed by some co-yo yoghurt then 'sweets' - kiddylicious fruit smoothie melts or fruit like a banana.

Snacks - rice cakes, smoothie melts, banana, carrot crisps, sweetcorn rings or fruit puffs. Toast and jam.

Some days she eats more than others, sometimes shes not interested at all and sometimes I make 'yucky' food.

Gravy I use for Isabelle is called 'Free & Easy' and the stock cubes are Vegetable low salt by 'Kallo'.
Dairy free safe snacks for babiesKiddylicious smoothie melts (12 months plus but Isabelle has 4 teeth and is fine with these - they melt) they are all fruit and she has the strawberry and banana flavour. She absolutely loves them and can't let her see a packet without expecting to give them all to her!

Kiddylicious also do some tasty fruit puffs, Isabelle's favourite again is the strawberry ones. These are a great little finger food for babies and seem to go down well with Isabelle.
Organix is a brand I really trust with Isabelle. Their packaging is clear which makes life so much easier when you're an allergy mum because shopping already takes at least twice as long as it used to! Isabelle loves the carrot sticks finger foods and the sweetcorn rings which actually taste like sweetcorn! Rice cakes by Organix are popular here too, apple, strawberry and banana flavours are all safe for dairy free babies. If your little one is just dairy free, their baby biscuits are safe too, very good finger foods and taste nice!

Dairy free safe fruit pots/pouches for babies
Ella's kitchen: Strawberry and Banana. Apple and Banana.
Hipp Organic: Apple and Strawberry with peices.
Cow and gate: Apple and pear.

Dairy free safe vegetable pouches/pots - ideal for first weaning Ella's kitchen: Carrot, Parsnip, Sweet potatoe. They have literally nothing else in.
Then there's Ella's kitchen, Carrots Apple and Parsnip.
Hipp Organic: Tender carrots.

A good alternative to yoghurt is Co-Yo coconut yoghurt. Isabelle absolutely loves it.

I cut her chicken up and boil it as it falls apart really easily and is very soft for her to eat.

Isabelle's bread is free from all of her allergies it's called Ener-g White Rice Flour Bread.

I know that making your own food from scratch is best but I also know that's not always possible, if you're out and you need to feed your baby quickly. It's also a good way to introduce your baby to foods that are bigger such as mango which loads would be wasted if your little one was having a tiny bit. Unfortunately Isabelle couldn't handle mango.

I'll make another post soon about other free from bits Isabelle has but I hope this post has helped some one else.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Isabelle's been keeping me busy

I haven't blogged in so long because I've basically been a bit like a zombie - one out of the walking dead *looks behind self.... as absolutely terrified of the walking dead and YES I am a wimp*. But this evening when I logged onto my blogger account the amount of views I've been getting is amazing so I desperately want to get back to blogging.

Why have I been silent? Well I'm blaming the baby... Isabelle's been keeping us awake, to the point Michael has even borrowed an air bed to get some sleep downstairs if necessary so that he can go to work a little bit less like a zombie but I've now gone egg free, Isabelle has started sleeping so much better! It's taken me 10 months to realise but turns out my baby reacts to egg through my breastmilk too! better late than never I guess.

Oliver is also being a big handful lately and sometimes we feel like all we ever do is tell him off which is really upsetting. He's still a lovely little man though just has a grumpy streak. Oh and I never got terrible twos with him but terrible fives exist right!?

Isabelle has started standing holding on, shes been crawling for a while now and she points at everything! Today at Grandparents house she took a few steps holding on to her baby walker, the little fisher price my fish pushchair one. Her first year is going so quickly.

We had a lovely first Christmas with Isabelle who got overwhelmed by it all, Oliver really enjoyed our Christmas time and they both got lots of lovely presents. It was my first Christmas day away from my Mum which was weird but we spent it with Michael's parents and Michael's Mum's Christmas dinner was lovely.

And if you haven't seen on my twitter or facebook pages... on Christmas Eve, Michael asked me to marry him. I giggled in his face before very quickly saying YES.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

8 years

At 10:23pm on 7th January 2007 my dad passed away age 73 years, it was 39 days before my 18th birthday and today makes that 8 years ago. 8 years already, how quickly is life going?! I along with my mum, one of my sisters Sarah and two of my brothers James and Alan were next to my dad in my parents bedroom. My mum, with little help from anyone else cared for my dad who was terminally ill with cancer. She was amazing and I don't think I'd cope with what she had to do.
I'm not going to go into all the little details but this post is just to express how I am feeling. I'm sad. I'm sad that he's not here and that my mum doesn't have him to hold her hand. I'm sad that he's missed so much, birthdays, anniversary's, weddings and new babies - two of which ofcourse are mine! Oliver has my dad's name as his middle name 'Arthur' and is always talking about Grandad... little monkey made me cry a few weeks ago when he kept going on and on about never meeting Grandad. I'm hoping that Isabelle will recognise photos of Grandad too when she is older. I'm sad that he never saw his 'baby' have 'babies'.
I'm grateful for having had such a lovely Dad, a man who would of given away the last pound in his pocket, a man who didn't spend his spare time in the pub he spent it with his family, his life was our family and I wouldn't of changed him for the world. I miss being woken up with breakfast! I miss his happy personality. I miss his (not always funny/I didn't understand) jokes. I miss his singing 'when the flies swarm in' ohh James will remember that one from our last family holiday to Ireland in 2005. I wish he could be here to meet Michael too, who on Christmas Eve asked me to marry him! So I'll be leaving the surname behind... There comes another massive 'dad thing' walking his daughter down the aisle which my dad will miss, he missed it with my sister too. It must of been so hard for him to know he was dying, to leave his family behind.
You expect your parents to pass away eventually, it's a fact of life but when my dad passed away I was still a stroppy teenager... don't get me wrong I know it could be so much worse and I do feel lucky to have had him that long but it was hard. I admit it annoys me soo much when people don't bother with their parents, when they're gone they're gone forever so make the most of the time you have!

It's too late for me to tell my Dad how much I love him although I hope he knows I do and I'll always be a daddys girl. I'll always keep that post it note on my fridge asking 'what time did mary get in?' seriously ill and worrying what time I actually got in. So, Mum just so you know, I love you. I think you're incredibly strong to have been through everything you've been through and thank you for looking after my Dad the way you did. You'll always be my first best friend, x

Friday, 12 December 2014

Birdwatching with children? Winter days out, outside.

A few years ago if you'd of told me I, Mary-Kate would encourage my son to go birdwatching  I'd of said "yeah alright, whatever"... to me it was something boring people done (Sorry Mike Mum and Kenny!) but now my eyes have been opened to how many beautiful birds there are out there, in our own country and I think it's a great hobby for children to have.
Birdwatching teaches them patience as they have to wait to see the birds whilst also encouraging them to care for creatures around them, to be kind. They also learn about different birds and get to look through binoculars which Oliver thinks is pretty cool. He's really getting into it and is good at noticing birds in the distance. If we don't encourage little ones to be interested in this then what will happen in the future? Our little people are the future after all.

It's not all about birdwatching in this post though, I also think pond dipping is an amazing thing to do with your children, to show them whats living in the water they are stood in front of is great! I wouldn't have realised half of it was actually in there.

And Just because it's chilly outside now doesn't mean it has to be all playcentres and days inside, there's a whole world out there and winter walks can be just as nice if you wrap everyone up really warm. You could even start by looking for different ducks this winter, Oliver loves to feed the ducks and there's lots around at the moment. Oliver's favourite thing to do is to be outside, he's a much better behaved child if he's been out exploring and running around. Sometimes I say he just needs a field to run around in to calm down.
As a family we love RHS gardens and they're not just for adults, they are great for children and encourage them to care about beautiful gardens as they grow up. One of our favourites is RHS Wisley.

We also love Wildlife Trust and enjoy going to a place called College Lake in Tring. The Wildlife Trust holds various family events throughout the year. The Wildlife Trust has some suggestions on things to do with your children at their reserves: become a wildlife detective and see how many butterflies, birds and plants you can find or play pooh sticks and you could take some paper with crayons to make a bark rubbing - hold the paper up to the tree and let little one rub crayon all over paper until you can see the pattern of the bark.
They also have a thing called the 'hedgehog award' which Oliver loves, he's collecting stickers each time he goes to a Wildlife Trust nature reserve so he can get his certificate, we'll tell you about it when he gets it.
Usborne do a really good little sticker book for bird watching, when the child see's the bird they put the sticker over the outline of it and parents can put the date/place they saw the bird so they have a little reminder. Oliver is much better than me, I'm too loud and scare the birds away and I just can't remember their names where as he is really good.

Just so you know, I'm a little bit anti-play centres - sorry! I just can't stand how Oliver always get ill after going to one and he loves being outside much more anyway.

Whats your little ones favourite outdoor thing to do?

Mary-Kate x

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Mum to be Christmas gift guide

I was just thinking that this time last year I was pregnant with Isabelle, it's gone so quickly I can't believe that my baby will be 9 months old next week! So having a little look back I thought I'd do an expectant mums Christmas gift guide to hopefully inspire people...

Milestone Baby Cards

Cuddles and Cupcakes new mum gift from the lovely Babes With Babies, something for both mum and baby!

Blooming Lovely - mexican bola neclace, I'm still wearing my one now. Below is a photo of me wearing it when pregnant with Isabelle.

Bump giftpack from Cussons Mum & Me, I really liked the shampoo.

A teething neclace, means mum can still wear a neclace even when baby comes along trying to eat everything!

A bibee dress, I have worn mine throughout my pregnancy and I'm still wearing it now! Ideal for discreetly breastfeeding when out, also great for covering that new mum tum.

I have four of these so how did it get this far down the list? It's the amazing Snoob, breastfeeding scarf which has enabled me to feed Isabelle out and about anywhere, discreetly.

A gorgeous nursing lingerie set like this one which is from Cake Lingerie.

A nursing pillow like this one from Thrupenny Bits. I couldn't have managed without one after having a c-section.

A changing bag like this il tutto one which is stylish and I love it. Changing bag is one of the most exciting things to look for and buy when you're expecting I think.

or a changing bag like this by Pink Lining, come on with my bag obsession you must be surprised only two made it onto this blog post?

I love this pink lining one too, its so cute!

Is there anything you'd add?

Mary-Kate, x


Dear Santa Next,

The children have written their Christmas lists to you Santa and they've tried hard to be very good... Isabelle has only nearly pulled the tree down once and broken a few baubles so far and Oliver, well... he woke up last night and 'thought' he had walked to the toilet but actually ended up weeing all over some of his toys, so last night at about 11pm I was cleaning urine up! Fun. So now I'm writing my Christmas wish list
Nextmas Wishlist for my favourite shop Next! (Sorry Michael for spending alot of money in Next but not actually sorry because I like it)

Number 1 on my Nextmas Wishlist is a hat because my head is very cold on the school run! I love this one, I think it's really cute and would match Oliver's one nicely. (I admit, I have worn his one haha it's age 7-10 years from next and it fits my head)

Number 2 on my Nextmas Wishlist is this lovely photo frame because I love to have lots of photos of our family around the house and we've just had a little move around and have a wall waiting for a new frame.

Number 3 on my Nextmas Wishlist is this gorgeous bed linen set, it makes me think Sunday Morning Snuggles and would be perfect for Christmas time! Oliver and Isabelle love to get in between us for a cuddle.

Number 4 on my Nextmas Wishlist is this lovely cake stand, I love making cakes and although I haven't made many since having Isabelle I think this would give me a little kick up the bottom to make some! I miss buttercream icing, obviously being dairy free I can't have that BUT it looks so pretty I can make others consume the calories - *insert evil laugh*.

Number 5 on my Nextmas Wishlist are these lovely boots, I need some new boots that are comfortable and I need to stop wearing silly shoes. Want to know a secret? I fell over ok ok I fell over, all the way to the floor! Bottom hit the floor, bruised and everything on the way home from dropping Oliver to school.. it was slippy ok! But seriously, need new shoes, these probably aren't the best 'grippy' but they're an improvement plus (real reason) they're cute?!

Number 6 on my Nextmas Wishlist is one for the kids! I know this is MY wishlist but it would make me happy to see Oliver's face at this bed cover set. 

Number 7 on my wishlist, well now I have to add something for my princess Isabelle... Don't you hate that feeling of 'can't buy for one and not the other'? Oh well this poncho is super super cute! Next, does it come in my size too??

Number 8 on my Nextmas Wishlist - dammit, see I can't even leave the Man out can I? I am desperate to get that stubborn man in a Christmas jumper and this one looks fab! I'd make sure I washed it lots over the Christmas period (every year) so he HAD to wear it.

Number 9 on my Nextmas Wishlist, seeing as we're talking about the Man. I'd like him to take me on a night out, it's been about a year now so I think we're due a night out just us and because my size has changed since having Isabelle I would obviously need a new dress. I have just fallen in love with this one. Could I also wear it for Isabelle/Oliver's Christening too?

Number 10 on my Nextmas Wishlist are these PJ's, I love love love pj's. If I'm poorly, I will have a shower and get into new pj's to make myself feel better. A pj day to me has to be clean pj's - Michael always has found that strange and I'm not sure why? You always feel better having had a shower!

So that's it, thats my Nextmas Wishlist! What would be on yours?

Mary-Kate, x