Sunday, 31 May 2015

Ten Months Old

She Loves
Climbing everything (especially stairs, if she can get at them)
Organix Strawberry Rice Cakes
Turning pages in books (usually before I can read what's on them for her)
Pulling (rather violently) at flaps in books
Usborne 'That's Not My Books', especially 'That's Not My Owl'
Pressing the buttons on the washing machine and tumble dryer (thank goodness for child locks!)
Empying things: boxes; her LeapFrog picnic basket; washing baskets; changing bags; drawers of clothing...

She Can
Point (It's been a good month for hand movements!)
Finally bounce in her Baby Einstein jumper!

She Has
Spent her first day without Mummy or Daddy, ahead of my return to work tomorrow
Moved into 9-12 month clothing
Started to almost always sleep through on a Tuesday. We can't work out why though!
Six teeth, which she likes biting us with...
A very cheeky grin
Been to Christmas Tree farm, where she watched Daddy feed the animals

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Food Update

We are getting more adventurous with what we are feeding Little Miss. She is becoming a little carnivore and loves her meat. She also loves beans and pulses, I think because they are soft and easy to eat. I have also stopped breastfeeding, as I am about to go back to work, so Little Miss now has a bottle of formula after breakfast and before bed. We were giving her two more bottles during the day, but she wasn't really interested in them and the Health Visitor suggested we drop them completely and give her two healthy snacks instead.

Here's some of the food and meals she has tried this month:

Sweet potato and dahl pie
White fish
Spanish meatball and butter bean stew
Summer Vegetable Curry
Tom Kha Gai (recipe from the Spicery)
Nandos chicken
Tapas in La Tasca
Homemade baked beans
Mild fajitas and enchiladas
Organix rice cakes and carrot sticks (which I'm sure are secretly just Wotsits...)


Friday, 15 May 2015

Things I wish I had known before I had a BOTM (Baby On The Move)

Less helpful tips, more exhausted rant...

Don't buy a shiny pedal bin. So what if your old bin has a broken lid? Just put up with it. Little Miss doesn't know which germ covered delight to attack first: the pedal; the shiny body or the bin bag itself, which just won't stay tucked in. Other bins may suddenly have to be relocated to the tops of shelves. It might look strange but it decreases the amount of time you will spend moving your child away from them.

If you can't block your kitchen off, remember to clean things you might not expect to - such as the outside of washing machines, which are apparently very fun to lick.

Even the most awkward surfaces can and will be climbed. Such as the towel rail, the toilet and chairs which are tucked under the table.

Side tables will become superfluous as you won't be able to keep anything on them. You're just going to have to learn how to levitate that cup of tea above head height, sorry. 

Even though you know your child can get themselves back on the ground and have seen them do so on many occasions, they would much rather stand and fuss until you come and get them.

Forget fancy walkers. The recycling box you've been keeping on the (suddenly extremely dangerous) kitchen tiles is SO much more fun to push around. It also makes it easier to reach that new bin...


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Toys for a Nine Month Old

Now that Little Miss is nine months old, I think it's time to pick up a few more toys for her, particularly ones which are a little more interactive. Here are some ideas of toys for 9m+

Unfortunately, we don't have room for a swing in our current garden, so this TP swing from Early Learning Centre is going to have to go in my parent's garden, so Little Miss will be able to use it when I go back to work. 

She loves making lots of noise and her rattle is one of her favourite toys (for eating, as well as shaking...), so I think she will really like this music maker. 

Another thing she loves is bath time and for some reason most bath toys are advertised as 9m+, so we will definitely get her some new things to play with in the bath now that she is big enough. 

The animal pop-up toy and plane both look very interactive, which will be great now that she is getting a bit older. 

Friday, 8 May 2015

Ten Little Princess

I'm sticking with a royal theme this week with a review of one of mine and Little Miss' favourite books: Ten Little Princesses by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty. 

Ten Little Princesses is a fun, girly counting book with lots of bright pictures to catch your little one's attention and it has a great rhythm too. I have found that Little Miss engages more with picture books than she does with touchy-feely board books for her age group because she likes listening to the rhythm of the words, in the same way that she loves it when we sing to her. Usually, she sits and listens to me read without paying too much attention to the book itself, but she seems to really like the bold pictures in Ten Little Princesses.

Many of the princesses in the book are based on traditional fairy tale characters, but there are some new additions too. My favourite is the princess knight in a suit of armour. She looks really cool and shows that you can be a princess without wearing a fancy dress. 

If princesses aren't your thing, there are two other books in the series: Ten Little Pirates and Ten Little Dinosaurs. Ten Little Princesses is so great that I am planning to complete the set. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Election 2015: Make Your Vote Count

Over the past few months, we have been bombarded with so many policies and manifestos that it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of who is promising what. Using the BBC's policy guide and the party manifestos, I have tried to list some of the key parent-related policies for each party. This is supposed to be an impartial, balanced guide (I'm not trying to tell you who to vote for). I'm not commenting on which policies I agree with or what I think is lacking. The number of bullet points for each purely reflects what I was able to find. Although it felt patronising, the Labour Women's Manifesto did make it really easy to find the sorts of policies I was looking for, which is why their list is the longest. 

  • Protect education budget for 0-19 year olds so it rises in line with inflation
  • Ensure all primary schools guarantee access to childcare from 8am to 6pm
  • Cap class sizes at 30 for 5, 6 and 7 year-olds
  • Extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours for working parents of three and four year olds, paid for by an increase in the bank levy
  • We will protect the Sure Start budget, and open up an additional 50,000 childcare places by requiring Sure Start children’s centres to offer childcare 
  • Double paid paternity leave to four weeks, and increase the level of paternity pay to over £260 a week
  • Consult on allowing grandparents who want to be more involved in caring for their grandchildren to share in parents’ unpaid parental leave, enabling them to take time off work without fear of losing their job

  • 30 hours free childcare for working parents of 3&4-year-olds
  • Create at least a further 500 free schools in England by 2020, resulting in 270,000 new school places
  • Protect school funding per pupil
  • Ensure a good primary school place for every child, with zero tolerance for failure
  • Support primary school sport with £150 million a year, paid directly to head-teachers, until 2020

Lib Dems:
  • Ring fence the education budget for 2-19 year olds
  • A strategy to end child illiteracy by 2025
  • 15 hrs a week free childcare from the end of paid parental leave
  • A "long-term ambition" to increase free provision to 20 hours a week for all two, three and four-year-olds and for children aged between nine months and two years of working parents
  • Triple statutory paternity leave to six weeks
Obviously I have only looked at small part each party's manifestos here and have ignored everything else, but I hope it is at least a little bit helpful. The BBC's policy guide is really good for comparing every party (not just the main ones) on the issues that matter most to you. Here is where I took the information from: BBC Policy GuideConservative Manifesto; Labour Women's Manifesto 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Royal Baby

Congratulations William and Kate! I have enjoyed following all of the royal baby news over the past few days (I am still amazed by how stunning Kate looked - and in heels too!) Inspired by all of the footage of gorgeous little Princess Charlotte Cambridge, I have put together some royal baby themed gift ideas for your little prince or princess. 

I bought the Happyland figures this weekend for when Little Miss to have in a few months and I would quite like to order Shhh! Don't Wake the Royal Baby! Have you bought anything linked to the royal birth yet? Or are you already sick of all the coverage it's getting?

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Nine Months Old

She Loves...
Being pushed around the room in a washing basket
Taking toys out of her LeapFrog picnic basket
Eating everything
Trying to grab phones, tablets, laptops...

She Can... 
Pull herself up to standing (but can rarely get back down again...)
Walk with her walker 
Help herself to toys from her basket

She Has... 
Four teeth
Been on her first holiday
Lost all ability to nap in her cot during the day
Started to try and lift the flaps on her books (and has only broken one so far)
Slept through the night TWICE

I can't believe Little Miss has now been alive for nine months! I only have one more month at home with her before I have to go back to work and I'm going to make sure we enjoy every minute of it. I am going to miss being on maternity leave very much.