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Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

Why do children find eating at the table so boring? Can we really blame that for obesity? *AD

Tea time in our house is a bit of a chore and has been for a few months now and Daisy is only 23 months old! She would rather be elsewhere, doing anything but eating, especially at the kitchen table.

But with a new survey completed by mums (and dads I expect!) I can read that it isn't just us that has this battle. One of the main drivers for parents when choosing what food to buy their children is their concern that their children getting bored at the table. Meal times are now getting faster because our lives are so busy and parents often choose to buy instant and easy meal options.

I would love to say that I home cooked everything I fed Daisy but in reality it isn't true. And actually although it partly is down to the fact I know she finds food boring and would rather not eat if she can help it, but I also know how much food we waste in our house at the moment with her fussy habits! I am far more inclined to give her food she can carry about, away from the table to snack on. this is not a habit I would encourage and is something I am quite ashamed of, but sometimes you really do have to choose your battles. I should point out Daisy always has her breakfast at the table and is always happy to sit there and have it, and more often than not that applies to lunch time too. But Tea time, is pretty much a no no.

I know this is down to us and trying to engage in eating more, but I sometimes wonder how can we reverse it? Daisy used to eat anything and everything. When she started teething she really went off playing and engaging with food and would rather just not, and it seems to have gone that way since. If you have any ideas then please do share!!!

I have found recently that the idea of a "picnic" seems to help her be interested in eating and trying new things, but again it is limited and again it is away from where I would rather her eating, the kitchen table.

76% of Mums are aware that their children love quick and easy foods, and 71% are concerned about the children getting bored at the table. Which may be why some of us are more likely to buy  foods such as chicken nuggets and fish fingers rather than real fish fillets and chicken on the bone because these options are taking less time to cook and are most likely to be appreciated by their children and actually eaten. 

Some other statistics from the report show the following, which I find a really sad read:

Mums don’t have the time and they miss time eating together as a family …
·      Nearly 7 in 10 mums (66%) say finding the time to cook is a real challenge as life is so busy.

·      73% of mums wish they had more time to sit and enjoy mealtimes together as a family.

I am pleased to say this doesn't really apply to us, not the majority of the time anyway. Our jobs allow us to be around most dinner times, but that doesn't mean we always make the most of it. And actually I wish we did, and is something I am going to try to actively change.

Additional Info from report:

The survey of mums reflects findings of a report commissioned by Organix: “Engineering Taste - Is this the future of our children’s food?”which reveals that children are growing up with a taste for engineered food. The report found that engineered foods – with unnecessary additives, artificial flavours and colours - are contributing towards quicker mealtimes (both preparation and eating), and the true experience of fresh food is being planned, designed and engineered out of the lives of increasing numbers of families.

Taste Psychologist Greg Tucker, says, “We found that children are learning to look for fast taste gratification and easy eats – and losing the ability and desire to invest the time and effort to enjoy and experience ‘real’ food.”

“Little mouths (and wobbly teeth) need longer to break down food especially ‘real’ foods because they are more challenging. This is a genuine barrier for children who are acclimatising to food being low effort. Children are losing the skills to experience taste, flavour and texture.”

*PR Collaboration

A trying week...

This has been a tricky week, probably one of the most difficult since having Daisy but most certainly the worst since being pregnant! 

We started the week with my midwife appointment and the usual blood tests etc, all of which I hate! I am a massive idiot when it comes to having my blood taken, sometimes I can handle it well and others, like this week, I throw up or actually pass out. Either way it's embarrassing and yep it happened, the former that is. Although I was seconds away from the latter too!! 

We then had a rough few days of Daisy being full of cold, feeling snotty myself and the third trimester tiredness creeping into me making me feel just yuck, to then get a call and be told my bloods had shown some deficiencies. It shouldn't have been a surprise really, I have felt drained, breathless at times and have appeared washed out and pale! Even though my diets pretty good I should have expected it this time around. 

So I'm on iron and folic acid (to help absorb iron) now, fingers crossed they bring me back to feeling more like myself soon! And maybe this is the reason I've been so prone to colds and sickness this past few months, and hopefully I can now get back to health!! I have to say it is so infuriating to go from 16 to 28/29 weeks with no midwife or tests to be then be told there's a problem that I may have been battling against for weeks!! But I won't complain too much about the NHS...

Daisy seemed to deteriorate by the day and what first appeared as a cold got much worse and we struggled to keep her temperature stable. The breaking point was one day when she was randomly sick and then it shot up to 41! No amount of calpol or nurofen was bringing it down and after a call to the doctors and a quick assessment they sent us on up to the hospital assessment centre. Here they tried to lower her temparure and find out what may be up with her to be causing it, other than her cold. Her ears were looking inflamed and her throat and potentially her chest weren't wonderful. They were hoping to give us antiobiotics and send us on our way back home to bed but they just couldn't stabilise her temperature so we were admitted into another hospital with her for further tests and observations. 

It was a long night, tests all night, chest x rays, blood tests, canulas going in, SATS, we were all worn out! But finally after what felt like an age we were told that the X-ray had showed possible pneumonia as well as the usual symptoms of an infection showing up in her bloods etc, but nothing too sinister. Which was a massive relief after they had taken cultures to be sent off to check for some really frightening things like meningitis etc, as a precaution because she had some strange symptoms such as small pin prick type rash around her ears and neck. 

Once they started pumping her with antiobiotics she bounced back pretty quickly and was back to her bossy old self, tired but I'm not sure she was as worn out as her mum and dad!!! Two nights on a camp bed in a noisy children's centre does no wonders to a 30 weeks pregnant muma! But thankfully Daisy was brighter and finally on day 3, we took her home with a bottle of magic stuff to make her feel better! 

We came home and have just slept, Daisy had a mammoth nap and then went back to bed with me shortly after and I expect enjoyed a full nights sleep without being prodded and poked at every few hours!! Sadly my cold and sinuses seem to think it's now safe to expose themselves and I am now struggling, it's as if they restrained themselves for a days and then bang! You are home now, so here you go! Lovely! So I think a nice quiet Easter weekend is definitely on the agenda. 

A bit of a different kind of update for my 29-30 weeks progress but hopefully it will get better now :) 

Hayley & Daisy xxxx

28 weeks pregnant; Video diary

I can't believe it, another week, another update!

This week baby is the size of a pineapple and weighing approximately 2.5lbs! I actually feel as if he is 3 times the size of that! I am feeling quite the hippo at the moment! I am not sure I am set to embrace the puffiness that this last trimester is bound to bring me, When I looked in the mirror this morning I am pretty sure I saw a double chin wink at me! As if pregnancy doesn't make us feel naff enough at times, although slightly amazing at the same time. Our bodies are actual miracle workers, and we shouldn't forget that!

Happy watching!

Hayley xxx

Baby Boy spring/ summer fashion wishlist (Next)

I can't do a toddler girl dream haul without looking at the baby boys new range can I?!

I haven't really bought that much for him yet so I may just have a little shop next week, but we will see! I really need to sort some storage out for him first so I have somewhere to put it! Also I have had an invite today to the Next VIP sale which starts this week (uh oh!)...

Hayley xxxx

Easter knickers

Strange title I know. But I really didn't know what else to call this post!

Basically it's just a fond memory I have of Easter in our family, and one that we still laugh and smile about now. As we were growing up my Nan and Grandad didn't get me and my sister Easter eggs, it was always knickers. Easter knickers! 

I've no idea where this little tradition came from and where it all began but I remember clearly each year getting our Easter knickers! 

We aren't a religious family to be honest, and well children have enough chocolate don't they so I guess what else would you get??!! Haha! 

I really want Daisy to have memories and little traditions like this, special ones that she will take through to when she is an adult and will smile about when she thinks back to her childhood. Other things we will make sure she always treasures will also be extra time with all of our family, chocolate (of course), beautiful daffodils in the kitchen and hopefully the bleating of teeny fluffy lambs in the field! All of those special spring treasures that I look forward to once the winter is over! 

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this post but as I was sat thinking about it I thought I should document it, and well that's what my blog is for! 

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Toddler Girl spring/ summer fashion wishlist (Next)

Here we go again... More gorgeous clothes hitting the shelves for little ladies. Just when I have put myself on a spending ban!!

Daisy will be 2 at the end of April and so her wardrobe will need a bit of a freshen up, especially for summer, Although she really doesn't need much or anything to be really honest, except maybe the odd pair of shoes and cardi. But who can resist?!

I still love to dress her like the little girl that she is, I do like some trendy bits but I want to keep her looking as cute and young as long as I can!


I just love this little outfit, it looks so comfy! The blouse is just beautiful and is such a bargain at £7,50!!

How cute are those sweatshirt type comfy dungarees - perfect for roaming about in the summer with cheeky T's underneath! Not something I would usually pick up as it isn't all that girly but so cute!

How gorgeous is this little cardi and dress?!!!!

There is so much I could add into this but I don't want to bore you all to death!!!

Hayley xxx

Our first Center Parcs break: Whinfell Forest March 2016

Last week we decided to take a break and have a little holiday at Center Parcs, we decided on Whinfell Forest, Cumbria. There are various locations to choose from all over the UK but my husband thought he would tie in some walking up mountains so the Lake District was the right choice on this occasion! We really fancied going to Longleat to start with but mainly to visit the safari park that is close by, sadly that wasn't open until Easter so maybe next time.

I will share a few photos later in the week but for now I thought I would share a little video I have put together of our stay!

We were really impressed with the parc and the facilities they offer. Having visited Bluestone before and loving it, we wondered how it would compare or if it would be similar. They have their similarities but on the whole Center Parcs is much larger (or this site was!), but we loved both so hopefully one day will return. You can find some of our Bluestone posts here and here.

The accommodation was a similar style of modern lodges in the forest with everything you would need for a young family.

The facilities are great for all of the family, with activities such as the soft play (in most restaurants!). the tots zone, mini golf, the huge swimming pool, high ropes etc there was always something for us to do. Sadly we didn't get to do everything we wanted to do, we missed out things such as the bowling and going on the boats as we just ran out of time!

I do wonder how busy it would be in the peak of summer and how manic some of the areas such as the play parks and soft play would be, with school age children tearing around the toddlers but I am sure it would be just as good!


Hayley xxx

Bump #2 Pregnancy diary: Weeks 24-27

Hello third trimester!!!!

Here goes, the home stretch now... and to celebrate the sickness and nausea has returned. Just what I wanted to wake up to! I am really hoping this is just a little blip rather than having the dreaded morning sickness back, that is really not what I need for our week away at all.

I have suddenly started to become tired and heavy, I guess it is expected this far into your pregnancy but I think I may have been a bit oblivious to how tricky it would be to work and have a toddler to run around after too. It really isn't helping that pregnancy induced insomnia has struck me this week too. I have had 3 nights in a row now where I am not sure if I have slept for longer than an hour, this could actually be why I am so sick today too thinking about it. I am not someone who suffers with sleep in day to day life, I can switch off easily, sleep all night without waking and have no problems but I remember this happening in my last pregnancy too. I am finding it so frustrating because I really am worn out!

We are off to Centre Parcs this week for a bit of a break so that should be nice to get away, hopefully no more vomiting!! And much more sleep!

Some of the babies movements have started to make me wince a little, I feel he must be starting to get quite tight in his little home, which is quite worrying when he still has over 10 weeks left to cook! I am expecting him to be bigger than his sister was! Although looking back over old pregnancy updates I was reminded I did feel similar with Daisy, all be it a few weeks later.

Toddlers are just crazy, wild little beasts...

Yes they really are. 

If you have been a parent of a toddler then you will know exactly what I mean. They truly are mad, a law to their angry little selves! They quite often resemble cross little elves! 

I get that they are frustrated because they can't do everything they want to do, and they can't communicate exactly how they would like to, and that the world is an over whelming place to be but seriously some of the melt downs we are starting to experience have to make you chuckle, or we would be banging our head against the table or running for the hills! 

I ask myself the same questions most days, or at least a few times a week anyway:

  • Why would you not want to eat some delicious home cooked dinner when you are clearly so hungry? Instead you chuck it at your muma, at the dog, up the wall or just have a full blow melt down. Because that just makes sense. 
  • What do you do when you are so tired and need just a mini sleep and someone is offering you a nice snuggle or your bed? Ah yes, chuck ourselves to the floor and have a paddy. (They will be wishing they took us up on those extra zzz's one day!! ) Okay so this one isn't really a regular thing for Daisy, she loves a good sleep, however it doesn't mean she hasn't done it once or twice! 
  • I mean how dare someone offer me an apple all prepped and sliced nicely in a bowl? I would much rather wrestle with it trying to be break the skin and get my mouth around a piece of fruit the size of my face! 
  • That banana has a bit of brown on it, how dare she! 
  • Why would I want to get this disgusting, stinky, pooey nappy off? 
  • Dressed? No chance! 
  • How come you aren't getting me dressed? (After trying to persuade her to get dressed for the past 20 minutes!)
  • Get out of the bath? I'm shivering but my lips aren't quite blue yet! 

Just a few little insights into the little, confusing heads of a toddler. I can laugh about it now (And I may have exaggerated at times!), while she is fast asleep in her cot looking all peaceful but in all seriousness there are tough days when you think a day is as long as a week. I am lucky with Daisy in that her meltdowns don't last long, she is fairly easily distracted and she moves on. But with things like her eating you really do wonder what is going on in their minds at times. 

I have learnt you really do need to pick your battles, just take a good, deep breath and walk away sometimes. Is it really worth trying to wrestle her into clothes if you aren't going anywhere for a few hours, or is it really worth the agonising mini argument to tell them to stop chucking all of their toys across the room. Easier said than done at times though! 

If you don't start to think like this then sometimes all these tiny, non important issues build up and you finally crack! 

I have also started to try and think how my behaviour may influence her in the future. Of course I can get cross and want to shout back at her, and yes I put my hands up I have often raised my voice to her when she is being a real little rascal and the exorcist in her is creeping out! But I am sure most (not all) of the time she doesn't understand why I want her to eat her lunch, or why I want her all snuggly after her bath and not let her run free naked or why I want her strapped into her car seat safely. So it is now all about trying to reason, distract or move on... 

Toddlers, crazy little animals but at the same time the funniest little people ever!  Got to love them :)

Hayley xxx