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

Our 1st family holiday #2 Port Isaac & Trebarweth Strand

Here we go, second photo instalment...

First up Port Isaac, the home of Doc Martin. A quaint little fishing village with a tiny little beach in a harbour.

It was so pretty and surprisingly peaceful there, although in the peak of summer I expect its chaos. Very narrow roads and tiny little shops and cafes with masses of tourists!! 

And next was the very unpredictable Trebarweth Strand. A lovely beach that went on for at least a mile when the tide was out. Our first trip was abandoned for hot chocolates in the cafe looking out to sea after the tide came in and we didn't actually make it on to the beach!

Only one more photo post to come which will feature Padstow and the Eden Project!!

Lots of love,
Hayley & Daisy xxx

Review: Ella's kitchen pouches

As you'll already know (and probably bored stiff of) I'm weaning Daisy and am doing a journal to record what we are trying and how it's going alongside Organix

But we have stepped out of that box and tried other things too. A brand really recommended by lots of other mums, a brand in the press a lot and a brand which featured in out first Nonabox, Ella's kitchen. 

When looking at the fixture there are so many brands and products to choose from and become lost in, but these pouches really do stand out. So bright and colourful and inviting. 

I hadn't picked much up really from this section yet as I am trying to cook fresh where possible but then I received a few pouches in my nonabox. I received a savoury pouch which was broccoli, pears and peas which I thought was an odd combination to be honest, but it tasted good. The pear run the show which is perhaps why it was such a success in our house with Daisy! 

Next up was what they call a brekkie pouch and it was blueberry and pear. Again we like pear so I thought it would go down well, sadly not! It was very, very sweet and slight tart and even on the third attempt Daisy wasn't sure. All it did was leave us in a purple mess, and Daisy with some gothic looking lips!!!! 

So a mixed taste review from Daisy! 

However the concept is great, all nice healthy foods in a lovely texture and some fab packaging that works really well. You just squeeze into your bowl, heat if you require and feed! Easy peasy! Even easier my sister has a spoon you attach to the pouch for her daughter when we are out and she squeezes on to attached spoon and feeds that way. 

Of course you can't micro the pouch but you can sit in hot water if wanted it warm when out.

Since trying a few from in our box I have purchased a few more to have in the cupboard as quick meals if I haven't anything made up and more than anything to get Daisy to try new flavours which is what we are all about at the moment. She is too little to eat a whole pouch just yet so we use it over two days but you can freeze it too!! 

Anyone else tried them? Which are your little ones favourites?

Lots of love,
Hayley and Daisy xxx

All opinions are my own

Daisy's weaning journal #4

Weaning continues to go fairly smoothly in this house, smoothly in the sense she's loving new flavours but also that smooth is the only way that that works!! No lumps are passing Daisy's chops just yet!! She gags and gags! 

To get her used to a bit of texture this week I've introduced more of a baby led style on top of her purées. I've given her ice cold apple slices which are not only tasty, fresh and nice and cold on her gums but also the odd bit comes off which she has to tackle with her tongue! 

Other solids include cold carrot (a huge piece so she can't put it all in her mouth and choke!!), pieces of rusk, cold cucumber, peppers and banana. I've also let her suck on dry toast, all to try and get her used to unusual textures in her mouth! 

I have been so surprised how adaptable she is. At first she will pull a face, especially to the bits like cucumber and pepper which are completely different to anything else she's tried but then she wants to try it again and again! 

Some new purées this week include:

Strawberry and banana- loved it! Shouted at me when she had finished her first portion so I had to make some more up! 

Strawberry and pear- again loved it! 


Apple and pear

This was the face I got with straight up pear purée. I think the odd grainy texture came as a surprise!! After pulling this face though she are the lot, half a pear in one sitting.

We have also tried toast to suck on, weetabix wth her milk (this was a no go- she hated the texture even when all mushed up) and her new favourite, fromage frais! 

If you follow us on twitter then you may have seen we are now part of the Organix wean team and so not only will we be continuing our journal for a while on Daisy's developments with weaning but we will also be undertaking some challenges too! 

This week was to try something new and see what funny faces baby pulls! This is an easy one for us... She pulls a squinty, shocked face every time I feed her anything at first!! As you can see on all of the photos above!! But this doesn't really give away if she likes something or not, more often than not she will eat the lot!! 

Lots of love,
Hayley and Daisy xxx

Daisy's 6 month update

I say this every time... But six months?? Seriously slow down time! In no way at all does it feel like I've been off work that long or had this little little lady in our life for that long either. 

So Daisy is now being weaned properly as you will know from our weaning journals if you follow us regularly. She has taken to it like a duck to water, she loves it! If she is in the mood and not pigged out on milk. The one time it's tricky is if she naps in afternoon for any longer than an hour then she wakes up very snuggly but can be a bit upset and wants milk. I'm learning to have to distract her so I can give her tea rather than milk, otherwise she wouldn't eat her tea. I don't mind feeding her but it's the one meal I am trying to get her into routine of having every night. Of course she can have milk afterwards and always has a nice feed after her bath when she is all lovely and snuggly ready for bed. 

I am doing a bit of a combined way of weaning her, a bit of baby led finger foods and purées. Because it suits us and to be honest I can't see that Daisy would eat properly with finger foods as she doesn't really chew properly and I'm not convinced she actually eats a whole lot that way. But it's a personal choice! 

Her hair has sprouted again! It's so fair and soft. I can't decide if it will stay fair or go darker though, it could go either way at the moment! 

We are still teething and no sign of one cutting at the moment. Some days it looks close at the bottom but then other days they seem to sink back in and disappear. The dribble is non stop and so our dribble bibs are now getting some good use!! 

She now rolls over easily and can sit unaided for a little while. I wouldn't say she can actually sit up just yet, but she is close! She still folds herself in two or topples over if she's not concentrating. 

Sleep is random really this past few weeks. Some nights she goes 6pm- 8am and other nights she is up 2-3 times each night. I think it's all about these bloomin' development leaps and sadly the naughty toothie pegs too.

I'm getting quite sad writing this as it's dawned on me how long I've been on maternity and how long I have left, not long enough. If only I could stay home with my baby forever, but I know it can't be like that if I want her to have the things I want her to in life! And of course afford a buddy for her someday! So we have to make the most of it while it lasts... 

Next month will be emotional, I'll be back off to work shortly after... Yikes. 

For now, 

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Our 1st family holiday #1 Polzeath & Tintagel

Our holiday seems like a distant memory now.. the weather has turned miserable and everywhere looks autumnal. I quite like it.. kind of. Except that we have to dodge the rain to go for our daily walk for fresh air and we cant just pop out without thinking about wrapping up cosy. Anyway, back to Cornwall. 

I will do this in a few posts just because they will be photograph posts rather than much writing and I don't want them to be too heavy!! 

So Polzeath was one of the closest beaches to where we stayed in Delabole, Cornwall. I have been many moons ago when I was a child with my family. My memory is terrible so it was like going to a new place all over again! 

Tintagel is somewhere I have been before and actually do remember, think King Arthur and this is where you will find his castle. This is an English Heritage site and is absolutely stunning. It is a must see for anyone who goes to this end of Cornwall. The only thing I would say is if you have a pram think about taking a carrier instead, it is a steep walk down and then lots of steps up if you go into the castle. Its well worth the walk but I am unsure we could have done it with a pushchair. 

Lots of love, 
Hayley & Daisy

* The Breast Vest review and give away!

Those of you that follow me will know I'm still exclusively breastfeeding. I say exclusively loosely, as I am now weaning Daisy on to solids too but hey!

If you breastfeed or have done you'll know how difficult it is to find clothes to work around you. At home it's pretty simple for me, it doesn't really matter what I am wearing. But when out and about you want something discreet. Or most of us do anyway! Something that isn't flashing your entire boobs but also isn't flashing that slightly wobbly, pasty tummy either. 

Up until now I've been wearing a vest under everything and just pulling down with a scarf over the top, my feeding scarf or just a nice big cardi that I can wrap over us. But it's absolutely ruined most of my vests. They no longer fit and the straps are down to my elbows. I know they aren't expensive but it's beside the point. There just isn't much available that isn't ridiculously hideous or expensive. 

I was lucky to be sent a Breast Vest, anyone else heard of them?

The idea is they are a vest (no way Sherlock!!) that sits under your bust rather than over. The straps are adjustable so you can make it flush with the bottom of your nursing bra. Then you wear any top over it that you like. That way you can drop you bra down and you aren't flashing your tummy. Exactly the sale principle as I was doing before when trashing my clothes!! Genius!

A fantastic idea and a lovely quality product. It's made from a lovely stretchy material that clings to you so no sliding up or down either. I have really enjoyed testing it out and would completely recommend.

You can find out more info here.

They've won awards nominated my parents and I can see why, however I am unsure if for a lot of mums it would be a luxury item as they retail at around £15 which to me is quite a few vests from Primark. Although they are on special offer at the moment for £10 in various colours - so that's a good buy!

I should say it looks immaculate under clothes - no lumps, bumps or creases. I am a size 8-10 and chose a medium. It fits comfortably if not a bit loose so that should give you an idea of sizing.

Now you can win one for yourself or a friend as a gift.....

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!!!! 

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

I was gifted this item but all opinions are my own

Daisy's weaning journal #3

Last week we talked about Organix and their Little book of weaning which had just been launched, see post here

This week we have tried a few of their products; baby rice and porridge with banana and strawberry. I've mentioned before that I'm not too sure on the baby rices as I don't think they bring much to the table other than pretty much thicker milk. However, I decided to try and incorporate it in other ways. 

This week we have continued to have banana every few days mashed with milk, and to make it nice and creamy I've added in a bit of the baby rice and actually she loved it and I expect it filled her little tummy too. I also puréed some peach this week and again put a sprinkle in to that meal to thicken it up, peach is her new favourite!

We have tried the Aptamil baby porridge with banana previously and she wasn't taken on it, we've used Aptamil milk before and that's our go to if necessary (more for cooking now i.e in mashed potato) and it's the only formula she will even contemplating on taking. So I think for their porridge it's just a taste she didn't like too much. So when we were given the porridge from Organix I had my doubts. But it seems she must love the strawberry addition to this brand  and really enjoys it. 

Some other tasty meals we have tried this week:

Banana and peach purée - success!

Pea and potato- hated first time, liked second time, we shall see how this one goes!!!! Like little book says it could take many more attempts to decide if she actually likes it or not!

Mashed potato- no go!! I thought this would be a natural favourite, mixed with her milk but nope. I'm not convinced she even had a spoonful! 

Parsnip and carrot- loved it! 

Sweet potato- we have tried squash before and she loved that so I kind of knew she would love this too!

I'm now running low on my supplies in the freezer so need another cook up session! Some things I have in to use are avocado, pear, apple as well as the usual potato etc (I'm going to continue to try her on it mixed with things as it's something we will be eating a lot of as a family!!) 

Lots of love Hayley and Daisy xxx

Some products courtesy of Organix but all opinions are my own

Split maternity leave: statutory additional paternity pay FYI

For those that don't know me and Ben are splitting our maternity time between us. Many people who I talk to about this have no idea it's even legal and it's an option to them so I thought I'd do a bit of an FYI for you all :)

Basically as a permanent (out of probation I think) employee you can ask for Statutory Additional Paternity Leave and Pay if your partner returns to work before the end of their maternity (or adoption) leave or pay period.  So in short you basically split the maternity leave between you, you do the first half and then your partner takes over. I only know about this wonderful option after a friend did the same just before I got pregnant! 

This bit is an abstract from gov.uk :

Eligible employees are entitled to:
  • Additional Paternity Leave (APL) - for between 2 and 26 weeks
  • ASPP - £138.18 per week or 90% of their gross average weekly earnings (whichever is lower)
The woman has to have the first part and has to be a minimum of 20 weeks until she can hand over care to her partner (UK law). So in total between you there are 46 weeks to take. 

A bit from the acas site on eligibility:

Paternity leave is available to employees who:
  • have or expect to have responsibility for the child's upbringing
  • are the biological father of the child or the mother's husband or partner (including same sex relationships)
  • have worked continuously for their employer for 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the baby is due or the end of the week in which the child's adopter is notified of being matched with the child
  • give the correct notice.
Before dad can take over you have to go back to work fully. 

I go back to work when Daisy is 7 months old and then Ben will have the remaining weeks. We chose to do this for financial reasons but also because he will never get the option to have this time with her again, it's a great chance to bond and spend time with her like I have. 

All info can be found on www.gov.uk too along with more info. 

Daisy weaning journal continued #2

For those of you that may not know as part of our current blog set up I am holding a series of posts regarding weaning, with a journal by myself and Daisy and then a few guest posts also. 

So where are we up to? 

Sweet potato continues to go well but still only every few days as I don't want her to get used to just one flavour and texture. In some research I've read it says stick to just a few things but that can't widen their taste surely?? 

Below I will talk a little about Organix and their new Little book of weaning, which is brilliant. they suggest you have to keep trying new things, maybe even up to 5 times if not more before a baby accepts the taste and likes something. I can see why some mums or dads may be put off trying things when you see their faces they pull when eating things for the first time. Especially if you have gone to the trouble of making tj yourself, although seriously how hard is it to boil some veg and blend?? 

This week I've tried mashing banana up in some of her milk, I'm only talking a 1/4 of banana for the day as don't want to give the poor cherub tummy ache! Well this was a success!!! 

That's her "I'm done" face! I've learnt to stop when she gives me the signs otherwise she will gag and sick it all back up! And that's a waste of time! And a messy job! By the way I was so unprepared for how ummmm different her nappies would be with just a tiny bit of food!!! (Gross I know, all mums do this don't they?) 

Banana was also good because it had a few lumps in but they slipped down I guess, so she gagged but it was over quickly and she wasn't sick. Phew! This may be a good option to get her used to a few lumps!

Another learning this week is to have baby wipes to hand, she flicks it everywhere and spits it out at times!!! 

The Munchkin spoons are going okay, they're nice and bright which Daisy loves but they are quite deep set which means it's hard to get much in their little mouths at one time when they aren't exactly cooperating as such. When they're bigger and she almost sucks off the spoon I expect they'll be better. 

A few other bits I've bought in the shopping this week to try is normal potato, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, apple and pear. I'll let you know what I do with these and how we go as and when :)

As a first time mum you get lots of info thrown at you by health visitors full of government guidelines and other people opinions and so I've decided to do my own research. Organix have launched a little book of weaning full of great advice and tips: http://www.organix.com/littlebookofweaning

I've found it really useful and love the style of playing with food to experience it. I can picture some mums faces now cringing at the thought of a child squishing their veg after licking and sucking it but I really like the concept of making food fun. Exactly like it says in the book it encourages a positive relationship with food. Who would want to be force fed something if they didn't want it afterall? 

I've heard of a few other sites and books being good, any you recommend?? 

Lots of love,
Hayley & Daisy xxx

This post is a collaboration with Organix but is based on all my own opinions 

Baby sensory ideas

Since we have been attending classes like bumps and babies, rhythm time etc we have started to understand sensory play.

Things that engage your babies senses wether it be be sight, touch or feeling. One particular favourite of Daisy's was the emergency foil blankets (the type they put on you after a marathon!! Not that I've ever done one haha!) at rhythm time. 

I had a look on Amazon and found one for 73p including delivery, how much if a bargain is that?? And she loves it! It really engages all senses too, it's lovely and shiny and reflects light, it's nice and cool and crinkly to touch and it makes a noise she loves when she scrunches and plays with it! Definitely a winner! I've also lay her on it and she can almost see her own reflection in it. 

The other sensory toy that we have found they love is the tumble drier balls!! We had some on a wishlist of ours a few months back but they are quite price when they are marketed as baby sensory balls. I have seen them for cheap as chips in Home Bargains though. We are yet to pick some up but she loves them at her groups! 

Any other ideas you have tried??

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx