From Babies with Love

As you know I work in the Charitable sector and I am always interested to hear about new and innovative work that is happening, now I have Joss, particularly around children and families. When I entered a Facebook competition to win a gorgeous organic cotton romper from the organisation From Babies With Love I had no idea that they were a charitable organisation, when I won I read more about them. I wanted to do something in return so this blog post is in thanks, my disclaimer is that I won a lovely romper and asked FBWL for some photos for this post, all words are my own.

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From Babies With Love was set up to offer baby products to the market, made ethically and with great customer service with 100% profit going to babies in need. 100% profit goes to the charity SOS Children, the largest international charity group dedicated to the care of orphaned and abandoned children. You can read more at From Babies With Love

SOS Children's Village Basse

I love the products that are on offer, how sweet are these rompers?!

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And Jossy? Well she looked so cosy ready for bed last night and the romper is so soft that I love it! If you’re looking for an ethical gift idea, or something nice for your little one’s we recommend FBWL for a gift that keeps on giving!

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It’s International Babywearing Week!

I have carried Joss since she was a tiny dot, here she is in our first sling, a Babasling, at 3w old

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I loved the closeness and hands free aspect in the early days, and carrying a toddler in a sling makes a lot of sense too, great for tired little legs and lovely sleepy cuddles on the go. They’ve seen us through poorly days, tired teething days and shopping days as we don’t have a car. I don’t have a ‘stash’ – some people have tens of slings, we have three, a warm winter woollen, a carrier and a cotton summer sling, whether you use a big supportive length of fabric, or one of many in a stash, the benefits to carrier and carried are many and varied. Do you use a sling? I’d love to hear your experiences!

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And finally, this made me smile, Happy International Babywearing Week, keep calm and carry them!

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Potato week? Try a cheese and potato pie!

It’s potato week, and I prefer the simple potato dishes, so here’s my cheese and potato pie! I know others make it with layered pots and cream but that’s a bit too rich for me! This is perfect as a side dish for a bigger meal, or we have this as comfort food, with a side of green veg.

To serve four

Ingredients
8 medium potatoes, diced into inch pieces
1 medium sized onion, peeled and diced (I like it diced finely)
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter
150g of grated mature Cheddar cheese

Boil the onions and potatoes together until soft, then drain and mash with butter and milk
Add about 2/3 of your cheese at this point and spoon into a baking dish
Top with the remaining cheese and bake at 180 C until the cheese has totally melted and is starting to bubble and turn golden

And finally, as it’s potato week, here’s our favourite potato, ready to be stitched into a page of Joss’ busy book that I’m working on for Christmas, Mrs Potatohead with Velcro hat, bag and feet!

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Taking those first unaided steps outside

I am so proud of our smiley Jossy, this week she took her first few unaided steps outside! My favourite link into Small Steps Amazing Achievements to date!

A few photos capturing the moment

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Gearing up

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Ready, steady…

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Go!!!

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And topping off the moment, Joss said “night night” to us before bed, what a big day for all of us!

Book Review: ToddlerCalm by Sarah Ockwell-Smith

My recent post on doing your reading but putting the books aside and trusting instincts rings true again. Having read BabyCalm by Ockwell-Smith and found that it was a useful resource to dip into, whilst listening to my inner voice I was pleased to be offered a free copy of ToddlerCalm to read and review. With a baby I felt a bit out of my depth, with a toddler I seem to get even more conflicting advice!

What I like about Ockwell-Smith’s ethos is that she is supportive of a sensible attachment parenting approach. It is great to see for example that she recommends the use of a toddler carrier for free hands, and recommends parents don’t worry about ‘spoiling or creating dependency’ in creating a healthy attachment. I chose two areas that are relevant to us at the moment, although I know the book will grow to be with us a while as we are just entering the toddler phase:

Area one: Toddler eating

We are entering the throwing and ‘don’t want it, no wait I do, no I want cheese, oh wait I don’t’ phase:

I suspected that this was an issue of control when that too-ing and fro-ing started. Ockwell-Smith suggests offering some control to your child, for example some choices about what they might like to eat. Our favourite ‘carpet picnic’ crops up, that I blogged about a while ago, I thought Daddy coined that phrase but it seems to be in common usage. I also found it helpful to read about mealtimes, Ockwell-Smith suggests that we try not to be too rigid about 12pm lunch, dinner at 4pm etc, and says we should “respect the child’s natural appetite.” This was harder for me in the early days but my getting stressed about no-food mealtimes was not the answer and Joss did indeed eat when she was hungry, just not at the times I’d have expected. The Sarah and Gemma stories about their grazers also rang true, I took from the casestudies that following the toddler’s lead results in happier mealtimes for all. I really like the use of case studies in the book as they demonstrate well that these are just phases that we are helping our children through.

Area two: Tantrums

An early area for us but we have started to see a few silent and a few not so silent protests. I think the tips for ignoring negative comments from others is crucial, as children pick up from our emotional responses, I think when the times comes for public tantrums I might find this difficult, but this part of the book is definitely all about parentcalm, so I found the top tips on handling a public tantrum helpful, particularly remembering there are no winners or losers and being ‘too soft or too harsh’ isn’t the way to go, this links to Ockwell-Smith’s comments about the difference between authoritative and authoritarian parenting, and I agree that a healthy balance is something that is worked on and keeps in mind our long term parenting goals.

I look forward to dipping in and out of ToddlerCalm over the coming months! I would have liked to have seen a little more around some of the toddler stage specifics like potty training, although there are case studies around this some more focussed advice would have been interesting, but we might have to just see where that journey takes us!

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review, all views are my own

Incy wincy ‘pider

I am terrified of spiders, absolutely terrified of most insects infact, they make my blood run cold, I’d even go as far as to say I have a spidey sense, as I feel the hairs go up on the back of my neck before I see them.

This little fella arrived in Joss’ bedroom last week, just next to the changing unit. She clocked him before I did, “what’sthat?”

“That’s an incy wincy spider Joss!”

*Claps* “‘Pider, ‘Pider Mammy!”

OK, well lets go with it for now, so I did a round of incy wincy spider and we had a nappy change that was wriggle free as she was entranced by him.

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So for days now, first thing in the morning and last thing at night we’ve said “hiya ‘pider” and “byebye ‘pider” and he’s been there, in the same sort of place, so no surprises, he’s just hanging out in Joss’ room. When I took this pic she was chatting animatedly about her ‘pider, can’t imagine me ever being this smily at the prospect!

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Because of his relatively small size I can cope with him for now, lets hope he doesn’t get any bigger, say in time for Halloween, eek! Can’t say I’m over my fear but I have managed to keep in under wraps for now!

What’s the Story?

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Lots of my blog posts are about my little girl, but there’s another little one in my life that deserves some attention. This was taken in 2009, Toby must have been about 4/5 which makes him 8/9 now, though he may be a little older. Toby, or Toby Mcscroby as he’s more commonly known was a wee rescue when we brought him home. He was quiet in the kennels and cowering, when we took him for a first walk he pulled on the lead, barked and tried to run across the road, “we’ll take him” we said! How could we not?

He needed us and at the time I needed him, a companion and reason to get out for a walk every day in the winter. We used to argue about who took the lead, once the novelty wore off we’d row about whose turn it was to walk him, but he’s still very much part of the family. Joss adores him, he gets fewer walks at the beach but more treats, and he’s come a long way from the quiet boy we brought home that was terrified of pop bottles and newspapers. When people talk about getting a puppy as a family pet I’d always say don’t rule out a rescue, its so rewarding for everyone involved.

Caught in the moment

A short post as we’re all pretty tired here. I caught a quick but fuzzy snap of Joss having a read in her little chair, she’s usually never still! My Mam said that I was described as a “wormy bairn” always moving and so I guess Joss is a (book) wormy bairn too!

She loves books, I am so pleased as I am a book worm, I can’t wait to share Enid Blyton and Grimm’s Fairy Tales with her!

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