This week Taylor hit six-months – a big milestone in a baby’s life and the point when everything (I can confirm) does get a lot easier. In some ways it’s flown by – it seems like only yesterday when I started to have those contractions leaning over the sofa in the living room and being told at the hospital that I was too late to have an epidural (whaaaat????).
Yet I can’t imagine our lives now without her – she has completed us in so many ways and every day she brings more fun, love and happiness to our lives and excitement about what the future holds for us as a family.
I’ve also discovered that I’m actually quite a good mum. I did have my suspicions pre-baby that I might turn out to be a bit useless, but I’ve actually taken to motherhood pretty well *big pat on the back*. I’ve had to become much more organised with a baby and I actually quite like the new me – I’m even on time for appointments and meetings, which (those who knew me Before Taylor will appreciate) is a somewhat spectacular achievement. Or perhaps it’s just that those meetings and appointments are now much more pleasurable lunch dates and play groups…either way, I’m enjoying this new chapter in my life and have discovered that I’m far better at looking after someone else than I ever was at looking after myself. Continue reading →
This dish is a great summer alternative to the winter casserole – super easy to prepare and cooked in the oven in 30 minutes. It’s filling enough to eat as a meal on its own with crusty bread, or if (like Mr M) you feel cheated without meat, it goes really well with chicken or a juicy piece of steak from the barbecue.
It also tastes just as good cold, so makes a great healthy lunch time pack-up for work the next day.
2 red peppers
1 red onion
1 sweet potato
2 sticks of celery
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 400g can chickpeas
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
Big glug of olive oil
chopped coriander to serve
Roughly chop all of the vegetables into sizeable chunks.
Add to a roasting tin with the garlic and coriander seeds, toss everything together with olive oil and spread out in a single layer.
Cook in a pre-heated oven for 30 mins at 200C until the vegetables are roasted and brown at the edges.
Remove the tin from the oven, add the chick peas and tinned tomatoes and place on a low heat on the hob to simmer for 5 minutes.
Season to taste and sprinkle with chopped coriander to serve.
Taylor has been eyeing up our food for a while now, so when she hit 17 weeks I decided we were ready to embark of the great adventure that is weaning. Admittedly, the foodie in me was also quite excited about the prospect of offering her something other than milk, and so I set about the task of chopping, steaming, mashing and blending with zealous enthusiasm.
I’m not usually one to fall for the endless gadgets and gizmos which are aimed at us parents, but since I was quite excited about this chapter in Taylor’s development, I found myself in Babies R Us with more weaning supplies than I could carry in my one free hand. Alongside some Tommee Tippee bowls, weaning spoons and a ‘my first cup’, I also picked up these Brother Max weaning pots for £4.99 – which I chose over the other brands on the shelf thanks to the inclusion of a handy marker pen for writing contents/date on the pots before freezing (fickle, I know). Continue reading →
Almost 18 months after moving into our home we’ve finally put the finishing touches to our guest room. The rest of our house is quite neutral so I was determined to go for some brighter colours in this room (with the view that if I didn’t like it at least I wouldn’t have to look at it every day!)
We visited Watergate Bay hotel in Cornwall last year and I loved how they used pops of colour in the hotel rooms to give a modern yet relaxed vibe, which inspired me (several Pinterest boards later) to go for this colour palette of yellow, dark grey and sky blue. Continue reading →
Last week we became members of the National Trust and had a lovely day out at Caughton Court in Warwickshire with Taylor. I captured this photo of the bluebells which are out in full bloom at this time of year. We’re looking forward to getting the most from our membership and discovering more special places throughout the UK over the next year!
As soon as you realise that sleep deprivation is the root of all evil – which pretty much occurs the minute you come home from the hospital with your little miracle – your greatest aspiration in life becomes getting them to ‘sleep through’ (*translate* – you want to sleep through).
It becomes a bit of an obsession in fact, an ongoing quest to seek out that magic formula as though there’s some ‘cure’ to get your baby to ‘sleep through’ – if only you could work it out. The idea that your baby is actually capable of sleeping through – but just isn’t doing – becomes all-consuming. You quiz your friends who seem to have sussed it – they must not be telling you something. You change your mind about what the magic formula must be on a weekly basis. Our journey has gone something like this:
One week: “Perhaps she’s sleeping too much in the day, let’s try cutting her naps” The week after: “Sleep most definitely breeds sleep”
One week: Let’s just top her up with as much milk as possible before we go to bed” The week after: “She still wakes up at the same time anyway, let’s not disturb her”
One week: “Just keep putting her dummy back in, she’s not hungry” The week after: “Now she’s just crying for her dummy – I think we should take it away”
Just a pipe dream
One week: “Maybe she is hungry after all, perhaps we should just offer her a feed again every time she wakes up” The week after: “She’s definitely not hungry, let’s try hot water.”
When Taylor hit five months we thought we had finally cracked it. She actually slept through. And I’m talking 7pm to 6am sleeping through, so definitely something to celebrate. We started to stay up past 10.30pm to watch ‘just one more episode’ of House of Cards and even indulged in a second glass on wine on some nights. We thought we were one of the lucky ones.
This lasted for an entire six nights…
And then on the seventh night, Taylor woke up and exclaimed “Ha! Not really! I was just playing with you guys!” Not quite, but she may as well have done. And now we’re up every couple of hours again, adamant that we’re not going to feed her (“she’s not even hungry!!!”) until I finally give in (following nappy changes, cuddles, teething powder, hot water, Calpol and every other remedy in that book), knowing that a little milk is the only thing that will get me one more hour of sleep (“but she’s not hungry – look she’s just fussing.”) Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
And it’s not the first time she tricked us. At three months she went for a whole two weeks of just waking up at 4am, feeding and then going back to sleep until 7am. I felt normal again. Fresher than ever in fact. Until again, she decided that ‘actually mum, I quite liked being fed every three hours afterall’. What the hell????
So my dear friends, do not let them trick you. Just when you think you’ve finally cracked it, your little bundle will probably have other ideas. I’ve finally accepted that I just need to go with it, not over-analyse and enjoy those good nights while they last.