Isla Jean at 7 months

I had planned on writing a 6 month update, but Isla and I were really ill, so it didn’t happen! So here is my update on our gorgeous Isla Jean at 7 months old.

Isla is now 16lb 3oz/7.3kgs (as of a couple of weeks ago) and is following the same percentile line, just below the 50th percentile.

Speech

She has just really found her voice in the last week or so, and chatters away constantly. Unless there is other babies around, in which case she will be quiet and just watch the other babies. She is happy to play with them, and kiss and cuddle them, but she just isn’t talkative with them. She’s started giggling more and more over the last week which is so lovely to hear. She’s always been fairly quiet before, but has now become more vocal. Her laughs just melt my heart. And I know Chris absolutely loves it when he makes her laugh!

Food

We’ve been weaning since Isla was just over 5 months old (I was too impatient/excited to wait til 6 months!) Her favourite foods so far are chilli con carne, and broccoli. We’re doing a mix of baby led weaning and purees. So we give her a bit of whatever we’re eating (or if what we’re eating isn’t suitable then we find something else for her eat) Then once she’s finished eating/playing with that we give her some puree.

Isla eating

No, Isla. That isn’t how you’re meant to eat!!

It generally seems to be going alright, however since she has had a cold for a good few weeks now she’s been struggling with ‘real’ food. I don’t know whether it is the cold, or whether it’s the fact she knows what to do with food now, and so she just keeps stuffing food in to her mouth. This often results in her gagging, and on the odd occasion a bit of choking. Queue some back slapping, but all ends up well in the end, and she shoves some more food in her mouth!!

Movement

Isla LOVES standing up at the moment. If she could stand up on her own, or with support all day, she would do. She hasn’t quite mastered the on her own bit yet though, she’s still very wobbly. But she has a massive grin on her face whenever she’s stood up.

We’re not quite crawling yet, but she’s trying oh so hard. We’ve had the odd occasion where we’ve had a little bit of a commando roll, or where she has moved backwards instead of forwards. But for now I’m fairly happy that she’s not crawling yet! She loves sitting in her walker, and quite literally runs around the kitchen in it! This does make life a bit easier, as it means she’s happy playing in there while I can get on and do washing up or whatever.

Isla Jean at 7 months

Isla in her walker

She’s so steady these days with sitting up too. That literally just seemed to happen over night. One day she couldn’t sit up at all, and the next day she was sitting up like a pro.

Breastfeeding

We’re still breastfeeding, which I am really happy with. Although she pretty much will only feed from one side now, so I have a serious case of BLT (bigger left tit!!!) We’re currently experimenting with giving her a bottle at for her bed time feed though. She seems to drink more of that (in my mind anyway), and then seems to sleep for longer before she wakes up for the first time during the night. Plus it gives Chris the chance to feed her, which I think he really enjoys.

No teeth as of yet, but I’m quite happy with that, as she bites me enough as it is, so it will hurt even more if she has teeth! I don’t think it will be long though

Like mother, like daughter

Like mother, like daughter

Sleeping

We’re still very hit and miss when it comes to sleeping. We’re trying to get Isla to sleep in her cot in her own room these days. Previously she has always slept either on or with us in bed. So this is a big step, for us all. Well, for me and Isla at least. I think Chris is quite happy about it really. I miss her when she’s in her room though!!

We’ve had some amazing nights where Isla went to sleep at 10pm, stirred a little bit at 3am, 3:30am and 4pm, but settled the first two times with a dummy. At 4am I realised she hasn’t fed for 6 hours, so gave her a feed which she slept through, and she then slept again until 8am. Fed her again and she slept again until 10-10:30-ish!

On the other side of the coin, there are nights where she wakes up after being asleep for only 45 minutes – 1 hour, and wakes up regularly through the night. It’s these nights where after getting up for the umpteenth time to settle her, and we’re both so tired, that we agree to just bring her in with us, and we all sleep well from there on!

Personality

She’s definitely starting to become her own little person, developing her own personality. She’s started clamping her mouth shut if she doesn’t want to eat anymore (rather than just spitting it back out again), or when we’re giving her medicine. She even sometimes refuses to let me put her dummy in for her, and I put it down in front of her in case she wants it later…only for her to pick it straight up and put it in herself! The little madam!

Camouflaged

Camouflaged in the ball…box at group

Each day I fall in love with her a little bit more. I love watching her grow and change, which seems to be happening before my very eyes. I miss how little she was. Sometimes wish I could do it all again so that I could savour those early days a little bit more. But I also can’t wait to see what the next day brings and what new things she will learn next.

I love you my gorgeous little Isla Jean. You test my patience more than I can imagine sometimes, but I wouldn’t change you for the world! Let’s see what the next month brings us.

Blogs I love

So on the advise of the lovely Donna over at What The Redhead Said I decided to write a post on the blogs I love. Below are a list of just a few of the blogs that I love to read. Pop over and have a little look for yourselves.

Photo from redwhiteandblueberries.com

Photo from redwhiteandblueberries.com

Mama Geek – Zoe Corkhill was one of my best friends at high school. She writes about life with her two daughters, Georgie and Lydia, husband James, and lazy dog Homily, will bits of geekiness thrown in for good measure. (Zoe is also an awesome web designer, “creating functional and beautiful WordPress sites for bloggers and businesses” over at Zoe Corkhill. She helped me move across from Blogger to WordPress which I am eternally grateful for!

Write Like Nobodies Watching – Charlotte is mum to Bill, l and Daisy who was born just a week or so before Isla was. Charlotte hasn’t had it easy  since Daisy was born, but she keeps going, and is a real inspiration! I love reading Charlotte’s blogs, as she says things how they are!

Little Baby Garvin – I stumbled upon this blog while looking for another one. Jessica is a US blogger to 3 gorgeous girlies! She kept a record of her pregnancies with amazing chalkboard art work, which put my sporadic posts to shame! Jessica blogs about life with her girls and husband, as well as their recent move to a beautiful house I drool over!

Sparkles and Stretchmarks – Hayley has 3 beautiful boys and writes and life with them. She openly blogs about life with anxiety, which is great that she doesn’t shy away from talking about it. Hayley also writes about all things regarding family life, from days out to saving money for a fantastic Christmas, blogging advice to toy reviews

Little Bab – This blog is by my wonderful friend Kat. We’ve known each other all my life(our parents met at NCT classes nearly 35 years ago and are still friends now!) Kat blogs about life with my gorgeous fairy god-daughter, mental health as well as the odd short story and poem.

The Oliver’s Madhouse – Jaime is a self-confessed pushchair addict, and writes  about her weight loss journey and her lovely 2 boys. Reviewing baby and kids toys and products, and blogging about family holidays and days out. It’s a wonderful read.

Ghostwritermummy – Susanne blogs honestly about birth trauma, something so rarely acknowledged and talked about. Susanne also writes about parenting and has some great posts from when she was pregnant.

sammioneill – Sammi is one of my favouritest people in the world! She was my nanny when I was knee-high to a grass hopper, and she’s been part of the family ever since. Sam blogs on here about family life, achieving goals on her #101in1001 challenge (I think she’s doing better than I did!). Apart from her family and friends, Sam loves going to the theatre. She reviews shows over at theatresoutheast

 

So what are your favourite blogs? I’d love to find some new ones to read! Or leave me a link to your own blog!

This entry was posted in Blog.

Dream Toys 16 – This years must have toys for Christmas

On Wednesday I nipped over to London to have a good look at what a panel of experts have agreed will be this Christmas’ best selling toys. Each year a panel of leading toy retailers decide what will be the big hits of the year, and they’re usually pretty spot on.

Dream Toys 16

The full Top 12 list for 2016 is as follows: (in no particular order; all prices quoted are RRPs)

Shopkins Chef Club Hot Spot Kitchen Flair Leisure Products £24.99

Shopkins

Snuggles My Dream Puppy Character Options £49.99

Snuggles My Dream Puppy

Nerf N-Strike Elite Hyperfire Hasbro £49.99

Nerf Gun

Speak Out Hasbro £19.99

Silly Sausage John Adams £19.99

Friends Amusement Park Roller Coaster Lego £89.99

Lego

Star Wars Rebel U-Wing Fighter Lego £69.99

Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage Mattel £89.99

Thomas & Friends TrackMaster Sky-High Bridge Jump Mattel £99.99

Thomas & Friends

Hatchimals Spin Master Toys £59.99

Hatchimals

Paw Patrol Air Patroller Spin Master Toys £39.99

SelfieMic Worlds Apart £19.99

My personal favourites from this list were the Snuggles My Dream Puppy, which breathes when sleeping, and closes his eyes when you stroke him. He was so soft and snuggly, I wouldn’t mind having one for myself! I also loved the Nerf N-Strike Elite Hyperfire – it fires 5 darts a second, up to 90 feet. Perfect for firing at Daddy when he falls asleep on the sofa after Christmas dinner.

This years list seems to have gone back to the some old favourites (Lego and Thomas & Friends) and family fun (Silly Sausage and Speak Out) which is what I like to see.

I think this now means that Christmas is well and truly on its way, so I guess I best start my Christmas shopping!

Making friends with Lego Santa

Making friends with Lego Santa

Can I take him home?

Can I take him home?

 

Thanks to Zoe Corkhill at Mama Geek for letting me steal a few of her photos. It was really lovely to see you there and catch up!

The Baby Show – London

Last Friday I went to The Baby Show at Olympia in London.

The Baby Show - Olympia London

The Baby Show – Olympia London

I was really brave and decided to drive there, as it would have been too much hassle for me to get the train and tube. The journey was pretty simple, but traffic was rubbish so it was gone 10 before I was parked. I then missed the train from Shepherd’s Bush by seconds, and the next one was cancelled, so it was 11am by the time I got there in the end!

The bright side of it though, is that I met Naomi from Not A Perfect Parent on the station platform. Turns out she also went to school with my brother-in-law. Small world!

When I finally got to Olympia I attended a session with Grobag, launching their new range designed by Orla Kiely. As I was running so late I missed most if it, but caught the end of the talk by The Lullaby Trust.

Orla Kiely Grobags

Orla Kiely Grobags

I also popped in to the Stokke session, who were showcasing their Anniversary Collection, where we did a few fun crafts and met up with Naomi again, and Liska from New Mum Online.

Stokke crafts

Stokke crafts

Isla enjoying the Stokke high chair

Isla enjoying the Stokke high chair

 

We (me, Naomi, Liska and our girlies) decided to rock the baby-wearing look while exploring the hundreds of stalls on show!

Baby-wearing

Baby-wearing

Some of the brands I loved there were:

Tutti Bambini – I fell in love with their nursing chairs. They glide back and forth, and have foot rests that do the same too! As you can see from the picture below, we had good fun trying out the giant chair they had there!

Tutti Bambini fun

Tutti Bambini fun

Kiddihug – Have just launched their new baby carrier in the UK, which also gives the opportunity to balance your baby on your hip for short periods, rather than having to put them in a full carrier round the house, for example

Ez Pz – Make wonderful trays that are also plates, and will stick to the table so can’t be thrown on the floor, making for much cleaner dinner times

For Aisha – Baby food, that also happens to be Halal. But it has some amazing flavours, like Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Mild Curried Chicken Dhal, and Moroccan Chicken Tagine.

Hush Cush – a nursing pillow that slides on your arm, so that your baby is always at the right height when feeding. Suitable for breast or bottle fed babies

Little Dot Baby Shower – They make bits and pieces for baby showers, but I loved their clothes. Tops and sweaters that say ‘need more sleep’, ‘if mummy says no, ask nanny’, and ‘cool kids never sleep’ amongst others. I think Isla definitely needs the latter!

Love Keep Create – I’ve been following them on Facebook for a while, and love their keepsake animals made from baby clothes. But it was wonderful to actually see their work in the flesh.

 

There were so many brands there that I didn’t get round to seeing all of them, which is a real shame. But I thoroughly enjoyed my day there. It’s a good job that Chris and I never went to The Baby Show when I was pregnant, as I think I would have spent a fortune there, as there are so many wonderful products on sale there.

And a big bonus was all the goodies I was given!!

Bits and pieces from goody bags and freebies!

Bits and pieces from goody bags and freebies!

I would advise anyone who is pregnant or just had a baby to visit The Baby Show. It’s all the baby shopping you need to do in one place, and there are usually some wonderful deals and discounts on.

 

I was given a ticket to The Baby Show free of charge for the purpose of this post, and is my unbiased and honest opinion of the event.

On How Life Is

So I thought I’d write a little post on how life is (yeah, that is totally a rip off of Macy Gray’s first album. Yes, I know that, cos I own it.  No, I’m not ashamed. Yes, I probably should be!)

We seem to have had a fair old busy time of it lately. Isla and I spent a week at my parents at the beginning of September as Chris buggered off to Milan with work. It really was lovely to spend the week with them and see them with Isla. My uncle was also over from Australia with his wife so they got to meet Isla for the first time. My grandad also came over for a few days and loved spending time with Isla, particularly taking her for walks in her pushchair!

Isla and Great-Grandad

Isla and Great-Grandad

We were then at home for a whopping 4 days before going down to St Ives for the week with Mum and Dad (Dad was missing Isla already!) It really was a fab week, which included Isla actually being awake at the seaside; having a paddle in the (bloody freezing) sea; me, Chris and Dad body boarding (I totally wore a wet sit and shoes!); Chris and I went in our first date night in over 5 months; and we met up with an old school friend of mine who lives down in Cornwall and had a baby boy a week or so before Isla was born.

Getting ready for a paddle in the sea

Getting ready for a paddle in the sea

The day after we got back we went to The Baby and Toddler Show with my brother-in-law and his wife who are expecting their first baby in February. Lots of fun there. Good job we didn’t go to a baby show while I was pregnant otherwise we may have spent a fortune! There are so many wonderful products available.

We were both knackered however by the next day, to the point I ended up crying – the house was a tip, it would have been Grandma’s birthday, Isla was being a pain and refusing to go to sleep, amongst other things. It wasn’t good!  And to top it off, the next night Isla got ill and threw up all down my back and in my hair and in our bed at 2am, went über pale and her breathing became very shallow. Queue some panicking! By the time we’d finished on the phone to 101 she seemed better. I was able to have a shower and we got her to sleep before the out of hours doctor even phoned us back. Not much sleep was had that night, but thankfully she was fine when the doctor checked her out in the morning.

What else have er been up to? Isla and I have started a group! I know, get us! It’s a good job it is held at the centre just behind our house otherwise we’d never make it there for 10am. We only just manage it as it is! It’s called Babbling Babies, which gives ideas of activities to promote early communication in babies. This week we did a bit of baby sign language which I really enjoyed! Plus it really tires Isla out. She had nearly 4 hours sleep after group this week!

I’ve bought ourselves a second-hand pushchair off Facebook. It’s really cheap, and can feel it too when on really uneven surfaces. But it has the pram function, but also the pushchair function with the option of parent facing or outward facing. We’ve only used the pram but so far but Isla falls asleep in it so well. It’s wonderful!

Snug as a bug in a rug

Snug as a bug in a rug

I bought it as I’m off to The Baby Show this Friday, to write about it for this lovely blog. I’m really excited as it’s my first “invite”. I was debating getting the train and tube there which wouldn’t be ideal with our current pushchair, hence the new/old one which is half the weight! But after talking to other bloggers who said trains were horrific I decide I’m going to attempt driving! Should only take 40 mins or so. Anyone that knows me knows this is a big deal! I may write a post on that in itself at some point.

This new pushchair has also meant we were able to take Isla to the allotment last weekend, where she fell asleep and allowed us to do some much-needed weeding and digging up potatoes. More still needs doing, but it’s a start. I’ve avoided going down there for a while as the lady we share a plot with has a wasp best in her compost heap and Chris got stung on the neck by one a month or so ago. I’m a wuss when it comes to wasps and I don’t want to risk Isla getting stung either. It seemed to be OK when we were there though. I’m hoping we’ll be able to get a lot more done in the upcoming weeks, but we shall see!

That just about gets us up to speed on how life is at the moment.

Out and about with Mamia baby food

Our darling Isla Bear is now just over 5 months old. And with that she has suddenly started to take a keen interest in what Chris and I are eating and drinking. She tries to steal things out of our hand when eating, and grabs for our mugs when drinking. My plan had always been to wait until she is 6 months old before starting weaning, but she seems to have other ideas. So this last week we have begun the fun of weaning with the help of Aldi’s Mamia baby food range.

Aldi's Mamia baby food range

Aldi’s Mamia baby food range

I’ve been looking forward to starting weaning with Isla for a while, but also it brings about a small sense of loss, as my baby isn’t so much of a baby anymore. She’s getting so big, and starting to become a proper person know, developing her own little personality.

Realising there's no more food on the spoon!

Realising there’s no more food on the spoon!

We’re out and about so often, away at weekends visiting friends and family, so it’s not always easy to take food with us, and cook and prepare it for her, so that’s where Aldi’s Mamia baby food range comes in handy. There is a big range of dfferent purees in pouches, as well as fruit pots, rice cakes, porridge and flavoured water. All of them are 100% organic, prices start from just 59p, and are perfect for on-the-go families.

This last weekend we went to visit Nana Jan over in Broadstairs, as Isla was wanting some Nanny cuddles (so was I!) So we took with us some of the Mamia pouches, and gave them a go. We decided to just start her on one flavour to begin with, and once she’s used to eating food, rather than just milk, we will try her with some other flavours. So we went with apples, carrots and parsnips. It seemed to be a big hit, and Isla got the hang of eating straight away. She even took the spoon from us after the first mouthful and was feeding herself!!

 

Feeding herself

Feeding herself

Isla seems to love her food, and it has encouraged her to try other things too, like lettuce lettuce!

Loving some lettuce

Loving some lettuce

So far, Isla doesn’t seem to be too much of a messy eater, although I’m sure that will soon change the more she eats!

Oh, so you're meant to eat it, not wear it?

Oh, so you’re meant to eat it, not wear it?

We’ve given Aldi’s nappy range a go as well. I’ve heard great things about them, and prices start from just £1.15 a pack! Isla seems quite happy in them during the day, but doesn’t seem to like to sleep in them at night. Every time we’ve tried them at night so far, she seems to fidget so much in her sleep, so mummy and daddy don’t sleep too well!!

I think I’ll continue with the Mamia food pouches though when we’re out and about, as they’re so convenient. And such a bargain!

 

This post is an entry for BritMums #MamiaDaysOut Linky Challenge, sponsored by Aldi Mamia

Bespoke Children’s Drawings by Charlotte Adcock – Review

I was delighted when Charlotte chose me to review one of her bespoke children’s drawings. I’d seen some of her previous work and loved how fun they all are.

Charlotte was keen to make our picture as personal to our family as possible, so I gave her details of what we would love to be included in our picture; Isla’s name, her favourite toys (a pink giraffe and an owl). I was keen to have something gardening related as we love our garden so much, so some flowers would be ideal. I’d also asked for a Noah’s ark as Isla’s Nanny is a vicar, and we’d just bought Isla her first money-box in the shape of Noah’s ark.

A lot of things to include, but Charlotte managed it!

As we were on holiday when Charlotte was ready to post our picture she kindly kept hold of it until we were home to make sure it didn’t get lost. When it arrived it was well packaged, and there was no risk of it getting damaged at all.

I love the thoughtful detail that has gone into the drawing. The ark has been named Jean (Isla’s middle name), and there are frogs in the port holes – everyone knows that we have a thing about frogs in this house! There are flowers on board the ark, as well as a stow-away snail – every gardener’s nemesis!

Charlotte Adcock

Isla’s bespoke children’s drawing by Charlotte Adcock

I love our picture, and think Charlotte’s pictures would make wonderful Christmas presents, or gifts for a friend who has just had a baby. You can choose from either mounted (from £15) or framed like ours (from £25), which I think is fantastic value for a personalised picture. The frame we have allows you to either hang it on a wall, or stand it up on a sideboard. I would say my only issue with it all is that the arm of the frame which allows you to stand it up shows slightly when it’s hung on the wall. This I should think is easily rectified with a little bit of white paint to match the frame.

Charlotte Adcock

Isla’s picture in her nursery

Check out Charlotte’s work at www.charlotteadcockdesigns.com

 

This product was sent to me free of charge for the purpose of this review, and is my unbiased honest opinion of the product.