Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yummy Cookies

In my ideal world I would like to be the wholesome kinda earth mother who makes and cooks all things wondeful for her growing brood. In my quest for wholesome nutritious treats I made Annabel Karmel's Oat Cookies and we all loved them so much I feel I need to share the recipe.

They took minutes to make and both Daddy and F thought they were YUM. I used sultanas instead of raisins (that is what we had in the cupboard) and plan to try chocolate chips, dried blueberries and whatever else I can get my hands on to experiment with in the very near future ...

Oat Cookies (taken from Annabel Karmel's 'Weaning')

75g wholemeal flour
55g rolled oats
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
85g unsalted butter, softened
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
55g raisins, chopped dried apricots or whatever else you fancy

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 fan), gas 4. Put all the ingredients, except the fruit, in to the food processor and whizz for 1-2 minutes until the mixture forms large clumps of dough. Add the dried fruit and pulse briefly.

2. Rolled heaped teaspoons of the dough in to 20 walnut-sized balls and arrange on two parchment lined baking sheets. Flatten to a 5mm thickness with the back of a wet spoon.

3. Bake in the oven for 12-15 mins (I cooked them for 12 minutes in my gas oven and they were perfect).

4. Leave to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. If you can resist eating them all before they cool then store in an airtight container.

Annabel Karmel states they are suitable from 10 months and provide carbohydrates, protein, B vitamins and iron.

Happy baking!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Little swimmer

We have been taking Finley to 'Water Babies' since he was four months old. He loved it from the off. I often chuckled to myself as I looked around at the other Mums in the group and it became clear that we were paying money for us to be trained. The babies' natural diving reflex allows them to naturally hold their breath. Apparently this is the case until they are eighteen months old and is amazing to watch. Ha ha I must add at this point that the Daddy's in the group seem to have considerably less of a problem with throwing their 'mini me's' in to the water - I guess it is all part of the balance of parenthood.

(photos thanks to Waterbabies Scotland)

Six months later we are still going to our weekly class with enthusiasm. Finley can hold on to the side of the pool on his own, swim through a hoop underwater and hold on to a float. Us Mum's are more relaxed and all is going well.

My husband and I both grew up by the sea and hope that surfing and water sports will be something the wee man will enjoy too. We keep meaning to find to go swimming as family (as well as the Water Babies class) but others things seem to get in the way. I guess it is not too much of a problem but when we did all go together it cracked 
him up seeing both Mummy and Daddy getting wet!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oops another trip to A and E

Why do these things always happen when my husband is at work and out of telephone range?

Finley and I had a 'quiet' afternoon at home on monday so by 3pm the living room looked a bit like a plastic zoo. Delighted with his ever improving ability to stand and cruise around the furniture, the wee man is now practising one handed holding on and bending to pick up toys. This has rather limited success and has resulted in several bumps to the head...

3.15pm: Finley fell (not spectacularly) and hit his head on the coffee table. He didn't cry and all seemed fine.

3.30 pm: He was really tired so I put him down for a nap. I was very pleased when he didn't cry as I left his room and put the immediate sleep down to a busy day playing and a very short morning nap. (Yes I know tiredness is a sign of concussion and not to let people with head injuries sleep but the bang on the head was so uneventful I had almost forgotten all about it.)

3.35 pm: A little voice popped in to my head; "What if Finley is concussed?" With a small trickle of cold sweat developing I checked  him every other minute but all is fine. He did, however, have the beginnings of a bruise on his forehead.

5.30 pm; The little guy woke up SCREAMING! This is not normal for Finley at all. He was inconsolable. He cheeks were a little red so it could have been his teeth but I just didn't know. He had no interest in his supper, playing, bouncing - nothing would console him - again not normal for Finley.

5.45 pm: I phoned NHS 24 who were amazing and advised me to go to A and E.

6.30 pm: We arrived at hospital. The car journey had settled Finley and he was smiling again - a huge relief to me but did make me feel ever so slightly like a paranoid first time mum.

7 pm: Finley was absolutely delighted by the wonderful selection of toys to play with in the paediatric waiting room and was turbo crawling with glee.

7.15 pm: The same kind and friendly nurse we saw last time we had a bump on the head came and gave wee man the all clear. He either has a particularly good memory or we are particularly memorable as he new exactly who we were!

8 pm: Home to bed - Mummy peaceful in the knowledge that all is well.

My Mum is forever saying; "Don't take any chances" and my own knowledge as a Horse Riding Instructor tells me that heads are precious and it is better to take the trip to hospital to feel a bit like you are paranoid then to regret it for ever more.

The staff at Crosshouse Accident and Emergency and NHS 24 are amazing. I would like to thank them for their patience and kindness with not only first time mums but worries parents of all ages.

I am pleased to say that Finley is absolutely no worse for wear and hardly even had a bruise by tuesday morning.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Fine Discovery

What a day. Poor wee man is teething again. I'm not sure if it is because of this, or a mere occupational habit of being nearly 11 months old, but he cannot bear to be away from me for a second. Flattering but exhausting.

Amazingly, hubby and I managed a big spring clean of the garage whilst Finley sat watching intently from his buggy but when the time came for me to cook dinner he had resumed his position dangling from my trouser leg. That's when I made my brilliant discovery - frozen vegetables direct from the freezer make teething babies very happy! I have tried the teething rings that you cool in the fridge, and sticks of cool cucumber etc and frankly they didn't help much at all whilst gnawing on a frozen piece of broccoli made a sore little boy very happy. Whoop whoop.

Here's to a peaceful night and healthy teeth!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

All Normal Here.

Today we trotted off the the Health Visitor for a 10 month check and was pleased to discover that all is normal. This led me to ponder 'hmm, normal ...'

Is a baby not normal because it doesn't tick all the boxes in the little red book by it's designated stage? Thankfully the child development professionals appear to be sensible about it in this area and I hope that is the case for everyone. We all know that every baby is an individual and will develop different things at varying rates and I am pleased this is supported by our Health Visitors.

Our local town has an amazing network of mummy groups. First Year Group, affectionately named Troon Mum's by my neighbour, has been an amazing support throughout the past 10 months. It's a group run by a Health Visitor where we just go with our babies and hang out. Aileen comes every week in her own time just to be there for us, we can  ask questions, get the wee ones weighed or simply just sit and be. This group has been a real life-line for me and on those days when you really question if you or your baby are actually normal (I am sure most parents know what I mean) having a network of other mums to chat, and often laugh at yourself with, is something I am tremendously grateful for. As my time at First Year Group comes to an end I hope I have made some lifelong friends to help keep me normal as we all step in to the future.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hello out there!

Hello am welcome to my blog. I am a mummy, who, in a previous life, worked hard to establish myself as a freelance writer only to have an extreme onset of writers block (yeah yeah I know it's a myth) since the end of 2009! Ha ha no honestly, well actually we relocated from Cornwall to Scotland at Christmas '09 when I was 25 weeks pregnant and I embraced doing not a lot - perhaps a bit too much ....

Wee Finley Andrew is now nearly 11 months old and I am ready and raring to give the old grey matter a bit of a work out. My blog is about the wonderful adventure that is life, sharing the things that make us laugh (and cry) and logging the things that make parenthood so amazing.....