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    My Baby: The Wriggler




    Dexter has turned into a right little wriggle butt. Who am I kidding? He’s always been a fidgety little soul, even when he was growing in my belly.

    Untitled

    But recently, every time it comes to getting his nappy changed or getting dressed, he will not stay still.

    The Wonder Weeks App says that during Leap 5:

    …parents often notice that their baby starts to protest when being dressed or when a diaper is changed.

    We left Leap 5 around two weeks ago, and yet this behaviour continues. He protests by wriggling onto his side and then onto his front. I live in fear he will inadvertently roll off the changing table or bang his head on the wall.

    I’ve tried distracting him with a toy, which lasts all of two minutes; singing, letting him roll onto his front (but doing a nappy is impossible when he’s on his front, not to mention messy if he’s done a poo); changing him on the floor (my back can’t cope);  getting his dad to do it (same story) and sitting him up to get dressed.

     

    The sitting works for putting on tops, but doesn’t help me when he needs a nappy change or to put his pants on. This battle is occurring eight times a day or more: he is pooing more now he is on solids and I have to strip him down to eat two or three times a day as well.

    Dex is also so close to crawling now. He had learnt to get up onto his knees when he is on his front, and he starts rocking. I can’t believe how quickly my sweetie is growing up. I have always called him a Little Wriggly Worm, but soon I imagine he’s going to be more like a darting squirrel crawling away from me at every opportunity.

    Please tell me these protestations at getting change are just a phase and my content baby, happy to be changed and dressed will return one day! If not, I’m going to have to think of some ingenious ways to get him dressed.




    Baby, Review

    Review // Cirio Tomatoes




    I absolutely adore Italy and have travelled extensively through the country on several occasions. Its beautiful scenery, history and weather draw me to it again and again but the main reason I keep returning has to be the food.

    I regularly try to recreate Italian dishes at home that I've sampled on holiday, but they never seem to taste quite as good. I thought that perhaps it was down to the fact that food just tastes that much better when you are dining alfresco underneath the beating sun, but then I discovered Cirio tomatoes.

    Cirio have been exporting their range since 1867 after the founder Francesco Cirio presented his products at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, earlier having developed, in 1856, the technique of appertisation meaning fresh fruit and vegetables could have an extended shelf life.

    Cirio have a vast range of products, not limited to tomatoes, including peas, beans and lentils. I was given the opportunity to test their tomato range and I made full use of each and every product by making yummy recipes that we could enjoy together as a family.

    With their Datterini baby plum tomatoes, I made a spaghetti bolognese. This meal always reminds me of Saturday nights as a child, with the football pools on the radio in the background as we sat down as a family to warming spaghetti bolognese. These rich and fruity tomatoes give the meal a real authentic feel.

    Another of my favourite Italian dishes is Chicken Arrabiata. I love the spiciness of the tomato sauce and I haven't been afraid to share my love for spice with Dexter. I figure that he will have got a taste for it while in utero as I gorged on curries and spicy pastas. In my recipe, I use Cirio's finely chopped tomatoes with basil which gives the dish a beautiful tomato-y taste and all that's left to add is the chilli flakes. The tomatoes had a lovely rich flavour and unlike traditional passata were not watered down making the arrabiata sauce nice and thick.

    Pizzas are an absolute staple in this household and I like nothing more than making my own. Before we had Dexter, Neil and I would spend Saturday evenings, kneading and rolling dough but now I prefer to buy a pack of flat breads which is both easier and healthier. Cirio's pizza sauce saves me having to make my own and tastes phenomenal. We top the pizzas with whatever we can find in the fridge - chorizo, mozzarella, spinach, mushroom. The list is truly endless. I cut the pizza into slices to offer to Dex and he adores it. The tin contains 400g of pizza sauce which is more than what we needed for our pizzas. What's great is that the contents last for 3-4 days in the fridge, so when I found myself a little hungry at lunchtime a few days later, I made a small amount of pasta and used the rest of this pizza sauce as a topping along with some cheese. A delicious meal in minutes.

    One baby led weaning staple is pinwheels and Cirio's double concentrated tomato puree works wonders. Because of it's double concentration, the flavour isn't lost at all in the pastry. I like to add cheese, ham and spinach to the mix for a healthy and delicious snack for Dex.

    Of course, Cirio's tomato range doesn't limit you to cook just Italian food.

    I love a bit of Mexican at the weekend and lovely moist enchiladas need a good tomato sauce like Cirio's finely chopped tomatoes with onion and garlic. The great thing about this product is that I don't need to finely chop any onions or garlic, saving me a lot of time. These tomatoes smell incredible. I have been guilty of buying cheap supermarket passata in the past, but I won't be doing that anymore.

    What full English breakfast would be complete without plum tomatoes? Neither my husband nor myself are fans of baked beans so we always make sure we add plum tomatoes. I made a simple cooked breakfast for Dex including scrambled egg, plum tomatoes, toast and half a sausage. These Cirio Peeled Plum Tomatoes were the perfect addition as I usually worry that Dex could choke on the skin of a tomato. They were plump and juicy and devoured in seconds.

    Curry is another favourite in this house and I have been trying to perfect my recipe over the years. I have finally nailed it with Cirio's chopped tomatoes. You have to check out the recipe here and try it. It rivals any takeaway curry.

    Next time you are grocery shopping and you are looking for a tinned tomato with all the freshness and quality of the tomatoes in the produce aisle, check out Cirio's range. There's something there for every recipe.

    Disclaimer: I received a range of Cirio tomato products to sample and review for this blog. I received no payment for my opinion and all views are my own.

    Check out the recipes I made here:




    Baby, BLW, Recipe

    BLW // Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe 




    Spaghetti bolognese is a bit of a staple meal in this house. We enjoy making it with both minced beef and quite depending on our mood. Like my other recipes, this is simple and straightforward and uses only a few staple ingredients.

    I use a 500g pack of beef and I cook it slowly on the job in a little olive oil, just until it starts to brown.

    I throw in a tin of Cirio Datterini Tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, a glug of red wine, tomato purée, basil, pepper, chilli flakes and oregano.

    Next, I bring the contents to the boil, adding a little water if necessary and then throw in some chopped veg. My favourites to add are courgette, eggplant and/or carrot. I leave the pot to simmer for twenty minutes or longer. I like the sauce to reduce into a nice thick consistency.

    I serve the bolognese alongside spaghetti noodles. The dish wouldn’t be complete without a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

    This is one of the messiest meals to offer to baby but so much fun at the same time. I stripped Dex down to his nappy and had the bath ready. The beef is a great source of iron for baby and the veg is nice and soft after being soaked in the tomato juices for so long.

    Let me know if you try this meal with your baby!

    Disclaimer: I was given a range of Cirio products to sample and review on this blog. You can read the review here. All views about the range are my own.




    Baby, BLW, Recipe

    BLW // English Breakfast Recipe




    This isn't acually a recipe but more like the way we serve a full English to Dex. I mean, frying up a full English isn't exactly hard now is it?

    Obviously, I don't serve this to Dexter everyday, but it's nice as a weekend treat.

    If I went into a greasy spoon in Liverpool and asked for a full English, I'd probably get: sausages, bacon, eggs, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, black pudding, a round of toast and a cup of builder's tea. I suppose what I offer Dex is more like a half English breakfast!

    I make sure I buy sausages that have a good percentage of pork. Some cheap sausages only have 40% or less, so I spend my money on decent sausages that have more than 90%. It is of course healthier to grill the sausages, but I often find they can be rock hard so I gently fry them.

    I make scrambled eggs for Dex. One egg, a splash of milk and some pepper in a frying pan, continuously stirred until it forms a solid lump. Probably healthier than a fried egg and definitely easier to pick up!

    We don't like beans in this house. I have tried him with them but he finds them hard to pick up. We substitute them with Cirio's tinned peeled tomatoes. These tomatoes taste amazing and are nice and soft for him to nom on.

    I complete the meal with a slice of buttered toast.

    It is nice for us all to sit around the table as a family and enjoy this meal. It's very rare the three of us get to do it. Usually, daddy is in work until late and he leaves before breakfast.

    What do you guys do at breakfast time?

    Check out my other breakfast recipes:

    Disclaimer: I was given a range of Cirio products to sample and review on this blog. You can read the review here. All views about the range are my own.




    BLW, Recipe

    Baby Led Weaning Curry Recipe

    I have been working on my chicken curry recipe for many, many years. I’ve tried all sorts of different ingredients, but I finally have it perfect. Forget about a curry from a takeaway, this is just as good, cheaper and probably healthier too!

    This is not a traditional BLW recipe, but yes of course you can share it with baba. You may want to tone down the spiciness of it by using less chillis or chilli flakes.

    You can use this recipe in the crock pot and leave it to simmer all day. This works really well if you are using chicken thighs or beef as it makes the meat so tender and moist. Alternatively it can whipped up on the hob in less than 20 minutes.

    It’s important that your spice rack is full of the necessary ingredients needed to make a curry. It may seem expensive at first to have to buy so many jars, but they last for months and really bring an added flavour to a curry that a jar simply cannot replicate.

    I also make sure I buy frozen garlic and ginger so it’s readily available in my freezer and not at risk of going bad. It tastes just as good as fresh, yet doesn’t come with half as much hassle.

    I started offering Dex curry when he was six months old, although I made sureness his portion didn’t have anywhere near as many chilli flakes in as ours did. Invariably I’d make the curry without the chilli flakes, plate up his portion, then add he chilli flakes to whatever was left for us.

    As he got older, I got braver and started adding the chilli flakes earlier. He has always enjoyed flavourful food and never found it too spicy whilst eating it, although one day when he was sixteen months old I had to pick him up early from the childminder’s after he had five runny nappies the day after a curry with Mummy and Daddy. Oops!

    As he’s got older, he’s gone from eating the curry with his hands to using a spoon or a fork. At around ten months old I introduced cutlery and let him find his own way with it. At seventeen months old, he started using the cutlery more regularly.

    His favourite part of eating a curry with us is definitely the naan bread and popadums which he devours with glee! The popadums bring an exciting crunch to the meal and he has always been a bread fiend just like his Daddy!

    Let me know if you try this curry recipe and what you think!

    Baby Led Weaning Curry Recipe

    Ingredients

    • 600g chicken or beef
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • cube of frozen ginger
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 5 cardamom pods
    • 2 tbsp cumin
    • 2 tbsp ground coriander
    • 1 tsp ground ginger
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp garlic granules
    • 1 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1 tsp chilli flakes (or one fresh chilli)
    • 500g chopped tomatoes or passata
    • chopped coriander to serve
    • naan bread to serve
    • rice to serve
    • popadums to serve

    Instructions

    1. Heat oil in a wok and then add meat of your choice.
    2. While the meat is browning, split open the cardamom pods and add the seeds from within, the cube of ginger and the garlic.
    3. Pour in the passata or chopped tomatoes and then add your spices: cumin, coriander, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, chilli flakes and black pepper.
    4. Simmer for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
    5. Once cooked, serve alongside rice, naan breads and popadums with a sprinkling of fresh coriander
    6. If making in the slow cooker, throw all the ingredients into the crock pot and cook on high for four hours. .
    http://mummytodex.com/2016/12/blw-chicken-curry-recipe/

     

    Disclaimer: I was given a range of Cirio products to sample and review on this blog. You can read the review here. All views about the range are my own.




    Baby, Dex

    Dex // 2 Month Update




    • He is sleeping through the night every night now. He goes to bed between 7pm and 9pm. We feed him at midnight and he goes back down straight away until 7am. We are very very lucky.
    • He is mainly in 3-6 month clothes now as most of his 0-3 was getting too small. I still have them available but am just putting the ones which are ridiculously small away as and when.
    • He is smiling all the time but no laughs yet. I have heard him trying in his sleep though!
    • He has well and truly discovered his hands. I’ve seen him pick up a dummy (fluke though I reckon) and he grabbed hold of my duvet the other morning and pulled it towards his cot. He loves his dangling zebra toy and will pull on it and feel it all day long when he’s on his rocker or on his playmat. He went from flapping at the toys to grabbing on the space of a week. Madness.
    • He is feeding every three hours and takes six ounces. He normally feeds at 7am, 10am, 1pm 4pm, 7pm and midnight.
    • Haven’t had him weighed for a couple of weeks but last time he was 13lbs.
    • He loves baths in the big bath with mummy and cuddles in the morning in the big bed.




    Dex

    Dex // 4 Month Update




    • Dexter is taking 5-8oz every three-four hours during the day, sometime his last feed is at 7/8pm and sometimes it’s at midnight depending on how many bottles he has had through the day (we still feed on demand but he demands three hourly ish)
    • Dexter sleeps through most nights, we had a small period two weeks ago of waking for a bottle but most nights when he stirs at 3 or 5am, placing a dummy in his mouth will do. This is where co-sleeping is a life saver because I wake before he even knows he is upset and I can reach over and soothe him without barely waking up myself. He goes to bed at 6.30pm and wakes up at around 6.30-7am.
    • He naps four times a day, if he misses any of them, he screams the house down at 6pm. He wants to be left alone to fall asleep now.
    • He is doing about three tummy time sessions a day now and we have built them up to about ten to twenty minutes each. He enjoys it until he realises he wants to crawl somewhere and can’t and then gets frustrated and cries. He can roll over both ways but doesn’t do this everyday.
    • His favourite toys this week have been his activity centre, foil blanket and firefly. Yesterday we read the hungry caterpillar which he was really interested in and resulted in a very quiet and reflective period after
    • I haven’t had him weighed for a couple of weeks but stood on the scales with him yesterday and he looks to weigh around 16lbs
    • He still fits into some 0-3 vests, sleepsuits and tops but he is mainly wearing 3-6 month trousers
    • He loves sticking his fingers in his mouth, pulling muslins over his headwind holding hands
    • He can sit unaided for about ten seconds, using his hands to support himself.

    Baby, Dex

    Dex // 1 Month Update




    •  The smiles are coming thick and fast now.
    • He is now on 6oz bottles and he is starting to drain some of them so might be going up to 7oz by next week 
    • He sleeps from 8/9/10pm until 4am each night (I really need to invest in a blackout blind to see if I can get him to sleep longer) and feeds at 7am, midday, 4pm, 6pm, 9pm and midnight (roughly) so I think with the help of a blackout blind we could potentially get a good six or seven hours sleep! When he wakes at 4am he just wants to play. We are still co-sleeping and I let him take his daytime naps in bed with me while I watch TV or go on Instagram  (mainly Instagram!!) He naps 8/9am – midday and again from 1 til 3 or 4pm
    •  We took our first solo trip out to the Trafford Centre to meet Auntie Sjay and her daughter Daisy and it went really well
    • He met his great grandma for the first time this week and had lots of cuddles from his Nanna, his uncle Billy, his grandma, grandad and grandad’s family from Kent 😍
    • He also slept in a travel cot for the first time and he slept from 11pm until 7am (darker room in grandmas house I’m sure!)
    • I weighed him on my scales yesterday and looks to be around 13lbs.




    Baby

    The End of our Co-sleeping Journey




    We’ve had an incredible seven months, but like all good things, our co-sleeping journey had to come to an end eventually.

    Before he was born, I thought he’d be in with us for six months. When he got here, I didn’t ever want him to leave.

    It’s had its highs and its lows. It’s felt like our bedroom had always been shared with Dex.

    This week Dexter moved into his own room. Our co-sleeping journey ended.

    I have been ready for him to leave for a fair few weeks now. I’ve seen other friends move their babies into their own rooms and felt a pang of jealousy. Many of my friends have had their babies in their own room from as little as eight weeks old.

    co-sleeping

    Even though I had been ready, I was still nervous about the transition and wondered if his moving would actually make my sleep any better. After all, the main benefit of co-sleeping was that he was right next to me if he needed his dummy.

    Let’s back up a bit. I decided when I was pregnant that Dex would be in our room with us. Obviously the risk of SIDS is minimised if baby sleeps in the same room as you. I was adamant I would breastfeed and then started reading up about the benefits of co-sleeping. My husband set up the cot with one side down and I put it against the wall and pushed our bed up alongside it. I stuffed blankets down the other end to minimise the gap, making a safe environment for baby to sleep on.

    Breastfeeding didn’t work out for us and for the first few weeks I was scared. The benefits of co-sleeping are plenty when breastfeeding, but according to research, formula fed babies are more at risk of suffocation. The reasons behind this being that baby sleeps more deeply (bullshit); Mum sleeps more deeply because her body isn’t making the bonding hormone now she is not producing milk (bullshit) and formula feeding mums and more likely to have baby face to face instead of chest to face and baby could then suffocate on a pillow. This final piece of research could be true but because I’d read it, I always made sure Dex was well away from my pillow. As for the first two pieces of research, Dex woke multiple times per night as a newborn and every movement he made, woke me too.

    co-sleeping

    Co-sleeping worked great until he turned twelve weeks old and started rolling. Yep, you read correctly, he was twelve weeks old. People dismissed me and thought I was showing off. Trust me, it was nothing to brag about. It was scary. He would roll from back to front towards my bed and didn’t know how to get back over. Luckily he had a really strong neck and was able to turn his head to breathe.

    When he hit seventeen weeks old and I knew the risk for SIDS was massively reduced, I started to relax a little with his rolling. He was also now able to roll onto his back and he often rolled a few times towards the bed or we woke up with his head on my stomach. I loved the fact that I could reach over and comfort him in the middle of the night and replace his dummy if he needed it.

    By twenty five weeks, I would wake up with his head near my feet and I started panicking again. He was so close to crawling and could pivot and roll his way around the cot. We used pillows to trap him in his cot but of course I worried he would suffocate on them. I thought about a bed guard but there were other issues.

    co-sleeping

    Every morning, my husbands alarm goes off at 6am, even on the weekends. Naturally, this woke Dexter up and he would not go back to sleep. Very occasionally, Neil doesn’t have to get up for work or a bike ride and Dex would sleep in until 9am. I knew this 6am wake up was too early for him. On top of this, I am sure when he woke in the night, seeing my face kept him awake longer.

    On Monday we dismantled the cot and put it back up in his nursery, all sides intact. I placed Dex inside it and he scooted around it happily. I sat on the floor next to him and he put his hand through the bars to touch my face. He seemed more ready than I was.

    The first night he dropped off to sleep as if nothing had changed, even though for me I felt like nothing would ever be the same again. I wasn’t at all surprised as we usually leave him to drop off alone in our bedroom. He slept through until 10am (apart from a dream feed at 12). When I walked into his room the next morning he was lying there beaming back at me. It was the same beautiful smile I got every morning when I first opened my eyes, but now I needed to walk a few paces to see it.

    Since the first night, he’s had a few wake ups. It’s usually to have his dummy replaced. He is very good at dropping them down the side of the cot so we have invested in a Sleepy Tot. (Naturally, I will let you know if it works!)

    I miss him terribly, but at the same time I feel free. I can now go to bed earlier and not be woken by Neil stumbling around in the dark trying to sort out the dream feed. We can watch TV in bed of an evening without fear of disturbing him. I don’t need to worry about Neil getting woken up in the night by him. Chances are, my husband will sleep through any wake ups now. For this, I’m really glad as he works so hard each day.

    It’s been an incredible journey and I’m sad it has come to an end. I have been in tears writing this as I have remembered all the good times. However, life goes on and the fact that I am currently watching him on the monitor pace up and down his cot, makes me realise we definitely made the right decision.

    co-sleeping




    BLW, Recipe

    BLW // Pepper Pasta Sauce Recipe




    Dexter adores pasta and fusilli twists are one of the foods that he can gum and swallow with limited gagging.

    I don’t want to keep offering Dex the same old pasta and tomato sauce combo so I came up with this quick and easy pasta sauce recipe. It contains dairy, hidden veg and healthy fats.

    I keep a stock of frozen vegetables in my freezer, simply because I have a grocery delivery every two weeks and fresh veg doesn’t keep too long.

    For this sauce I started by frying some peppers gently in a little olive oil. I use a mix of yellow, red, orange and green. I also added a clove of garlic to the pan, I didn’t bother crushing it or slicing it.

    After frying for a few minutes I popped the peppers and garlic into a food processor and added a small amount of grated cheese and a dash of olive oil. I blended until a sauce was formed.

    Meanwhile I’d been boiling my pasta according to pack instructions. I drained it, then stirred in the sauce, before offering it to Dex.

    The pasta went down very well as it always does, it smelt amazing and tasted even better. I even had enough sauce left to use the following day.

    The sauce can keep in the fridge. I wouldn’t freeze it if you are using frozen peppers but if you used fresh then go ahead.

    Let me know if you try it!