2

Rainy Day Cookery – Breakfast Muffins

If you’re anything like me and are used to spending most of your time outside, rainy days can be a bit of a challenge. We are more than happy to cover up and pop some wellies on when it’s a bit wet but when we have days where the rain is torrential and the thunder and lightning have set in, even the hardiest of us have to admit defeat!

When we recently had one of these days I decided it was time to introduce Ted to the delights of home baking. I have resisted including him in cooking until this point as I didn’t feel he was ready to follow directions and thought that his determination to be independent may cause problems however once we started I felt that I had really underestimated my little chap and was so impressed with both how well he did and how much he enjoyed the whole process.

My cookery style when it comes to healthy food snacks for Ted is very ‘chuck it in and hope for the best’ and thankfully so far it has worked well for us.

With this in mind I mashed bananas into the big bowl and then filled up Ted’s little colourful bowls with the rest of the ingredients we needed, I then tried to let him have as much freedom as possible.

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He loved being able to have it all in front of him, picking up and pouring all the ingredients himself…

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Obviously there was the odd cheeky taste test…

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The eggs could have been a messy option…

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But amazingly went straight in to the bowl without a hiccup!

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Before long we were ready to pop them into the oven and wait 20 minutes to find out how they’d turned out!

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Looking good…

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It seems our mini food critic has given them his seal of approval too!

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If you fancy giving our Breakfast muffins a go, our very loose recipe is as follows…

– 3 ripe bananas mashed
– A cup of porridge oats
– A cup of wholemeal flour
– 2 teaspoons of baking powder
– A cup of yummy ‘extras’ we used raisins, sunflower seeds and chia seeds but any fresh/dried fruits and seeds work well.
– A teaspoon of cinnamon
– 2 eggs
– Some milk

I mashed the bananas and then Ted added all the dry ingredients, stirring them in well.
We then added the eggs and enough milk to make the mixture a cake consistency (I did warn you I’m no Mary Berry!!)
In to cake cases and baked at Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes before allowing to cool and taste testing!

Please do share your pictures if you try these by tweeting @loz83g or using #thingsmytoddlerloves on Instagram.

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Hampshire Days out with a Toddler – Longdown Activity Farm

Today we took our first trip to the farm. There are a few options locally to Southampton but we decided to descend on Longdown Activity Farm with a group of toddler pals!

Ted loves to explore as soon as we arrive anywhere, investigating the areas he can access without delay so it was good that he had a couple of entertainment options while we briefly queued to pay.

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Boo!

And lift the door options are always popular!

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Ted loved the open space as soon as we walked through, it is safe and enclosed so he was able to run about next to me without being restricted by the need for reins or a pushchair at all. That said it is also really pushchair friendly, which will be great once our new addition arrives.

First up…the ducks and a chance to practice one of the first signs Ted learnt over and over with excitement! On arrival we were given a timetable with all the interactive activities on so we planned our route based around these.

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We had arrived a bit before everybody else and were just in time to feed the baby goats. I was really impressed with how Ted responded, the goats pull at the bottle quite a lot while they’re drinking and I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about this but he happily sat on my lap holding the bottle until it was empty before declaring “All Gone” and clambering down!

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We headed straight to the first of many hand washing stations as soon as we’d finished, luckily Ted thinks anything involving water is a play activity so the constant cleaning was greeted favourably!

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Next up were the chicks! Again I was massively impressed with how unphased Ted was. He held the chick without hesitation…and took it very seriously, I do wonder what they were both thinking here (poor  chick!!)

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There were some massive bunnies in the barn that Ted got to touch too before heading for some more handwashing/water play!

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Our friends arrived as we were leaving the chicks and bunnies so we joined them for lunch and a play.

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Ted would happily have spent his whole day sat on the tractors…Mummy’s back wasn’t going to manage pushing him for too long though!!

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One of my favourite parts of the day was watching Ted check for eggs and how proud he was when he found one.

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Ted and his friend Hattie took their eggs to the farm shop (I was very impressed they made the journey without being squeezed or dropped)…

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Where they swapped them for a sticker. Ted loved his sticker but wasn’t too keen at giving up his egg!!

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We then headed off to feed the big goats their lunch, there was also the opportunity to feed the pigs and Ducks but we missed them this time while having our own lunch!

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At 1pm there was the chance to take tractor rides around the farm…what little boy wouldn’t be excited by that prospect? Ted couldn’t wait to get on.

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The cows were a good distraction while we waited for our turn, I’m not sure who was most interested in the other!

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The “bumpy bumpy” tractor ride was a massive hit and Ted would have gone round and round for hours on the back, by the end he was getting very confident/showing off (!) and wanted to stand…he’s so his father’s son!!

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After all that fun it was time for some tea and cake!

We had a fab day out and will definitely be investing in a season ticket next year, a lot of activities are in barns (including trampolines and soft play) so even in wet weather it will be somewhere to come in a splash suit and then take cover – a much better option than a stuffy indoor soft play area in my opinion.

Longdown opens from February half term through to October half term each year but does offer a Christmas Grotto with a few animals and the chance to see Santa too.

Entry was £9 for adults and free for Under 3’s.

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Mess, Mess everywhere!

I saw this earlier in the week and it made me smile – this just sums up my life at home with Ted perfectly.

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Our feet and most other parts of us are always filthy by the end of the day and that is exactly how we like it!

Ted seems to be attracted by any type of mess – he sits in the flower beds as he digs them up…

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Throws water everywhere at any opportunity…

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Rolls in the wet sand rather than paddles at the beach…

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The odd ice cream treat is worn as well as eaten…

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A buffet hotel breakfast is like a messy play session…good ol’ baby led weaning!

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But…

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His eyes are always sparkling with happiness and that is all the confirmation I need that I’m doing OK at this Mummy lark! 🙂

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Everything Mummy
Life Unexpected
3

25 Week Update

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I had a mini ‘I’m soooo fat’ melt down this week and then had it very quickly counterbalanced when talking to a Mum I’d never met before in the swimming changing rooms today who while I stood in front of her in my bikini didn’t realise I was pregnant – what she must have thought I’d had for breakfast I have NO idea!!!

OK, so I accept my meltdown may have been a little over the top but I also think this belly is a little hard to miss now? Surely?

Generally I’m still doing really well – I’m taking Omprazole to try and reduce the indigestion and sickness which does seem to be helping and most of the time I’m pretty sane and reasonable although there was an incident where Rich cooked a curry badly that I sobbed for an hour over which was a low point!!

Sleep is pretty hit and miss still but I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I’m hoping are going to make that better…the first starts tomorrow and is an early evening relaxation class – it complements the hypnobirthing methods I used in my labour with Ted (and will again this time) and is a chance to take an hour to myself to completely zone out and relax complete with a pillow and blanket…ahh Bliss!

The second is a collaboration I’m looking forward to sharing with you all very soon and the third is a few days in Cornwall for my brother’s wedding complete with Spa Hotel and doting Grandparents to help with the little dude – I’m so excited for us all to go away together and to be able to spoil ourselves a little with relaxation and some quality family time, just what we need right now.

I will report back with local recommendations and hopefully stories of fun, love, laughter and plenty of peaceful sleeping!

Meanwhile, this week in Toddlerland Ted has turned 18 months and really mastered his scooter…

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Become very attached to his helmet, wearing it at any opportunity…

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And has realised that we all think it’s very cute when he folds his arms then sits ‘thinking’!!

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It’s all rock n roll around here!

 

MaternityMondays
4

The Block has lifted!

It happens to us all I know but the blog has been somewhat neglected of late – I’ve been busy, uninspired and in all honesty a little bit lazy!

I thought I’d make my return with a little bit of a recap of what I’ve been up to over the past few weeks.

The most exciting part has probably been this…

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We got to see the new addition to our family, due to join us in November and now I’ve passed the 20 week milestone know that all is well, although Peanut was feeling very coy on the day and insisted on keeping their variety a secret!

Aside from that my creative juices have been flowing in the kitchen. Ted has completely rejected healthy, non sugar laden breakfast cereals and I don’t like him having them so taking inspiration from Facebook and Instagram pages I’ve set about creating cereal bars and breakfast loafs (cake as Ted has been conditioned to believe he’s being treated to!!) They have been a massive hit…if anybody else has been struggling in a similar way and would like some very quick and simple recipes, just shout!

Baking for Ted has also inspired me to spend some time in the kitchen cooking for us as a family (and saving money at the same time!) I have so far experimented with Quiche, Pies, biscuits and pizza – all of them have been really easy and I’ve surprised myself with how rewarding I’ve found it, goodness I think this means I’m officially old!

Obviously aside from the above there has been plenty of Ted based fun too, the little guy is 17 months now and while he keeps us on our toes he also has us constantly entertained, dancing is a new favourite – This is guarenteed to put a smile on your face!

He loves being outside exploring with sticks and stones…

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Daddy is very high up on the popularity list at the moment. Nothing makes Ted happier than being Daddy’s little helper…

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Eating his food…

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And generally wrapping him around his little finger!

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And nothing makes me happier than watching my boys together!

I won’t leave it so long next time!

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Photo of the Weekend #4

Well, technically photos!!

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Nothing beats a windy trip to the park, some scooting on Ted’s Mini2Go and plenty of smiles on a Saturday morning.

Feeling like very a very lucky Mummy, as Rich and I sit with hot cups of coffee, chilling on the sofa watching Cougar Town while our gorgeous boy snoozes upstairs – sea air and an active morning make for a lovely lazy lunchtime!

Then off we went again…A beach walk to blow the cobwebs away and work on the balance!!

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Perfect Saturday 🙂

Laura x

You Baby Me Mummy
3

Changing Play

I wrote last week about how much entertainment children seem to find around the house from naturally occurring items and this week it has been so interesting watching not only where Ted has found his fun but also how his investigative and exploratory skills are developing.

On Friday, I took him to a local Surestart Messy Play group and he loved it…initially he just really loved tucking into the cheerios that were meant to be threaded onto pasta but after some encouragement and a few demonstrations he got stuck in – especially with the flour play, as you can see below!

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He started cautiously but once I picked up a handful and encouraged him to touch it, then gave him a sieve and a spoon to use too he was off, soon he was covered, crawling through the tray and loving the feeling of it between his fingers…among other places. A quiet Mummy reflection happened here as I looked down at myself, black jeans were not a good choice!!

After exploring the flour, Ted’s confidence in both the activities and new environment had increased massively and he crawled off to find the next game, leaving a floury trail in his wake! I was really proud to see his independence, having only ever been with me, Daddy or Nana it was comforting to see him happy enough to explore. I was close behind him to offer help but still, I was proud none the less!

Printing tracks with cars and paint were another hit – mess and vehicles, what’s not to love?

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Away from group, Ted’s interest in what things can do, mainly how much noise they can make has increased enormously too.

Our homemade, post dinner shaker was a big hit that kept him laughing and playing for over 10 minutes (pretty unheard of in this 1 year old’s world!) Shaking it so hard the yogurt pot fell off the spoon and then trying to put it back on himself before letting me help…and repeat!

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Homemade Game two went a little like this…
– Empty pegs from pot onto floor,
– Throw pegs into washing machine,
– Try and climb into said washing machine to retrieve
-Realise too short,
-Chuck more pegs in instead!!
**Giggle throughout**

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Sometimes he even accessorises while he plays too…

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I loved seeing him play this way, I used to run a heuristic play group so seeing Ted seek out and create this type of play for himself has been really exciting and rewarding. Interested in Heuristic Play?…find out more here!.

This week’s favourite activity has definitely been number three though, it consists of a bowl, dried pasta, a wooden spoon and TED! The main objective seems to be to smash the pasta into as many pieces as possible, making as much noise and mess in the process! This one also includes giggling, yay!

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Other exciting developments in the past few days have been;
– Seeing him link two signs together, while we were out he signed home then bed to tell me he’d had enough and wanted a nap – amazing on so many levels.
– Instigating Boo games, peeking round door frames, hiding, giggling and then reappearing, cue more giggling…too cute!!
– And finally, the long awaited FIRST STEPS!! He’s not quite there yet but he’s managing 4 or 5 at a time which is really exciting news for our backs, he’s a speed demon when he’s holding on but we’re getting waaay too old for all the stooping!!

I’m loving this age so much, the little dude is so entertaining and full of smiles, it is really exciting seeing him change and learn new things everyday. 13 months is definitely my favourite age so far!

What has been your favourite age so far and why?

Laura x

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