Category Archives: Family

Our first 8 weeks

As Finley hits the 2 month mark the newborn haze has finally lifted, my hormones have settled and I have found a few minutes to actually reflect on how it’s been. Plus I’ve managed to write this post! *Pats myself on the back*

The first thing I have to say is that despite having done this before I have been on a crash course in newborns yet again. Clearly I’ve forgotten everything from last time (well it was 8 years ago!!) but also, and I’m sure you’ll be as shocked about this as me, it turns out that all babies aren’t the same. Who knew! Seriously – Finley couldn’t be any more different to my daughter so even when I thought I remembered things it hasn’t helped.

So, what has my crash course taught me?

I can ‘go with the flow’
Despite my being a self confessed control freak I have actually managed (with some struggle I admit) to go with the flow. I am amazed at myself. I haven’t tried to get a routine and I haven’t given myself the opportunity to worry about what problems I’m storing up for the future (It’s the ‘best not to think about it too much’ approach). In fact, I’ve done all sorts of things I never thought I would! For starters I have enjoyed rocking, feeding and cuddling Finn to sleep. A lot. I have breastfed him for comfort and shocked myself by being ok with it. I have also driven out in the car for no reason other than to get him asleep and I don’t care because he slept!

Crucially though, we have survived the first few weeks, Finn is doing well and even finding his own flow to the days and nights.

March 11 - sleeping at last

It’s the hormones!
In the first 5 ish weeks I was incredibly emotional – crying a lot and feeling very much like I was mad to do this again. I had totally forgotten what I’m like when I’m hormonal and sleep deprived.

With the passing of time, support from some amazing friends and family, the settling of my hormones and a little more sleep, I am now on the other side of those mad few weeks.

I have also stopped feeling guilty about the fact that when people tell me ‘time flies’ I’m actually ok with that! Having a newborn is bloody hard work so as far as I’m concerned it’s ok that the first few weeks fly by – it really is possible to enjoy them at the speed they are without feeling the need to slow it down. I for one have enjoyed watching Finn learn to control his limbs, learn to smile, learn to coo and ‘chat’ and learn to to bat things … see I didn’t miss anything.

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Cluster what?!
Whilst I had never heard of, or experienced, cluster feeding before, Finn was apparently born familiar with it and every evening all he really wanted was to be latched on for a good couple of hours. Is this about hunger and him getting lots of food? Well maybe a bit, but I’m pretty sure that it is mostly about comfort when he’s tired at the end of the day and the fact that he just likes it. My initial instinct was that there was no way I was sitting with him chomping on me for hours in the evening but there is no denying that when I went with it, I had a happy, sleep boy who goes to bed really well and when I didn’t – well it was a more stressful, screamy type of evening. I can now say that as he turns 9 weeks old this has started to slow down a lot.

So there you have it – my reflections on our first 2 months. I wonder what the next two will bring!

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Easy to make Christmas chocolate surprises!

I don’t post ‘how to do things’ very often, but these were really easy, cheap and fun to make – plus Ellie was so chuffed with her work, that I couldn’t resist sharing.

Spoiler Alert!!!– if this is family looking at this please either don’t look or look surprised when Ellie presents these to you at our Christmas family party!

What do you need?
We made 18 Christmas shaped chocolates but obviously the amount of ingredients you need depends on how many you want to make as well as the size of your chocolates and how much you want to pack into them.

Chocolate – we used 9 packets of Aldi essentials milk chocolate. A total of 900g.
Things to put in the chocolates – we used Maltesers, Smarties, jelly beans, mini stars and marshmallows.
A mould for the shapes – we bought a silicone Christmas mould from B&M bargains (£1.99)
A bowl and pan (or microwave) to melt the chocolate
Spoons – at least 3!

ingredients

How to make your chocolates

1. Melt the chocolate. You can do this using a bowl over some hot water, or in the microwave. Hint: melt the chocolate a bit at a time rather than all at once – this means you can take your time to create your chocolates without feeling rushed. We also re-used our mould so actually did this in three separate batches.

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2. Pour the chocolate into the mould and add your sweetie treats. It’s easier to fill the mould half way at first, add your treats, then fill to the top (or however thick you want it). Ellie did choose to put some sweeties right at the bottom and some right at the top a couple of times because she thought it looked nice.

3. Place your chocolates in the fridge to harden.

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4. After half an hour or so check the chocolates to see if they are firm enough to come out of the mould. You can now re-use the mould for your next batch. Using a silicone mould made it easy to get the shapes out but you can use anything heatproof if you didn’t want to buy the mould. A non stick fairy cake tray would work – if the chocolates don’t come out easily it can be heated a little at the bottom (with a grown up’s help) to ease them out.

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5. This step is completely optional but Ellie wanted to present her chocolates to family as a present for Christmas so we put them in little bags and she added home made labels with her current favourite – curly writing.

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It’s that simple – no hassle and hardly any mess – my kind of craft. With a week before Christmas and school holidays about to start why not give it a go!

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