13

Recipe – Chocolate and Banana muffins

A friend recently directed me to the My Lovely Little Lunchbox site – full of ideas for baby led weaning and feeding toddlers. I’ve had a good look round the site and found it so inspirational. Will be trying out the pea fritters for Alexander soon! I’d recommend it to anyone looking to vary their child’s diet (or indeed their own!)

Anyway, one day last week the boys and I had to stay in all morning to wait for a man to come and look at our fireplace, so to combat the boredom I thought we should do some baking. As well as making a couple of purées for Alexander, while the littlest one slept Elliot and I made the banana and chocolate muffins. These fit in well with my current attempts to reduce the amount of sugar in Elliot’s diet and increase the number of fruits he’ll eat. Currently bananas on their own are on the “NO” list, which is bizarre as he used to hoover them up a year or so ago! Kids eh?

Banana and Chocolate Muffins
Adapted from My Lovely Little Lunchbox (do go and check out the original too!)

We substituted rapeseed oil for the macadamia oil, and runny honey for the agave syrup.

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Makes 12

Ingredients:
3 bananas
2 eggs
3/4 cup of yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil – macadamia is suggested but we didn’t have any in, so used rapeseed. I guess olive would have been fine too.
1/2 cup agave syrup (we used honey!)
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 heaped tablespoons cocoa

Heat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Put muffin cases into a 12 hole muffin tin.

Mash bananas and mix in all wet ingredients, whisk until well combined.

Sift in all dry ingredients, mix well.

The recipe I followed suggested using the 1/4 cup measure to spoon the mix into the cases, and I have to say what a genius idea! Even with a three year old “helping” me, that made it really easy. One cupful in each case!

15-20 mins in the oven and you’ve got some lovely muffins. I think I’ll look out for some macadamia nut oil and agave syrup as it would be great to taste the original recipe also.

Perfect after lunch treat after a boring Friday morning :)

16

Siblings – July

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Hello July!

This month – since the last Siblings post – we have seen major developments in Alexander’s abilities – at nearly seven months old he can now sit up really well and this means he can start to interact more when Elliot is playing.

Elliot is such a loving and caring big brother, always ready to talk to Alexander and tell him what’s going on, and he’s really good at keeping him occupied with toys and cuddles. He loves riding on the buggy board as he gets to talk to Alexander and let me know each time Alex smiles at him.

Elliot frequently tells us he loves his little brother – ok so I am sure that may change as the years progress but it’s really heart melting at the moment.

This month’s siblings photos were taken yesterday as Alexander started playing with our wooden alphabet blocks. Elliot soon got excited about it and they actually (almost) started playing together. It was so cute (and yes I got carried away and started spelling with the blocks…)

These two really are very cool kids. I’m so proud of my little family!

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0

Little things

I haven’t been round here much this month, apologies. I guess we’ve all been too busy with the everyday.

I just had to share this picture of some tiny toes though. I see them scrunched up like this several times a day, when Alexander is concentrating on something; eating, or playing.

Cute or what?

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9

Siblings – June

This month has seen our first holiday as a family of four, and lots of time spent together in the sunshine with picnics out, trips to Blenheim Palace and Cogges Farm. The boys have really enjoyed being in each other’s company, and so far (touch wood) we’ve still not had any real resentment issues from Elliot. He loves to give Alexander cuddles and takes real pleasure in telling us that Alexander is smiling when he sees him.

Alexander has learnt to roll, so is spending lots of time moving around the living room floor. I’ve started to wonder why we even own sofas as I seem to spend a lot of my time down on the rug with both boys building train tracks/stopping Alexander from rolling under the sofas (it has happened far too many times already….bad mummy I know) I also really need to buy new jeans as mine seem to be wearing thin on the knees!

Elliot is still pretty camera shy and doesn’t ever like to pose for a photo. Most pics are taken while he’s doing something else or focused on someone/the tv (again, bad mummy skills…)

My photo for this month’s siblings project is therefore not a cute ‘brotherly hug and smile at camera’ photo (though I do hope that this does happen at some point this year?!?) but it does capture a brilliant morning spent playing on the floor.

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Happy June everyone :)

dear beautiful

See my other Siblings posts below, and check out this months linky on Dear Beautiful:

January
February
March
April
May

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23

One of those days

Let me tell you about my day. I had both boys today as Nanny and Grandad (C’s parents) are on holiday (they have Elliot normally) and I was super excited about having an extra day together with my little boys this week.

Determined that this would be a no-TV day, we spent the early morning playing jigsaws and sticker books (Elliot and me) and rolling around the living room (Alexander)

At about 10.30 we headed to Cogges Farm (about a 5 – 10 minute scoot away!) for some fun on their adventure playground and to feed the animals before lunch (and if I’m honest so I could have one of the café’s decaf lattes and chocolate cheesecake brownies – believe me these are to die for, literally my favourite thing!)

Anyway, the day was going amazingly well, we’d fed the guinea pigs, the goats and the pigs (if you call Elliot literally lobbing apple slices at them “feeding”)

Yup it was all going well until we happened upon the “soft play” area – a pretty cool model of the farmhouse, with a ball pool duck pond, a weeble wobble farmer, a couple of chicken costumes that kids other than Elliot can wear (he freaks out around dressing up stuff – bit like me to be honest!), and a bouncy tractor slide.

We arrived and there were three or four other kids playing in it, and Elliot took his shoes off, put them on a shelf and hopped into the ball pool, playing happily with the others.

Slowly the numbers dwindled until Elliot was there with just one other little girl who looked around 2 and a half.

It was then that THE worst thing that parents fear more than anything else when around others of their species happened. Well ok maybe not the absolute worst thing as that would probably involve some form of bodily fluid erupting from your child…but still, probably the second worst thing happened: BOTH KIDS WANTED TO PLAY ON THE EXACT SAME TOY.

Why do they do that?

Literally both kids wanted to be in the same half-metre squared as the other. The tractor slide was the chosen piece of equipment, and neither of them were budging, choosing instead to try to squeeze themselves into the same air that the other was occupying.

Urgh.

As the parent of the slightly older child, and despite the fact I was holding a hungry Alexander, I stood near the edge of the soft play and started the routine of gently saying “Elliot, can you let go?” and “The little girl was there first, my love, why not play in the ball pool pond?”

He’s not moving.

“Elliot, come on monkey, let’s go and see the pigs?”

Nope. Didn’t work.

“Elliot, you don’t want to make mummy cross do you? I can’t come in as I’m holding Alex, so you be a big boy and move away from the little girl and let her play”

Oh god. He’s not going to move.

I look at the other mum, who is clearly judging me and my parenting. I decide to pull out the big guns.
“Elliot, I’m going to count to three…”

“NOOOOOOO MUMMY!”

At this point the other mum turns to me and says “would you like me to have a go?” And she promptly goes over, and starts singing a song about a Big Red Tractor. Her little girl in enthralled. Elliot less so. But they’ve stopped pushing each other.

Damn it. How’d she do that?

I reluctantly join in the singing and calm is restored. Inside I’m feeling judged, and pretty rubbish.

Thanks a bunch Elliot!

Shortly after this, the “über” mum suggests that her little one might like to go and see the chickens, or something, and off they skip.

Feeling a bit rubbish, we stay in that soft play barn for another ten or so minutes later, then the boys and I go to the loo and then head towards the adventure playground.

And there she is, “über” mum with her little girl, heading towards us along the path, and Elliot is running ahead of me towards the slides. My face sets itself into a smile, and I’m ready with an anxious “ha ha” as she comes closer. I’m sure she thinks I’m a rubbish mum, and that Elliot is some unruly child who has no ability to self control….

Then I can barely believe my eyes at what happens next. My darling boy, my beautiful, well behaved, gentle darling, stops suddenly in his tracks. He turns to face me, comes to me with open arms and declares, out of nowhere and definitely audibly to those nearest to us (über mum included!), “I love you, mummy”, hugs my legs, then turns and skips off towards the slide waiting for him.

Über mum hears and I hear her “ahh” at the cuteness of it all. I carry on pushing the buggy, and my heart swells.

I love you too Elliot. Maybe I’m doing ok after all.

xxx

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