Pregnancy & Baby Books

One from the archives today.

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When I was pregnant I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of baby books on the market.I bought some books,pictured above, that I thought I would be interested in,rather than “the best reviewed”.To be honest I read about two of them in full,the rest I dipped in and out of over the 10 months I was pregnant and after Amelia was born.

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The first book I wanted to share with you is my favourite, Your Baby Week by Week,by Simone Cave & Dr.Caroline Fertleman. I actually bought after Amelia was born,on recommendation from one of my NCT girls.
This is such a fantastic book,that I now also give it as part of a gift to friends when they have new babies. I forgot to put it in my “Gifts Ideas” post. This is a handbook that I just loved. It is the only book on the market giving a week by week guide of your baby’s development from birth to 6 months.It covers the basics – sleep, feeding, crying, washing, play and development – as well as being packed full of vital information and handy tips for checking a baby’s progress.It is written by two mums,Dr Caroline Fertleman is Consultant Paediatrician at the Whittington Hospital, London, and Simone Cave health editor at the Daily Mirror.I can high recommend this book, and for £9.99, it was probably the cheapest book and most useful one I bought.
For more information click here

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The next thing is actually a Baby App, called “The Wonder Weeks”,also recommended by a friend.This app picks up from the a best selling book. Written by Hetty van de Rijt and Frans X. Plooij Both have studied in Educational Psychology, Physical Anthropology and Behavioral Biology. This app is a great quick oh to,when your baby is going through a fussy period.It
Shows when your baby makes a leap in his/her mental development
What your baby can understand & learn after this mental leap. What your baby can do after this leap.What you can do to help your baby.
Highly recommended again,the book is a more in-dept form of the app.

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So we have all heard of the “Gina Babies”, that sleep,eat and develop as per the book,with persistent training. The Contented Baby, by Gina Ford., former maternity Nurse and bestselling author.All I’ll say is I admire the parents who have stuck to this book. I bought this book early in my pregnancy and started reading it chapter by chapter, I soon realised that this style of parenting was not for me. I have no will power, and if you start the “Gina way”, you need to continue. Maybe this is why I still have a one year old that wakes at night sometimes.
This book is all about routine,I breastfed on demand for 6.5 months,so really did not have much of a routine.I felt I would be forever clock watching if I went by the rules of this book,and was uncomfortable with letting Amelia cry for long periods of time.
In saying that,I would still recommend this book as you can take snippets and adapt it to your life. Maybe review online before purchasing to see if it is the style of parenting you would like to use.
For more information see here

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I liked the look of this book The Yummy Mummy Survival Guide by Liz Fraser, however this was one of those books I dipped in and out of.Some good tips, not as glamorous as the title may lead you to believe. I think one thing I did take from this book is to take care of yourself after the birth.
See here for more information.

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Most people will have heard of or seen this book What to Expect When
You’re Expecting by Eisenberg, Murkoff and Hathaway
, this book was turned into a hilarious movie, I’ve read a couple of chapters of this book. I think I was a bit overloaded with books,ante natal classes and advice by the time I got this book,but I still dipped into it from time to time. It is an in-dept month to month guide through pregnancy.Its pretty full on, so I would think that of you are to buy the book,it’s the only pregnancy book you will need.
To read more click here</a

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What To Eat When You’re Pregnant by Dr Rana Conway
, I bought this not for so much so I’d know what to eat when “eating for two”, (pure myth by the way!), but for what foods to avoid. I’m a big coffee drinker and love diet coke,when I was working 12.5 hour shifts while pregnant,I really needed these- don’t judge!
This book was great for explaining things like explaining 200mg is the highest amount of caffeine I should be ingesting while pregnant- this equates to 2 filter coffees,2 instant or one Starbucks/Costa Americanos (these are what I drink). Cola diet or regular has 40mg per 330ml can,so I could have 1 or two with 1 coffee per day,as I said, don’t judge,I was also working nightshifts in a busy Major Trauma Emergency Department.
Anyway, would defiantly recommend this book as a go to, as a reference guide.
See here for more information.

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Pregnancy For Modern Girls by Hollie Smith, I was really looking forward to reading this book,mainly because of the title, I was quickly disappointed.Yes, it is informative,but nothing that isn’t in all the other books. I couldn’t see what is so different to make it the “book for the modern girl”.

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100,000 plus Baby Names by Bruce Lanksy, well this is what it says. I don’t think there is a name on this planet that isn’t in this book,except for mine! I had an idea of what names I liked when I was pregnant,but really enjoyed flicking through this for other ideas. I know choosing a name can be really stressful for some couples, this book gives you all the options,including what second names to put with first names.

That’s my book lot, what books did you read,enjoy,not enjoy through your pregnancy and after?

T & A xxxxx

Hartleys Jolly Jelly Challenge

I was recently contacted by Hartleys, the makers of jelly amongst many other products. Hartleys asked me to join in their Jolly Jelly Challenge.They challenged me to create the ultimate #jollyjelly Christmas jelly centrepiece by setting festive objects in jelly and sharing the results.

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I’ll be honest jelly is not something we make in this house, and Amelia had never tried jelly, but I was happy to take part and introduce Amelia to jelly. Last week was the perfect week, as she was sick and off her food,jelly is the perfect light food when your not well.

When our hamper of Jelly products arrived, I was delighted up see sugar free jelly sachets. I decides to make my jelly with these, and honestly you wouldn’t know the jelly was sugar free. For our challenge I layered my jelly, starting with Rasberry, then orange, and lastly strawberry, setting an orange slice with cloves in the top layer!

T & A xxxx

Love The Little Things Week 22

Happy Friday folks! Hope you all had a good week! This week has been a bit bleugh!! I wasn’t feeling great at the beginning of the week and Wednesday night Amelia was sick in her cot, it seems to be just a 24hr thing, I suppose all this comes with the territory of going to nursery! On the upside, it was a very special week as I felt the baby kicking and now it doesn’t stop! They are still just little kicks, and I was very happy to feel them, the pregnancy is progressing and baby is on track!

We had a lovely playdate on Wednesday with another mum & her 8 month old who have also recently moved back to Ireland from the UK. She brought me a huge bag of holly, I thought it was  such a lovely gift to bring to my home,I’ve now added it to my door wreath and mantle piece garland.

Last weekend we went to buy our tree!!It was freezing, so we didn’t spend too long choosing our tree, we saw,purchased and took it home!I gathered up some bits of cut Christmas tree that was lying around, and made my mantlepiece garland from these, I do this every year. I also picked up a plain wreath and decorated it with some pine come,dried orange slices and a velvet ribbon. The house is now ready for Christmas!!

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Onto this weeks round up of the week gone by, as always I’m linking up with Butwhymummywhy and all the other gorgeous ladies taking part in this linky.

 

READ

Very boring, but I’ve been reading a book on Minor Injuries: Examination and Treatment! I need a bit of a refresher.

 

WATCHED

Im not sure if this has been mentioned already, but I’ve been catching up on recorded programmes of The Fall, this is on past my bedtime! If you have not yet seen this series I would highly recommend it. It’s quite dark, but very gripping! Starring Jamie Doran and Gillian Anderson, who is a senior police officer investigating a string of murders and sexual offences.

WORE

This week I wore a grey top with lace sleeves from Zara, it’s not maternity, but it’s stretchy and my Stella & Dot Initial Disc Necklace.

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Amelia wore top to toe H&M, Gold Glitter Crown •Blush Pink Cardigan with Gold Detail Pockets •Grey TuTu with Gold Stars •Gold Glitter Tights

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HEARD

‘Wrapped Up’ by Olly Murs, love this song!

MADE

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This yummy Beef Stew, really simple and perfect for these freezing cold evenings!

AND LASTLY……..

This weekend we are going to Dublin to see Santa at Dublin Zoo. Or so we hope, as we have not booked! We need to do some shopping and to my husbands delight an Ikea trip on Sunday, cue the arguments once that yellow sign comes into view! Last year we visited Santa in Harrods, we had to book in September, and I’m so glad we did it as we are not living there anymore! The Santa Claus was exactly what I expected and it was a lovely experience.If you are planning a trip to London next year from the middle of November on, then I’d recommend booking.
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Have a lovely week,

T & A xxxx

butwhymummywhy

Amelia at 20 Months ~ Monthly Update

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The 20th month has come, well actually it was November 23rd, so m a little late with this post. Amelia’s 20th month has seen big changes. A house move, starting nursery and walking in shoes!! Actually it’s more like running now! She very rarely bum shuffles now. She has also defiantly started the stage of the ‘terrible two’s, the writing is literally on the wall! She colours walls,tables and has managed to paint a chair at nursery (this was not part of a lesson). She has also started to hit a lot, I don’t know is this from frustration of not being able to verbalise what she wants or it’s just plain and simple being naughty, any advice on how to stop this would be greatly appreciated.

She has a great understanding of yes and no, and will put things back if asked to do so. The Public Health Nurse phoned recently to arrange her ‘Two Year Development Check’ (between 18 and 24 months). I asked her at 20 months how many words she should have, and she said 20. Initially I didn’t think she had anywhere near that amount, so I sat down and wrote down the words she did have I got 25, so we are definitely on track. The words are individual and not in sentences or together.

I wrote a post during the week on how My pillow saved our sleep. You can read that here. For the last two weeks Amelia has been sleeping from 7pm- 7:30/8 am! Let’s hope it will last.

She is really enjoying nursery and seems to be settling in well, although we do have tears every morning when she is dropped off and she seems to settle for the rest of the morning. She attends nursery two mornings a week from 7:45am – 1pm, and then goes to grandparents until 6pm.

We have started to talk about the new baby more, I have taken the Moses basket out, and it’s in what will be the baby’s room. Amelia knows that it’s the baby’s bed and the “baba” is in mummy’s tummy, which gets a kiss now and again, but more often than not it’s a poke with a finger!

TEETH: I have stopped counting, but I would say roughly 15.

WORDS: Well the 25 mentioned above. Her new ones recently are Ho,Ho,Ho for Santa. Up, Book, Ball,Shoe and Bow.

LOVES: We are back to an Olive obsession, and she is living her piece if chocolate every other day from her advent calendar. Hummous and bread sticks, raisins and grapes.

DISLIKES: Being left alone, I can’t leave the room at the moment. Being in the car for long periods of time, or when we stop moving.

NAPPIES: Size 5 Pampers

CLOTHING: 18-24 months and 2-3yrs in some brands. She is going to be tall.

SLEEPING/EATING:She has a bath every night,a story and a bottle.
BEDTIME- bed at 7pm, and as mentioned above is for now sleeping through until 7:30.
BREAKFAST ~ 8am Cheerios or porridge.
NAP – since moving house we have dropped the morning nap. The days she is at he with me she sleeps from approx 12-2pm. The days she is at nursery she sleeps from 2-4 ish in her Granny’s sofa (she hates the travel cot).
Lunch~ at home 2pm in nursery 12:15.
Snack~3:30
Dinner~5pm

And we start all over again! We have not yet joined any toddler groups as we have been busy unpacking and settling into our new home, but we have plans to join Gymboree and Water Babies in the new year.

T & A xxxxx

Quick & Easy Beef Stew From 6 Months

It’s freezing outside, and one of my favourite dinners is a beef stew, it’s heart warming, and complete comfort food. This is very much a chop everything up and throw it in the pot, bung in the oven and be ready to eat in 1.5hrs.

This is the simplest of recipes, and one the whole family will eat, including weaning babies. Once they are ready for meat, purée their portion and leave seasoning to the end.

*Prep Time: 30 mins
*Cooking Time: 1.5hrs
*Suitable for freezing
*Suitable from 6 months + (puréed)

INGREDIENTS

 

•1.5kg stewing beef
•2 Onions diced
•2-3 cloves of Garlic, crushed
•3 Parsnips chopped
•4 Carrotts chopped
•3 potatoes diced
•300mls beef stock
•2 Tbsp Tomato Purée
•3 tsps Worchester Sauce
•Salt & Pepper to season

Method

 

1)Preheat the oven to 160 C
2)Fry onion & garlic for 4 mins
3) Add meat and vegetables to casserole dish
4)Pour in beef stock,tomato purée and worchester sauce.
5)Season with Salt & Pepper
6)Cover dish with a lid
7)Cook for 1.5hrs or until meat fully cooked and tender.
8)Serve with crusty bread.

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Secrets of Sleep

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20 months of broken sleep is what we have endured. I have smugly said here once or twice that we finally have a sleeping baby, for that to blow up in smoke the following night! Yes we have had the odd few weeks here and there where Amelia has slept from 7pm to 7am, or if we were very lucky even later, but these have been few and far between!

When Amelia was around 16 weeks she started to sleep through the night, myself and my husband both said “sure that wasn’t too bad, 4 months of no sleep, it’s manageable”, little did we know how short lived her spell of sleeping would survive.

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Everyone told me once Amelia started walking she would sleep much better, as she would be exhausted from running about…..well not my Duracell bunny. However, we may have finally cracked it! I hate saying that, because next week could be a different story, and as we all know, teething, change of sleep environment etc, can throw all your hard work up in the air and back to square one again…..but here is my secret on what has worked for us in the last two weeks, we are a much happier house with all the sleep we are getting!

Amelia is great for going to bed, 7pm she goes down, no problems. However she inevitably woke every night, it could be any time, more recently 10pm on the button, and the only way to get her back to sleep was bring her into our bed. I was noticing the minute her head hit the pillow she was out like a light and slept right through until morning. The whole sleeping on a pillow got me thinking, was it the comfort of the pillow under her head or the smell of me? I trialled putting my pillow in her cot one afternoon two weeks ago when she was refusing to nap, this resulted in a 3hr afternoon nap. I still wasn’t convinced, as we really have tried everything to get her to sleep, so left the pillow in the cot that night, we have had a full nights sleep every night for the last two weeks. The pillow has saved us! It has to be the power of smell!

So for anyone going through sleepless nights, with a child old enough to have a pillow, try this method! If your baby is too small for a pillow, strip your pillow slip, and place it in the cot/Moses basket where baby places his/her head.

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I really hope this works for you too!

T & A xxxx

Love The Little Things Week 21

Welcome to week #21 of my round up of the little things I have loved in the last week. As always I’m linking up with Morgana at Butwhymummywhy, and if you enjoy our little loves, then head over to Morgana’s blog to read all the other lovely bloggers taking part in little loves!

READ

Emma’s post on her Advent Tree, it’s just the perfect idea, and I will be replicating this next year!
•My pregnancy journal from when I was pregnant with Amelia, life was so much easier then.

 

WATCHED

Amelia sleeping, sorry for being so corny! I sat in her room the other night and watched her sleep. I’m always in such a rush to get out of her room and get time to myself. I know that a time will come when there won’t be little fingers grabbing mine through the cot and the smell of her sweet baby breath will be no more. So I sat and watched, and fell more in love with her.

 

WORE

Nothing very interesting this week, but I was sent this  Brow Boost by Billion Dollar Brows to try out, and I have been using it on my brows every night. The brow conditioner is protein and vitamin enriched, and it’s meant to work by strengthening your brows, helping then look healthy and full.

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HEARD

The first Christmas song played on 2fm (an Irish Radio Station), this years 1st song was The Pogues, Fairy Tale Of New York.

 

MADE

In preparation for this weekends ‘house/tree decorations”, I made a start by Oven Drying Orange Slices and made a wreath from them.

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I also covered my candles in old music sheets, I have been doing this for the last few years, cheap but effective!

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AND LASTLY…….

We have had a few months of sleepless nights, or more so being woken in the night by Amelia. She has been very unsettled since we moved to our new house. I put my pillow in her cot over the last two nights, and it has worked a treat, even nap times are a lot longer now! The power of smell…. that’s all she needed. Long may this last.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

T & A xx

butwhymummywhy

Oven Dried Orange Slices

Yesterday my house smelled of Christmas. Orange slices sprinkled with cinnamon sat in the oven drying for 3 hours. As I’m writing this there is more baking in the oven, in preparation for decorating my mantle piece at the weekend.

METHOD

•Using your sharpest knife, cut oranges into thin slices, but no more than 1cm thick. The thinner the slice, the quicker it will dry and the more opaque it will become.

•Place orange slices between two tea towels or kitchen paper to blot out excess juice.
The more juice you remove, the better they will dry!

•Sprinkle with cinnamon or insert cloves (optional).

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•Place directly onto a wire rack or baking tray and leave to dry out in the oven for around 2-3 hours. Timing will depend on your oven and thickness of the slices. I set the oven at 80 C.

•Turn often to prevent slices sticking to the rack and enjoy the aroma every time you open the oven.

•Slices will shrink and darken in colour. When ready, remove from oven, cool and use to decorate your home.

*Please note: Slices may still be slightly sticky, but they are usable and should not go mouldy.

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Here is what I did with my orange slices from yesterday. I attached the slices to a wicker heart, using a needle and thread, this is now hanging on the back of our front door!

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Hope you enjoy making these!

T & A xxxx

Christmas Wish List For Her

I’m sure everyone has started to think about what gifts to start buying this Christmas, if you haven’t started panic buying already! I thought I would compile a small list of gifts that I would like or the things I plan on buying for the women in my life! Hopefully this will help you, if you are racking your brains to pick that perfect gift!

1) Everyone loves a pair of comfy PJ’s and I love new pair for Christmas. These Star Print PJ’s are from £25/€34 from Next and look super comfy.

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2) Initial Disc Pendant & Chain from Stella & Dot. I have one of these in gold & silver and love them both. Simple and elegant. £19/€22

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3)Clarins Christmas Gift Set. ‘Clarins Eau Ressourcante ‘Pure Pleasures Collection’. £/€41.50 love the fresh smelling scent of this spray.You get Discover the Eau Ressourçante collection, a universe of relaxation and well-being, which combines the benefits of aromatherapy and skin care by harnessing the natural aromas and active ingredients of plants. £41.50
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– Eau Ressourcante Spray 100ml
– Eau Ressourcante Silky-Smooth Body Cream 100ml
– Eau Ressourcante Bath and Shower Milk 50ml
All presented in a beautiful wash bag.

 

 

 

4)Photobox PhotoBook from €32.99. Perfect for the Granny’s,aunties and godmothers!

 

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5)Blank Canvas Makeup Brush Sets  and contouring pallette. Brush Sets from €49.99

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I hope this has given you a few ideas to add to your own wish list or for a special lady in your life!

Happy Shopping…..

T & A

20 Things I Want To Teach My Daughter

One from the archives! I was having a read back of this last night!

Finding out I was going to have a little girl when I was 20 weeks pregnant, left me beyond happy as I walked out of the sonographers room. I always suspected I was having a girl, even buying a pink baby blanket when I was about 12 weeks pregnant and hiding it in the wardrobe with the receipt tucked into it….just in case!

I would honestly have been happy with either sex, once my baby was healthy, that’s all that mattered,but secretly I did hope it was a girl!

Now she is almost a toddler (still not walking so technically still my baby), I’m looking at her as a little girl. I keep a little diary that I write in,it’s just four pages a year, on what we have done together and what I hope for her for the following year. So it got me thinking what would I like to teach Amelia to take her through her teens and adulthood, when she won’t need/rely on me as much. Here is my list, feel free to share yours xx

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