Hello Nursery & Hello Bugs

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Amelia has now completed 3 weeks in nursery. It’s just two mornings a week,and she is settling in really well. Unfortunately so have the nasties….that’s the cold bugs! Snotty nose, chesty cough and generally feeling unwell.

Nurseries are a breeding ground for coughs,colds and tummy bugs, and generally when young children start at nursery, they seem to suffer an endless cycle of minor ailments, that then seem to infect the whole family. I have learned this the hard way, cue a house of tissues and rooms smelling of a Vapor Rub factory.

The jury is still out about whether this is a bad thing, or whether early exposure to germs plays a key role in the development of a child’s immune system. Everyone tells me, exposure to these bugs will “build up her immune system” ahem! Little research has been done into how many respiratory infections are caught by children attending nursery – and the knock-on efects this can have on the rest of the family.

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An 18 month Public Health Research Review carried out in 2005 examined whether there is any truth in the anecdotal belief that nursery attendance is linked to a greater risk of infection – and whether there are good grounds for promoting vaccination against certain illnesses.

Data was collected from around 100 local nurseries and involving 550 episodes of illness.The findings seem to support the idea that nurseries are a “wonderful melting pot” for infections.”Pre-school children in day-care are three to four times more likely to have a respiratory infection than a child who stays at home,” said Dr Black.

But should we keep our children away from nurseries and other childrens groups until they are older, or would that just be delaying the inevitable?

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Research from the US has shown that children who attend nursery may be less likely to develop childhood leukaemia and that delaying their exposure to infection may result in them having an underdeveloped immune system, which puts them at a greater risk.

Dr Jackie Bucknall, consultant paediatrician at the Homerton Hospital, in London, believes there is no good health ground for not sending children to nursery.

“If you have a child that is fit and well and has not got any condition that can make them immunosuppressed, such as receiving cancer treatment, then I would recommend all parents to send their children to a place where they have got a good peer group mix.”Although it may often seem that they always have a runny nose this is the way they stimulate their immune system.

Children are going to be exposed to infections at sometime and it is probably better that it happens when they are nursery than when they are older.

Dr Bucknall stressed that toddlers were no more vulnerable to infection than those at school.But she said it was important that children going to nursery were vaccinated against the most important childhood illnesses, such as measles, to protect themselves and others.

What are your views on the above? I was prepared that Amelia would be susceptible to a few more runny noses,coughs and colds when she started nursery, I just wasn’t prepared for her passing it on to me! Being pregnant I’m more susceptible to picking these bugs up, so we will be loading up on Vitamin C in this house, and Amelia will be returning to nursery once she is well enough!

Tips For Cold & Coughs in Babies & Children:

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•Treat Fever with Calpol/Paracetemol and Neurofen
•Hydrate – don’t worry so much about food, ensure your child is drinking plenty.
•Clear the nose: use a nasal aspirator or saline drops.
•Use a humidifier in their bedroom
•Create a steam room – run hot water in the shower and sit in the bathroom with your child.
•Elevate the head, pop a pillow under their mattress if in a cot.
•Ensure all family members are washing their hands.
•Use a Vapor rub in the bath and rub into the chest and feet before bed, for young babies use a suitable rub such as Snuffle Babe.

T & A xxxx

Love The Little Things Week #19

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Good morning, happy Friday!! Oh it’s a very happy Friday for me, I have been counting down the days for today to come! I’m currently sitting on the train to Dublin to catch a flight to London for four days! Four days for just me, no baby, no husband, just lots of catching up with friends,eating and shopping! Tonight I’m seeing my lovely NCT group for dinner, these girls are really like my London family, and I have written about them here before! With a 17 week baby bump, it will be a dry weekend, but this means no hangovers and hopefully plenty of catching up on sleep!

I have been a bit sporadic with my #littleloves posts recently, Fridays are always mental, and I never get a chance to write my posts in advance! As always I’m linking up with Morgana from Butwhymummywhy and all the other lovely ladies who take part in this linky!

Onto this weeks little loves, hope you enjoy the read!

READ

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I’m enjoying catching up on magazines right now! I never buy them anymore, so travelling is the perfect excuse!Before I catch my flight I’m going to get a copy of Red, I’m dying to read the Jamie & Jools Oliver interview, after seeing so many of you post a picture of it on Instagram. (more…)

Lottie Doll Review

Today I’m reviewing a doll that we were recently sent. The Lottie Doll. The perfect Christmas present that every little boy or girl would love.We were kindly sent the Autumn Leaves Lottie with the Super Lottie Accesories.

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So what are Lottie Dolls?

Lottie are adorable play dolls developed with a positive take on childhood in mind. She does not wear makeup, jewellery or high heels. She loves to dress up in pretty clothes but is equally happy to be active, outdoors and getting muddy.

The creators of the doll worked with influential British academics to create a doll body that is realistic and based on the actual proportions of a nine year old child.

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I grew up with Barbies and Sindys, and while in the early ’80s these dolls were completely acceptable for small children, we now live in a very different world. Having worked in the cosmetic/plastic surgery industry as a practice nurse over a few years, I am only too aware of how young people, both men and women perceive their bodies, judging themselves on celebrities, friends and we have all seen the the paper articles of the people trying to be Barbie and Kens, spending hundreds of thousands on cosmetic surgery in order to obtain “perfect bodies”. Body dysmorphia is so prevalent, and with cosmetic surgery freely available to anyone over the age of 18, we as parents need to ensure we protect our children from potentially going down this route in the future, and help them to look at themselves as ‘normal’ and encourage them to be proud of their bodies, regardless of their shape.

Inspired by strong characters like Jo from Little Women, George from The Famous Five and Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, Lottie dolls encourage girls to enjoy their childhood, in all its facets and not to grow up too quickly. Lottie has fun fling activities girls her age enjoy,like taking part in horse riding,karate and ballet, experimenting with science as well as using her imagination at her home, on Branksea Island. The message behind the Lottie Dolls is be bold, be brave, be you.

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Key Features

Launched in August 2012
Niche age group: 3-9
18cm tall, portable and easy for little hands to carry around
Childlike body – doesn’t wear makeup, jewellery or high heels
Stands on feet (with shoes)
Finely detailed clothes
Easy to dress and undress
Hair is soft and doesn’t tangle and knot like other doll hair
Bendable knees with ball socket hips and arms
Presented in a giftable, illustrated and collectible doll box bag, with minimal plastic packaging.
Won 19 international awards, including 5 Oppenheim Portfolio Platinum Awards.
Recommended Age: 3 Years +
Dolls RRP £16.99
Accessory sets and outfits RRP £7.99

Accessories

I was impressed by the Lottie Doll accessories (sold separately). They are fantastic additions to play and I was thrilled with the quality of the items.

We absolutely love our Lottie Doll, Amelia has spent the last week brushing her hair,taking her clothes on and off and experiencing her first proper playtime with a doll. We will be adding to our collection this Christmas. To order your doll go to www.lottie.com and to see a list of stockists.

*Disclaimer: We were gifted the Lottie Doll for the purpose of this review. We were not paid for our opinions. All opinions are 100% truthful and our own.

SALTDOUGH SANTA HANDPRINT

I saw this idea on pintrest during the summer and saved the picture so that I would remember to do this with Amelia this year. I thought it was a lovely idea and would be a cute keepsake to hang on our tree every year.Alternatively they could be given as presents to the Granny’s and Grandads.

It’s a really easy activity, that kids can be involved in. Let them help with the mixing of the ingredients and kneading the dough. Typically salt dough is cooked on a low heat in the oven for 2-3 hrs, I recently discovered it can also be done in the microwave in approx 3 mins. Check at 30 second intervals to ensure dough is not burning. Your dough will be ready when it is hard to touch. Our finished handprint below is not yet sealed, ensure to seal it with varnish to prevent it going mouldy and breaking up.

TO MAKE

•1/2 Cup Salt
•1 cup of Plain Flour
•1/4 cup of water (give or take, add gradually)

•Red Paint
•White Paint
•Skin Colour Paint (I mixed white with a tiny bit of orange)
•Black pen
•Varnish

>Knead until dough forms
>Make impression with hand
>Cut out a hand shape with a knife leaving a border
>Poke a hole in the top for hanging
>Bake on a low heat for 2-3 hrs or use microwave as stated above.
>Paint,seal and hang with ribbon

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When To Buy Baby’s First Shoes

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Amelia has been toddling around the house for a few weeks now. She still has not 100% mastered the art of walking, unsteady at times and still will get back down on her bottom and bum shuffle if she wants to get to something quickly!

I have really been confused and not sure about when I should get her shoes. Speaking with friends and work colleagues there has been really mixed opinions on when the right time for first shoes or pre walkers is.It’s tempting to hot foot it to the nearest shoe shop the minute your little one starts cruising, but according to The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, they don’t actually need proper shoes until they’ve been walking confidently for several weeks.

Until then, bare feet are best – this allows their tiny toes to wiggle, their feet to develop properly, and encourages them to walk as they’re less likely to slip.

I have never put “mock” or “pram shoes” on Amelia, and while there are some gorgeous shoes in the shops, I have avoided buying them, as I knew babies feet should be free of restriction in order for them to develop correctly.Did you know that feet are not fully developed until age 16. (more…)

Surviving Pregnancy With A Toddler

This should just have one line – send the toddler to nursery/creche/Playschool/daycare/nanny and rest.

I’m now well into my 4th month of pregnancy, and I’ll not lie, it’s been exhausting. Pregnancy the second time round with a demanding toddler in tow is challenging. Pregnancy can be tiring and so can parenting a busy toddler.Add in a house move and returning to work, I’m only fit for bed by 7pm most nights. The house is almost unpacked, Amelia has started nursery (and loving it), I’m getting my energy and my mojo back and I’m finally looking forward to the new arrival, but we still have a few months to go.

 

Forget about the baby books:magazines/blogs second time round…..there is no “me time” no time for naps or resting! Toddlers need to be carried,changed and cuddled! Tantrums can become extremely testing during this time, especially when you are tired. Not so easy to pick them up and take them away. So short of sending your toddler to live with Granny and Granda’s for 9 months, what can you do to ensure you and your toddler don’t end up enemies?

Let it go. Simplify your daily life, prioritise your responsibilities, and lower your expectations. It’s back to when you had a newborn, the house does not need to be perfectly tidied every day.Life has to slow down just a little, whether you like it or not!
Minimise obligations. This is very much a time in which to say no; you cannot be all things to all people. Put yourself first as much as possible.
Accept help. Whether from your partner, friends, family, a mother’s helper, or a cleaning service, accept help when offered or seek it when needed.
•If your toddler is not already in nursery, consider it for 1/2 mornings a week to get a rest or enjoy the things you did when you were pregnant with your first… I’m planning on joining pregnancy pilates.
•Prepare the night before! Or if you are like me and suffering from pregnancy insomnia, get up before your toddler and use this time that you have energy to prepare for the day.
•I would love to say, that if you are off, nap when your toddler naps! I have really made a conscious effort to at least rest during this time, and I take advantage of the weekends when my husband is around. I’m not a great sleeper, but resting at least restores some energy.
•Lay on the sofa when your toddler is playing independently.
•Make meals simple. Come 5pm, the last thing I want to do is cooking a huge meal, and also I never feel like eating it.
•Take care of yourself.
•Try to remember that it won’t last forever.
•Enjoy the last few months of just having 1…. And before the bump gets huge, have loads of cuddles with your toddler!

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Enjoying very rare cuddles from The Toddler!

*GIVEAWAY* Childs Personalised Christmas Book

We are a household of book lovers, and Amelia’s collection is expanding at a vast rate. When we were recently given the opportunity to review a personalised children’s Christmas book,Santa’s Irish Adventure,I jumped at the chance. This is most certainly something I would have looked at buying Amelia, and I have previously bought our nephew something similar a few years ago. What appealed to me about this book was it was an Irish product, teaching children important landmarks around Ireland that Santa stops at to deliver his gifts.

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The book tells a story of how Santa gets lost on Christmas Eve whilst delivering presents to Irish children. Children will then be taken on a fun and educational adventure around famous and historic Irish locations to find Santa. Will they find Santa and save Christmas for all the children around the world?.Included with the book is a personalised letter from Santa.

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Irish Christmas Adventure is a personalised children’s Christmas book written by L J Taylor, illustrated by Patrick D. published by Digital Scribe based in Bray, Co. Wicklow,Ireland. “Each of our books are fully personalised with important information about your child. Stories include information such as your child’s name, friends’ names, hometown, child’s age, dedication page and much more”.

Amelia is still quite young to understand the story, but I have no doubt it will be a book that will be taken out each Christmas, adding to the excitement of Santas impending arrival! (I love Christmas, especially now that we have Amelia!!).Her picture is printed on the front of the book cover and we included her cousins Tom and Lucy in her story.

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To order your copy of Santa’s Irish Adventure from Digital Scribe see here.It takes an average of 5 days to create the book and delivery time is about 1-2 days within Ireland,outside of Ireland delivery may vary. The book is priced at €15.99.

*Get your order on before December 16th in order to have your book on time for Christmas.

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Would you like the chance to win a personalised Santas Irish Adventure book?? Digital Scribe have very kindly offered one of my readers the chance to win a book of their own. To be in with a chance of winning enter via the Rafflecopter below.

*Disclaimer: We were gifted a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. We were not paid for our opinion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CHICKEN SATAY SKEWERS

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This week I introduced Amelia to peanut butter on some toast. I just gave her a small bit at first, as I’m not sure has she had food with peanuts in them before! She loved it and no allergic reaction to the nuts, so we were good to go on our next new recipe. This will be a big winner with the adults and kiddies and much tastier than Satay from a take-away! Annabel Karmel has recently published a new family meal recipe book, which we are loving. Annabel Karmel Family CookBook.

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Chicken Satay Skewers

Prep:20 minutes
Cooking:5 minutes
Suitable for Freezing
Suitable from 12 months +

INGREDIENTS

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For the skewers…

•2 chicken breasts
•Small piece of fresh ginger
•1 clove garlic
•Juice of 1 lime
•1 tbsp soy sauce
•1 tbsp runny honey
•1 tsp peanut butter

For the sauce…

•100g peanut butter (crunchy)
•75 ml coconut milk
•75ml water
•1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
•1 tsp soy sauce

*TIP: use the remaining coconut milk by boiling done rice in the milk to serve with the chicken skewers.

METHOD

1.Soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes to stop them from scorching when grilling.

2.Mix the marinade. Peel and grated the ginger (you should have about ¼ tsp), crush the garlic and put in a bowl along with the lime juice, soy sauce, honey and peanut butter and whisk together.

3.Put the chicken breasts into a sealable plastic bag or cover with cling film and use a mallet or rolling pin to bash the chicken breasts until they are about ½ cm thick.

4.Marinate the chicken. Slice each chicken breast into 5 strips and marinate for about 30 minutes. Whilst the chicken is marinating you can make the sauce. Put the peanut butter, coconut milk, water, sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce in a small pan. Warm gently, stirring constantly, until everything has melted. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat, then stir in 1 tsp of the leftover lime juice and set aside.

5.Thread the chicken strips onto skewers and put on a foil lined baking sheet. Grill each side for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

6.Serve with the dipping sauce.

Enjoy!

T & A xxxxx

Amelia at 19 Months ~ Monthly Update

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* Dress & Tights from Bobby&Belles Childrens Boutique *Navy bow from Little Bowtique

Amelia’s 19th month is one of change, announcements and making strides in development.

We are about to move house and county Friday, another house move in 10 months, but at least this time it’s in the same country…I’m just hoping the change if house won’t be too unsettling for her.
This is the month we told everyone she was to be a big sister next April! She has no idea, but over the next few months we will try to prepare her, by talking about the baby,playing with her dolls some more,reading her a “big sister” book and showing her the baby’s things such as the Moses basket etc.
Amelia is making great progress with her walking, although she needs a lot of encouragement! She naturally will go around on her bum if we don’t encourage her to walk, so we pretend to get her to run after us in a bid for her to get up on those two feet! She has learned to climb up on all the furniture, standing/trying to balance precariously on everything! Toddlers have no fear!!

TEETH: 13

WORDS: This month she has started singing A,B,D,E (she leaves C out!), Hot,Apple,Shoe,Eye,Nose,Ear

Loves: Her new food love this month is Cheerios, I give them to her dry as a snack. Swinging her hands in the air (this is how she dances), Playing where’s your eyes,nose,teeth,ears?, swimming and watching Toy Story.

DISLIKES: having her nails cut – I am just short of sitting on her to try and cut them! Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Nappies: Pampers 5

Clothing: 18-24 months

SLEEPING/EATING:She has a bath every night,hair now is washed every second night,a story and a bottle.
BEDTIME- bed at 7pm, but had started to wake up in the middle of the night screaming,while standing up in her cot until we come and get her, of we take her into our bed she will sleep until 7pm. I’m hoping this is just a phase. We thought she may have been afraid of the dark in waking,so we left her door slightly ajar with the hall light on- this made no difference!
BREAKFAST ~ 8am
NAP – I’m trying to drop the morning nap and get her to have one long nap, this is very hot as miss at the moment. If I put her down at 11, she will sleep until 12:49/1pm, but that’s it until 7pm. I’d like to ideally push her nap until 12 – 2pm.
Lunch~1pm
Snack~3:30pm
Dinner~5pm

Next week Amelia is starting nursery two mornings a week. I have no doubt she will love it, ye only worry is me!! I’ll be the psycho mum outside peering through the windows, rather than enjoying my first free morning to myself in 19 months.

T & A xxx

Watermelon,Mint & Lime Cooler

I know watermelon is not exactly in season at the moment,but we always have one in our house as it’s one of Amelia’s favourite fruits. I’m trying to use up all our food before we move on Friday and trying to find ways of using up a huge watermelon.

 

This cooler/limeade is perfect for a summers day or as part of a detox.Its refreshing and I could down it in gallons especially during summer. It would also make a great cocktail by adding vodka,rum or gin!

 

Adjust the amount of lime juice depending on how much balance you are trying to achieve against the sweetness of watermelon. If you like your limeade slightly sweeter,try adding some honey.

 

Prep Time: Under 15 min
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Serves: 4 approx

Ingredients

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3 lbs (abt 1.4 kgs) Watermelon
3/4 cup Lime juice, or as needed
Honey to taste
Few sprigs of Mint (I add extra to blend)
Ice Cubes, to serve

METHOD

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1.Chop the watermelon into chunks, cutting off skin and removing the seeds.

2.In batches, puree the watermelon along with lime juice and mint (optional)

3.Strain it

4.Add ice cubes along with the mint in a pitcher.

5.Pour the juice.

6.Add in some honey to taste and stir to combine.

7.Serve chilled with additional sprigs of mint and ice.

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Enjoy!!!

T & A

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