Weaning Decisions – Meat Or No Meat?

Weaning Decisions – Meat Or No Meat?

I’m a vegetarian (or ‘pain in the arse’ as my husband lovingly refers to me). I have been since I saw a horrific video about how food gets on to our plates at school aged 10. Possibly not the best video to show a bunch of impressionable 10 year olds but, that’s not the point of this post!

G is a true cave man and would eat just meat and only meat all day long! He’s only made happier by being able to cook his mountain of meat on the barbecue which doesn’t happen very often due to the great British weather!

Whether our children eat meat is something we are quite often asked and probably something G was worried about when I started weaning our eldest.

Everyone seems really shocked that our children all eat meat. It wasn’t even a conversation that G and myself had as it got closer to weaning time. Our children will be meat eaters until they are old enough to make their own informed choice.

It’s not up to me to push my beliefs onto my children. Eventually they will be old enough to decide what they want to do and we will both support their decision (although Daddy has threatened to have any vegetarian children banished!).

It also doesn’t make me a half-baked vegetarian as I am so often accused! I eat rabbit food to save the animals but I am not a pushy animal rights activist who thinks meat eaters are evil. I can still be a vegetarian but live amongst meat eaters.

I’m sure everybody thought it was a fad when I gave up meat and, as awful as this sounds, that is probably what I will think if any of mine go vegetarian. I will support them none the less and, they can join me with my bean casserole for dinner but, I bet they miss bacon within a week!

Outdoor Crafts – Photos Of Summer

Outdoor Crafts – Photos Of Summer

We spent some time in the beautiful sunshine today. After a few games of hide and seek plus, some climbing of trees, we decided to collect some leaves to do some craft with.

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We did some leaf rubbing. This totally blew the boys minds! They were amazed that I created a copy of the leaf with a crayon. It’s been absolutely years since I’ve done this but it was still excellent fun.

We also drew around the outline of the leaf with every intention of making a colourful picture but B decided to let Spiderman in on the action!

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The boys loved searching for the best leaves and I think a scavenger hunt may be a great idea for them in the next few weeks.

Nabi 2 Tablet Review

Nabi 2 Tablet Review

Our boys love their technology and were both very keen to play on our mobile phones when they were smaller. After several ‘incidents’ involving our phones, think wiped contacts and random calls, we decided to purchase a tablet for them.

The Nabi 2, made by Fuhu Inc, is designed to be a robust tablet that grows with your children. B has had his over 2 years and O received his 6months ago.

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Firstly, the geeky stuff courtesy of the Mr. The Nabi 2 has a 7″ multi-touch capacitive touch screen boasting a moderate 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. The brain of the operation is a NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 mobile processor with quad-core CPU and 5th battery-save core supplemented by a reasonable low 1gb RAM. It has 8gb of on board storage, which after Android 4.3 is installed only allows for 4gb of space for apps. But, there is a microSD slot for adding an extra 32gb of storage although this can not be used for apps.

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There is a front facing 2MP camera for the selfie loving child and a reasonable 3,850 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Charging the battery is done with a thin single pin socket which is known for bending and causes charging issues. This is an issue Fuhu is aware of and were offering free replacement charging cables but only.if you live in the US.

The tablet itself is quite heavy at nearly 600g and has a red bumper which has saved ours on many occasions. It also has a rear face that allows for alphabet tiles to be clipped to the back so you can personalise your tablet. My 2 love nothing better than rearranging their letters into incomprehensible english!

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The hardware is reasonable and very well placed for its price. The processor, surprisingly, seems to struggle and is sluggish. But other than that, the battery lasts 5 or 6 hours comfortably and the addition of a microSD slot is fantastic.

The Android software installed is a special version which is heavily customised by Fuhu Inc. It features 2 modes, mummy/daddy mode and Nabi mode. Mummy/daddy mode operates justs like standard android. It has Google Play for all the apps, Chrome browser, email, Hangouts etc. Here, you are able set up multiple kids accounts. 

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The Nabi software offer some specific apps which enable the parent to set chores and reward your child with silver coins (which parents need to purchase) that can be saved to buy apps.

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This idea behind the Nabi mode is to stop the little ones accessing the things parents wouldn’t want them to or making in app purchases. All well and good, but somehow B was able to buy £80 worth of gold coins without us knowing. Fortunately, Fuhu were pretty good and refunded the money when we explained what had happened, but it did take 21 days for the money to be credited back to our account. We still have no idea how he managed to do it! The child is surely a genius.

Fuhu are also trying keeping up with the rollout of Android by releasing regular updates. Unfortunately, these are released to the US long before anywhere else. Those of us outside the US are treated a little bit like second rate citizens.

We have had a fairly serious problem with O’s Nabi 2. It keeps freezing and the only way to unfreeze it is to completely restart by holding the power button for 10seconds. This is pretty frustrating for a 2 year old who has no patience.

After support from Fuhu’s very active Facebook group, we were passed to the higher level support and it was agreed the unit is faulty. But, due to the lack of receipt (Nabi was given as a gift) and proximity to a Smyth’s toys store (best part of 100mile journey), Fuhu agreed they would replace it under warranty as long as I can get the tablet to them in California, USA. The cost is quite prohibiting to do this and we have yet to send it back.

In conclusion, Fuhu have made a great attempt at making a kid safe tablet. They have not got it all perfect but, at the cost when we first got the Nabi, it was fantastic value.

If you asked us a year ago we would have recommended this to anyone looking for a kid safe tablet. But, having had issues with the customer services, the slow rollout of updates plus, the old spec hardware, I would now recommend other tablets in favour of the Nabi, especially if you’re outside of the US.

The Nabi faces stiff competition from the likes of the Tesco Hudl2, which we have since purchased and found to be as good, if not better for children.

Family Fever
Everything Mummy

Development Differences

Development Differences

Having twins after singletons has been a really interesting learning experience. While I was pregnant with the twins, I often wondered if they would do things at almost exactly the same time. How they would develop and if they would be really similar or like chalk and cheese.

I’ll admit to being a competitive Mum with our first. I thought he was awesome and was doing things super quickly. Everything he did was amazing and I boasted about it to everyone just because he was my first. It terms of development, he was probably pretty average! Smiling at 6 weeks, crawling at 6 months and walking at a year.

With our second, we did things completely differently. He was breastfed, weaned later, carried in a sling and his development was much quicker. Too quick in fact as he was far too mobile for my liking by 6 months old!

Our twins are non identical so are no more alike than any other siblings but, the difference in their development is phenomenal. I try to do everything exactly the same with them. I play with them together, they are fed together, they go everywhere together etc yet this development gap has opened.

Here is our current development update.

Smiling
L is a really smiley baby and was the first one to master smiling. I on the other hand is a much more serious and almost brooding baby. She always looks like she’s pondering the meaning of life rather than encouraging her Mummy when she pulls funny faces!

I first smile – 8 weeks
L first smile – 6 weeks

Rolling
L took weeks and weeks to master rolling. She would get right up on her side but not be able to move her arm out the way and scream in frustration. I just used to lay there on the floor and not do anything. Then one day she just rolled and bam, checked off her list of things to do and never do again!

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I first roll – 6 months
L first roll – 7 months

Crawling
This is our latest development and the one that concerns me the most. With older brothers, that leave small toys everywhere, I need eyes in the back of my head! Thankfully the lazy one has yet to master this.

I crawling – probably never
L crawling – 8 months

Weight Gain
Both were born weighing roughly the same, 7lb 5oz and 7lb. I loves her food and will chug a bottle in 2 seconds flat whereas L is a grazer and would rather have lots of little bottles. They were last weighed at 34 weeks and the gap has really widened.

I weighs – 17lb
L weighs – 14lb 9ozs

Teeth
We’ve had lots of episodes of red cheeks, enough dribble to flood us out and our fingers being used as chew toys but only I has any teeth.

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I first tooth – 6 months
L first tooth – non-existent

I’m so looking forward to watching their continued development. I’m trying not to compare them but I sometimes worry when one doesn’t do something that the other can. I do believe though that all babies are different and will do things in their own way and in their own time.

But, is it nature or nuture that defines our babies development?

Mami 2 Five
Girls Day Out – Fairfield Hall, Bedfordshire

Girls Day Out – Fairfield Hall, Bedfordshire

My best friend was 30 back in December and I had absolutely no idea what to buy her. We have known each other since we were 2 years old so I wanted to get her something special and something that she wouldn’t buy for herself. I also wanted it to be something she would remember so, I booked her a spa day. I thought it would be rude to send her on her own so I booked myself a spa day too! We are both hard working Mummies so I think we deserve it.

I looked at several spas before I booked and decided on Fairfield Hall in Bedfordshire. The photos on the website looked beautiful and they had a good choice of spa packages to suit every budget.

We arrived late morning and were shown straight into the spa where we had to fill in all our paperwork for the treatments we were having later. We were also given our spa bags containing a robe, towel and slippers (additional £3 charge).

After a quick tour of the facilities we headed straight for the pool. Although completely underground with no natural light, it looked amazing.

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I am a massive wimp when it comes to getting into water and I will make a massive drama if it’s cold! This pool was so warm and for the first time ever in my life, I got straight under the water. We had a lovely swim and a natter before deciding to head off to get some lunch.

The Orchard is the on site restaurant which can be used by both members and anybody who walks in off the street. We arrived for lunch in our robes and slippers (which apparently is fine in a spa) but, felt very out of place amongst everyone else who was dressed. Certainly an experience to be lunching in public in your robe!

There is a really good lunch menu with plenty of choice and all very reasonably priced. We both opted for a 2 filling omelette with salad and coleslaw which were £6.50 each.

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The food tasted lovely and there was plenty there for lunch. The staff were very attentive and there was a good atmosphere which meant we could chat without feeling we had to keep quiet.

Our treatments were booked for 1pm so we went back to the spa as soon as we had finished lunch. We took a seat on an amazing hot stone bed while we waited to be called.

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These were so comfortable and gave me a lovely warm bottom and back!

We had booked a Swedish back, neck and shoulder massage plus a facial. Our therapists, Stacey and Shelley, came and collected us and took us into a double treatment room presumably so we could talk but, neither of us uttered a word for a whole hour!

When they had finished we were so chilled out and relaxed that neither of us wanted to get up from the bed! I was a bit worried about having a Swedish as I’ve always thought they were a bit brutal but it was actually really nice. It certainly got the stress knots out my shoulders.

I had to take a few photos of the spa area as it was amazing.

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After our treatments, we headed back down to the pool and had another swim. We also tried out the jacuzzi and sauna. It was so lovely spending time with my bestie. We both have children and since their arrival we very rarely get a chance to have a good chat. One of us is usually chasing after a child at soft play so we snatch a quick chat in between! Lazing around in the jacuzzi gave us the perfect opportunity to catch up and realise how much we’ve missed each other.

We finished our day off with a very healthy bowl of chips and some drinks back in the restaurant. We have decided that we will definitely be doing this again. It’s a beautiful spa and we had such a great day.

Packing my Suitcase
Beautwins
Mummy Is The Biggest Liar!

Mummy Is The Biggest Liar!

It’s Saturday morning and all is calm. There are no raised voices and the boys are playing nicely together. The girls are kicking around on the floor cooing at each other. This can only mean one thing – Daddy is at home!

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All week long my job title is not Mummy but referee! I am forever breaking up fights and stopping the children from killing each other. When Daddy texts and ask how the kids are during the day, I give him the honest truth, our children are monsters! They destroy the house, climb all over the furniture and have extremely selective hearing when I’m talking to them.

At the weekends they are all sweetness and light. Daddy simply cannot understand how these sweet, angelic children can do half the things I moan about during the week. They obey commands, play nicely, keep the house relatively tidy and don’t upset Daddy. He can take them out without the car seat fights that I frequently inform him I have!

My children make me look like a massive liar! Does this happen to all Mums or is it just me?

What magically happens to my children at 5.30 on a Friday? Where can I buy some of this super power that Daddy has, as I drastically need some of it during the week? And, when are my children going to stop making me look like a liar?

The Dad Network
Mami 2 Five
Pancake Day

Pancake Day

The boys have been pestering me for several days now asking when it’s Pancake Day. Today, the pestering ended and they finally got their pancakes.

I used a simple Jamie Oliver recipe
1 large egg
1 cup of self raising flour
1 cup of semi skimmed milk

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The boys whisked the mixture until bored then I finished it off!

1 large spoon of mixture into my lovely non-stick frying pan created these beauties.

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I opted for lemon and sugar while the boys went for Nutella.

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They tasted amazing and are not a bad attempt for somebody who burns everything in a frying pan! Thumbs up Mr Oliver!

Couch25k Week 1 – Complete

Couch25k Week 1 – Complete

Six months ago I would never have believed I would write that title. I had just had a c-section and was at the heaviest I had ever been in my life. To be honest, I was disgusted with myself.

Just a few days after my section I set myself a challenge, to get fit and get to a healthy BMI.

I was banned from driving for 6 weeks after my section so I walked everywhere and I’ve tried to do that as much as possible since. Walking 4 small people is sometimes an impossible task! I enjoyed the walking and pushing the pram plus with the added weight of a baby in a sling, it was quite a good workout.

I am now 4 stone lighter than I was pre-pregnancy and still losing but it has definitely slowed down so I decided to try the NHS Couch 2 5k podcasts.

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I am not a runner! Anybody who knows me is well aware that I don’t run. I would rather miss a bus than run after it! I also have a problem with my lower spine caused by an accident several years ago so I was a little apprehensive about running. I’ve said I’ll try things like this in the past but never do so this time I was determined.

I did my first run on Tuesday night and it was hard. I did a 5 minute warm up followed by alternating 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes. The 60 seconds of running felt like an eternity compared to the longer walking sections but I did it. I felt so proud of myself and actually enjoyed it (don’t tell anyone). I was really looking forward to Thursdays run and managed to up my pace and go further.

I did my third run on Sunday and this time ventured further than the perfect running track that is our estate. I did a small lap of the village which I knew involved a few hills and I was feeling particularly smug when my first run coincidence with a steep downward stretch. But as I rounded the corner I realised if I had come down, I had to go back up and just as I saw the upward section the podcast lady told me my next running section was coming up! I survived and even though I strayed from my fairly flat running, I still upped my pace and distance. Very proud moment!

My first week of running has been an experience. My back has held out and after a few niggles from my section scar on the first night, it hasnt bothered me since. I’ve actually discovered that I quite enjoy running. It’s 30 minutes of fresh air and quiet time out of the house on my own.

Next week the training ups to 90 seconds of running and 2 minutes of walking. Feeling nervous already but looking forward to seeing if I can manage it.

Linked to Mummy Monday

Choo Choo! A Morning Of Fresh Air.

Choo Choo! A Morning Of Fresh Air.

My two boys are absolutely obsessed with all things train. They are particularly interested if it’s a train that they can actually have a ride on so, when I saw our local miniature steam railway was running this weekend we decided to give it a try. We’ve been on the steam train when they’ve taken their mobile track to local events but today we headed over to their station.

The Fenland Light Railway http:// http://www.fenlandlightrailway.co.uk/ is located in a small village in Cambridgeshire and a little bit off the beaten track. As you head down the road towards it you feel like you are driving into the middle of nowhere.

The boys spotted the steam cloud as soon as we arrived and couldn’t wait to get out the car and onto the train.

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The boys plus Daddy got to have a few rides on this little train while Mummy was left holding the babies! Their faces were an absolute picture and O was giggling the whole way round. I think even Daddy secretly enjoyed it!

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Thankfully, the girls were asleep so lucky me got to enjoy a hot cup of tea!

The site was really busy and it was lovely to see so many people supporting a local charity/hobby (not sure what to call it). They had a queue of people waiting for rides at one point. They have recently moved to a better site and have received a Lottery Grant so it looks like things are on the up for them. 

We eventually managed to prise the boys away from the trains and home for warm sandwiches and a chilled out afternoon. I’m looking forward to taking them back for one of the special events they run throughout the year.