Fussy Eaters

If we are honest we all have those things that we said we would never do as a parent. I had a few myself and I have broken them all! One of the biggest things for me was fussy eating. I vowed that I wouldn’t have fussy eaters, that I wouldn’t bend to the will of a toddler regarding food! It’s ok, you can laugh. I find it funny too.

I was adamant with my plan first time around. Pinky was nearly 6 months old when we started weaning. Earlier that recommended I know but she was sitting up at 4 months and milk really wasn’t satisfying her anymore so I made an executive mothering decision and started weaning. Simply because she is my baby and I know best… Mostly.

We started simple with some baby porridge and Weetabix. The heath visitors hated this, they wanted her to be weaned using the Baby Led method. For those of you reading who are unfamiliar with this method the theory is that you give your baby soft finger sized food, such as a stick of steamed carrot (not boiled, that sucks all the goodness out… Heaven forbid!), and you let them gum it to death. Eventually they learn to swallow the little bits rather than spit them out. Also babies have a really strong gag reflex so they are unlikely to choke on small bits as long as they have managed it themselves and you haven’t dictated the chunk size.

This process scares the life out of me! I appreciate that to date (*touches wood and everything else superstitious) the girls have both managed this well and haven’t come to any harm however I was much happier giving them puree to start with and working up to the solid food. They soon learn to eat all foods, solid and puree and it all worked out fine. Perky was weaned using both puree and solids from day one because she had an insatiable appetite (check her baby pictures… that girls rolls had rolls!)

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Rolls on rolls! 

But back the fussiness. Both Pinky and Perky have been given a huge variety of foods from the first day I started weaning them. I haven’t worried about potential allergies because I figured the probability was pretty low and if they do have allergies I am not going to know unless they are exposed to something anyway. So I cracked on. I thought I was doing a good job. Nothing seemed to phase either child and they both eat most things. Perky is even a fan of relatively spicy food, nothing too hot but certainly full of flavour. There are some things that they genuinely dislike such as raw tomatoes, cooked peppers. I think that is fairly reasonable and to this day don’t worry about it.

Then the age of two arrived for Pinky and suddenly she wouldn’t eat anything I made her. Things she had previously eaten were refused. If it wasn’t beige and devoid of flavour she wouldn’t touch it. I started to worry, panic even, that my poor baby girl was going to starve. It’s ok… You can laugh again. I started to cook her special meals, came up with fun names for food so she would eat something of some sustenance other than plain pasta and cheese. I tried hiding vegetables, which never worked not once. I tried savoury muffins but she hated them. This went on for a long time, easily a year to eighteen months. I started weaning Perky during this process and found myself cooking three separate dinners. One for Perky at the same time as something beige for Pinky, then dinner for myself and Hubby. The girls would eat at about 5pm and we would eat once they were in bed. It was ridiculous.   Once Perky was about 16-18 months old both the girls were able to wait a little longer for their dinner so I merged theirs and ours together. I really didn’t want to have to cook two different meals and I knew that it is actually recommended to all eat the same and normalise food anyway. I would love to have done this sooner and I know people that do but I really didn’t want to eat at 5pm and equally I didn’t want two grumpy, miserable children under my feet whilst I tried to cook a dinner for 6pm that at least one of them was probably going to refuse to eat anyway.

Eating together has revolutionised our meal times and my attitude to their eating. Pinky is coming out of her fussy phase now she is nearly four. I know she isn’t really fussy as she eats everything at nursery, why do they do it to us? She eats most things with us now and she loves the social side of it, she likes telling her Daddy all about her day. The thing that has changed the most is my attitude towards it all. If she doesn’t eat it then fine. I am not making anything else just for her. If she only eats a plate of rice, then fine. She isn’t going to go hungry and she doesn’t look like she is lacking in vitamins, as she will likely have got them through other meals that day. Some days this is really hard to do, I want to feed her and make sure she isn’t hungry but then I realise she simply doesn’t always need a huge toddler sized meal. I have hungrier days and then days where I eat less. She eats when she is bored sometimes like I do, that is a far worse habit than saying no to food when you simply aren’t hungry.

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I thought I was winning with Perky; she eats even more things than her sister did at her age. She is approaching two and again we have the fussy signs starting. She is starting to turn away non-beige food. She likes full flavoured foods less and less. She is having some hungry days and some days where she barely eats anything. It is about to start all over again but this time I know it is nothing I have done wrong. I have never made her an alternative meal until I find something she will eat. I have never tried to make her eat more than what she wants. I have exposed her to ridiculously huge variety of foods and flavours. But still the phase is starting. All I can hope is she will get over it quicker than her sister did as we have some really good eating habits firmly in place this time.   But if it lasts a few years then fine, I don’t feel guilty and I don’t worry she is hungry like I did with her sister. I have learnt from past mistakes and I think as a mother sometimes that is all we can do. I have definitely not caused the fussy eating this time and yet I have fussy eaters. Like I vowed I wouldn’t… So naïve!

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I Need Your VOTE (please)

Gooooood Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night everyone!!!! How are you all? Well that’s 2016 done. I’m in the ‘thank goodness for that!’ camp. How about you?

This is a very different type of post for me….. I need your vote! The Tribal Chat blogger awards are open and I would be thrilled/ecstatic/over the flippin’ moon if you would vote for me. Of course normally I would let fate take its course but in the interest of being more bold this year (one of my goals) I thought I would partake in some shameless self promotion.

There are plenty of categories and I am not completely sure which category my blog fits into; potentially there are a couple of suitable ones. I would love to win the foodie award because although I concentrate on baking mostly I have really enjoyed making some special recipes for the blog. If you are unsure what I do please check out my Christmas Brownies, Iced Gems or my Salted Caramel Fudge posts.

I would also love to win the best writer category, as that is why I started blogging in the first place, to rediscover my love of writing. It has taken me a while to gather confidence in my writing again but I feel some of my best work is always the stuff I am most nervous to push ‘publish’ for. Especially the case with Bonding with Bottle Feeding and Science: Is it right this time?

You can vote for me once in a maximum of three categories. The rules are further explained HERE, which also has the link to the voting page with a list of all the eligible bloggers. This is kindly being run by Mummy in a Tutu and Sponsored by Maryland Cookies (OMG yummy!)

You don’t have to be a blogger to vote, just willing to take a little time out of your day to make my day. Actually winning is likely going to make my year so no pressure!

Thank you in advance. My apologies for the New Year begging, normal service of cakes and parenting will soon be resumed.

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Elf on the Shelf: Week 3

Well Sparkle Heart (seriously Pinky did that have to be her name?) has been with us a little while now and it is starting to show….! The cheeky madam seems to have had a little party for one on Friday night!

Day 15:

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Day 16:

Naturally on Saturday she was a little hung over! So she decided it was best just to sit and watch the girls play rather than getting up to mischief.

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Day 17:

Back up to her old tricks again of irritating me whilst making the girls laugh… She was found sledging down my precious Christmas Tree! She knows no one is allowed to touch my tree other than me!

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Day 18:

Next up in ways I can annoy Mummy whilst making it fun for the girls… Light swinging! I mean seriously Elf!

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Day 19:

This morning Sparkle Heart delivered the girls letters from Santa.  They loved them!

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Day 20:

We found Sparkle Heart chatting to her new best friend, Mr. Snowman (imaginative I know!)

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Day 21:

Sparkle Heart bought the girls some lovely new toys to play with; a food set for their kitchen.  She also discovered that she isn’t the only elf in the house…. Shock! Horror!

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My Instagram in 2016

You may have seen recently on Instagram lots of people posting their ‘2016 Best Nine.’ It is calculated by a website using your username taking the most ‘liked’ pictures into account. Last year was the first year I did the ‘Best Nine’. I instantly loved the idea I knew I would be doing it again next year.

So first up: Here are my 2015 Best Nine.

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I still love all of these photos.  But I knew I wanted to post more in 2016.  I wanted to average one a post a day, which as you can see I achieved.

Here are my 2016 Best Nine.

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I like all of these photos, of course I do but they are all from the last month roughly. Since this website takes into account your most ‘liked’ pictures I can at least see that my account has obviously continued to grow month on month. This is positive for me to see but I don’t think these are my 2016 Best Nine so I thought I would pick Nine of my own that are my ‘Best’ regardless of likes and comments. Then I realised that I couldn’t stick to just nine because some of my baking pictured are my favourite so I am splitting this into two categories: Family and Food. I will do the Family pictures in this post and the Food pictures will follow later in the week.

Family Best Nine

This is one of the least ‘flattering’ photos I have of Perky but her whole face exudes happiness.  I absolutely love it!

This was taken at RHS Wisley which is one of ur favourite places to go.  Pinky thought this little gazebo looked like a witches house so she had to go in and have a look.

How could I not include with one… Her expression makes me laugh every time! As does the caption.  She used to ask some crazy stuff!

I love this of Perky and Daddy.  They had just gone down a huge slide together, her big sister was too much of a wimp to have a go but Perky kept asking for more!

Too cool for school 😎 #mysundayphoto

A post shared by ✨ Kirsty ✨ (@winnettes) on

The caption says it all… Look at that attitude.

This was taken on our summer holiday in Menorca.  This had to make my top 9 as it includes all of us, we all look happy (because we were) and we are all looking at the camera.  All parents can relate to how hard it is to get this shot!

This really does just sum them both up!

This had to be included.  Pinky really began to find a passion in photography this summer, I basically lost my camera.  Her favourite things to capture were flowers and as you can see here things like height difference were not going to get in her way.

This is a recent post but I love it.  Over the past (nearly) two years these two have become closer by the day.  Yes, they bicker and fight, what can feel like all of the time, but they are also each others comfort.  They turn to each other for reassurance.  They give each other their biggest smiles and no matter what has happened that day they always give each other a good night kiss and cuddle.  So when I managed to capture them walking hand in hand chatting away, how could I not share it?

I have really enjoyed writing this and going through my Instagram to choose my favourite photos.  It was unbelievably hard to pick just nine.  I am definitely going to do this again next year (but I may have to pick a few more than nine).

Dear Perky

Dear Perks,

You little monkey! I could just eat you, you are so cute! Your personality is growing by the day. You are funny, you are strong willed, you are grumpy but you are kind. You wind up your sister constantly and I know you do it on purpose. I’ve seen that look in your eyes!

You give the best cuddles and are so affectionate. I love that you will sit and snuggle for ages and just not move. You suck your thumb (sorry about that, that’s my fault) but you are relying on it less these days. Please don’t loose your sense of humour, I love that you make us all laugh daily. You have biggest, most infectious smile.

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You are a little singer. At every opportunity you sing, you even ask for more drink whilst singing! (You aren’t even 2 yet!).

You eat absolutely everything as long as it has lots of flavour, curry is your favourite meal. But you are starting to get a little fussy. I hope you snap out of it.

I know you miss your sister when she goes off to pre-school but I think we have fun. Soon she will go off to school and we will have even more time together. We are both going to miss her but I hope we can make the most of it. She had all that time just her and me but I think you get the better deal. You have always had to share me but when she goes off you will be 2 ½, you will be able to appreciate what we do, when we go for coffee you will be able to have cake and not just sleep in the pushchair. When I try and think of fun things to do just the two of us you will be able to give me ideas. I always felt guilty that you never had me to yourself but now I don’t. You definitely have the best of me. You have an experienced me, a less tired me (as long as you sleep at night), you have a more relaxed me.

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There are things I would change if I could but what is the point on dwelling on things outside of our control. I’m sorry if we go to the park too much but it is close, free and you seem to enjoy it. I’m sorry if I get cross when you and your sister fight, it simply drives me crazy. I’m sorry you don’t have any of your own friends but rather the siblings of your sister’s friends. I’m sorry you don’t go to nursery, I know you would really enjoy it. I’m sorry we do everything your sister wants to do, you will get a choice soon.

I know these are little things and you will never remember them anyway. I hope one day I can forget too.

I love you with every fibre of my being. Please don’t ever stop giving me those cuddles.

Mummy X

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This post originally appeared on Meet Other Mums where I am a regular blogger.

Elf on the Shelf: Week 2

Well this week has been a super busy week for us! It is the last week of preschool and boy can we tell! We are all so tired, the girls have been going to be a little earlier to try and help, it is having little effect.  Hubby and I can barely speak past 8pm but of course once in bed we are wide awake.  Why is that?

We put up the tree at the weekend and went through each and every stage of decorating it. When we moved into our house a few years ago we found an abandoned Christmas Tree in the loft, so now each year we get it down and the girls have it in their playroom.  They can decorate it and ‘destroy’ it as much as they like so they don’t disturb the main tree too much.  We took then out to choose a cheap pack of decorations to put on the tree. Naturally they chose pink and sparkly!

Following that I have been making a Santa cake for my Grandma (professional photos to follow).  My Uncle and his daughter have come over from Australia for Christmas as she asked if I could make them something.  This took up all of nap time and some of the evenings so the days have been spent getting the girls out of some fresh air and finishing other little jobs: the online shop, getting some bits from HobbyCraft etc…

The tumble drier broke last week, we had a company come out the next day but they had to order in a part.  That is now finally fixed so I have a mountain of washing to do.  I kept on top of some of it but in the absence of being able to hang cloths outside t dry i was running out of space! Never again will I underestimate my love of the tumble dryer.

As busy as we have been it looks like our Elf, Sparkle Heart has been even busier rushing between here and the North Pole.  I’m sure she is glad her job only lasts for 24 days a year. See what she go up to last week here.

Day 8

She bought the girls a Bug Puzzle with a ‘fishing net’.  They loved this and played really nicely together (after some not-so-gentle persuasion from me).

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Day 9

This was a Friday, she was obviously getting tired because I walked in and found her attached to my wine.  I was not impressed! If she goes anywhere near my gin I will throw her back to the North Pole myself!

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WTF?

Day 10

She got the decorations out for the girls to do the tree.

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Day 11

She hid herself in the girls tree along with some Santa shaped chocolates that they had to try and find. (They didn’t take long to find then all, when chocolate is involved they don’t waste anytime!).

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Day 12

Sparkle Heart had a riding lesson from Barbie.

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Day 13

She took a ride on the Santa Express.

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Day 14

To ensure the girls spend their last 10 days behaving her found a very good vantage point in the light of the playroom!

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Tune in next week to see what Sparkle Heart has been up to in Week 3.

Our Christmas Traditions

There has been a lot of talk recently about family traditions. Initially I was a little jealous thinking we don’t really have any but then I thought about it and we do. We have loads of them and I hadn’t realised. Then the more I thought about it the more I got excited about it all.

Each year I make gingerbread biscuits and cut them into all sorts of shapes, this year I plan on making baubles for the tree.

I take the girls to see Santa. This is as traumatic as you would expect and we never have a photo at the end of it but it is tradition damn it so we are going!

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Hubby and I spend our weekend evenings drinking Winter Cocktails.

I watch as many Christmas films with the girls as I can.

We actually get crafty for a month, which normally I hate. I can usually get into it a bit more for Christmas.

This year we have started Elf on the Shelf… Stay tuned for more of that.

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We all go out and pick a Christmas tree together.

We put out food and drink for Santa and the reindeer, a mince pie, a G&T and a carrot, on Christmas Eve.

Hubby takes a bite out of the carrot so it looks like it has been eaten.

I make the girls a Christmas Eve box, which includes pyjamas, slippers, a cuddly toy (all of Disney of course) and some chocolate. They get to open it after dinner.

I sit and wrap all of the presents on Christmas Eve whilst watching Christmas films and drinking Santa’s G&T. Sorry Santa.

On Christmas morning the girls come into our bedroom so we can open their stocking gifts all together.

After opening the ‘tree presents’ we go to Hubbys parents house where we spend the rest of the day eating, drinking and unwrapping presents.

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We stay the night there, or at least the girls do, so when they are in bed the adults play board games late into the night.

Boxing day we go to the races at Kempton Park. If we can’t physically go we have the family round to our house and we ‘Host the Races’ in our living room.

This usually concludes our Christmas traditions. Hubby and I both get a little exhausted with it all and usually have the tree down by the 28th. Scrooge I know, but we don’t do anything for New Years Eve anyway now we have children (although I don’t think we ever really did). We are often asleep by midnight so our party season is over by then. Plus the sooner the tree is down the sooner the count down to my birthday can begin!

Does anyone share our traditions or have any good ones I can adopt?

Elf on the Shelf: Week 1

We had a little visitor arrive this December.  She turned up unexpectedly on December 1st in her little box and a book explaining everything about her.  Quickly Pinky chose her name: Sparkle Heart (obviously!).  Miss Sparkle Heart found her way to the bookshelf very quickly where she was very comfortable for her first day, with a good view of the girls and their playing.

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Day 1

The second day she arrived back in the house with some North Pole snow, Pinky had requested some the day before and Sparkle willingly obliged.  This snow was magic and it didn’t melt!  How cool is that?

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Day 2

The third day Sparkle bought a north pole breakfast with her.  Pancakes, pain au chocolat, crumpets, maple syrup and sugar! There was far too much sugar on the table for my liking but fortunately the girls were spending the day with their grandparents so I wasn’t too worried.

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Day 3

Day four and we adults found ourselves a little ‘tired’ after a childfree night.  We may or may not have found ourselves drinking cocktails in London… I refuse to confirm the rumours *cough*.  So luckily I persuaded Sprinkle Heart to put on Paw Patrol for the girls, it was too cold to go outside anyway. *cough*

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Day 4

We awoke to Sparkle Heart reading to some of the toys on Day 5.  It was very sweet and they all seemed to be enjoying ‘The Night Before Christmas’.  That girls head really freaks me out… I am forever catching sight of it in my peripheral vision and thinking someone is stood watching me… I must find a box to hide it in!

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Day 5

The sixth day Sparkle bought with her some figurines to paint.  A little cat and a dog.  Pinky chose the cat so Perky had the dog (this is not a problem she prefers dogs anyway).  Apart from me having a bad day this brightened it up a little.  Well that is until the fights over who the paint pots were closest to! Honestly, some days I wonder why I bother!  It may also be best to skirt over the fact that Perky tried to eat the paint. Twice!

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Day 6 

Day 7 and Sparkle seems to be having a Celebrations HotTub.  This was actually very well timed.  The girls are both a little poorly and we are all very tired so I set up a little resting area in the lounge and put on Christmas films.  We ate the chocolates and popcorn and completely chilled out! It was the perfect Hump Day.

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Day 7

Tune in next week for the next instalment!