Littlest Squirrel

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I have been quiet on the blog lately. We have been busy caring for the newest member of our family and adjusting to life as a family of four.

On The Day You Were Born

On The Day You Were Born

In February Littlest Squirrel entered our world… another little girl! We are now almost 23 weeks in, and we couldn’t be happier. It is hard to imagine loving another little person as much as your first, but Littlest Squirrel has well and truly captured all of our hearts. She is such a joy to be around with her laid back nature and huge beaming smiles. We are truly blessed to have two beautiful happy little girls in our lives.

These smiles!

These smiles!

Having two little ones to look after and entertain certainly does bring its challenges. You have much less time to yourself, and much more tiredness, but I can honestly say it is all worth it. It takes time for your first child to come to terms with the fact that they have to share you with their new sibling, but once they figure it out, the joy of witnessing loving moments and giggles between two siblings is one of the best feelings in the world!

Sisterly Love

Sisterly Love

Now that life as family of four feels normal, I hope to be able to keep my blog up to date with what we have been doing, how we have been coping, and with things that we love!

Brothers & Sisters

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Regular readers may have noticed I have been a little quiet on here of late. The last time I neglected my blog like this I was just pregnant with Little Squirrel…

Yes, it’s happening again! Constant nausea, regular vomiting, out of this world tiredness, and many tears… Seriously, pregnancy is not kind to me!
Yet, we are over the moon that our family is expanding and that Little Squirrel will have a little sister or brother to love as she grows up.

Research!

Research!

I am very lucky to have 2 big brothers who I love dearly. As a little girl, I looked up to them, and followed them everywhere (most likely annoying the hell out of them). As an adult, I am so grateful to have my 2 brothers and their families in my life. I just wish we weren’t all spread out across Ireland, Scotland, and England.

Big Brothers & Me

Big Brothers & Me

My side of the family on our wedding day - though since then I have 4 more beautiful nieces :)

My side of the family on our wedding day – though since then I have 4 more beautiful nieces 🙂

I hope for Little Squirrel and her little brother or sister to love and appreciate each other and enjoy a shared childhood and to have a great friendship in adulthood, supporting each other through good times and bad, like my brothers and me!
I feel very grateful to have my two big brothers in my life… love you both very much!

Little Yums From Plum Baby- A Review

littleyums A few weeks ago the lovely people at Plum Baby sent me a couple of packets of their Little Yums for Little Squirrel to try.

Little Yums are teething wafers made of buckwheat, fruit, and veg, and are organic with no added nasties (sugar, salt, flavours, colours, preservatives).
They are suitable from 6 months onwards, and each box contains 6 packets of 3 wafers.
At present there are two flavour combinations… pumpkin & banana, and spinach, apple & kale.
I tasted both flavours myself, and thought the flavours were very subtle, with both the apple and the banana being the predominant flavours.

Little Squirrel is over 13 months now, loves her food, and really enjoys experimenting with different tastes and textures (some more than others, also mood-dependent). She has gobbled up these Little Yums wafers quite happily when I have presented her with them, with very little mess…
Happy baby = happy Mum. No mess = bonus! 😉

Tucking into Little Yums

Tucking into Little Yums

I would definitely buy these again as they are really convenient to carry around in the changing bag, and are a healthy snack while on the go. I really like that they don’t create much mess either, especially when out and about at other people’s houses or in public places…
I think Little Yums would have been really excellent in the early stages of weaning as they are perfect for little hands to hold, and almost dissolve in the mouth.

I was sent two boxes of Little Yums from Plum Baby for the purpose of this review.
All opinions are my own.

A Letter To Little Squirrel On Her 1st Birthday

Birthday Girl

Dear Little Squirrel

It is hard to believe that a whole year has passed since you entered our lives. We are so incredibly proud of you, and are thrilled with how happy our beautiful little girl is.

You have learned so much in the space of 12 months, as have we!
We are constantly amazed at what you have learned in this short time. From sitting up, to rolling over, to standing, to walking (and then crawling), and sometimes running! From turning the pages of your book, to pointing at the light when asked, to waving and clapping,  to attempting words (love that your first word is “Mm-Pa” for Grandpa)! You are amazing!

From those very first smiles, to hysterical giggling, to the lovely cuddles you now love to give, you have brought much laughter and happiness in to our home.

Can’t wait to see what this next year brings…

Love you lots!

Love you lots!

All our love, Mum & Dad xxx

Our Favourite Bedtime Stories

Yawn

As today is World Book Day I decided to write a little post about some of our favourite books for Little Squirrel.

Bedtime stories are a great way to develop and encourage your little ones’ love of books.
I loved my books when I was a child, Thanks to my parents reading to me before bed, and hope that Little Squirrel experiences this enjoyment for books as she grows.

Little Squirrel is a girl who likes a routine, so stories before bedtime is a lovely ritual to calm her and prepare her for sleepy time. I love spending this quiet time with her , and love how she becomes more and more interactive as she grows, pointing at her favourite pictures and giggling at the funny bits. 

The first book that I introduced into our bedtime routine was Yawn (pictured above). I love the yawn-inducing illustrations by Nick Sharratt and the text has a lovely sleep-inducing rhythm. I always find myself stifling a yawn while reading this to her!

Lullaby Moon by Rosie Reeve is another favourite bedtime story. Mr Hungry Squirrel bought this book for the little one, as the stories and pictures reminded him of Baby Squirrel and me! I love this story about a lovely day with Mummy and Baby Mouse, and the illustrations are beautifully sweet and soft.

My favourite page from this book on the right!

My favourite page from this book on the right!

I bought I Love You, Little Bear by Claire Freedman because it reminded me of Lullaby Moon, and I love bears. Another sweet story about Mother & Baby’s day together with charming illustrations.

Little Squirrel always giggles when I tickle her nose at this page :)

Little Squirrel always giggles when I tickle her nose at this page 🙂

I hope that some of you new Mums & Dads out there take inspiration from our favourites, and we would love to hear some of your favourites too. Please comment below…

NB – as well as being World Book Day, today is also Mr Hungry Squirrel’s birthday. So on behalf of Little Squirrel and I… Happy Birthday to the best Daddy and husband these two girls could ask for! xxx

Daddy & Daughter

Daddy & Daughter

Spinach, Red Pepper, & Cheddar Pancakes

Red Pepper, Spinach & Cheddar Pancakes

Well, as it is Shrove Tuesday, I thought it would be apt to post a pancake recipe. This one is aimed at the little ones, but they are delicious enough for the adults too!

This was one of the first foods I gave Little Squirrel as the pancakes were soft enough for her to gnaw at with her little gums in the days before teeth arrived!

The Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • a handful of spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml milk
  • a handful of grated cheddar cheese
Method
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, then add the red pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes until soft.
Take the pan off the heat, add the spinach, and stir for 30 seconds, until the spinach wilts slightly.
Empty the contents of the pan on to some absorbent kitchen roll, and set aside to cool.
Sautéed pepper & spinach

Sautéed pepper & spinach

Wash and dry the frying pan, lightly oil, and heat.
In a medium mixing bowl add the flour, make a well in the centre and break the egg into it. Add half the milk and beat with a whisk until smooth. Gradually beat in the rest of the milk.
Once smooth, stir in the cooled pepper and spinach, and the grated cheddar.
Use a tablespoon to drop spoonfuls of mixture into the hot pan. Fry for 1-2 minutes on both sides until golden brown.
(I will often finish the pancakes off in a hot oven for a couple of minutes to make sure cooked through, as I find with my hob they can be brown on both sides yet still a little soft in the centre.)
I cut into strips to serve to the little one, and serve with some halved cherry tomatoes and a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt with some grated cucumber stirred through it.
This usually makes around 9 little pancakes, so leftovers can be frozen, or kept in a fridge for up to 2 days. Just reheat in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes before serving.
 

Little Squirrel Loves… ELC Activity Triangle

ELC activity Triangle

Once Baby Squirrel was sitting up by herself, I found that a lot of the toys that we had from her newborn days were not really stimulating her, and was on the lookout for more interactive toys to stimulate her senses, and develop her hand-eye co-ordination…

I have to be honest I yearned for a Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo for Baby Squirrel. Most of my friends with babies have one. The Jumperoo is jam-packed with interactive play options and can keep Baby entertained and in one place for quite some time.

Fisher Price Jumperoo

This piece of kit, however, takes up a fair bit of space, and living in a Glasgow tenement flat means floor space is limited,… and diminishing since the arrival of Baby Squirrel! Also, the (not so) little one has outgrown the Jumperoo’s weight limit!

So when we were given the ELC Activity Triangle by my brother, whose little ones had outgrown it, we were thrilled to see Baby Squirrel explore it. The Activity Triangle is reasonably priced, compact and easy for little hands to grasp, with bright primary colours, and lots of beads and shapes to push, pull, and manipulate.

ELC Activity Triangle

Baby Squirrel is going to be nine months old next week. Can anyone recommend some good interactive toys for this stage?