Healthy baby snacks to go

When its comes to baby snacks, I like to think that most of the time we try and make good choices for Edie. If we’re at home and it’s snack time, we usually give her berries, or a banana or another piece of fruit.  But when it comes to travelling ( and as neither of us are from Dublin we do a fair bit of that) we’ve learned the hard way that snacks need to be of the drier variety – and to be honest I’ve struggled with that as it is important to me to feed her natural foods as much as I can.  After a good dozen car journeys where we’ve had blueberry and banana vomit, I knew I needed to find her something that was a little less upsetting to a travelling tummy, but was also healthy.

Learning from experience

Trying to make early healthy choices for Edie has probably come from a lifetime of making the wrong ones myself.  Born with a sweet tooth, I am determined that when she is older she will mostly reach for snacks that don’t come in purple wrappers. So, over the last few months I’ve spent some time trying out some products that, although they are packaged are nutritious, are easy on her tummy and are healthy little treats when she needs one, after all everything in moderation!

Organix Goodies – ( available in Tesco, Dunnes and SuperValu) 

Organix is a brand that some of my other Mammy friends had mentioned to me – and their brand mantra of making tasty on the go foods for babies and toddlers using ‘only organic ingredients and no junk’ was certainly enough for me to want to find out a little more about them.

Their Cheese and herb puffs for example, are made only from corn, mature cheese and a little dried parsley and sunflower oil, and they’ve gone down really well as part of a snack (maybe with a few pieces of orange) that tides us over until we finish the journey to Nanny’s. Products start for babies aged 6 months and up and there’s lots to choose from, we love the  rice cakes in this house too.

Innocent smoothies – Just For Kids (available in Tesco, Dunnes and SuperValu) 

I’m a big fan of Innocent as a brand, for years i’ve been using their cookbook to make smoothies that don’t sound delicious but actually are. When my iron fell low after having Edie it’s fair to say I almost fed myself completely from their book, and when I was out and about knew that whatever I picked up from them was loaded with goodness and nothing else.

Edie has been under the weather this week, and while I normally make my own smoothies it was very handy to pick up their Just for Kids smoothie range when I was out and about the other day. I love knowing that there is nothing in it other than oranges mangoes and pineapple – yes that’s it no funny stuff, so again it’s a top car snack for travelling or for a quick healthy fix when I know Edie needs a little extra goodness.

IMG_9381Glenisk Organic Baby bio yogurts – Assorted flavours (available in Tesco, Dunnes and SuperValu) 

As with Innocent, Glenisk is a brand that I’ve been buying for Adrian and I for years, we are absolutely a household of yogurt eaters so I wasn’t surprised to find out that Edie loves her ‘yogi’ too!

The yogurts which come in handy little individual packs of four, are tasty snacks that I use as part of her morning creche snack, so add a few raspberries and a banana and its a great little filler upper until lunchtime. I’ve tried a number of baby yogurts and the reason I keep buying these is because as well as Edie loving these, they have no added sugar, no preservatives, colours are made with real fruit puree and have no bits!  They also have a reward programme where you can save your tokens from the packaging and sign up to choose rewards from the brand.  The baby bios come in a few different flavours, all of which go down well in our house.

 

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Teething dramas – what I’ve learned…

As I sit down to write this I’m listening out, Edie and her Daddy are still asleep. It’s half eleven on a Sunday morning so this is unusual, except for when teething gets in the way!

It was a long night for little miss, she only settled around 5.45 this morning and I can easily say that of all the nights where we’ve been up in the small hours with colds, bugs and restlessness, last night was the worst.

What makes it so bad is the fact that both Edie’s Daddy and I feel so helpless when she’s in that much pain. There’s nothing like a bad bout of teething to make you feel like you can’t comfort them when they need it most.

The Science bit

Back in July after documenting poor little Edie’s teething woes, I got a lovely package from Brush Baby a UK company who make dental care products for babies and toddlers. The package came with some leaflets on the myths and truths about teething, which made for interesting reading. One fact was that I was surprised by was that teeth do not cut through the gums – instead chemicals are released in the babies mouth that cause the little ones guns to seperate and recede, then allowing the teeth to come through – who knew?

IMG_7999Brush brushy brush… ( in the words of Elmo…)

As well as the reading material, they sent me their Firstbrush and Teether set which is available in both Boots and Tesco (8.99e). With a little help from Elmo and pals on youtube, Edie has loved using it morning and night and I’m delighted to say almost three months on that we seem to have created a habit with her by using the products and the Brush Brushy Elmo song to encourage her good habit! A starter toothbrush as well as a teether comes together in the set, and the apple and mint toothpaste has also been a winner!

It’s past 12 now and I’m tempted to wake them up – after all we need her to sleep tonight!

Teething is never easy I’ve learned but the powers of distraction do help the day or night to go in a little quicker for them.  Today will be mostly buggy walks and cuddles, teeth or no teeth and that’s still a perfect day to me.

Taking small steps – the first day at creche

It started with the lunchbox last Sunday afternoon, a simple little pink box.  I bought it in Dealz on Saturday along with a stash of Bountys for himself and a few notebooks to feed my on going notebook addiction.

Buying the lunchbox, bringing it home, even taking it out of the bag – and still nothing registered with me.  It wasn’t until I went to make a name label for the box ( that sounds less ‘make and do’ than it was) that the tears started coming.  Edie was going to creche tomorrow. Our little woman, starting out on her own little path to learning and independence, really I couldn’t believe it.

Starting our little lady at creche the next morning was a big step for all three of us. Until now she was minded by her nanny a few days a week since I had started back at work in July so it was always so much easier to bounce off in the morning knowing that she was in the safest of hands.

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But now, a new routine, new hands. Arms that she had never been held by before. Would she eat and sleep for them? Would she talk and be herself or would she be a little subdued and wonder why I’d left her?

I know I’m not the first mother to go through these feelings, but that doesn’t matter when you’re alone in your own moment of vunerability.  Certainly this week’s back to school and creche photos on Facebook made me think. As a new parent its easy to feel that everyone else isnt stressed or dreading their childs next big step – whether thats school or creche, but thats not the case. Reading the messages under the cute uniformed babas made me realise that we’re all in the same boat, just at different stages.

It’s Friday now and we’re on day five, and I’m happy to report that what everyone says is true, it does get easier. What a little trooper she is. This morning she left out a little excited kick as we got nearer to the gate.

It was just the message I needed, she’s happy and that’s all we could wish for.

 

Moments from a first holiday

It’s the last day of our first holiday as a family of three. We’re all tired. It’s lashing outside long full rain, the sort that bursts pipes and makes you wonder if the roof will come in.

We’re at home, taking a day to recoup before going back to work.

It has been a wonderful week together – of day trips, adventures and fun times. And do you know what, Ireland you are every bit as deadly as you seem.  It’s been great.

Homework done we headed off every day, took advice from our friends who also have small people and this is how it panned out.

We packed picnics, bought sandwiches, made bottles. We got new teeth, forgot ourselves on beaches, hills and park benches. We bought fish and chips, smelled sea air, saw other babas, wore shorts and sunglasses on days when there was no sun.

We talked and walked – beaches, castles, estates, shopping centres. We took in Airfield Estate, Ardgillan Demesne, Skerries, Dun Laoghaire.

IMG_8354There was ice cream, buggy walks, smells of salty beaches.  Strolls down big hills, swings in the playground, small slides. Waving at new friends, tantrums in high chairs.

Good coffee, there was plenty – Butlers, 3FE.  Smiley selfies – first holiday memories for Edie and for us to keep.

There was little chats at 5.30am. Stories in bed, early long breakfasts.  Late nights watching telly, feeling like we had six Saturday nights in a row. Anticipation, time together. Fun doing nothing but planning picnics for tomorrow.

There was magazine reading, now sacred as it is so seldom done. Sneaking in a few pages of style and stories while Edie and Adrian sleep late on a Monday morning. Bliss.

Long showers too. Showers where you are not running for work, where you can let the conditioner stay in your hair for more than thirty seconds.

We made a cot too for Edie’s babies, from a Pampers box. We snuggled Penelope in and Edie looked at us like she was in love.

Adrian painted some pictures, beautiful work while we sat up into the night talking, me having a gin, him wondering if the cat he painted looked more like an owl. Laughing together.

It was perfect to us, our kind of bliss.

 

Get dry hands and nails autumn ready

I don’t know about you but as I get older the quest for soft hands and nails seems to be getting harder.  Between baby bottles and a bit of ezcema/psoriasis my hands are quite dry and a little bit worse for wear most of the time, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I always seem to need a very strong hand cream to make them look any way presentable.

The problem with strong handcreams as I like to call them ( you know the kind – unperfumed medicated thicker creams you might pick up in the chemist) is that they often don’t feel luxurious.  I love skin care, and body creams in general and because of that I want products to feel like a little bit of a treat, an indulgence.

I like something with a little bit of a smell, as well as that nice feeling that your hands have been soaked in something comforting and rejuvenating.  Surprisingly it’s not so easy to find that even in a market that is awash with all sorts of hand creams and lotions.

A few weeks ago my husband and I were out shopping when I stopped to try on some of the Clarins Mandarin leaf scented Hand and Nail Treatment cream at a counter.  As someone with a bit of a hand cream addiction I wanted to try before buying so I lathered some on and walked away without picking it up that day.

In the time that lapsed between us leaving the shop and getting into the car I was hooked.  The citrusy plant based aroma, as well as a gorgeous instant deep soakage (without the greasiness) meant that it was a pretty perfect buy for me.

Autumn ready hands and nails 

The creams are mini 30ml tubes and come in different citrus scents, the bad news is that they are limited edition and when I went to buy more in Arnotts last week they didn’t have any in stock.  The good news is that when I read a little bit about them I found out that they are just a perfumed variant of the original Clarins Hand and Nail treatment which has been around forever and is available as a constant staple from Clarins counters.

Although it’s not a budget product, this is an absolute star buy – genuinley a joy to use.

Since I’ve started using it my hands are generally softer and my nails seems less jagged. Clarins Hand and Nail treatment is available at Clarins counters nationwide.

PS. If you’re lucky enough to come across the citrus mini special editions pick them up, you won’t be disappointed.