Friday, 30 November 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful




I'm a bit late with the reasons to be cheerful this week and I can't believe it is Friday already.  I'm not really sure what I've done this week that has made it gone so quick!

We got rid of toddler penguin's dummy last Thursday night via the dummy fairy and I can't believe how easy it has been.  I'm wondering if potty training will be the same!  He is a bit more attached to his mussies but who cares - we're dummy free ! ! !

I'm pretty much on top of my Christmas presents already.  Got a few items in online shopping baskets and I'm waiting for voucher codes before I checkout but apart from that I'm ready to wrap them and put them under the tree which we are buying this weekend.  

I had baby penguin weighed this week.  She was 7lbs 2oz when born, 6 weeks later she is 9lbs 11oz.  She is following the centile lines perfectly and I'm so happy as you can never tell how much milk they are having when exclusively breastfeeding. We are gradually getting out the newborn outfits and into the 0-3 months.  Its sad as I'm going to miss the newborn stage but also exciting to be wearing new clothes.  We've been very lucky to be given lots of lovely clothes from family and friends all in fantastic condition which means I've been spending the money I'd have saved buying girlie baby clothes on sales for 12months plus! I just hope I can find them next year !

Looking forward to reading everyone elses reasons x

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - November 26th

Monday - Left overs from freezer as hubbie is away 
Tuesday - Chilli con Carne
Wednesday - Prawn Pad Thai
Thursday - Omlette and Chips
Sunday - Roast Chicken, Roast Potatoes and vegetables

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Bye bye dummy

Toddler penguin is 2.5 years old and has had a dummy since he was 3 days old when my nipples couldn't bear it anymore.  Recently after misbehaving and we have put him in the naughty corner we've taken the dummy off him at the same time and the whole two minutes he is sitting there he ends up screaming for the dummy and forgetting the reason why he was put in the corner in the first place so I decided it had to go.  Also he is starting to talk with a bit of a lisp - not sure if its dummy related but I want it gone as he relies on it too much.

He also loves his muslins or mussies as we call them.

So Thursday night on the way home from the childminders I told him a story about a dummy fairy who was waiting at home for us and wanted him to collect all his dummies and put them in a pot and in return he would get a present.  As soon as we walked through the door he was practically throwing dummies at me asking for present!  We collected all the dummies, I snuck around the corner and whilst pretending to chat to the dummy fairy. I returned with a small christmas present (Chuggingtons Action Chugger die cast toy) which he was over the moon with. He played with it all evening but come bath time he wanted his dummy.  I explained again that the dummy fairy took them away and proceeded upstairs to run the bath.  I put two sweets on the side of the bath and told him that the dummy fairy had left him a little treat for being so good.  Bath time was not a problem, though he did take a mussie in with him which obviously got all wet! Bed time was a breeze only asking once for his dummy then when I said good night he asked for it again and started to cry.  I told him that I didn't want him to cry as it made mummy sad and every night since he has said "I not crying, it makes mummy sad.  I happy."  Bless! Well he went to sleep with 3 mussies, George pig and Teddy.  He did wake up at 5am and came into bed with us and in the morning asked for it but I reminded him that the dummy fairy took it and he got Action Chugger toy and that maybe the dummy fairy had left him another present as a well done for sleeping through the night.  Turns out he'd been left a Noddy car and Noddy figurine.  Hours of fun with his two new toys and the dummy completely forgotten.

He has asked for it a few times and I've reminded him about the dummy fairy and he continues the story telling me what toys and sweets he got and we've not had a single tantrum.

I'm so proud of my little by, I really didn't think it would be this easy!  Fingers crossed it lasts!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful



I could say this every week but I'm so happy to have two gorgeous children that are healthy and perfect.

I have had to remind myself of that every day this week as I have had a few rough nights with toddler penguin (aged 2.5) and baby penguin (5 weeks). 

Toddler penguin had been dragging out his bedtime asking for more and more cuddles then crying when we left his room.  Two nights ago I told him that I don't like it when he cries as it makes mummy sad.  Last night when I said goodnight to him he said "no crying, it makes mummy sad".  We said our goodnights and we didn't hear a peep all evening.  Sometimes he seems so grown up, I can't believe he remembered what I had said the previous night.

Baby penguin also isn't sleeping well at night, poor bubba is really suffering from trapped wind and I think may be a tad constipated.  Makes me so happy that I can breastfeed as it provides such a comfort to her when nothing else works! With both babies I found breastfeeding really painful at first.  I'd had my latch checked and still the pain in my nipples was just excrutiating. I used nipple shields for 7 months with toddler penguin, I couldn't have breastfed without them.  I lasted 7 days of the same pain with baby penguin and at the point of giving up I dug out the shields and 5 weeks on I'm still breastfeeding albeit with the shields.  They are a faff to use but I don't think I'd have continued otherwise.  We've had a few goes with them off but she has obviously got used the teats and won't latch on without them. Nipple shields have save my sanity!

Finally I've put all my maternity clothes away as I'm nearly in pre-pregnancy clothes and have unpacked a box of normal tops from the loft (I don't bother with breastfeeding tops but wear a strappy top under all my normal tops and do one down and one up). This has resulted in a empty cardboard box lying around until the weekend when papa penguin puts it in the garage.....oh what fun a box is....

You may or may not have noticed but I've done a little re-design of my blog.  Actually little is an understatement - its taken me about a week!  I used to do a bit of web and graphic design in my old job so I've got the skills....but they are rather rusty!  Hope you like it and please let me know your thoughts x

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Recipe Review - Spaghetti con Gamberetti e Rucola

I found this recipe on Jamie Oliver's website which searching for pasta with prawns.  Papa penguin thought not only did it look amazing but it tasted amazing too.

I didn't have the sundried puree so used standard tomato puree and also added a sprinkle of basil and some grated cheese (goats for me and cheddar for hubbie).  I also used easy chilli's that are prechopped in a jar.

This recipe gets 10 out of 10 from us! It had so much flavour and was cooked in under 15 minutes.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Easy dairy free yoghurt and sultana cupcakes

These are yummy and so easy to make.

Ingredients
1 qty 125g Alpro Soya Fruit Yoghurt
1 pot Alfa One Rice Bran Oil (or vegetable oil)
1 pot Caster Sugar
3 pots Self Raising Flour
2 large eggs
2 pots Sultanas

Makes 12 cupcakes

Preheat oven to 170ยบC and line a 12 hole muffin tin with 12 paper cases.

In a mixing bowl (I used my KitchenAid for this) scrape out one yoghurt then use this yoghurt pot to measure out the oil and add to the yoghurt.  Give the yoghurt pot a quick wash and dry well.  Measure out the sugar and flour and add to the yoghurt and oil.  Add the eggs and beat well.

Add the sultanas and stir with a spatula.  Distribute the mixture between the cases, I use an ice cream scoop for ease.

Bake in the oven for 20-25minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and leave to cool in tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack

Yummy yummy !



Sunday, 18 November 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - November 19th


Monday - Salmon and Leek Risotto
Tuesday - Tuna Stir Fry with Black Bean Sauce
Wednesday - Spaghetti con Gamberetti e Rucola
Thursday - Hubbie out so freezer food for me - most likely chilli leftovers !  Don't have to worry about Isaac as Tues and Thurs he eats at the childminders
Friday - Jackets with bacon, goats cheese and beans
Saturday - Chicken and bacon pie
Sunday - Sausage and Mash

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful



I'm a bit obsessed with organisation (clue in the blog title) so this week I've been trying to get baby penguin into a routine. She is only 4 weeks so I know not to have any huge expectations but I just feel we need to be a bit more organised. We are following baby whisperers EASY routine. I used the EASY routine with 
toddler penguin and it really worked for us.  At the moment we seem to be feeding a quite a bit, I'm not sure if its a growth spurt or if she is just sucking for comfort but we are working our way towards 3 hourly and it really helps me understand what she wants when she cries. Being in a routine just makes me feel a little bit more in control of things!

One of my closest friends is back from Singapore for a couple of weeks and her and her hubbie came to stay. Since I've had kids our lives are completely different but she has made me realise that although I miss the city life, shopping, massages, cocktails after work etc....I'm loving being a mum so much more. Yes it is hard work but its so rewarding and so much more challenging that my previous life....I wouldn't change it at all!

I am loving my iPad right now especially during the night feeds....I'm getting all my Christmas shopping research done between the hours of 1am and 3am whilst baby penguin is feeding!


Looking forward to reading everyone elses reasons x

Monday, 12 November 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - November 12th

Monday - Chicken Korma and Naan
Tuesday - Shepherds Pie and Baked Beans
Wednesday - Chicken and Chorizo Risotto
Friday - Leftovers from freezer as hubbie is out
Sunday - Pork Schnitzel with new potatoes and gravy 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes

My friend visited the other week and mentioned she had heard about Ferrero Rocher cupcakes so I decided to have a go. I did google some recipes but they were all a bit faffy so I used a basic victoria sponge recipe as follows:

Ingredients
6oz Self Raising Flour sifted
6oz Butter 
6oz Caster Sugar
3 eggs
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp milk 
12 Ferreo Rochers

Put the chocolates in the freezer an hour before cooking. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Put the first 6 ingredients in a mixer and give it a good beating until fluffy.
In a muffin tin distribute muffin cases and put a teaspoon of the mixture into the cases then add a Ferrero Rocher. Then fill an ice cream scoop with spring handle two thirds full and add to each muffin case.
Cook in oven for approx 25 mins.

When cakes are cooked and cooled down make butter icing adding some nutella and milk. Yum yum!


Do leave me a comment if you make them!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful


This has been my first week on my own with toddler penguin (2.5yrs old) and baby penguin (3weeks old) and it hasn't been as hard as I thought however last week my mum came to stay and I've been missing her loads. Not just the adult company but the help as well so mum if you are listening thank you so much for your help last week - I really appreciated it. Thanks for getting through my nasty ironing pile and hope the early mornings weren't too hard on you!

The funniest part of my mums visit was when I decided to leave her with a sleeping baby and a toddler that needed to be dressed whilst I showered! As I got out the shower I could hear baby screaming so I quickly got dressed and came downstairs to find toddler penguin in nothing but his socks running around the house doing the naked dance and mum cradling the baby! Turns out halfway through getting 
toddler penguin undressed, baby penguin started crying so toddler penguin continued to get himself completely undressed! Just as well he hadn't pooped in his nappy! Ahhh Grandmas......you've got to love them!

I must also write about how amazing my husband papa penguin is.....in fact I might write this every week! He will get up with 
toddler penguin at weekends whilst I lay in with baby penguin. He plays with toddler penguin, cuddles the baby, does the nappy changes, does bathtime and continues to put the rubbish out, hoover and will generally do anything else I ask. Fair enough he doesn't get up in the night but then baby penguin is exclusively breastfed and I can seem to function on less sleep than him. Plus he will watch them both if I have a nap at weekends. I have married an amazing man!

I am also really cheerful that I meal plan. I've meal planned ever since papa penguin and I moved in together. Everyday around 3pm he would call me at work and ask what was for dinner or what did we fancy. I hated being put on the spot and could never decide on anything. We would either eat really cheaply using store cupboard ingredients or a pop to the shops on the way home which meant accidentally spending about £20 a night or we'd get a takeaway. Now not only do I meal plan but it goes on a shared online calendar which gets sync'd to both our phones....and it's on my blog. Being a bit sleep deprived at the moment it's hard to work out what I want to eat so we've been meal planning together then doing the weekly online shop.


Finally although I haven't kept this week simple following on from Mummy From the Hearts picture post, this picture says it all for me this week.


Monday, 5 November 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - November 5th

Monday - Lasagne 
Tuesday - Chicken and Okra curry with rice and naan
Wednesday - Pitta Pizzas
Thursday - Chorizo and Bean Risotto
Friday - Salmon Pasta
Weekend involves a visit to the in laws!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Knowing Me Knowing you Meme

My name is Lara. Although I'm not new to blogging, I'm reasonably new to Blogspot; I've been here since June 2012. The purpose of this meme is to bring bloggers together, to learn about the person behind the computer screen, it's a great way of making new friends.

The Purpose of this meme was to bring bloggers together, to learn about the person behind the computer screen, it's a great way of making new friends.

The Rules 
Nominate five other blogs in your post ( All must have less than 250 subscribers)
Post five random facts about yourself.
Answer the five questions that the tagged has asked you, then list your own five questions to ask others.
Let your 5 friends know you have tagged them by commenting on there blog/tweeting them.

My five random facts

1. I'm lactose intolerant but have an addiction to cadburys dairy milk!
2. I only have 9 toenails
3. I was in Joseph and the Amazing Techniclour Dreamcoat with Philip Schofield at the London Palladium when I was 9
4. I'm an only child
5. I have a fear of ships and clowns


I've been tagged in by Wendy at glitzygleam to answer the following questions.  


My five questions to answer

1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging earlier this year to start a new hobby.  I'm addicted to being organised and I just felt the need to blog it. Once I'm settled into a routine with the newborn then I'm looking forward to blogging a bit more.

2. Whats your favourite film and why?

Most probably Practical Magic.  I love the magicness off it, it always make me feel happy and I love the soundtrack too.

3. If you could go anywhere in a time machine,where would you go and why?

I would love to relive our wedding day, it just went far too quickly !  I would have liked to danced more, have more photos of the two of us taken and generally stood back and taken it all in.

4. When did you last say "I love you"?

At 7pm last night when I said good night to toddler penguin!

5. Name one item you never leave home without and why?

Lip Balm - I'm addicted to the stuff !  Have a pot of vaseline in every room in the house and in my handbag and baby bag !

My 5 Questions to the next bloggers

1. What is your favourite day of the week and why?
2. What is your idea of comfort food?
3. What time of day do you usually blog?
4. When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?
5. Are you looking forward to Christmas?

Tag - you're it !

Petit Moi - Big World
Confessions of a Stay at Home Mum
I'm in here somewhere
Mama Owl
Ups & Downs, Smiles and Frowns

Friday, 2 November 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful


Continuing on from the letters R2BC I've decided to join X, Y and Z together...what difficult letters....I've been struggling!

X for kisses and the more the better! My kids get kisses from me all day! Toddler penguin comes into our bed every morning whilst hubbie is in the shower getting ready for work. Most most mornings I hear the squeak of his door then ours. I hear him put George pig, teddy and mussie on our bed then hear and feel him climb in. Yesterday morning I was so sparko that him planting a wet smacker on my lips woke me! What a fab way to be woken up! It's not just kisses from the kids that make me cheerful but from papa penguin too! We always make time for kisses throughout the day and if it's been a busy hectic one we'll always have a kiss before we pass out from the recent sleep deprivation!

Y for You, my readers. I didn't start a blog to be read but to document things I do and to start a new hobbie. If you are reading this thank you for sparing the time to listen to my rambles!

Z for Zzzzzzzzzz........any 40 winks I can't get right now is a blessing. It's currently 2:55am Friday morning and I'm just writing this....in bed with baby penguin who is 17 days old and feeding. This is the first time I've written a post on my iPad and in the middle of the night!