30 October 2015

The Little ones go to Legoland

Last weekend we headed to Legoland Windsor as a treat for the girls, we had surprised them on Little 1's birthday with home made tickets telling them they were going a couple of weeks previously and they were really excited, they had been counting the sleeps and suddenly it was time to go.

An early start on the Friday morning saw us arriving at the park around half ten after a smooth journey but having been caught in traffic driving through Windsor park, the girls were so good in the car and Little 3 slept thankfully, he does not really do long journeys he is either asleep or crying bless him, I think he gets bored. 

On arrival the girls were excited and shouting out what they could see and leaning over barriers and fences to watch the bigger rides as we walked down into the depths of the park.

We spent the rest of the morning building mini pumpkin models and adding them to the halloween display, playing on the play area and tucking into our sandwiches while building lego in Heartlake City.

The girls sat on our shoulders and watched the Lego Friends show which they enjoyed and Little 3 miraculously managed to nap throughout the whole show!

Daddy spent most of the afternoon queueing for a boat ride with the girls while Little 3 and I went for a wander, armed with a snack the girls were really well behaved in the queue which took an hour and a quarter instead of the 40 minutes advertised but they had really wanted to go on that boat. I ended up missing them taking their turn as I had decided they were going to be a while yet after popping back to see where they had got to in the queue and sat down to feed Little 3, only to see them getting off the ride as I popped him back in the buggy to go and watch them have their turn. oh well, they were all smiling.

Luckily that was the biggest ride wait of the weekend and the rest were only a few minutes or so, the girls both enjoyed driving a lego car and being in control of a helicopter.

After a night at our hotel where we ended up playing musical beds (who thought two double beds in a family room was a good idea), with two small girls pretending to snore and giggling/poking each other each other until Daddy swapped places with Little 2 who then spent the night sleeping like a starfish next to me, how can someone so small take up so much room, while I attempted to resettle Little 3 numerous times without waking the others up! A hearty cooked breakfast and lots of coffee for me and we were back at the park for opening time.

After spending the day before looking around the park, allowing the children to play at the lego stations and going on a few rides, we had made a plan and rushed to the rides we really wanted to go on and having got there early we got straight on. We all loved the Atlantis under the sea ride, Little 3 was transfixed by the fish (sorry about the dark picture, no flash was allowed).

Little 3 had his first train ride and got a face full of cold water when we got squirted from the side but he didn't seem to mind, he was too busy watching everything pass by.


We ate our lunch while we watched a puppet show and played with more lego, rode on some more rides and played in the park at Duplo valley before it started to rain, we had come prepared and the girls donned their rainsuits as we explored miniland.

Everyone was rather tired by this point after walking miles around the park for two days so we headed off for an early tea as we wanted to hit the road before all the traffic kicked out from the rugby world cup semi's incase we got stuck in it on the motorway. The girls wanted one last go at panning for gold and earnt themselves a medal before we headed home.

All three Little ones were asleep by the time we had left the car park and it was a smooth 2 hour drive home with a quick stop to feed Little 3 some tea and a snack for everyone else, a change into pyjamas and a glass of milk later the girls fell straight asleep in their beds until morning they really must have been shattered.

We had a fun weekend at Legoland and enjoyed spending time together as a family, where shall we go next?

20 October 2015

Weaning Little 3 with Ella's kitchen

Little 3 has now been weaning 2 months and he is doing well judging by the hefty 1lb 10oz weight gain last month! He is now just turned 7 months and is eating everything I give him from mini sandwiches, to chunks of fruit and veg and bits of roast dinner, he even tried noodles the other night (boy that was messy), the majority of his food is home cooked but what about the times when I need something quick or when we are on the go or he simply refuses the lovingly prepared portion of yummy home cooked fare that I had planned for his dinner.

This is where Ella's Kitchen come in, over the years I have tried most of the baby food jars and pouches on the market when weaning the three Little Ones and I have to say Ella's Kitchen are my favourite. The food actually looks like proper food, it is not all orange goo with lumps in it it is actual food in tiny little textured portions. on opening a pouch you get an inviting aroma of what is in there not like some others that all look, smell and taste the same. Ella's Kitchen pouches also taste really yummy, like real food. Yes I have tasted quite a few of Little 3's dinners just to check they are not too hot of course!!

When Ella's Kitchen heard how much we liked their baby food they sent us some goodies for Little 3 to try. A couple of breakfasts, a yoghurt pouch, some of their fruit slurpers for the girls and their new range of 6 months plus thicker texture pouches too.

Straight off I love the design of the pouches, bright inviting colours, cartoon type drawings of the ingredients and taste bud tingling meal names - fancy some 'very very tasty vegetable and lentil bake with cumin' or 'lip smacking spag bol with a sprinkle of cheese' anyone? They certainly do get my taste buds tingling and they are not even meant for me! 

Ella's Kitchen have recently introduced a range of 6 months plus pouches designed to bridge the gap between runny first purees suitable from 4 months and the ones with a bit of texture and the beginnings of lumps suitable from 7 months. Having been fed on my cooking Little 3 has sped through the stages of puree weaning as I didn't really start with runny goo more slightly thicker puree and by 6 and a half months he was ready to try something a bit more solid but not yet quite ready for the textured 7 month pouches which caused him to gag a bit. 

We tried the new 6 months plus range and we loved them as the perfect texture for the stage Little 3 was at. Various combos such as 'tomato and lentil bake with red peppers' and 'cauliflower cheese with butter beans' ticked the boxes for me with tasty new flavours for him to try and still easily digestible and gentle on his little tummy too.

The texture of these pouches is of a really thick puree (think mashed potato) and although Little 3 gagged the first few spoonfuls the first time we tried a pouch he soon began chomping, chewing and using his tongue to move the food around and had no problems with the texture or the yummy new tastes he was experiencing.

More Please!

These pouches are just like the others in the Ella's Kitchen range and completely 100% organic, with No added refined sugar or salt, No concentrates and No additives or colourings either, they are available in supermarkets RRP £1.29 for 120g pouch.

Little 3 Liked all the 6 month pouches and the mango yoghurt pouch we tried too. He wasn't quite so sure of the breakfast pouches though, they are made with greek yoghurt and had a slight tang to them (as they have no added sugar) which he isn't used to for breakfast as I normally feed him baby porridge or toast and fruit which are both quite sweet, I think he would have preferred them as a pudding.

Ella's Kitchen also sent the girls some of their fruit smoothie fruit pouches, these are big hits in our house with the favourites being 'the red one' and 'the purple one'. I buy them most weeks and they are eaten by all the Little Ones, as pudding or breakfast by Little 3 and on the go, as a snack or in lunchboxes for the girls. We were sent a few flavours we hadn't tried before. Little 2 liked 'the white one' which I hadn't bought previously as it was coconut and I didn't think they would like it (I was wrong). Little 1 likes 'the green one' with kiwi and the new addition to the fruit smoothie family 'the orange one' with mangoes, coconut milk, apples and bananas for a tropical taste so it looks like my cupboards will be filled with an array of colourful smoothies from now on. I had planned to take a picture of the girls enjoying them but they were all gone before I could do so!

N.B We received the products mentioned and pictures above from Ella's kitchen in retrn for this post, however all opinions are our own honest thoughts.

13 October 2015

Little 1 has a birthday-she turned 6

Last weekend It was Little 1's birthday, she turned six years old. I wasn't quite ready for her to turn 6, she has changed and grown up so much in the last few months and having been busy running a household with three children and occupied with a baby in the last few months I feel I have missed a little bit of her growing up. It sounds a bit strange I haven't missed it at all but there is something about her turning 6 and being in year 1 now that just makes her seem so big and grown up all of a sudden.

The day started with a lie in, her not me, I was up with Little 2, I think she had been tired from a busy week of school so Little 2 and I prepared her chosen birthday breakfast of croissants and when we were all up we enjoyed a leisurely family breakfast while she opened her first present. We bought her a Frozen bracelet making kit and she wanted to do it straight away, both girls spent the next hour playing with it nicely together. She wasn't bothered that there was a pile of things to open nor wanted to rush through them like she had done last year.

Once the girls had finished bracelet making and Little 3 was having a snooze Little 1 opened the rest of her things, we bought her the Disney Cinderella Lego castle and surprised both girls with tickets to a weekend at legoland at half term as well as other things.

We then headed off to meet a few of Little 1's friends at a soft play place, having arrived at 11am and kept the children's energy levels up with sausages and chips for lunch we eventually dragged exhausted children and a couple of parents too off the equipment and headed home at nearly 3pm! We all had a good time playing and catching up with friends, Little 3 even had a go in the ball pool!

Most of Little 1's birthday pictures contain the addition of a doll this year, she is Olivia from Rainbows (Brownies) that Little 1 started attending last month, she was to bring her home this week and write in the accompanying diary for the week before passing her onto the next child, needless to say Olivia shared the birthday celebrations and came to soft play.

Once we had arrived home Nanny and Uncle M arrived for more presents shortly followed by Granny and Grampy, we all enjoyed Little 1's choice of pizza and fruit salad for tea as well as a slice of her princess birthday cake. Eventually we persuaded 3 tired children into bed but not until Little 1 had declared 'This was the best birthday ever!'. 

At 6 Little 1's favourite things are:

  • Without a doubt her baby brother
  • Reading (anything)
  • Writing stories
  • Playing schools
  • Anything purple
  • Riding her bike
  • Playing at the park
  • Fairies and princesses 

9 October 2015

Little 3 has a go at painting

Tomorrow is Little 1's sixth birthday so today while she was at school Little's 2 and 3 helped me to make some birthday cards for her. Little 2 wanted to do some sticking and was busy with pom poms, confetti bits and glitter while I decided paint was probably a better choice than sticking bits for a 6 month old!

He got all excited sitting in his highchair and watching me get the paint out, I'm sure he was thinking it looked like a tasty new food to eat! I let him have the tray and he put his fingers in it and smushed it around then attempted to eat the paint tray so I swiftly replaced it with a piece of card.

He liked scratching the card making some finger prints in the process as well as covering the table and the highchair but I am amazed as he did not put his hands to his mouth once, he didn't paint for long though as I decided the card looked good and cleaned him up quite quickly! Next time I promise to let him explore the paint more.

I hope Little 1 likes the card he made for her, I think it looks quite good.

Seeing as he can't hold a crayon yet, Little 2 helped me chose a picture of him to print and use in the card, we decided a bit of pink glitter looked good too. I think the birthday girl will love her card as she is very close to her little brother and it will mean a lot to her.

While Little 3 was painting and having finished her own card Little 2 did a little picture too, she told me it was a rocket.

I wonder what Little 3 might like to be creative with next, do you think he is old enough for gloop?

2 October 2015

Little 2 goes to preschool

September saw Little 3 starting pre school, the same one that Little 1 started 2 years ago. Having gone to rising 3's at a different school last year Little 2 was used to being away from me for a few hours and was really looking forward to following in her sister's footsteps attending pre school in the grounds of the infant school that Little 1 now attends.

The preschool is literally across the path from Little 1's classroom this year and the girls can see each other when Little 2 is playing in the preschool fenced outside area and Little 1 is in the playground at the same time. They were looking forward to talking to each other over the fence and Little 1 was happy that her little sister was going to be in close proximity to her several days a week (I sometimes think that she gets a bit jealous that her younger sister gets to spend time with me at home when she has to go to school).  

Little 2 was really excited about going and jumped around all morning until her first afternoon settling in session, she had woken up at the crack of dawn and put on her uniform before anyone else was awake bless her. She skipped to school and went in with a little wave and came out smiling, my little girl is growing up.

She has now been at preschool a few weeks and is going for three full days, she loves her little owl lunch box and helping me to make her lunch each evening and still skips there every morning and comes out smiling. So far she has come home covered in dried playdough, paint, with soggy sleeves, grassy knees and sand in her hair, she has brought home playdough she made and told me she has learnt some new songs so needless to say she is having fun. 

Several of her friends from rising 3's have gone to the same preschool as well as a couple of friends children so she has lots of lovely little friends there and I hope she continues to have fun and enjoy it as much as little 1 did, it will not be long now before that school application letter hits the doormat!

obligatory first day back photograph