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The polar express!

polar1I’m writing this post quickly tonight, in part because I’m still on a high from how beautiful yesterday was but also because when I looked last night there were a very few amount of tickets left, so if any of our friends or family wanted to get on board (pun intended) this then there is still a chance. ( http://www.tram.co.uk/events/category/the-polar-express-tram-ride/6 )

Yesterday I took just me and my biggest of littles to the polar express (aka Seaton Tramway), where we traveled all the way to the North pole! I’d heard good things but what we got surpassed anything I’ve done before. The entire experience was completely magical, I can’t actually put it into words. I think unless you’ve experienced the magic you just can’t fully ‘get’ it, but I’l share a few dozen photos anyway, just in case 😉 I really can’t recommend this enough, it is worth every single penny and more. A true gem. This will be a staple in our family christmases from now on and I’m genuinely sad to have to wait a whole year to let James’ and Etty in on the magic. Anyway, here’s what we got up to:

polar2polar3polar5polar6polar7polar8polar9 (2)The tram ride takes you through the story of the Polar Express with actors playing the cast, singing, dancing, and never once breaking character. They were phenomenal, friendly, funny and portrayed their role in such a hypnotizing way. It really did transport you right into the film in a way I can’t hugely explain. The whole ensamble was so moving, and I know I’m a bit of a wet drip but I know so many others who felt the same way when they first experienced the magic. Aboard the polar express you enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and plenty of festive and fun entertainment all in keeping with the film and super engaging for the kids even as young as Elin and younger.polar13polar12polar16polar14polar15This moment was so sweet for me, as Elin held her golden ticket up to the window, copying a scene from the film. She really understood the context of it as well as it being a fun train journey which made it even more great.polar17polar18polar21polar19polar20Elin is still going strong with her request to Santa of a nice green apple for her, and purple grapes for Etty. She has however changed her mind and would now like a purple scooter, not pink. Recon our elf on the shelf can perform that sort of magic over night? I loved how they didn’t rush us through and really took time with Elin and responded so delicately to her nerves. In fact all the characters were amazing at bringing out her confidence and she lapped that up, really turning on the charm throughout the trip.

polar24polar23Her face when Santa then comes onto the platform! Pure. Joy.polar22Just me and my biggest girl.

As much as I adore her little sister (which really doesn’t ever need to be said) it was so special just spending time with just her. We spent two years just the two of us, learning together and exploring this journey of motherhood, and childhood with each other for company. She makes me proud every day with the love she has for Etty and is always the most inclusive sister that there ever could be, but at the same time shes gone through some of the biggest changes and shifts this last year. She handles it kindly and sweetly with a pout and a moan, but with a heart of gold.

Spending some quality time just the two of us was beyond special. I got to see just how much she has grown and developed and was reminded what great company she is too. Its easy to overlook when you’re juggling babies and balancing life but I really am in love with the little human. She is wonderful. She was also so excited to get back to Etty (and present her with a bell especially for Etty that Elin had asked Santa for; ‘one for Etty too please!’) and was telling her animatedly in the bath all about it. Next year we will all go as a family as Etty will be so much more into it, but it definitely made this year so special just Elin and me. I need to include more dates with her and me into our lives as I know it benefited both our souls. polar25polar26The journey home we all sang carols and Christmas songs together. It was lovely and it was then I will admit I got a bit tearful. It really was just a beautiful experience all around. While we are die hard Otter fans (previous post https://littlelathey.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/a-visit-to-santa/ ) this tops it for me. It was just so creative and expertly done. A true piece of magic found in Seaton, of all places. If you’d seen my face when we arrived home again you’d know just how special this is. If you only do one Santa experience this is the one to do. Hands down.

I hope everyone is enjoying the run up to christmas as much as we are in this household. Elin is totally buzzing right now and I genuinely think her head could explode come the 25th! Have  a good week everyone!polar27

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A visit to santa!

otter6Today James took the morning off work so that we could all visit Otter nurseries and meet the man of the moment. We love Otter and always visit for the christmas shop and saw Santa here two years ago too. Its a wonderfully festive experience but this year they absolutely out did them selves. We booked tickets back in September (weekends went in august I think!) which is crazy but absolutely worth it. I almost didn’t as wanted to check out some other experiences locally too but I’m so glad I changed my mind as it was the most wonderful thing, bigger and better than we could have thought. The entire thing is utterly magical and its safe to say; Otter know how to do Christmas! Some photos;

otter5.jpgotter3otter1otter7otter2.jpgThese girls are too cute! Put them in red and in the middle of a magical Santa’s kingdom and my mumma heart is bursting today (although nap time bought me back down to earth I promise).

I commented on Insta this week how people might comment about what a shame it is having two girls (I’m sure that just gets worse and boy mama’s hear it too!) but I look at our two beauties and my heart is so full. They are just truly amazing sisters and I’m so grateful I get to be their mumma. Their bond is getting even better these last few weeks as both girls are developing. Elin truly has a heart of gold and includes Etty in absolutely everything, to the point she doesn’t even want that illusive and special ‘mummy and Elin time’ because she’s so inclusive of baby etty (although she did thrive on it when we managed to escape and take our biggest ice skating this week!) And Etty’s smile is always its widest for her big sis, and shes unbelievably tolerating of all the cuddles too. I couldn’t imagine our family any other way.

otter9otter10otter11.jpgotter8otter12.jpgotter13Back to otter; After you all sing the reindeer hockey cockey, read a story in Santa’s garden with Rudy and Judy renideer, explore the animals and sleighs and toy shop you head to the kitchens to make reindeer food. (Extra thumbs up to otter for omitting glitter from the magical recipe!) It is just so lovely and so far from the bog standard santa experience. Elin is pretty cautious of strangers (which is a giant understatement) so if it were just a case of plonking her on Santas lap and chucking her a gift she would be pretty disenchanted very fast. But this just felt so personal and really made you believe in the magic. You never felt rushed and the staff were so happy and accommodating, they really have created something special.otter14.jpgWhile Elin went expectantly shy, there were no tears from either girl! Result!otter15.jpgotter16.jpgotter17otter18I loved how patient Santa was and even though Elin had gone quiet he still maintained the magic and told her all about her teachers and best friend and knew what her interests were. She came away and has talked about him non stop since (refusing to sit near the fireplace in case Santa comes early!) so it clearly all helps build up the magic in her little head. Just lovely. Then you wrap the whole thing up with a train ride home again, to complete a toddlers dream day out.

We loved today and can’t thank Otter Nurseries enough for keeping the magic alive for all our babies. Christmas is such a magical time and this will be hard to beat. I’d encourage anyone and everyone to book early next year as its not to be missed, but my festive heart may break if i were to somehow miss out so please remind me to get in there too!

We had a weekend trip to Ford Abbey’s white Christmas event this weekend but have bumped it. Elin is just HANGING right now and a chilled weekend is definitely needed so we don’t burn out too early. Tomorrow is her last day of term and we are massively proud of her and how she has SMASHED pre school this school year. She’s come a really long way and it can feel tedious and exhausting but when you take a step back and see how much you’ve progressed its a big thumbs up. We have a few more festive bits going on but mostly starting to unwind and enjoy some cosy days together.

Have a lovely weekend everyone, whatever you are up to!

 

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Oh Christmas tree

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I remember writing that our luck would run out soon with family days out and this week proves it might just have done! I garentee this life of ours is far from picture perfect, anyone eves dropping into my disciplining Elin today can agree with that (in her defense she has been ill and in my defense I have been house bound with two kids for a week 😉 ) but occasionally when everything goes right these girls really are the sweetest.

Earlier this week James got rained off work which meant a bonus morning together where we decided to decorate our tree. It had been stood there with just its lights for a few days waiting for when we were altogether (and actually I think this helped curb Etty’s obsession with it as she’s totally ignored it since, bonus!) but hanging all the decorations really was lovely. We snacked on mini marshmallows and told Elin stories about some of our special decorations and what they represent in our lives. It was lovely. Elin’s energy is still a bit lacking from this nasty bug she’s had but for an hour here she had a genuinely brilliant time and it made me some really happy memories.

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We picked up the girls pajamas from New york this summer and they are just the best. I’ve driven James nuts since because he keeps grabbing them for the girls at bed time and I’ve been insisting on saving them for a special occasion. After this I will let them wear them like a normal person would (before neither of them fit anymore) but it was really cute seeing them properly twinning for the first time. I’m still working on James to allow full on matching family Christmas Pajamas but for now these will do!decorations16decoration18DSC_0505decorations13DSC_0512decoration17DSC_0535decorations19

One of our traditions, which I know lots of other people do too, is try and buy one or two significant decorations each year. Slowly I’d like our whole tree to be full of decorations that mean something to us and have a bit of a story behind them. This will take much longer if we break any more like we did our first Christmas together, but we won’t mention that. Those special ones are right at the top of the tree away from little curious fingers but it was special telling Elin about them, the places we have visited together and the milestones we have met. She also got to hang her own first decoration on the tree this year. (Etty’s is hiding in the christmas eve box for later this month!)decorations6

She gave Etty the last marshmallow. Take away from the fact I’d never really offer Etty a marshmallow just yet, it was still adorable. Especially as it was her last one. Moans for England does our Elin, but she does have a heart of gold.decorations8decorations15DSC_0563DSC_0580decoarations10

So while our tree seems pretty safe and Etty is more enamored by the stairs than the decorations, the train track is a different matter. James had this idea and quickly arrived home with one and admittedly it is cute as anything. But the song of jingle bells and tiny chubby fists permanently grabbing train track pieces lost its novelty factor fairly quickly. For me at least. Elin on the other hand could sit and watch it for hours (okay, it is beautiful) and she promptly pulled up a chair to listen and watch in awe. While I can get on board with this as a new family tradition I’m also quite okay just bringing it out of a morning or evening to keep it feeling that bit more special for longer!decorations14

Miss Ettienne seems pretty happy with it being her first Christmas. And mummy’s quite thankful to not be pregnant this Christmas and enjoy all the wine. (so much wine).decorations9decorations11decorations12

No matter what your traditions are or how grand you celebrate there really is nothing better then being surrounded by those you love. These babies truly test me beyond anything but they are good kids and I wouldn’t be without them. I think the holidays remind us of that and there is no better time to feel grateful and blessed then right now. Happy weekend everyone! tree1

 

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A Lathey family christmas

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So I’m a massive fan of Christmas. I love it, the build up, the day itself and food induced coma afterwards. Massive sucker for all that stuff and that’s only grown since having kids. This year we are even more excited because not only is it Ettienne’s first ever Christmas, but its likely the first Christmas Elin will remember and have a real understanding of. So I’m totally okay going over board on festivities in the lead up.

Having said all that the first few days on Decemeber haven’t quite lived up to what we’d planned. With a combination of fire shouts, injuries, tea rooms not serving tea and in the last few days a killer sickness bug in the biggest little, its left me feeling a bit lack luster of it all. But I guess its good to get this all out the way now rather than for the main event, right? Anyway, I’m pretty sure photos are my love language so looking back on these reminds me of all the good things in life, not those other things out of our control. Here’s some of the positives from what we’ve been up to!

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The girls’ ‘activity advent calendar’ sent us on the hunt for Santa’s reindeer. We headed over to Cotley farm to scout out two of his best flyers. This place has been recommended to me lots and it is very sweet. The reindeer were great and the bonus of baby pigs, cows and lambs was even better. Its beautifully decorated for Christmas and a sweet alternatives to more plastic-y and commercial activities. Its also got the added bonus that its free for  a donation, which is always good at such an expensive time.

However we did struggle as the ‘Tea room’ wasn’t serving hot drinks when we visited, go figure. It also serves no food which we didn’t realize, although free mince pies and mulled wine are a nice touch (not so much when you’re two, though).  I’m not sure if we just got unlucky that day or if its not really equipped as a tea room at all but it did mean we had to leave pretty quick to appease little miss almost three, who’d been promised a hot chocolate when we saw the hot chocolate mix. Not a huge deal but I’d recommend bringing a picnic and thermos. I doubt we’d go again unless we were in the area but it was a nice spot to while away an hour and if your local a great way to spend an inexpensive afternoon.

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Little Miss Ettienne is 9 months old. as in. 9 whole months. when did that happen? Shes a real mummas girl but also a total character right now. her eye brows are the most expressive things I’ve seen, shes got a smile I can’t compare to any other and still yodels like chewbacca at every opportunity. I’m fairly ashamed of myself just how few photos I have of just her on my camera roll, but whether I capture it or not she is a totally beautiful soul and is loved beyond words. James and I still catch ourselves and comment how awesome she is on a daily basis (we do with both girls in all honesty though!) Happy 9 months earth side, my Etty.

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Yes those are pigtails you spy!

After leaving Cotley we did stumble on a wonderful play cafe in Ottery (of all the cafes I could visit for Elin to use the toilet we pick one with a kids play castle taking up the entire downstairs!) It was amazing and so engaging for both girls with the bonus of it being 100% more bearable than your average soft play. We got a free play with our food order so will go back after visiting santa at the garden centre next week. Elin has talked non stop about that slide since. Will try and write about that visit properly then as it really was a gem!

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In our house we are ALL about those traditions, many we started before the girls were even here. Like, we have to get our tree from our favorite farm in Lyme Regis where you can pick your own. My love for this comes from a children’s book I had when I must have been Elins age. there were no words but there was a scene depicting a family cutting down their Christmas tree themselves and loading it on the car. Something about that always stuck with me and it was how I imagined Christmas would be like as a grown up. Pretty scary being that grown up now.

However in true ‘we are so not a picture perfect Christmas card’ tradition Elin through a massive wobbler having convinced her self that picking the tree also meant we were heading to soft play. Apparently those two things are interchangeable when you’re two. But we did have a lovely time before the penny dropped and she realized that a giant garish soft play centre wasn’t hidden in the out buidlings of this quaint little spot on the hill. And she was pretty excited to drive home with the tree ‘up there’. She’s actually asked me if the tree will go on our roof of our house one day too! Some pics of that:

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If there’s one thing about Christmas I don’t love its all the colds flying around. I always forget this when I start anticipating the early nights again but when they hit I’m reminded how rubbish it is with kids who catch anything going. Snot central in this house from November til March!DSC_0467DSC_0460DSC_0456DSC_0454DSC_0443

We have a lot planned this month to keep us all feeling as festive as possible. I’l do my best to document it all so you know if something is worth bothering with. But on our list so far we have a visit to the main man at Otter Nurseries (THE best grotto experience I have ever seen and so local to us!), carols at the donkey sanctuary this Friday night, the polar express on Seaton Tramway, a public pajama party showing the film in symondsbury and keeping our fingers crossed Elin is up for ice skating at the weekend! Time will tell. Happy December everyone!DSC_0452

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Sopley Farm!

DSC_0231Remember what I said about traditions and seasons and all that lark? So, my absolute favourite thing to do in October is visit a pumpkin patch. There are none local to us (which is a massive gap in the market if anyone wants to change that for next year!) so we travel to Sopley farm which is Bournemouth way. Now that is admittedly bloody far to travel for a sodding pumpkin that will  be mash come November BUT for anyone that is a nostalgic sucker like me, its totally worth the trip. Theres enough around that area to make it worth while if you need a bit more convincing than just the pumpkins (Moores valley and go Gruffalo hunting, or Bournemouth’s Adventureland is right there too). Because our girls are still quite young we just took them to the local garden centre to round off the time spent at the farm. Its got a soft play and fish so that’s basically an aquarium, right? Anyway, back to pumpkin picking.

I’m getting this post out quickly so that any of our friends who are as excited to go pumpkin picking as me can still fit it in before Haloween. It really is a fab spot and such a nice activity for kids, big and small. I always love unspoiled things and this is pretty authentic. Its so lovely to put the wellies on and get outdoors. I can only speak for my kids but they are a thousand times less obnoxious when we are outside in fresh air! Okay, so both kids still suck at car journeys so that makes it a bit tense but the rest of this day was genuinely lovely. We’ve had a couple of those lately (sucsessful outtings that actually live up to expectations) so I think our luck must be running thin. If you see mummy loosing her shit any time soon you’ll know why. Its all about balance, right! So, some pictures.

DSC_0139DSC_0129DSC_0135Even Etty was super excited! she is such a character and such a smiler its un real!DSC_0140DSC_0145DSC_0149DSC_0153We picked extra pumpkins to decorate the food table at Ettienne’s christening this Sunday. If we have time they should be all beautifully decorated for then, if not pumpkins look amazing anyway. Lets see how this week pans out!

DSC_0154DSC_0169See? smiler!

DSC_0172DSC_0174DSC_0178DSC_0182A big shout out to this man. He humours me and my little obsessions (like driving over an hour to pick a pumpkin we could have bought in tescos) and embraces them with me. Building a childhood full of magic and excitment, engaging them in the world around them, is all we really want. We want these family days to stand out for them, and for them to know that we really did try. Elin is really remembering these things which is both the most exciting thing and really nerve wracking. I want her to remember more of this, and less shouting. There will always be stress but if the scales can tip in our favour on the side of fun and happiness and love, then I think we’re doing alright.

DSC_0194DSC_0195DSC_0197DSC_0192We haven’t visited Sopley at other times but it looks as though they do a whole feast of pick your own, depending on the season. We’ll have to make a conscious effort to visit next summer, the fields of last season’s sunflowers must look beautiful in August! We did get to enjoy some home grown tomatoes though, one of Etty’s favourites since we began weaning.DSC_0219DSC_0218DSC_0216DSC_0213DSC_0214I swear home grown food just looks and tastes so much better! we only managed to grow potatoes ourselves this year (much to James and Elin’s intense excitment.) but I know we’ll aim to grow lots more in 2018. Aim being the key word, but good intentions are the start at least.

DSC_0205DSC_0202DSC_0200Today at least, i’l keep these ones. DSC_0208DSC_0209So we managed to produce a princess who hates getting mcuky hands. Theres a picture earlier of her happily wiping her hands on Daddy’s jeans. And she proved you don’t actually need fingers to carry pumpkins!

DSC_0211Did I mention, princess? Here she is insisting Daddy clean her muddy boots! And like an absolute sucker, he obligued. Talk about wrapping and little fingers, eh.

DSC_0220DSC_0228So, any of our friends with littles, or just a burning desire to visit a real pumpkin patch, we highly recomend Sopley! It is just fun. Silly, autumnal fun and worth it because pumpkins look so cute in pictures. Elin was already asking at bed time to go back, so I think it was a hit. Until next year Sopley, but thanks for keeping this mum’s dream alive!

You can see last years pictures here-

https://littlelathey.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/pumpkin-patch/ where I’m sporting a baby Etty shaped bump! I love seeing how we’ve changed, and seeing just how much Elin’s hair has grown, too!DSC_0224

 

 

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Apple picking festival, Killerton House!

Hi all! I haven’t blogged in so long. You can pretty much garentee when I take a break from this my mental health is maybe having a bit of a wobble. If I’m not in the right mind set I just can’t find anything worth sharing, which is silly really as this is a platform that actually really helps me see the beauty in all things motherhood (which as beautiful as it is is so hard a lot of the time too). I really need to learn to channel that and embrace it and use this space for healing and reflection, rather than closing it off at tougher times. But I’l work on that.

Any way, Autumn is here guys! my absolute favourite time of year. I love it. Well, honestly I’m a sucker for any changing season, I find it such an inspiring, optimistic time. I love digging out the different clothes and embracing a new series of traditions. So. Autumn. Fruit picking is something I LOVE with each season, nothing like strawberries in summer, blackberries come September. And I’m already so excited to visit Sopley next week to pick our pumpkins from a real pumpkin patch (an American tradition I just can’t get enough of). So when I saw on facebook that Killerton house were hosting an apple picking festival I knew we had to go. We had no idea what to expect but we headed out and I can honestly say it was my favourtie event I think we’ve done. It was the best! So geared to that toddling age group and just the empitome of Autumn. I couldn’t get enough of it. Some photos!

12342124The whole event was set in an apple orchard in the grounds of Killerton house. They provided buckets and wheel barrows for the kids to collect all the apples, it was just idyllic. We often struggle at events like this as they often seem to skip that toddler age bracket but this was completely different, it was so friendly and really grasped Elins imagination. If the kids are happy you can garentee a good day for the grown ups too, and in this case they served cider cocktails so you absolutely couldn’t go wrong.2325The toffee apples may have been a big factor to sell this event to Elin, actually.10981211Sometimes it takes stepping back to see how much your kids are changing. ‘Two’ hasn’t been terrible for Elin but it has absolutely been a massive learning curve for us both. I shouldn’t complain as she is very gentle, despite being a total pain, but like anything it has its challenges. This day we really saw how much Elin has grown and how we are leaving some of the frustrations that have plagued her behind. She waited so patiently in the queues for the tractors and was genuinely delightful to have with us, really engaging with each activity. Sometimes days out like this we get one quick cute photo (which obviously you share on social media) when the reality of the day was tears and tantrums and mummy loosing her shit. That one photo may have been the one second we plastered a fake smile and pretended we were having the time of our life. But actually this day we really did enjoy each other and were the proud owners of happy kids. Horay!

7Favourite photo of the moment!652214This face paint though! Elin asked for hers done and we both knew how it would end up, we’d queue, she’d get to the front, the lady would dare to touch her and Elin would declare she was finished. We tried to talk her out of queuing but she was adamant so we just went with it. You wouldn’t think it but Elin can be quite an anxious child and her stranger danger has been through the roof at times and she loves her personal space more than anything. So for her to happily sit there and have her face painted by a total stranger is HUGE. and it made my mumma heart swell with pride. She declared she is a princess now and I am permanently melted. How the hell does face paint have the ability to do that to a mum? What is wrong with me!1315161718And then if the day couldn’t get any better you are able to press your own apples to make apple juice! It was so exciting for me let alone a two year old. As parents we like to give Elin an understanding of where food comes from and shes always actively part of preparing and cooking meals (whether I like it or not) so anything that gives us an opportunity to show her that is really lovely. And you can see just how proud she was of herself too! It was just lovely.19Thank you so much Killerton! You created a space so fun and engaging and really celebrated the apple for all that its worth and you’ll be the first thing in next years diary as we couldn’t get enough of you. You also made a toddlers day so for that I am grateful!

Have a great week everyone.

 

 

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Sorry about the awful quality of these pictures, meal times are busy enough without getting out our proper camera so these are sadly just snapped on my phone. I could pretend I’l do better but I doubt I will so these will have to do! Heres some of what we’ve been enjoying this week.20953571_1514487728611894_6066646324835456700_n1) Omlet bites. We picked up some over proof ramekins at a free exchange in our village and they’ve been perfect for making little bite size things for the girls. I’ve been wanting a silicon baking tray for a while but these do the job just as well. For these I just whisked up an egg and filled the ramekin adding, in this case, tomato and ham and topping with cheese. Then I baked in the oven on 180 for about 10 minutes. Etty especially loved these as they are so soft while she doesn’t have teeth. You could fill them with anything though and use up all your veggies, pretty much pack them with goodness! I definitely think they’d be nice with spinach and mushrooms too.

2)This was a sunday morning brunch for us all. Eggy bread cubes using a lovely cobb loaf and a side of fruit (raspberries and nectarines here). For the adults and an extra treat for our biggest we had them coated in cinnamon sugar too!

3)Porridge is the standard breakfast in our house. This is Elin’s bowl but etty had the same, we just chopped her banana length way so she could handle it better. We just use standard porriage oats and make it up with what ever milk we have in the house. Usually cows or soy milk. This bowl had poppy seeds and dates added. (Elin likes to add her own bits and bobs from the jars we keep in the kitchen. It makes her feel involved in the cooking process I guess. We have jars of seeds, nuts, dried fruit, coconut etc and she picks a different selection most mornings)

4)Dinner of potato wedges, tuna and spinach with cream cheese, corn on the cobb and a side of green vegetables. This went down so well with both girls! We cut the corn on the cobb in half so Etty could handle it better. She also seems to love broccoli the most right now. Elin tried hard popping the mini peas out of the mange tout.

5) I made up a quick snack for Etty of unsalted rice cakes. On top I added a spread I’d made up of dates, pea nut butter and a tablespoons of water, blitzed for a 20 seconds in the microwave. She loved it and ate Elin’s too (who was too busy playing play dough to eat). Peanut butter can be a tough one to introduce as lots of people worry about allergies but its now recommend to introduce from 6 months as long as no history of allergies.We use the brand Meridian as its not full of nasties and salt and sugar; its just pea nuts. We like the crunchy but thats just preference!

6) Natural greek yoghurt, fruit and nuts. Important to point out this is Elin’s, not Etty’s, plate. Etty had the same except the nuts I chopped up and mixed through the yogurt (no whole nuts for under ones). She had the pineapple and raspberries but no grapes yet (she doesn’t have her pincer grip just yet so I haven’t introduced. Elin’s grapes are always cut length ways and will be for a long time) I know lots of people aren’t sure how to introduce foods like yogurt or porridge when practicing baby led. Just because you typically don’t offer purees doesn’t mean you can’t offer sloppy food. We just use pre loaded spoon and let Etty control bringing those to her mouth (or chin, eyebrows or the floor). Or she just forgets the spoon altogether and dives in with her hands. Either way she’s still in control of what she’s eating.

7) Cauliflower cheese and spinach stuffed potato skins. 

8)chicken and vegetable stirfry. Noodles are a favourite for both girls it seems, Etty was shoveling these in by the fistful. The only difference I did for her was serve her plateful before adding the soy sauce. Veg I used was purple broccoli, baby corn, mushrooms, peppers and onions and I also had some fried pineapple in there as well as chicken breast. Etty doesn’t have teeth yet but we still offer her strips of meat as its good for her to get used to the sight and texture of these foods. Plus difficult food helps her develop her jaw and facial movements and learn how to chew and manipulate these things. Its actually amazing how much those gums can do while chewing on a strip of chicken.

9)another breakfast. (Etty doesn’t get cheerios yet, but she had more toast than Elin!). This day Elin had chia seeds and coconut as well as banana.

Its been an amazing first week of weaning for Etty! I’ve honestly never seen anything like it, I thought Elin took to it well but this is something else; she is demolishing meal times (but not dropping breastfeeds as milk should still be her main food for a while yet!) Its been a slight challenge for Elin as she learns to share meal times with her sister but after some teething issues she’s really enjoying being altogether. We’ve made a big deal that she is teaching Etty and how important that is. We’ve also given in and got her the exact same high chair, the same doidy cup, etc etc, pick your battles and all that. I’l come back and share some more meal ideas soon!