My son, Kian

Here’s a snippet of a home video with my son Kian (16 months) having dinner earlier today, that I just had to share with you guys! It’s moments like this that make motherhood truly the very best job in the world!!!


 

 

 
(photo by Everything Between Photography)

Sun, sea, sand and relaxation – lazy mornings, sun tanning by the pool and lot’s of chic-lit reading. That used to pretty much sum up my beach holiday pre-baby! Post-baby, the picture was a little different! Here’s my blog on our first holiday with our 9 month-old baby Kian and my tips for those going away with their little ones, including how to reduce your luggage weight!

It’s very exciting going away for the first time, as a proper family as opposed to a couple. To be honest, I didn’t really think it would be that hugely different, but it really is! Firstly, when my hubby and I used to go away, we were still always over the limit! This time, we packed the bare essentials and reduced it to one suitcase to create capacity for all the stuff that the baby needed, and boy did he need stuff! From swimmer diapers, to formula milk, to food pouches to a steriliser!

We thought a lot about where we wanted to go- somewhere not too far away (as didn’t know what he’d be like on the flight), somewhere relatively warm with an all-inclusive resort and somewhere with not a huge time difference to disturb his routine. After considering Greece and Portugal we decided on a 5*, beautiful resort in Tenerife. The weather was perfect (warm enough for him to swim and not be too cold, but not too hot with maximum temp of around 29), plus there’s no time difference at all!

Was worried about how he would cope with the flight but he was absolutely fine! Feed them milk as you take off, let them nap after that, then we read to him and played the rest of the way and then we were there!

Babies have to adjust to changes – so with daily temps so much higher than England, Kian’s body was constantly hot in the first couple of days- he even had a little bit of a high temp at one point. But by the third day, he’d adjusted perfectly.

Hard parts:

  • Putting him for naps in the buggy, instead of his comfortable bed back home! Sometimes would take a while for him to sleep and find a comfortable position.
  • Sitting in the restaurant for evening meals- past his bedtime (he usually sleeps at 6.30pm at home), sometimes he was playing, sometimes happy but other times he would get frustrated and yell out and ruin people’s dinner!
  • When you just want to sit in the sun, read a book and relax, but your baby has other plans!

Magical parts:

  • Simply spending, uninterrupted quality time together! That’s the best part. Your baby changes all the time, their personality coming out. So, this trip, was all about us getting to know our rapidly changing baby.
  • Seeing him get into the pool for the first time and his laughter as he loved it and would splash around at speed! So lovely!
  • Seeing him interact with different people! This is one of the great character-building positives of travel. He has to get used to different kinds of people and being out of his comfort zone.
  • At a resort, there’s always lots of music, by the pool, live music at dinner and evening entertainment. Kian really likes music and was even dancing along!
  • Taking LOTS of photos and making memories together, as a family!

My tips:

  • When it’s your first time packing for a trip with a baby, you don’t know how much to take of each essential. We took one big pack of diapers but it wasn’t enough. We bought some out there, which were fine. For formula- we use Aptamel and needed just over one pack (we brought some extra in a plastic freezer bag. You need lots of wipes! We brought 2 packs and still needed to buy one here!
  • You definitely don’t want to pay for excess luggage but with all this stuff, it’s hard not to! My friend Gemma came up with a good idea to avoid this! Airports always have a Boots which sell the baby things, and if you get your stuff from there, past security, it’s not put towards your luggage allowance! Genius! Go into your local Boots, and if you have 2 weeks until you go away, they can order it all in for you (we ordered food pouches, his milk, swimmer diapers, wipes and sun tan lotion). If you don’t have time, you simply get the number for that Boots directly and call the evening before you fly, and they will put it all aside for you.
  • About 20mins before boarding, we gave Kian some calpol. He may have been fine without it, but it doesn’t hurt and helps them if they are in a little discomfort from the flight. 
  • We took 3 swimming suits for Kian to try- one all one one with buttons around his legs from John Lewis, one all in one with only a zip at the top (from Next) and also a 2 piece- top and shorts from Ralph Lauren. The all in one with buttons was definitely easiest.
  • Take lots of toys (from those that light up, to little soft blocks to bigger toys they can pull etc), because when they’re sat in their buggy on a day out, or sat in their high-chair at dinner, it really helps to keep them happy and preoccupied! We also took his books which were so useful as he loves reading.
  • Take a thermometer- helped to check his temp when his body was hot.
  • Make sure your resort is buggy friendly and that you have a room on bottom floor if no lift. Unfortunately, our resort wasn’t with its endless annoying up-hill paths and also 2 flights of stairs to our villa.
  • Upgrade to a villa if the cost suits you. We did this, which meant we had 2 balconies, a living room with a sofa and a large bedroom. Came in handy!
  • We took a travel steriliser which was great but forgot a bottle brush (you can get a compact one with a case from poundland).
  • Although a baby has lots of needs and may cry or need food or sleep – try to take time to enjoy yourselves, go to dinner, sit out and enjoy the entertainment, the baby has to learn to adjust and can’t be the other way around, as you’ll end up doing yourself a disservice and you’ll have a baby not capable of adaptation on your hands! Afterall, that’s the beauty of travel – change and experiences!

 

 

 

Finished Product! Pasta Bolognese

Last week I implemented Kian’s first week of solids food plan- see last blog with meal plan details:  http://www.melodyhossaini.com/2015/04/weaning_mealplan/ My favourite meal we made was the Pasta Bolognese- simple, healthy and tasty! It’s also a really great way to introduce red meat (iron) into the meal plan.

Ingredients

The recipe is inspired by Annabel Karmel with my own little twist on it!

Heat a little oil in a pan- sauté onion, garlic (crushed), carrots (raw, peeled and grated) mushroom (thinly diced) and celery (finely chopped) for 5 mins. Add 120g lean minced beef and sauté until browned (keep stirring and break the meat into small pieces). Stir in 3 tomatoes (skinned and chopped), a little tomato puree and some chicken stock (see my last blog on how to make it- http://www.melodyhossaini.com/2015/04/weaning_mealplan/) Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins. Transfer the mixture to a blender to a smoother consistency (but not too much) – I also added some fresh herbs (parsley) before blending.

I served Kian this with baby star pasta (can get this at most places- I got mine at Tesco) and also served a portion with rice for him. He liked both and a great way to introduce meat into his diet.

Before going into the blender

Roses are red, violets are blue- I am so rubbish at writing rhymes, that’s why I can’t impress you! :) Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.

I woke up this morning, saw a flower van outside and thought, a neighbour must be receiving flowers. Suddenly the door knocked and I ran excitedly to open it, revealing a big bunch of ivory avalanche roses (the same as the I had in my wedding bouquet). My husband is right here, but it felt nice that he had ordered flowers- made me smile. 

We’ve always celebrated Valentines day- but this was our first as parents. The first gift I opened was from Kian to me. Thorntons Choc heart saying ‘Happy Valentines Day Mummy. Love Kian x’ (he had wrapped the gift bag around Kian’s hand so he was giving it to me himself!).

My husband always jokes with me that I am so awful at Maths- and it’s true I really am! As one of his presents to me he has organised a babysitter for us to go for date night at my favourite restaurant, and also our first family holiday! But I had to work out the value of the holiday with a Maths equation! (he said if I don’t get it in 2 goes then I don’t get the present! Thankfully I worked it out!).

I got my husband a handmade keyring with the 10th September marked out saying ‘the day you became a father.’ Got this from notonthehighstreet.com

Gifts and cards aside – the most important thing is valuing each other, being thankful and spending quality time together. I am thankful that he tries so hard to make me happy. That’s what matters. I am really looking forward to our first family holiday with Kian!

People say why should we celebrate Valentine’s Day- after all it’s important to show love everyday. Whilst that is unarguably true and also each to their own, I do think it’s nice to make your partner feel special and appreciated (whatever that looks like to you).

Have a beautiful day, whether single or in a relationship. Sending you all lots of love. xx M

…BOY!

How we announced it to our families!

So excited to announce that we discovered the sex of our Nini finally! A little boy is on its way to us! The midwife said that thankfully, the Nini is looking very healthy and happy- which is, of course, the MOST important thing. People think that we found out the sex so that we could prepare the colours of the nursery, but in fact, it’s so that I can start to familiarise myself with the baby and knowing the sex helps, for me anyway. It has been strange to see that some people are so horrified by the fact that we wanted to know the sex! One old lady in the queue in Asda even had a go at me when she heard me telling the check-out lady! Some people day it detracts from your wishes of a healthy baby- which is the most ridiculous thing I have heard!

Very excited and knowing the sex of the Nini has made it all the more real! We wanted to tell our family in a special way and my husband came up with the idea of getting chocolate with a message on it saying ‘It’s a Boy!’ and putting them in little gift boxes for each person at dinner! The chocolate messages were from Thorntons and cost £1 each and the little gift boxes were from ‘Celebrations’, 3 for 99p.

Here are some of my top tips for the first trimester!

  • Scented cream – My little jar of nice smelling cream has become a life-saver. Any time I can smell an unpleasant smell, I put a little around my nose and problem solved! I use this Juicy Couture one.

    Rye Bread

  • Rye Bread – When you feel nauseous but still need to eat, bread will become your best friend. Try eating Rye bread, which is both healthy and lines the stomach really well. You can buy it in Asda.

  • Bio-oil – It’s common to get stretch marks during pregnancy. Use bio-oil early to reduce risk. It’s worth buying the bigger bottle- you’ll use it up and it’s more economical.

  • Scan Picture – Going to your first scan is the most beautiful moment in your first trimester. When they first scan and they are trying to find the angles, watch your husband’s face when he sees his baby for the first time- it’s simply beautiful. You have the option of buying your scan photo (£10). The sun will in time fade the photo, so my tip is to

    My mum's guess! She bought both balloons!

    take a photo of the photo and then print that to keep.

  • Toothpaste – When you’ve been sick or feeling nauseous, it’s natural to want to quickly brush your teeth afterwards, but something in the toothpaste, just makes you throw up more, so hold off until you feel a little better.

Lots of love to all you yummy mummies to be- enjoy this beautiful phase. It’s really the most special feeling. I’m also spending a lot of time giving thought to how I will manage work of running InspirEngage International with a Nini. Looking forward to learning more over the coming months! The below pic was taken 2 days ago at the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge. Not wearing maternity wear yet- finding my loose dresses fit better!

5 months pregnant- what to wear for work!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep an eye on future blog! Tweet me on @Melody_Hossaini