Best Baby Buys- the first few weeks

27 Nov

baby buys

Well it’s been 6 and a bit weeks since Freddie joined the Fordham family and I am loving every moment! The first few weeks were tough but I really feel that we have gotten to know each other now.. I understand his cries better and he is much more content in general. He is developing a lovely little personality and his beautiful smiles that he is beginning to show make every sleepless night worth it.

There are a number of products that I have used over the past few weeks that I believe have made life with Freddie even easier and I wanted to share these with you. I have lots of expecting friends at the moment and these are all the things I have raved about to them!

  1. Cheeky Wipes- my top baby buy. I literally can’t imagine nappy changes without them. This reusable wipes kit is super easy to use (as you can chuck them in with any 40 degree wash), smells amazing (lavender bum!) and great for the environment and my wallet! I’ve had these since before Freddie was born and because of that I have only used a disposable wipe on his bum a grand total of 3 times. I adore them and all my NCT mummy friends agree; it’s their favourite baby buy too. (£39-£45 cheekywipes.com)
  2. Ewan the Dream Sheep- ahhhh Ewan! Purchased on a recommendation from an NCT friend after we had used an iPad playing youtube videos of white noise to survive those first few nights! Now we wouldn’t be without him! Ewan is a fundamental part of our nighttime routine. I think it has really helped Freddie to tell the difference between day and night as we only use Ewan at nighttime. The noises keep him calm (even help send me off to sleep!) and the pink light creates a lovely glow. One thing to note: in 6 weeks we have had to change the batteries 3 times… A little too often for me considering we have only used it at night. It’s worth it though for the calm night’s sleep!
    (£29.99 amazon.co.uk)
  3. Shnuggle Bath- we struggled with a standard baby bath for 6 weeks before discovering this on an amazon search. I found it really hard to hold Freddie and bath him effectively… It always felt like he wasn’t very secure and raised my stress levels completely. His first bath in this little thing was fantastic! For the first time we had no tears from him and he actually smiled as he splashed the water with his little hands. The back rest and clever bum bump keep him fully supported, leaving me hands free to wash him properly, and the max water level guide helps the water to be the perfect height (and this keeps him warmer for longer). (£19.99 amazon.co.uk)
  4. Kokoso Coconut Oil- this pot of goodness is completely multi-purpose. I mostly use it on Freddie’s bottom as a nappy cream at every change. We are hoping to go full time into cloth nappies when he is a bit bigger and most standard barrier creams (sudocream, Vaseline etc) interfere with the performance of reusable nappies. It smells divine, melts into his skin perfectly and has prevented any nappy rash so far. I also use it as a general moisturiser for his dry skin and have used it a couple of times to try some baby massage. Of course you can buy lots of different brands of coconut oil but this one is made by a mum especially for mums and is quite good value considering how much you get in a pot. (£7.99 boots.com)
  5. Liberty Sling- baby wearing was always on my baby agenda after a fellow mum friend wore her baby constantly in his first year. She showed me how easy it was and promised to help when my time came. I bought the same wrap she had as it was one of the cheaper ones around but still top on performance. I went for a black wrap (so it goes with most of my clothes!) but they have lots of lovely colours to suit every taste. It took a couple of attempts to feel confident with the tying etc but now Freddie loves being wrapped to me and we often favour this over the pram. I have used it when he is crying and within moments he is soothed and happy. He often falls asleep within minutes and it leaves me hands free to bake cakes, do the washing up or put my make up on!!! Baby wearing is the business!!!  (£24.95 amazon.co.uk)
  6. Babymoov Lovenest- like the shnuggle bath, this is another product I wish we had owned since birth. For the first few weeks of his life Freddie has preferred sleeping with his head to one side. This has meant he has developed a slightly flatter patch on that side of his skull. As his mummy I think it’s 1000% worse than it probably is but I wanted to be proactive about it (and at least stop it getting any worse). I found the Lovenest pillow recommended by a paediatric osteopath on a website and purchased straight away. It has an indented bit which your baby’s head sits in to reduce the pressure and prevent your baby developing flat head. I’m not sure how much it has helped/will help Freddie’s head shape but I feel it gives me a bit more piece of mind. I will be recommending that expecting friends have one from birth as it’s not that expensive but could make a real difference. (£14.99 amazon.co.uk)
  7. Infacol- thank you Lord for the wonder of infacol. For the first 3/4 weeks Freddie was a very cry-y little man. I could tell he was really struggling with trapped wind as he would wail after each feed and draw his little leggies up in pain. I umm-ed and ahh-ed about gjving him anything because it felt a bit too medicinal/clinical but after a fellow NCT mummy raved about how it had changed her little boy’s feeding times I thought it was worth a shot… Anything to reduce those heart-wrenching ‘mummy-I’m-in-pain’ cries! I now give him a dropper full of this before every daytime feed and it really helps him to get the burpies up much quicker and relieve the pain. He is much more content in the day because of this. (£2-£4 at most chemists/supermarkets)

I haven’t been paid/bribed/coerced into writing about any of these products… I just absolutely love them and wanted to share the love with you!!!

 

 

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Alfred Josiah Fordham (Freddie)

19 Oct

image

Our world changed for the better on Tuesday 13th October at 12:37pm. Freddie was born in the most peaceful way (I am in awe of what our bodies can do) and we could not be happier!!!!!

He’s perfect (of course, every mother says that!) and I’m thoroughly enjoying covering him in kisses.

There is literally nothing that can prepare you for bringing a tiny life into the world… Night times are hard; we’ve all cried tears of frustration already and I feel like every new hour brings a learning curve for all of us. We are feeling our way through this new stage of life and it’s hard, wonderful, testing and joyful all at the same time.

I’m a mummy. Me. And I can’t wait to grow into the role as Freddie grows.

We love you little man. So very much. Thank you.

X

Dressing the bump… wedding style

15 Sep

photo4

Last weekend was the first of four weddings before the year is out (and the last before baby makes his/her appearance!)

I was majorly stressing about dressing the bump… especially at 35 weeks pregnant and knowing how uncomfortable I feel at the moment in pretty much any piece of clothing. Thankfully my saving grace was my amazing cousin, who, after giving birth herself in January this year, gave me an asos maternity dress that she had only worn once. It was perfect. I teamed the dress with black patent m&s heels (extra comfy ones which also were swapped for flats by about 4pm!) and my favourite f&f sequined clutch bag.

It was such a good wedding. We danced solidly until 11pm (I think baby liked it!) and didn’t get home until 1:30am. I felt like a pregnant rebel!

photo 3

The next wedding will be with baby so my next dilemma is how to dress for a winter wedding whilst providing access to boobie milk?! Any answers/advice would be appreciated!

x

 

 

Plum upside-down cake

11 Sep

photo

 

plum upside-down cake

Last week the in-laws popped in for a visit… and had brought with them a whole crate of perfect victoria plums. This led to a dilemma. We couldn’t possible eat all the plums before they went off so what could we do with them? We ended up giving a load away to other family members and then with those that were left I decided to research a good plum cake recipe. This Jamie Oliver recipe (taken from  here) came up trumps and gave us a delicious cake which was gone in just under 2 days (that’s a lot of cake eaten very quickly by two people!). If you ever have an excessive amount of plums (or just want to make a nice cake!) then try this recipe out.

You will need:

For the sponge

  • • 225g butter
    • 225g caster sugar
    • 4 eggs beaten with 3 tbsp milk
    • 100g ground almonds
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 150g plain flour
    • 50g unblanched almonds, chopped or bashed in a pestle and mortar

For the topping

  • • 125g butter, plus extra for greasing
    • 150g light brown soft sugar
    • 600g plums stoned, halved and cut into 1cm slices

How you do it:

1. Start with the topping. Grease a 23cm-diameter round cake tin, then melt the butter in a pan. Stir in the sugar until the mixture is foamy and pale, about 2–3 minutes. (If it starts to separate, take it off the heat and keep stirring.) Pour into the cake tin and spread evenly. Arrange the plum slices in concentric circles over the topping, then put to one side.
2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in a quarter of the eggs at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition. Stir in the ground almonds, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour, then stir through the chopped/bashed almonds.
3. Pour the cake mixture over the plums. Place the cake tin on a baking tray and bake for about 1 hour or until golden and a skewer comes out clean. 4 Rest the cake on a wire rack for 2 minutes before sliding a knife around the edge to loosen it. Place your serving plate over the top of the cake and carefully invert onto the plate, avoiding any juices that may escape. Gently remove the tin and replace any dislodged pieces of fruit. Serve with custard, crème fraîche or ice cream.

x

Cloth-bummy-mummy

9 Sep

Early on in my pregnancy I made the decision to use reusable nappies instead of disposables. I’ve never really considered myself a eco-warrior or a hippy, crunchy mummy type but there is something about reusable nappies that makes me super happy.

It’s the cute prints; the money-saving; the feeling of building up a collection; the fact that I won’t be putting harsh chemicals next to my baby’s skin… but mainly it’s the fact that it is something else to get a little bit addicted to. And trust me… it’s addictive!

I’ve been building my stash slowly throughout the last few months; taking advantage of pre-loved facebook sites, sales and discount codes to make sure I never pay full price for a nappy. I’ve tried to gather a selection of brands too as I know that all babies are different and what suits one baby may not suit mine. My collection so far includes:

3 x Totsbots Teenyfits (V4 brand new)

6 x Totsbots Easyfits (V4 3 pre-loved, 3 brand new)

3 x Totsbots Bamboozle Stretch (2 pre-loved, 1 brand new)

4 x Totsbots Stretchy Wraps (1 pre-loved, 3 brand new)

2 x Bambino Mio Solo (brand new)

4 x Bambino Mio Pre-folds and 2 x wraps (brand new)

5 x Bambooty Basics (brand new- look at that pineapple nappy!!)

bambooty

As I put away the final lot of nappies (washed, dried and stuffed) last night I started thinking towards the future. I don’t know what it’s going to be like being a mummy. I have these vague ideas and expectations but I don’t think they even come close to the reality. I might use cloth for a week and hate it… I really hope not! But until baby fordham pops out (because it’s that easy right?!) I’m going to enjoy looking at my little stash and pondering how life will change in just a few short weeks.

I’ll keep you updated once mr/miss is here with how we get on with our cloth nappies. Wish us luck!!

x

 

Oh the places you’ll go….

6 Sep

It’s been 3 years since my last blog post on this site. Talk about a blogging break!

What’s changed in the world of familyfordham?! Let’s see if I can keep this brief…:

  • I decided to take the leap and started a PGCE in Primary Education at Winchester University
  • In that year hubby got a new job working for a church and that enabled us to move from our attic flat in London to a 2-bed terrace in Salisbury
  • I started my NQT year as a Year 3 teacher
  • We got a cat- Maisy- the most spoilt cat in existence (not by me… Who knew hubby was such a cat person!)
  • We found out in February this year that we were going to have a baby!!!! (Due October and cooking rather nicely!)
  • I finished my NQT year
  • Now we are waiting for baby Fordham to make his/her entrance and marvelling generally at how much can change in 3 years!

And what’s stayed the same:

  • Hubby still plays and teaches guitar and has a booming private tuition business which I am super proud of
  • I am still baking, cross-stitching and generally enjoying the simpler things in life… instagramming the whole thing as per usual
  • We love each other just like we did back then only with nearly 4 years of marriage and adventure behind us and even more adventure to come!

I’m hoping this blog will continue to be a place to preserve the memories of our (ever-growing!) familyfordham and I hope you enjoy reading about our little corner of the world again.

x

maisy/getting ready for baby fordham/bump

Have yourself a very cross-stitched Christmas

20 Dec

Oh my goodness, time is whizzing by! It’s 5 sleeps ’til Christmas 2012 and I couldn’t be more excited about this years festive activities.

The husband and I are hoping to enjoy 2 weeks of home cooked goodness, his parents first, then mine, in a Christmas period that promises to be the most relaxing ever! I love Christmas, I love playing ‘teeth’ and ‘tip it’ with family, I love stuffing my face with all manner of waistband increasing treats, I love the St. Francis Christmas Eve candlelight service, I love singing the descant parts of Christmas carols really badly with my sister and I LOVE crafting lots of Christmassy goodness!

Christmas crafting is officially the best thing. Starting months before the big event it is sure to get me in the mood for the big day!

For this post I want to share with you how I have cross-stitched my Christmas: from candle bands to chutney labels, cake bunting to cards, I’ve somehow managed to incorporate cross stitch into every corner of Christmas this year (maybe not to my husbands delight!)
Have a gander, I hope that it may inspire you to pick up your needle and thread and have a go yourself. I have taken a lot of the patterns and inspiration from CrossStitcher magazine and have given the issue number where the pattern is from for all you fellow readers but have included links to The Making Spot website where you can also buy individual patterns if this is easier for some of you.

Decorations:

Our small flat is simply brimming with cross-stitched decorations. I love them because they are handmade and can hopefully last for years and years, maybe even become traditions and things I can show my children and grand children one day. Here’s what we’ve got this year…

cross stitched christmas robin

One cheeky little fella! The perfect quick stitch on plastic canvas to make a gorgeous decoration for any plant, we’ve spruced up Herbert the pot plant with ours. Pattern from Crossstitcher issue 258 (also available here).

cross stitched christmas wreath

A front door wreath that won’t be ready until next Christmas as I still have two more designs to add but this is how it’s looking so far! Using amazing patterns from issue 258 (available here), some plastic canvas and a £5 plain wreath from Wilko’s I’ve come up with a wreath I’m proud of and can’t wait to display next year (my favourites the gingerbread man… so freaking cute!)

crossstitcher star garland

A star garland hanging in the kitchen made using the free kit with CrossStitcher issue 257. Not sure how you can get your hands on this now but this free kit was amazing and had everything you needed to make this beautiful garland.

christmas cross stitch candle bands

And some candle bands, small motifs stitched in brown thread on a cream aida band (to match the colours of our living room!) to be wrapped around pillar candles. The top reindeer pattern was taken from the little booklet free with issue 257 of CrossStitcher and the bottom NOEL pattern was my own invention. These were a delight to stitch, so quick and easy!

Food:

cross stitched christmas jumpers

I literally squealed when I saw this amazing little jumpers in CrossStitcher issue 260 …. Literally. I also put down my needle on a big project and started these straight away. I just KNEW they had to be a part of my Christmas. These are going to be hung on string with little wooden pegs and attached to bamboo skewers before placing on Nigella’s spiced cake, the perfect Christmas cake bunting, jumpers on a washing line! (This is all happening this weekend, check my instagram for finished results!).

onion chutney labels

Another food-related Christmas cross-stitch is this one I am in the process of finishing. I am using some gorgeous veg motifs from CrossStitcher issue 257 (available here) to make labels for homemade chutney. These will be little gifts to our nearest and dearest and I’m hoping to get them all bottled and labelled this weekend… yes I know, lastminute.com!

Presents:

christmas cards

These Christmas cards were a joining of minds from the husband and myself. I did the cross-stitching and he made them look super trendy! I stitched two bauble patterns from the little booklet free with issue 257 of CrossStitcher. These gorgeous white and red motifs were the first stitch of the season and I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them. (The pattern for one of them is available for free here).
The husband then scanned my two cross-stitches and used photoshop to shrink them and create a lovely patterned paper with the two designs. We then cut the paper into strips and attached a strip onto brown card to create our Christmas cards. Simple, easy and homemade with a modern twist.

cross stitched heart gift christmas

I couldn’t do Christmas without making presents for people. When money is tight cross-stitched gifts are an excellent solution. I love how personalised you can make them, choosing the right pattern for your recipient and filling each stitch with love. I made this heart-shaped design for some special people to hang in their living room (really, really hoping they don’t read this before Christmas day now!!). The pattern is from an excellent book ‘Made In France’ (available here) and I love how it’s subtly christmassy, great for the season but also can be left up all year. My father-in-law makes frames so he provided the white rustic frame to finish it off. I love giving gifts like this.

So there you have it. The Fordham Christmas in cross stitched fashion. I hope this post has given you some inspiration towards making Christmas 2013 a cross stitched one!

Merry Christmas to you all!

Emily

x

p.s you may realise that this blog has become a little neglected as of late..! I have now moved mainly over to Instagram where I photo blog my crafting and baking exploits. My username is emilyfordham and I have a lovely little community of fellow crafters over there. Come join us in sharing pure crafting goodness!

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