Things I have been cooking lately #168: Ricotta pancakes

What’s the smartest way to use up leftover ricotta cheese, you ask? I decided it was by making pancakes. Usually in this house we make more crepe style pancakes because Mr O isn’t really a fan of the American ones… and I have managed to cock them up royally each time I have tried to make them. These however were very easy and very delicious and definitely a good use of leftover ricotta. Plus if no one else will eat them and you can manage your greed, the batter keeps well.



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The baby chronicles #24: Stupid things that annoy me irrationally

Weeks old: 24
I like: Sticking my hands in mummy’s mouth and ears, biting my monkey, boobs
Mummy is learning: To stay where I can see her as much as possible to avoid me kicking off

Last weekend we put up our Christmas tree with the help of the other O’s, drank mulled wine, ate mince pies (well some of us did… some crazy people don’t like them??) and enjoyed thinking about Little O’s first Christmas and how special it will be.  Read more…

The baby chronicles #23: Expectation vs reality vs expectation

Weeks old: 23
I like: Hey Duggee, playing with my feet, boobs… but only at home when nothing else exciting is happening

When I was pregnant I told myself all I wanted to achieve in the first 6 months of Little O’s life was that he, Mr O and I came out of it alive. I told myself I was not going to put pressure on myself to be perfect. I wouldn’t care if I had a messy house or how I fed my baby or where or how much he slept. I was just going to wing it. I never looked at all those mummy Instagram feeds and thought, “I want to be the perfect mum”. I figured I’d approach motherhood with a “this’ll do” attitude Read more…

The baby chronicles #22: Bouncing back… or not

Weeks old: 22
I like: Playing with my feet, squealing at the top of my lungs, playing in my jumperoo, boobs… sort of

Today I caught up with some friends in London, including my friend, D, who witnessed Little O’s actual birth. Regaling the group (none of whom have children) with the story of Little O’s entrance into the world, which she watched at the “business end” was quite something to listen to and I got the idea that the fear of god was being put into everyone – not only at the idea of the pain of giving birth but also the possible after effects.

This made me think about some of the concerns I had when I was pregnant about how having a baby would change my body… possibly permanently. I wanted to know how having a baby had changed other real women’s bodies. So five months in, I am going to tell you (warts and all, so stop reading now if you don’t actually want to know) what’s changed for me.  Read more…

The baby chronicles #21: Some things I have noticed

Little O will be five months old on Sunday and compared to the early months of his life it feels like things have settled down a bit. I mean we still don’t sleep much and he does new things all the time but meeting up with the mum of a newborn at our playgroup last week made me realise that we are in a completely different place from those shell-shocked first days.You know at the beginning where you can’t quite believe the hospital has allowed you to bring home a human being and are actually expected to keep it alive. With that in mind I thought I’d share some things about mummery that I have noticed recently. Read more…

Film Friday #285

Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Behind the Candelabra chronicles the relationship between animal trainer, Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) and iconic pianist, Liberace (Michael Douglas). When Scott first meets the closeted Liberace, he is repulsed by the aging star but Liberace works away at him with expensive gifts, offers of employment and a lavish lifestyle that he cannot resist until he is completely in his thrall. Things become even more intense as Liberace convinces Scott to undergo plastic surgery to make him resemble himself as a younger man. Read more…

The baby chronicles #20: Sleep is for the weak

I like: Daddy’s glasses, waking up at 4am, boobs, being naked
Mummy is learning: How much caffeine one human can consume, not to be a hero

When I was pregnant people constantly told me to sleep as much as I possibly could because I would soon not be sleeping very much at all. In fact both my mother and my mother-in-law suggested that might never sleep again. I never scoffed at this suggestion. I believed that I would be giving up my sleep. I had no doubt that lie-ins were a thing of the past and that I was likely to have to get up and tend to Little O multiple times a night. What I didn’t really understand was how it was going to affect me. Read more…

The baby chronicles #19: Trick or treat

I like: Chewing my hands, my squeaky zebra, boobs, charming old ladies… and builders
Mummy is learning: Always to have a spare set of clothes, to give me a second to settle myself when I cry

Sometimes having a baby feels a bit like Halloween. There are lots of treats in the way of memorable moments and adorable little actions but then there are also plenty of little tricks that are a bit less fun. I suppose it keeps all things in balance. And as it was Halloween earlier this week I thought I’d share some of the tricks and treats that Little O and I have shared this week. Read more…

The baby chronicles #18: The give-up days

I like: My kick chimes, rolling over (only when daddy is looking), looking at myself in the mirror, MONKEH

Mummy is learning: Patience, patience,patience, patience…

Today I want to talk a little bit about a side of being a mum that I don’t think enough people talk about… the days where you just kind of want to give up. I think they’re probably more common than you think.

This last week has been really hard. In my last post I mentioned that Little O and I had both been unwell. It didn’t affect either of our moods in a positive way. Although I don’t really like to admit it, I am quite a short tempered person anyway. I get frustrated very easily when things don’t go my way. Sort of like a four year old. My mum says I started stamping my foot as soon as I could stand. When I am ill my already short temper goes from centimetres to millimetres. Coinciding this with Little O being ill was a recipe for disaster. Read more…

Film Friday #284: Halloween special

I pretty much only watch horror movies once a year because they really aren’t my thing and that’s in the lead-up to Halloween. So here we go… my 4 horror movies for the year.

Hush (2016)

Deaf mute writer, Maddie (Katie Siegel) lives on her own in a remote house in the woods where she is working on her latest novel and struggling with the ending. As she works into the night a masked man (John Gallagher Jr.) stalks her but he’s going to get a lot more than what he bargained for. Read more…

The baby chronicles #17: The sick baby blues

Weeks old: 17

I like: Boobs, pulling blankets over my head, Tellytubbies

Mummy is learning: To crack on no matter how rough she feels.

This post is very late because Little O and I have both not been our best over the last week. He’s had a mild cold for a few weeks but it has now migrated into his chest and left him rather miserable.  Read more…

Things I have been cooking lately #167: Pretzel tiffin

About a week ago when I was in Tesco buying essentials (nappies, bread, milk), I also came across a packet of salted caramel pretzel tiffin squares. These, of course, also counted as essential so I brought them home for Mr O and I to enjoy and they were glorious. I decided to make a sort of attempt to recreate them and although my version doesn’t have a caramel element they’re still pretty tasty… and very easy.


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Film Friday #283

How to be Single (2016)

Alice (Dakota Johnson) has been dating Josh (Nicholas Braun) for four years but now she wants to take a break and try out the single life in New York. She has no idea how to behave as a singleton so she teams up with her crazy colleague, Robin (Rebel Wilson), who is very good at being single, drinking, drugging and basically just doing whatever she likes. At the same time Alice’s sister, Meg (Leslie Mann), an oby-gyn who has never wanted children starts to think she might and Alice’s neighbour, Lucy (Alison Brie) struggles to take a chance on anybody. Read more…

The baby chronicles #16: The dreaded R word

Weeks old: 16
I like: Shoving everything in my mouth, Captain Calamari, sitting more upright in my pushchair, boobs
Mummy is learning: To enjoy CBeebies (but not as much as daddy), to move around more quietly

With Little O only a week away from four months old and officially past what is often referred to as the “fourth trimester”, it’s time to talk about the “R word”: routine.

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Things I have been cooking lately #166: Coconut and raspberry jam squares

Since Little O was born I have had a lot less time to bake. It can be tricky enough to put up essential meals without finding the time for any extra bits. However recently he’s a lot more able to play on his own for periods of time or under Mr O’s supervision so when the urge struck me on Sunday I decided to go for it. I picked this recipe because Mr O particularly likes raspberries and coconut and he’s been raving about them ever since.


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Film Friday #282

Room (2015)

Ma (Brie Larson) and her five year old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) live in a solitary room in the home of Old Nick (Sean Bridgers). Jack has no concept of the outside world. Room is his only reality, that and what he sees in the seemingly fantasy world of the television. Old Nick provides for Ma and Jack’s basic needs and takes what he needs from Ma, who protects Jack from him at all costs, but Ma has a plan, one she hopes will turn the outside world into a reality.

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The baby chronicles #15: A large change in a short time

Weeks old: 15
I like: Chewing daddy’s hand, smacking the toys on my playmat, tummy time, thrashing around in my moses basket, boobs
Mummy is learning: That I won’t sleep in my own bed past 5am, what my different whinges mean

At 15 weeks old Little O is now more than three months old and a completely different being to the one we brought home in late June. While for an adult 3 months is barely a blip on the radar, the length of a mid-range work project or half of winter (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere), for a new human it’s virtually a lifetime. I cannot believe how much Little O has changed and how different mumming a three month old is to mumming a newborn. I was told there was quite a dramatic change at three months but I have to admit that at points I wondered if things would ever be different but here’s how they are.

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The baby chronicles #14: The buck stops here

I want to start this post with a disclaimer that it’s not a dig at Mr O or any of the other wonderful people who form the village that is raising Little O but rather an account of my experiences as I see them.

There are lots of incredibly special things about getting to be “mum”. It starts when you are pregnant and you get to be the one who grows the new little person inside your body, feels them move and bonds with them before they even reach the outside world. More often than not you are the first person who holds them, the one they reach to for for comfort and if you breastfeed the one who looks into their eyes as you feed them. Read more…

The baby chronicles #13: Thumb’s the word

Weeks old: 13
I like: Dribbling, boobs, my thumb
Mummy is learning: How to rock me without getting RSI

The last week of our holiday was a week of firsts for Little O. For him the most exciting one was probably successfully getting his thumb into his mouth for the first time and soothing himself to sleep by sucking it. Unfortunately it was a one-off so he’s become obsessed with getting it back into his mouth. This means we get to listen to hours of him slurping as he accidentally gets both thumbs in at once, gets his thumb in but fails to close his hand or sticks his thumb in too far and gags. I am really hoping he figures it out soon not just because his inability to do what he wants to is really frustrating him but also because a self-soothing baby equals a mummy with a bit more freedom. Read more…

The baby chronicles #12: The journey continues 

Weeks old: 12

I like: Sitting in large chairs, boobs, nappy free time

Mummy is learning: a boob doesn’t solve everything

We spent last week visiting with my dad at his house in Somerset West, which was lovely but also a bit restrictive because of our lack of proper car seat and pushchair compounded with my dad’s lack of interest in breaking his routine and the crap weather.

We did do some really fun stuff though.  Read more…