Picnics in the park

meeting papa on his lunch break
the fifth picture down cracks me up, what were they looking at??
Thank you Tom for being such a fantastic dad
for working so hard to support our family
and breakfast in bed every morning in a heart shaped bowl
we love you! xoxo


Boiling Wells

The other day my SIL invited me to an outdoor play group at a place near us called 'Boiling Wells'. I'm not usually one for playgroups, I think maybe if I hadn't met my friends from my NCT with babies the same age as Wilf it would be different but I've not felt the need to go to any yet. I'm also sure that will change as our babies get older and need more entrainment and distraction but for now I'm enjoying Wilf being non mobile and happy to just sit lie down next to his baby friends. 

Wilf's cousin is ten months older than him so the gap between a 5 month old and a 15 month old is still pretty big, however I'm sure it will gradually close and this time next year they may even be able to play together. 

I can imagine that this time next year when he is walking and playing properly with other children an outdoor play group like this will be just what I need!There was maypole dancing and each child could make their own pizza for a £1. 

After the playgroup I went back to my SIL's for lunch and Wilf sat in a high chair for the first time! He thought it was pretty fantastic, although all that was for his lunch was the Hungry Caterpillar. Our highchair should be delivered in the next two days which is good news as Wilf has now tried avocado,mango, pear and banana and I am really looking forward to giving him fingers foods to play with whilst we all eat together. His favourite so far actually seems to be avocado, we met Tom for lunch today and I brought some for him to eat in a meshed feeder thing a little like this one which seems to work quite well when we were out and about. He was able to feed himself and polished off about quarter of a avocado which I was surprised at! 

I've also been reading the River Cottage Baby and Toddler cook book and am excited to try making some of the meals in the future. I like the idea of us eating the same or similar foods at the same time. 

Also with Wilf's sleeping situation, he has firmly decided his bedtime is 7pm now. We usually make and have dinner by 6.30 (or there abouts) and try and bath him and give him a massage by 7.30 (before he gets super tired). Then I feed him to sleep and lie next to him for half an hour or so until he has properly drifted off. I still haven't mastered leaving him alone upstairs, although we have a monitor he stirs a fair bit in the hour or so after he has drifted off and its easy to get him back to sleep before he has really awoken. I feel like if I went downstairs straight away I would just be back up and down repeatedly and he might wake up fully which would mean it would be hard to get him to drift back off. Also by about 9.30ish he wakes up naturally for another feed. 

Tom is on holiday from next week though so I think we are going to use that time to try and master the putting him to bed and going downstairs to have some 'us' time when we both have time to do it properly. In all honestly its simpler for me to stay in bed with him once he's gone up, as it ensures we both get more sleep (although I am usually on my laptop writing posts like this until 10ish anyway). But  Wilf has grown up a lot in the past month and it feels like the natural progression to start doing this now. I guess in a way like many people do when they move their babies into their own rooms at six months, although we are not planning on doing that yet it feels like time now to focus a little more on couple time as well as baby time. Does that even make sense? 
Sleep is such a huge thing for parents isn't it, I have a feeling I will be writing lots more posts involving sleep patterns and arrangements! 

My heart

My heart
(Tom and Wilf not the piggies)
I do love piggies also though


Vegfest and some thinking

I've mentioned this a few times now but since having Wilf (as I'm sure happens with many parents) I have really started to look at the world in a different and more conscious light. 

There is a lot about the way our world is run I don't agree with but I guess the cause I feel most passionately about it cruelty to animals. I was raised vegetarian and am very thankful for the start my parents gave me. I clearly remember when I started school asking and being explained to why 'so and so' ate meat and we didn't, in the same way that when I asked why we don't buy certain chocolate as I was told about why my family boycotted Nestle. My parents respected my intelligence enough to feel that I could comprehend the reasons why they were bringing me up in a certain way and ever since then I have never doubted or wavered in my choice to be a vegetarian (and boycott Nestle but that's a different matter!).

When I was pregnant with Wilf, I knew Tom and I were on the same page with how we wanted to raise our child. We attended our local NCT class which further explained and enforced our decisions in certain aspects of looking after a baby, from co-sleeping to breastfeeding. Yet I still hadn't broached the subject of raising our child vegetarian. It was such a big deal to me and I was terrified that he might feel differently. I thought about it for weeks on end until I finally got the confidence to have the discussion. Luckily Tom had never thought about raising him in any other way and thought it was quite funny I had even considered he would have an issue with it.

I guess with any strong beliefs be it religion to recycling you want to share these values with your child. We have always said when Wilf is at an age to be curious as to why he doesn't eat meat this will be explained to him and when he is of an age where he can make a conscious decision he can choose if he wants to continue to be a vegetarian or not. It is not something I think is likely to happen if I'm totally honest (coming from a family of five siblings each of whom have never expressed any desire to start eating meat) for me its something that would never appeal to me.

Since Wilf has been born however I've started to feel that for me that isn't enough, I think it may have started with getting Mastitis. The pain of Mastitis is honestly something I can't possibly begin to describe to you, but if I was to try I'd say it was like being branded with an iron whilst someone sliced through you with a razor over and over..a literal agony, there were times I wanted to die in my sleep it hurt so much. I started to think about dairy cows and that Mastitis effects around 50% of then. How today's cows produce ten times as much milk as they would do naturally for their calves, how their male calves are taken away for veal (or raised for beef) immediately so that they don't become attached, so that it will never drink the milk from their mother that was designed for them. Even in organic dairy farms cows are kept constantly pregnant so they don't run out of milk. Dairy cows organic or otherwise live very short lives as they are sent to slaughter as soon as their milk supply runs out. There is a lot I don't agree with about the dairy industry and the more I think about it the more simply not eating cows isn't enough.

Therefore I am making the decision to cut out cows products from my diet through the next few weeks (we are going on an extended family holiday in two weeks where it will be simpler whilst I am still unfamiliar with vegan cooking just be vegetarian). But by July I hope to have cut them out completely. Whilst I cannot say I am living (for me) guilt free as I will still for now be eating eggs and sheeps/goats cheese but it is a start and I feel a lot better in myself already for making this decision. I am also not going to be calling myself a vegan as I wont be (and like 'vegiarians' who eat fish and chicken (!) that's just confusing for everyone).

Wilf is leading a completely milk based diet at the moment (haha) bar the odd lick of mango here and there, and when he does eat properly we will be raising him vegetarian for now. Tom has also decided that when Wilf is eating solid food he wants to almost completely cut out meat (his diet it 80% veggie at the moment anyway). This is something I hasten to add he has decided to do himself and I have never expressed a wish for him to cut out meat, he is is own person and capable of his own moral decisions!
Someone once said recently that there was little point doing something as it wont make a difference, the fact is me never eating meat or cutting out cows products it very unlikely to make any kind of difference. However the quote that always always sticks in my head and leaves me with no doubt over my choices is 'be the change we want to see in the world' by Gandhi. I want to make the changes I would like to see in the world, and my making this decision I really feel a weight lifting from my shoulders!
I have been inspired by a few people in regards to cooking without dairy, one being the lovely ohdeadrea and another being bonbon mini. I have also been inspired by a (real life!) friend Melanie who was kind enough to lend me some of her amazing vegan cook books!

If the tone of this blog post sounds preachy it is not intended too, I would never try and suggest people should make the decisions I have made. It is however something I feel hugely passionate about and so I hope that is the feeling that comes through.
Living in a largely left wing/alternative city like Bristol being vegetarian is a very easy and convenient life style choice, there is an abundance of shops and restaurants that serve exciting foods.
This weekend we attended the Vegfest.

I remember writing reports at school about what we wanted to be when we were older, I always wrote 'a hunt saboteur'

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