Sugar-free banana and fruit muffins/cake – baby finger food and toddler snack

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My daughter was a fairly fussy eater in the early days. Now she is great (most of the time). But back then I had to get creative because she largely refused purees but was interested in finger foods. I didn't have the patience for pure baby led weaning, but I was up for finger foods in a big way...sneaking in mushed stuff whenever I could. This sugar-free recipe is a fantastic way of getting fruit into your bubbas and toddlers. Mae went for these muffins in a big way and I always had a batch in the freezer for quick defrosting.
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Mapleisms – The Things My Daughter Says – Toddler Language

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I think children's language development is fascinating. More than that, when little people start talking and expressing themselves and playing with words they don't understand, it is just downright cute as hell. And the mispronunciations are beautiful. Maple's desire to communicate has been a huge priority for her from very early on and her desperation to talk and to sing and to latch onto language has not waned. She is a parrot and absorbs more than we care to think. When we arrived in Australia she was 22 months old. Her language was going through the roof and suddenly, just as she was chat-chat-chatting about everything and anything at a million miles an hour and loving every minute of it... she developed a stutter. It wasn't just a slight stutter. It was staggering and it throttled her and she visibly became upset by it... Mae fell over and scraped her knee. Oz scooped her up and said, ‘oh dear, where did you hurt yourself?’ and she looked at him like an idiot and said ‘on the pavement’.
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The Mother Movement – Who am I now I’m a mum?

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Yesterday was a shocker. I couldn't pinpoint the source; exhaustion? hormones? By breakfast time, I found myself in a puddle in my fella's arms sobbing about our relocation from London and missing, I mean truly heartbreakingly missing, my London friends. I crave a day with my eccentric, creative, daring, quirky, talented buddies and their wee sprogs....In fact, this post wasn't supposed to bang on so much about my emotional rollercoaster yesterday. In fact, this post wasn't supposed to bang on so much about my emotional rollercoaster yesterday. It was merely intended to illustrate that mothers can struggle. Not all mothers, but a lot of mothers. And not all the time, but a lot of the time, or sometimes or whatever the case may be. We struggle with identity, self-fulfillment, self-belief, career, motivation. It is a shared experience. I simply wanted to say that yesterday I was having one of those days, and at the end of it, quite by chance, a dear friend sent me this email: "You have to visit this website and read everything on it...xxxx..." And there it is. A website dedicated to mothers. Not a sappy, irritating, we're taken for granted kind of website. But an empowering, I've been there, let's bring women together and be powerful and acknowledge that sometimes this mother business is dull, sometimes we lose ourselves, lose who we are under the mother skin, sometimes we really struggle to make time for ourselves. Just go to it and read it. It speaks for itself.
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I suffer serious daymares now I’m a mum

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I’m sitting in my boy’s room in low light, breastfeeding him to sleep with Richard Hawley’s honey voice transporting us both into a past full of memories and into a future of sweet dreams. Suddenly, Maple snatches her hand out of mine, and dashes away from me across the road. I’m screaming for her to stop but she doesn’t listen and she carries on as a four wheel drive throttles down our quiet street and sends her tiny body flying through the air. I can do nothing. Everything is too late...You don’t want to read this right? I understand. It’s too much. It is far too much. I don’t want to swim in these foul waters either. I've read it back and I too think "this is too much. Nobody wants to go there." I’m hoping that the mere act of writing it all down might exorcise these hideous daymares from my mind.
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I do not love being a mum…

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"So do you just love being a mum?" So how can someone like me, answer a question like that? I am so far from being black and white on any issue, least of all my life. Least of all about motherhood. Oh I have some pretty strong opinions about things but motherhood has set me up with a whole new world of questions I need to ask about myself, and I was already grappling with a fair few. People who know me, do not ask me that question. Do you love going to work every day? Do you love catching the train? Do you secretly love picking your nose? Do you love sitting in traffic? Do you love waxing your bikini line? Do you love lobster? Do you love sex? Do you love learning Spanish? What did you eat for breakfast this morning? How many times did your baby wake last night? Now these are easy to answer. Easy. But there is no cut and dried to motherhood. I do not love being a mum per se. There, I said it.
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My toddler daughter intentionally sabotages group activities

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I can’t help it. I go to a dark place when my daughter behaves badly in a group activity-type environment. I see a dark little devil appear out from behind her eyes and it’s like she’s possessed. I can prime her, pep talk her, prepare her as best as I can, but it will inevitably go pear-shaped. You know, before I really start on this, I should say that there are days when it is quite literally like my daughter has got out the wrong side of her bed in the morning. These days, or at least, the first half of the day before I rush her to bed early for her midday crash sleep, is generally fraught. She wakes cantankerous, teary, whingey, prone to tantrums, in a no-no mood and a “I don’t want to” mood. If Oz and I don’t field this mood carefully, everything can go rapidly to pot. Sometimes she can be cranked out of it, but largely she sets the tone, and it aint pretty. Sometimes, in these moods, it’s like I can’t access her. She can stand and stare at me, whilst pouring water out of a bottle onto my new sofa.
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A Journey Into Adoption

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A Journey Into Adoption is a superb new blog written by a dear, dear friend of mine in the UK. To protect his beautiful child, all parties must remain anonymous. Adoption involves seriously sensitive issues and children's backgrounds are obviously far from straightforward. Subsequently, I am unable to credit this wonderful man and his wife by name for their admirable strength in persisting, against all odds, in their quest to bring a child into their home, their lives and their hearts.
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I See Red – Toddler Tantrums

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Look, it’s no secret that this is the age for tantrums. I had always heard about tantrums as a thing that happened with most children around a certain age, and quite frankly, I didn’t give a hoot. I didn’t care about children and their ways. I didn’t feel much for the parents because I was wholly unfazed, unaffected...The idea that I would one day have a child who would instantaneously explode and implode and create a level of noise I had not even thought possible, in my very own living room, had not come close to entering my realm of cognition...I could not possibly embrace the three-dimensional horrendousness of the real life bastard tantrum. Now I can.
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Oven dried homegrown tomatoes

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We had a surfeit of tomatoes in our new veggie garden this year. What to do with them? Oven dry them, roast them, eat them.
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Bloody delicious roasted aubergine / eggplant and tomato soup

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SNHYCCSY862Y I'm not going to claim credit for this. Ozzie grew the aubergines and the tomatoes, found a recipe and then made it his own, and then cooked the whole damn lot. What did I do? Kicked back with a bottle of red, took a photo of the befores and the afters, and then scoffed a bowl or two a day for a few days straight (there was alot!). It is disgustingly good, and such a great way to make use of the glut of aubergines and tomatoes our garden delivered to us this Summer. So here's the loose recipe.
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