The adventures of Jack Jack

The adventures of a first time Mummy and my son Jack.

Water play and fun in the sun.

The past weekend was spent enjoying the sunshine (in between thunderstorms) and with Jack running round mums garden completely naked.

It all began on Friday when my 2 youngest nephews came over to play for the afternoon and Daddy decided they were well behaved enough to enjoy an ice cream. One game of footie and 30 sticky minutes later and Jack had poured most of his down himself and wipes just weren’t clearing up the mess.

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“It’s ok” said Daddy “I’ll get a bucket of warm water and sponge to clean him up with”

Little did Daddy forget two toddlers and a five year old and water don’t tend to end in tales of everyone staying dry.

Within seconds of Daddy washing a sticky Jack Jack, my baby had got hold of the sponge and was chasing his cousins round the garden, as naked as the day he was born.

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I bet you can guess what happened next ;)

My nephews soon stripped off to join in the fun, good job it was my little nephews and not my teenage ones blushes

We added a squirt of soap to the water for foamy fun and a few car sponges then took shelter in an attempt to hold back the soapy, wet hordes of nudie wuddies.

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Pretty soon the storm clouds made an appearance again and 3 shivering children were quickly dried and dressed and my nephews were soon picked up by their Dad.

During that night’s storms I managed to capture my first lightning picture.

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On the Saturday Jack had just one request the minute he woke up, water Mummy!

At least it wasn’t such a faff wrestling him into clothes that morning, just had to strip off his pj’s and apply lots of suncream.

He did look a little lost at first, with no body to play with but soon invented a few little games to play by himself.

Once I had finished what I was doing I joining him in a water fight (with my clothes on I might add, don’t want to scare the neighbours!). Daddy joined in and quickly decided I was far too dry.

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We tried splashing the water hard, then soft and discussed how it felt. At 2 years of age Jack has a pretty good grasp of describing words, he stated the water felt cold and wet and hard when he hit it.

We also had great success with Jack using the potty during the good weather, woo hoo.

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Once he was dried and dressed he asked to have a go on the drum kit so I was only too happy to help.

On the Sunday I decided to put my water baby to use washing the car, with a little help of course.

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This was quickly followed by more water fights and Jack getting hold of the hose. Finally after a quick nip to the shop and a boogie in the back of the car we all enjoyed very well deserved bbq.

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Hardly surprising Jack slept 13 hours Monday night ;)

Oh and lets not forget my mothers scatty cats, Baloo hiding in her wardrobe and Mowgli the cat with a  foot fetish.

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Making the most of the sunshine.

Jack and I have had a busy few weeks, enjoying the sunshine and getting caught in cooling showers.

We covered the garden in chalk drawings.

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We puddle jumped.

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We rode around and around until we got dizzy.

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We played at the park with Brewer the bear (complete with cape).

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On the way home we found a friendly cat.

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We bought a car with a little help (thanks mum!)

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We invaded Grandma’s house and played chase with Daddy round her garden.

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We spent the cooler days colouring and enjoying cuddles.

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We stole Daddy’s hat and pulled a cheesy grin.

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We danced in the garden to acdc.

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We took a walk through the farm at the top of Grandma’s road and saw some sheep and a tractor.

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I prepared for little leg’s birthday and succeeded in hiding a substantial stash of presents.

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Phew, what a busy few weeks we had Jack.

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Healthy superhero, the final Mighty moments challenge

Regular readers may have spotted my two previous posts featuring Plum Mighty moments challenges. If you’re not a regular reader you can catch up with our first two posts via the links below -

Plum Mighty moments challenge 1 (challenge – to make a healthy snack featuring at least 1 of the 4 main ingredients from the Mighty 4 pouches) and Its time for an adventure (challenge – to capture your toddlers mighty moments)

The final challenge is to create a healthy superhero that will help little ones to understand how important it is to eat fruit and vegetables and to be healthy.

I got Daddy involved in this challenge as he was an avid comic fan as a child and we soon came up with an idea. Meet Fruit Bat man, with his bananarangs and grape firing slingshot he is a match for any villain.

Fruitbat man

Jack loves fruit and I often refer to him as my little fruitbat, so it was meant to be. We talked a little about the different superpowers Fruitbat Man could have and came up with these (ok Mummy came up with these and Jack said yay or no to each suggestion):

  • With his mind bending power he is able to zap our sugar cravings.
  • He can use his grape slingshot to kerpow the baddies and also to send fruit to any children he might pass.
  • Using his supersonic bat cry he can make the children of the world understand why leading a healthy lifestyle is important.

I set my little rugrat to work on his design.

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Oh no what do we have here?! A vicious cad attempting to tempt little Jack with a sugar filled lolly.

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Never fear, Fruit Bat man is here!

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KAPOW!!                                    TWANG!!                                 SPLAT!!

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“Thank you Fruit Bat man, now I can enjoy some yummy healthy grapes”

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FruitBat man recruited Jack as his sidekick – Jumping Jack.

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I am afraid this is where Daddy and I got a little carried away with the healthy superheros so without further ado, meet the FruitVeggers, who along with FruitBat man keep sugar and fat at bay.

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Captain Apricot

 

The mighty 4 (Thor, see what we did there ;))

The mighty 4 (Thor)

We all had fun completing this challenge, Jack was especially pleased to be wearing his Plum Mighty 4 cape.

This is our entry into the Tots100 Plum’s Mighty moments competition.

Father’s Day Gifts From Years Past

When I was contacted by the lovely Cassie from the dollar shave club, asking if I would like to take part in a campaign called ‘Father’s day gifts from years past’ I knew I had the perfect gift in mind.

My dad died over two years ago and we didn’t have that great of a relationship so instead my post will be focusing on my fiance and his very first fathers day gift.

Last year when Jack was just 11 months old, Daddy had his very first fathers day. I wanted to make this special for him as he would never have this experience again. Daddy can be hard to buy for so instead of trawling the shops looking for something someone else had made I sent about trying to capture the perfect pair of itty bitty Jack size hand prints. It took many attempts, with lots of smudged prints and complete fails but finally we managed one perfect sheet of paper with lots of Jacks hand prints on. I wrote a simple but meaningful poem to let Daddy how much we love him and are glad to have him in our lives.

 

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We also made a card that the poem could fold up into for safe keeping.941461_10200923108538330_604692048_n

Jack had recently learnt to crawl so on the day itself, when Daddy got in from work Jack presented him with his card and the poem carefully folded inside.   My partner loved it and it is kept safely in our keepsake box along with Jacks first birthday cards, cards from when he was born and his tiny little ID bands he wore while in hospital.

This year Jack and I are thinking of making something similar possibly with just a pair of hand prints to show how much he has grown over the last year.

Have you given or received any meaningful, funny or bizarre fathers day gifts?

Enjoying the spring sunshine

With the days growing longer and some beautiful sunny weather making an appearance this weekend we decided to have some fun in the garden. Typically on the days it had been raining we had a lot of free time yet this weekend I had many things to get on with. Having spent most of Friday ticking various jobs off my to do list I decided enough was enough and that I wanted to spend Saturday playing with my baby.

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After trimming Jack’s hair once again (boy does his hair grow fast) I let him enjoy the freedom of just a vest and a chance to flash his new batman fluff. He is ever so proud of it and tells me every 5 minutes it’s ‘ba ma’, unfortunately he wasn’t in it for very long for shortly afterwards he decided to throw juice all down himself, so after a quick change he was now supporting another new nappy, this time angry birds themed.

Upon discovering the wooden canes I have in the greenhouse Jack decided that one of them was a sword and began swinging and jabbing thin air chanting ‘Ching Ching’. He heroically saved Brewer the bear from a savage looking dandelion and after accidentally snapping the cane in two, became Keith Moon drumming a beat on the pathing slabs while shouting peppa snort. Slightly eccentric child but a wonderful imagination.

For some strange reason I thought it would be a good idea to let my nearly 2 year old enjoy an ice lolly to cool him down in the hot weather, what a silly mummy I am! He started off ok, holding it properly and enjoying the cool refreshing taste. It must have been a brain freeze or maybe a sugar rush but halfway through Jack decides to sit on our outdoor bean bag and tip up his lolly, so that a lovely sticky gloop runs down his arms and chest and seeps into his new cloth nappy.

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The aftermath of the ice lolly.

The aftermath of the ice lolly.

 

 

Time to get out the paddling pool, maybe this was his plan all along judging by the broad grin that appeared on his face as soon as he saw me setting everything up. Jack then set about soaking everything and anything he could, including me. He loves to play with a bundle of sea creatures he got for Christmas so I added these to the paddling pool and spent the next 20 minutes retrieving them from random places around the garden, I must admit Jack has a pretty good throw.

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Once he was dry and dressed again, Jack moved on to chatting to the neighbors who very patiently listened to him ramble about planes and cheese and Mummy. After he had finished chatting he politely waved goodbye and we headed indoors for dinner and a bath.

On Sunday morning I noticed a rash all over Jack but put it down to heat rash until later that day he started to get a fever and moan about his head hurting. After a quick call to my mother (a paramedic) she confirmed my thoughts that Jack had german measles and that camomile lotion would do the trick. Even though he was feeling under the weather it didn’t stop him from creating mischief in the garden once again.

In between being smothered in camomile lotion and suncream Jack set about making a den with Daddy, which took several attempts thanks to the wind and lack of tools. Once up the den became a great place for hiding behind and scaring Mummy when she least expects it.

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My poor little pudding was obviously a little fed up so I bought some of his cars out in the garden for him to play with and he spent a while zooming them up and down the patio, until he discovered a planter full of water and his train just had to have a dip.

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Later that night I started to feel unwell and by Monday morning I was covered in spots and full of fever, thanks Jack for sharing :/

Lets hope the bank holiday weekend ends better than this one did.

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Travelodge Ireland and the historical city of Limerick.

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Historic Limerick

With its enviable location on the banks of the river Shannon, Limerick is a lovely city to visit on a short break or as part of a longer holiday touring the west of Ireland. It’s only a fifteen minute drive from Shannon airport so it’s easy to get to and there are plenty cheap hotels to choose from  – check out http://www.travelodge.ie/hotels/book/Limerick-hotels for some great deals on centrally located beds. While you’re in town you’ll enjoy just wandering around soaking up the atmosphere, but don’t miss these must-see historic sights.

 

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King John’s Castle

This castle, which dominates the landscape in the heart of the medieval city, may be over 800 years old, but its brand new visitor centre and interactive activities mean it’s a tourist attraction that’s brought the distant past firmly into the 21st century. After you’ve immersed yourself in Limerick’s war torn history, you can enjoy lunch complemented by peaceful views of the River Shannon in the café.

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Lough Gur Heritage Centre

Another visitor attraction that has benefited from a recent investment project, Lough Gur is well worth making the short trip from the city centre for. This mysteriously beautiful lake has 6000 years of history surrounding it and the new heritage centre does a great job of telling its long and fascinating story from the Neolithic age right up to the present day.

 

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The Hunt Museum

This grand building on the banks of the River Shannon is an essential stop-off on your sightseeing tour of Limerick. It’s a fantastic treasure trove of history – highlights include art by Picasso and Renoir and a wonderful jewellery gallery, which boasts the Mary Queen of Scots Cross.

 

These are just a few of the fascinating places you’ll come across on your sightseeing tour of this ancient and enchanting city. Don’t forget to pack your camera for amazing, step-back-in-time, snaps.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

Essential guide to buying for your newborn

 

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Your Essential Guide to Buying for a Newborn 

Having a baby is an incredibly special time in our lives. Buying for a new baby however can be exciting and confusing all at the same time. How much stuff does one little person need after all? How do you know what you actually need and what is just an unnecessary expense? Hopefully this quick guide will help you to pinpoint exactly what you do need and which items are nice to have but not a necessity.

 

In the Hospital

Once baby arrives you will need nappies, vests, sleepsuits, wipes or cotton wool depending on how you choose to clean them at changing time, plus bottles and formula should you decide you won’t be breastfeeding. You’ll also need a hat as some hospitals pop one on the baby’s head to keep them warm when they are first born. Muslin squares are also a great item to buy and double as thin blankets, burping cloths and clean up all manner of messes from baby sick to formula spills. You’ll also need an outfit for baby to leave the hospital in – that is if they aren’t just going to wear another sleepsuit and a coat or snowsuit, depending on how cold it is when he or she is born.

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Transport 

If you have a car, you have to have a suitable car seat for your baby. Newborn car seats are graded 0 and 0+ and you have to have a car seat with you on the day you leave hospital with your baby. When buying a car seat it’s best to seek professional advice and ensure the car seat fits the make and model of your car.

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In the Nursery

You’ll need somewhere for baby to sleep. They can go straight into a cot, but some parents choose to buy a crib or a moses basket first. Moses baskets are portable, so you can easily have baby downstairs in the lounge with you until he or she goes to sleep at night. Most moses baskets don’t come with a stand so you will need to buy one separately. Some come with a full set of bedding and a mattress, others don’t, so make sure you check when you buy. As with a cot, your moses basket will need a mattress with sheets plus cellular blankets to keep your baby warm.

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Clothing 

Newborn baby clothes are a joy to buy. They’re so cute and tiny it’s easy to buy up the entire shop. But for very tiny babies you only really need vests and sleepsuits, and plenty of them, as you’ll find you get through them very quickly and your washing machine will seem like it’s constantly on. Of course there are some gorgeous baby clothes and you’ll want to add a few bits to your little one’s wardrobe. Newborn baby clothes from George are perfect. Not only are they great value but they are excellent quality and wash really well too. Along with sleepsuits and vests you’ll find a great range of soft and comfortable clothing you’ll enjoy dressing your new baby in. Think adorable little tops and trousers, dresses and leggings, plus little jackets and cardigans and the tiniest socks you’ll ever see, just perfect for delicate skin.

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Of course you’ll find plenty of other things you simply can’t resist buying for your new baby, but once you have the essential items covered you can go to town and buy whatever you can afford to add to your ever growing stash of baby items.

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Asda George and its newborn baby clothing range.

 

Its time for an adventure…..

Feeling pressured and lacking enthusiasm it was definitely time for a break and an adventure.

Jack had never been to the seaside so we decided on a weekend trip to Great Yarmouth. My mum joined us for the trip and on the morning of the 4th we were off. I slept most of the journey as I get car sick but Jack was quite happy listening to his Thomas the tank engine story cd and cuddling his bear Brewer. Once we arrived and checked into the b&b we didn’t know where to go first, but as it was a gorgeous day we decided to hit the beach but first we had to buy Jack a bucket and spade.

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Once we let little legs loose he was off with Daddy hot on his tail. Stupidly I decided to push the pram down to beach to follow the action forgetting the wheels would sink into the sand, I ended up dragging it behind me but it saved me becoming buckaroo.

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Jack didn’t know what to do first, he kicked and stamped in the sand for a while then grabbed a handful and threw it into the wind. I am very surprised he didn’t try to eat it once but I think the rest of his senses were working so hard he was in overload. To begin with he didn’t quite understand what to do with his bucket and spade and just wandered around holding them, until Grandma showed him how to shovel sand into the bucket. Once he had gotten the hang of it there was no stopping him and he spent a while just filling and emptying the bucket.

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We enjoyed a bag of chips on the pier, while Jack enjoyed his Mighty 4 pouches from Plum and Goodies new croc snacks, as well as the odd sneaky chip. Jack spied a “choo choo” ride so had to have a go.

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Sea world had kindly given me tickets to review their attraction so we decided to head down to the centre. I was very impressed with how little of a wait we had to get in considering it was a gorgeous day and a saturday. Jack was amazed by all the different kinds of fish and was especially fond of the sharks as we walked through the tunnel. I myself was mesmerized by the sea turtle as it cruised gracefully around the tank. We found Dory and Nemo and Jack stroked a crab then decided to lick his hands, ewww.

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We spent a while just watching the occupants of the various tanks until little man started to become restless and moan he was tired, we decided headed back to the hotel room so he could have forty winks in something more comfortable than the buggy. Secretly I was glad of catching a little snooze myself and emptying my shoes of sand and even Daddy was struggling to stay awake. After some warm milk and a couple of stories from his new TipTop books Jack was soon fast asleep.

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A while later we were all starving and Grandma offered to buy us dinner so we headed off in search of a restaurant and had only turned the corner when we found the perfect one. There were only two other families enjoying their meals so it was a nice relaxing end to the day, until Jack arrived of course. Daddy and I had steak and chips while Grandma had steak chasseur, Jack loves spaghetti so had a lovely big bowl of it with plenty of cheese. He is at the age where he wants to feed himself so I let him, within reason but I hadn’t bargained on him getting a little cheese happy. Luckily the waitress was too busy cooing over him to notice by which time he had finished the cheese hunt and tidied up after my little monkey.

What better after a big meal then a wander on the beach in the moonlight and hitting the arcades. We took all the 2p and 1p’s we had laying around the house and Jack had saved a few pounds from being helpful for Mummy. Soon we had won him a few little cars and plenty of tickets which we used on the play-doh pack they had.

The next morning its was chucking it down with rain so we decided to buy a few souvenirs and head home, halfway home my mum told me about a project she had started for work and how she needed my help to set up her own blog. After a little rejigging of the luggage when we got home Jack and I were on our way to Grandma’s house for the week. Daddy couldnt join us as he had a few meetings to go to but a little of your own space never hurt anyone.

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Jack and I spent the week helping Grandma in the garden and the evenings trying to explain blogging and Jack ‘helping’ design Grandma’s blog badge. We went for walks down the lane to the farm at the end, we played tag  and relaxed in the sun.

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Back home a week later we took advantage of the good weather with a trip to the park and getting Daddy involved in the fun.

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We spent Easter weekend at Nanny’s house for a roast and an alternative Easter basket. The planned egg hunt had to be held indoors due to the rain but didn’t stop the fun. When we came home Jack had his first haircut, we had tried many times before but failing duct taping his head to the chair we couldn’t get him to stay still. However with his brand new Tractor Ted dvd he was so engrossed we managed to chop off his curls.

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During the week that followed I discovered to my horror the amount of weeds taking over my garden, so with my little helper in tow we got to work. Daddy cut the grass while I tackled the weeds, Jack emptied bucketfuls on the compost and bought the bucket back for me to fill up again. Occasionally he did disappear to the front gate to watch the cars on the road or to fuss next doors cat but had great fun putting food out for the birds once we had finished.

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After such a busy but relaxing break from the stresses of blogging and admin duties we topped it off with a bank holiday bbq, again at Nanny’s house. Jack enjoyed playing football with his cousins, Brewer the bear in tow and chasing bubbles around the garden.

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Concentration :)

Concentration :)

 

Jack you are learning so much everyday and it makes me extremely proud to watch you grow. To hear you repeat a brand new word when I speak to you or to watch you playing football reminds me of just how far you have come in just under two years of life. You make me the happiest mother in the world every time you call my name, keep learning about the world and you will go far but please dont forget to be my little boy for just a little longer.

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Plum Baby Mighty Moments challenge 1

I have been a fan of Plum baby foods ever since I started weaning Jack over 18 months ago. With an impressive choice of flavours and textures to suit every taste they are a firm favourite with Jack and I. We all know how important it is that little ones snack on healthy foods rather than junk.

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Here’s my little legs trying out Plum’s little foodies tray meals and most recently the new Mighty 4 range.

Plum have set myself and my fellow parenting bloggers a challenge to explore Mighty Moments in your family, and share the results. This week is the first of three challenges and thankfully I found this one easy as Jack has this snack quite often.

We were asked to investigate the ingredients of Plum’s new Mighty 4 toddler snack pouches and use at least one of them to make a healthy toddler snack.
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Mighty 4 is a range of organic snacks for active toddlers based on Plum’s four mighty food groups: fruit, vegetables, grains and Greek-style yogurt.

With that in mind I knew the perfect snack to make, one of Jack’s favourites. A crunchy nut and yogurt fruit melody, with added blueberries.

 

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This tasty little snack incorporates grains, yogurt and fruit, all in one toddler sized portion. Quick and cheap to make, this is a great way to make sure your little one is eating the right food groups and not filling up on sugar and fat. I used peach compote but you could use any flavour or even fresh fruit, this snack would also go great with musli.

Like Plum’s pouches this snack can be great on the go, as long as you don’t mix the cereal with the yogurt until you are ready to serve or you may find it all a soggy mess.

 

Why not try fruit loaded flapjacks or vegetable sticks with a creamy yogurt dip.

What would you make?

Disclaimer: This is my entry for Plum’s Mighty moments blogger challenge.

 

A toddlers alternative Easter basket

I realise I am nearly two weeks late with this post but I had been enjoying a break from blogging and only recently returned.

Easter used to be a religious holiday, however recently it has become more about chocolate and out doing each other’s stash. Jack is under 2 and I knew that his Nanny and Grandad, along with Grandma and Auntie would buy him an egg each. Toddler plus chocolate? No thanks!

So what was in Jacks alternative Easter basket?

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Ever the typical little boy, Jack is a big Batman fan so when his Grandma saw the Batman themed Kinder egg she knew she had the perfect egg for him. Inside the Kinder egg Jack was thrilled to find a Batman figure with detachable cape and wings, although the cape has since gone missing. Daddy and I supplied Jack with two Milky bar bunnies and some colourful plastic eggs filled with dried fruit, smarties and a few cars.

It had been my plan to use these for a egg hunt but the weather had other ideas, instead we hid them around Nanny’s house for Jack to find.

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“I found some Daddy”

Keen not to overload my little monster with sugar I packed…erm…the Easter bunny packed some alternative gifts in Jacks basket.

His attention was captured as soon as he saw the Chuggington books.

His attention was captured as soon as he saw the Chuggington books.

The little white Easter bunny nested in the basket has since been named Bun, Jack can’t say rabbit yet. Bun joins Brewer the bear on adventures with Jack and spends every night in the clutches of my toddler, while poor Brewer is usually stuck in a headlock.

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Jack loves books so of course we had to include some Easter/spring themed books. On the farm, Noisy day, the new pony and number farm are all educational based, spring themed books for Jack to peruse at his pleasure. Along with his ladybird book of colours and Chuggington story books with build your own Chugger, Jack was pretty much set for the afternoon. That was until he discovered the Spot on the farm dvd nested in his Easter basket, Jack loves Spot the dog.

Soon it was time for Easter sunday lunch and I knew that Jack wasn’t full of chocolate, even if he did try to insist that Bun joined him and Brewer at the table.

With a little imagination it is easy to create a fun, seasonal gift without overdosing our little ones on sugar and having to deal with the cranky comedowns at bedtime.

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