Berry Picking

A couple days after Christmas, my Mr, baby E and I went berry picking with some dear friends. We brought home two big ice cream containers full of boysenberries, bramble berries and raspberries, and ate as many as we could while we picked. Here are some photos.

We ate lots of berries in the next few days, but then I froze the rest so they wouldn’t spoil. Now I need to decide what to make with them. Here are some ideas:

This berry almond crumble from Simply Recipes looks delicious.

As does this raspberry sorbet from Creme de la Crumb.

Mmm… this triple berry summer buttercream bundt from Smitten Kitchen looks divine (I drool over everything she makes)!

Have you been berry picking this summer? What’s your favourite way to use berries?

Some helpful parenting resources.

There is so much parenting advice out there – good and bad. Here’s some resources I’ve found helpful. What works for me might not work for you. Remember, my biggest piece of advice is to do what works.

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1. The Australian Breastfeeding Association. For any and every breastfeeding issue. Their website has heaps of great, reliable information. Even though I was one of the lucky ones who could breastfeed without too much trouble, their articles and forums would put my mind at ease when I’ve been unsure about something. They also have a breastfeeding helpline. Sam and I also went to a breastfeeding education session run by the ABA before our daughter was born (which I would highly recommend). I’ve also been to a few local group meetings which are always good.

2. Pinky McKay. Her Facebook page specifically. Pinky is a lactation consultant and gentle parenting advocate. People ask questions on her page which she (and other people who like her page) answers with advice and suggestions. Reading through these questions and answers has been so helpful to me, and has often given me ideas of things to try when I’ve been struggling with a baby who won’t sleep. It’s really just reassuring to know that there are other babies out there like mine!

3. My mother’s group. I’ve been lucky to be part of a great group of women (who all have super cute bubs) who still meet up regularly. There’s been no bitchiness (that I’ve picked up on anyway) and even if we have different opinions or ways of doing things, we support and encourage each other. I consider these girls my friends, and hope we keep catching up for life.

4. My family. Elsie’s so blessed to grow up surrounded by big extended families who love and care for her. She has 4 grandparents, 5 aunties, 6 uncles, and 3 cousins (hopefully more to come). They’re mostly local too, which I’m very glad about. They’ve all been great with practical help and are so supportive of our parenting. We really couldn’t have a better family.

What are some things you’ve found helpful as a new parent?

Baby food.

We’re feeding our daughter a mixture of puréed/mashed foods and finger foods that she can feed herself.

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I love baby led weaning (BLW) for many reasons. It teaches chewing before swallowing, which is supposed to minimises the risk of choking. It develops fine motor control. It teaches independence and autonomy. It grows self regulation and minimises overeating.

I like the purées because there is so much less mess! I often go through three changes of clothes a day when I let my girl feed herself (even when I use a fancy-plastic-catcher-bib!)

Some of Elsie’s favourite foods are lamb chops (she mainly just sucks the juice out of them), brocholi, mashed pumpkin and sweet potato, mashed banana mixed with avocado, chicken, and strawberries. She even likes curries! She tolerates Greek yoghurt – the face she makes when I give her the first spoonful is hilarious!

How do you feed your baby? What are their favourite foods?

My parenting philosophy.

My parenting philosophy is pretty simple. Do what works. That’s it. Do what works for you and your little ones.

For me, it’s breastfeeding, but for you it might be formula feeding. That’s OK. For me, it’s pram and occasional baby wearing, for you it might be just one or the other. That’s OK. For me it’s breastfeeding on demand and baby led weaning (with some spoon feeding in there too), for you it might be a feeding schedule and all purées. That’s OK. For me it’s sleeping in a cradle in our room, then in a cot in her own room, for you it might be co-sleeping. That’s OK. For me it’s feed and cuddle to sleep, then gently teach to self settle, for you it might be controlled crying. That’s OK too. I don’t mind how you parent; as long as you love your baby and are doing what works for you and your family.

My choices might change as time goes on, and so might yours. But that’s OK! It’s hard enough caring for a baby – so just do what works!

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Time to resurrect the old blog.

I used to love blogging. It was my creative outlet. It forced me to try new recipes and cook more. I found it fun! But then I got slack and stopped.

So much has changed since I last posted. The biggest thing was having my daughter!

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Life has changed so much these last 8 months. It’s been really hectic! My house is always a mess. I’m always so busy (even though some days all I accomplish is a load of washing or emptying the bins). Don’t get me started on how sleep deprived I am!

But life is SO much better with a little one to love. She really does bring us so much joy. Watching Sam interact with her deepens my love for him. Watching her develop and grow makes me wonder at the miracle of life.

So hopefully I’ll keep writing here. I’m hoping it will at least make me cook (and create) more.