Ten thousand bowls of soup- a children’s book 

As a child me and my sister spent a lot of our free time reading, and Saturdays and school holidays were spent with trips to our local library to get yet more books! And now I have so much fun sharing a love for reading with my 2 year old son (and his baby brother watches and smiles), which I’m hoping we do for years to come.

And so, when I first spoke with the lovely ladies at ‘Ten Thousand Bowls of Soup‘, I was excited to receive a copy and review this book with my toddler and I was expecting a nice little story book.

But we got a lot more than we anticipated, and this is so much more than just another nice little story book! The book tells the tale of a 6 year old boy who, 15 years later, travels to Greece to help people who have been displaced to a migrant camp. His job is to make soup. Every day, 10,000 bowls of it! And together they share a love for, and bond over, food.

This book touches on issues that increasingly impact the world we live in, and the world we are raising the next generation in. I often ponder about the future, and the world my boys will grow up in. Some of the most important things I can teach them is to be kind and tolerant to others, and to be giving and forgiving. And this book touches on some of these subjects in a fun and light hearted way. Perfect for conversation starters with little people, and a great way for parents, Carers, and teachers alike to hold meaningful and thought provoking conversations with children.

I do often find myself second guessing my decisions or how I’m disciplining my toddler, and often wonder how I’m going to raise my boys the way I want to. And it’s tools such as  this book that will help me in the years to come.

What I love about this book is it’s not for profit, and all proceeds go to Médecins Sans Frontières who help to save lives in conflict zones, natural disasters and epidemics. What another great lesson to teach our little people about giving to others and helping those less fortunate. And, there’s even a recipe for some yummy sounding soup at the end of the book!

The book is aimed at children 5-8, but for now my little boy loves flicking through the pages and seeing the pictures, so I am going to keep this on our bookshelf for many years to come,  but mums with school age kids will find this a great book for teaching their little ones some great morals and raising awareness to the world we live in!


Advertisements

Breastfeeding in pregnancy 

Disclaimer.. this is ANOTHER post about breastfeeding, so if you have no interest in the topic feel free to skim past this one! 

Yes you read it right, breastfeeding and pregnancy can go hand in hand. Before being a mum, I wouldn’t have had a clue about whether it was possible to breastfeed when pregnant. And it’s unsurprising as so many people believe this myth to be true, even health professionals! In fact, even my mum thought this to be true, as advised by her midwife at the time. So, when she fell pregnant with me when my sister was 3 months old, she too stopped breastfeeding. 

It’s widely assumed that your body cannot provide the right nutrients for both baby in utero alongside your breastmilk. This is infact false, and many women feed their babies throughout their pregnancies and beyond and eventually tandem feed. 

Tandem feeding didn’t appeal to me whatsoever. And so when I fell pregnant with his brother when he was just under 1, I had to reassess my aim to feed him until he was 2. I just knew it wasn’t for me. Perhaps this was due to the mental and physical demands breastfeeding required, but also I just couldn’t imagine having two babies so dependant on me, and the logistics! 

And so I knew I wanted to stop feeding my eldest before his brother arrived, but I didn’t put a time limit on it and I wasn’t ready to stop to begin with, and neither was my food refusing nearly 1 year old. Yes that’s right, at 1 he was still yet to eat a full meal of anything, so had been relying on me 100%.. (see what I mean about it being demanding)! 

So I decided to just go with the flow. And my baby decided more and more that he would feed more and more than ever before which made no sense to me as he had previously only been feeding at naptimes (twice daily), bedtime, and for night feeds. But I kept at it nervously as it seemed like I would actually end up tandem feeding after all! My monkey just showed no signs of stopping, and it felt cruel to take away his only nourishment as he still wasn’t eating or drinking anything else. 

But then it started to get painful. REALLY painful, sore, cracked and bleeding nipples. But I still soldiered on, sometimes crying through the pain. For anyone that’s ever experienced the pain of early breastfeeding whilst your milk supply and babies latch is being established will know how bad this is. Only there was no end to this. Then, at around 20 weeks pregnant, my baby wanted to feed EVEN more, sometimes 3 or 4 times an hour and all night. It had become unbearable. But at 14 months old he had finally started to eat some solids. 

And then it hit me. The constant feeding but him never being satisfied, the pain, and the frequency, led me to the realisation that my milk had turned back to colostrum. And as he wasn’t established onto solid food or any other liquid, he was getting more and more frustrated as even though he was feeding more, he wasn’t getting what he needed. 

I managed 3 months of feeding him through the worse pain ever and and I was now 5 months pregnant. It all become too much, I needed my body back for a few short months before it all started again, and I needed a rest, and definetly some sleep. And so when my monkey was 15 months old I decided to stop breastfeeding him. It took 3 days of offering cuddles and snacks instead of milk, no tears and no fuss. I was shocked! But I also truly think it was a lot easier as he had not been getting any milk for weeks, maybe months and was actually just getting frustrated and fed up by this. 

I hadn’t actual decided to night wean straight away, I was still going to continue with one night feed until I was ready to tackle it, but I was shocked further when after day 2 he stopped waking for his night feed and slept right through.. which was of course a bonus! 

So yes, breastfeeding and pregnancy can go hand in hand, but just like breastfeeding in general, it will not be an easy ride and it takes a lot of effort and dedication. I was proud to feed my baby for as long as I did during my pregnancy but I was also so thankful for the few months break I got in between, and the sleep! 

I’d love to hear other mums experiences of feeding whilst pregnant, or if any of you were fabulous enough to tandem feed. Was it worth the pain and preserving or like me are you glad you stopped when you did? 

 Surviving with a newborn and a toddler… one month on

I still can’t get my head around the fact that I’m a mum to two little humans, and I can’t believe we have survived a month already. Suprisingly I am coping pretty well with a 20 month old and a newborn and here is how…

  1. Going to bed early! As a first time mum everyone tells you to ‘sleep when your baby sleeps’ which is simply not possible when you have an active toddler who only naps for an hour a day! So the only way I’m coping with the 2-3 hourly night feeds is by going to bed super early. My toddler sleeps by 7/7.30pm, I then do a few chores and take my baby upstairs and we’re both asleep by 9pm! This helps with the 5/6am starts. Such a glamorous life I lead 😂
  2. A good routine. This goes with the above but basically having set nap times and a bedtime for my biggest monkey means I can semi plan the day and I know when to grab some lunch or start with dinner. I’m hoping to eventually have both boys in bed at the same time so I can get a couple of hours to myself. Maybe wishful thinking right now though.
  3. Doing grocery shopping online. I’m pre planning all my meals and ordering food online and getting it delivered as I just don’t have the time to go and do a food shop. I try and cook and prep dinner when my toddler is napping at lunch. I’m very fortunate to have my mum and sister nearby so one of them is usually here in the afternoon so as long as the baby is asleep they can entertain my toddler while I cook.
  4. Organising everything the night before. Once we come downstairs in the morning, it’s hard to just pop back upstairs to grab something as I don’t want to leave my monkey around the baby as anything could happen. Every evening I make sure we have enough nappy change essentials and spare clothes downstairs for the next day.
  5. Getting out of the house. This one is easier said than done. Firstly it’s winter so taking a newborn out requires more effort. And secondly getting out of the house with two takes longer than you would expect. But now we have all car seats and pushchairs set up, it should get easier. I’m finding it a lot easier to entertain my biggest boy out of the house, as he was getting very bored of being cooped up inside. And my littlest mainly sleeps while out and only feeds every 2-3 hours so this gives me time to focus on my oldest when out and about.. (Sami used to feed up to three times an hour which made going out when he was a newborn somewhat more challenging). Now the weather is nicer I plan to go out at least once a day, even if it’s just a walk around the block. We will also be taking advantage of our lovely garden.
  6. Strong support network. As I just mentioned my mum and sister live round the corner and help me daily. I am very lucky! As I’m breastfeeding there’s not much they can do to help with the baby but they help to entertain my toddler, by taking him out, feeding him, and helping with bath and bedtimes! I also have a very tight knit extended family who are nearby so have had lots of meals sent from aunties and cousins… I am very lucky I know and not everybody has their family nearby.
  7. Lowering my standards (and expectations). This one is an important one… I’m slowly accepting that my house will not be as immaculate as I would like. Things may be untidy and out of place, the laundry may pile up for a few days longer than I’d like, some days my toddler (and me) will stay in pjs all day and some days my toddler may watch nursery rhymes on TV for longer than he should. We may eat take out more then we should, some days my toddler will have weetabix for dinner… but it’s okay! Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and there’s no need. Don’t get me wrong, whenever I get a chance I am doing housework, or cooking, or trying to do worthwhile activities with my toddler, but some days nothing gets done and the world is not going to end!