Wednesday 30 August 2017

Archer's 12 Week Update

My baby is officially no longer a new born. Time to get a job and start paying rent. It's so bittersweet- there'll never be another newborn in this house. But that also means YAY no more newborn days. Here comes the fun bring on the wine and sleep!

This will be our last weekly post now, as there are not as many differences for him each week- I'll be posting at every next 4 week mark for a bit and then monthly so his next one will be at 16 weeks! Keep your eye out!

Length: Currently unknown

Weight: 13lbs 15oz. 

Clothing size- Some 0-3 if there's no feet attached, but mostly 3 months. Long legs!

New this week: Holding toys and directing them into his mouth so he can chew. Dribbling on everything and everyone. Added in the "ba" and "ya" sounds to his usual "ga". Babbling and cooing a whole lot more. Rolling onto his side from his back. Rotating and shuffling himself off his play mats.

Likes: Chewing on mummy's hands, muslin cloths and his toys. When mummy joins in with tummy time. When Isla plays next to him. Having things rubbed over his face (toys and flannels)

Dislikes: Having an even slightly wet nappy, if the pram stops moving, feeling overstimulated in the evenings and putting clothes on.

Mummy & baby product shout out this week: Nuby "Wacky" Teether. This is one of the only toys that Archer has shown any interest in. He's still young so we know he'll care about more toys at some point, but it's so nice to see him holding it and chewing it. The small ring is easy for him to grip and moving it around and to his mouth has really improved his hand eye coordination. It keeps him amused for quite a while when he gets frustrated trying to reach his dangling toys.

What were your little ones up to at this age?


Baby Favourites August 2017

As a baby, Archer does not have the skill to tell you about his favourites or interests... luckily I'm here to help share what seems to spark some reaction or happiness from him and what products seem to keep him calm and content.

1. Tommee Tippee Air Soother

We have tried around 8 brands and styles of dummies for Archer. He just spat them out, or retched- he wasn't having it. He is a booby man through and through... but then we found these, and he hasn't looked back. We haven't experienced any nipple confusion and I can tell when he just wants comfort rather than food, so popping one of these in as he fusses has literally changed our lives. Isla was never fussy and would take any bottle or dummy, but every baby is different I guess.

2. Summer Infant Deluxe Bath Seat

Archer is definitely more of a water baby than Isla was. She had to be in the tub with me, on my chest. She still gets nervous when laid down in the big bath when I rinse her hair and can't stand water on her face when she swims. Archer does not care. He just wants to be in the water and with this chair he can get in every time Isla does. I just have to keep an eye on him and he is lightly dipped in while still supported so can happily kick and I have a hand free for each child.

3. Nuby Wacky Teether & O-Rattle

I touched on the Nuby teether in Archer's 12 week update- it's one of the only things he can hold and get into his own mouth. Now that he is going into the CHEW EVERYTHING phase, these two easy to grip toys keep him from clawing at his own face chewing his fingers, and keep him from biting the boob. They're also nice and lightweight so he's only smacked himself in the face a few times now...

What is your baby loving right now? I'm always on the look out for new things to try, so let me know!

Steph xo

What They Wore- August Weeks 2-4

In this post I'm highlighting some of my favourite outfits that Isla and Archer have worn during the second half of August. If you like seeing posts like this, follow my Instagram as linked in the sidebar and you'll see a lot more outfits besides these ones!


 Archer wore his first every pair of jeans- and of course I combo'd them with a plaid shirt. He was giving me some real Autumn vibes in this get up, I'm so excited to dress him for the colder weather in the next months! Jeans from Tesco F&F and top from Next.

 Who can say no to a novelty baby vest? No-one! I got this cheeky vest from the Wish App and it only cost me around £2. I've got some brilliant Harry Potter themed vests stored for the next sizes up too. His cheeky face says it all really.

As you can probably tell from my Instagram feed, and the way I've designed this blog- I've got a bit of a thing for white. I love soft whites and greys with a bold black added in every now and then. Keeping it monochrome classic! This soft white Winnie the Pooh set really captured the end of Archer's newborn days perfectly and I have a feeling I'll look back at this photo a lot- the outfit really makes him look so sweet and innocent. From Asda's George department.


 I love this look on Isla. A simple monochrome shirt and a pair of high wasted shorts with a lacy curved leg to them. She looks so grown up when combined with the messy bun. I swear this girl dresses better than me most days. And look at the pompom detail on the sleeves! Top from Primark and shorts from Mothercare.

 I have almost every dress in this collection from Next and this jungle bird print is by far my favourite. A simple skater style dress, and perfect for summer and even colder days when combined with a cardigan and tights. (& George Pig is featuring a royal look as per Isla's request when taking this photo!)

Rompers and playsuits are so in fashion at the moment- and how lovely is this full length stripe and frill design? The legs actually popper completely up like on baby clothes which means I don't have to pull them fully off for potty time which is a huge bonus. Can I get some fashion points for the space buns in her hair too? She calls them her mouse ears. From Next!

I'd love to see what your little ones have worn, comment or tweet me if you feel like sharing!

Steph xo

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Cheap & Cheerful Lunch Ideas for Toddlers

Now I'm juggling a newborn and a toddler- who, I might add, like to tag team me and both decide they are hungry at the same time- I've had to start making Isla lunch during her morning nap. She is a good eater, but I worry about her getting bored or having the same thing every day.

I find that a lot of the foods branded towards her age group, and designed to be fun, can be quite pricey when added to the weekly shop, so I've been trying her out with my own little plates and lunchtime is a hit now! (They're super satisfying to put together too...must invest in some cute bento accessories and more cutters.)

Below are some quick, easy and cheap idea's for your toddlers lunch. All took less than 20 minutes including prep, cooking and presentation. As you will see, I'm lucky Isla is a huge fruit and veg fan!

 "The Moana"

We call this lunch Moana lunch because it is VERY loosely based on Isla's favourite movie. We have Heart of Te Feti cucumber slices (which I used a play dough cutter to make...very classy mummy), Hei Hei's Egg Cake and Island berries.

The egg cake was super easy to make and Isla helped me out with it. We just beat 3 eggs, chopped up some cherry tomatoes, added them together in a cupcake mould and sprinkled on some cheese and pepper to taste. A quick blitz in the oven cooking by eye and they are ready to eat.

Telling your toddler that their food is somehow related to a book or movie usually has a great influence on their enthusiasm when trying something new.

 Pesto Pasta

Pretty self explanatory- pesto is always a winner in this house. Its quick and easy and super cheap t throw a jar onto your shop. You only need a teaspoon and going on with the theme of weird toddler food explanations, we like to pretend they are a mossy environment for the dinosaur cheese to roam across. We add blueberries for the fruity element, You'll notice we add them to pretty much every lunch. Can you tell they're her favourite?
 Sandwich Swirlies

Isla doesn't really like bread. It's kinda dry sometimes, hard to chew..I think a lot of toddlers feel this way. She always gets along better with bread when I squash it a bit with my hands and make it doughy.

I'd seen pinwheels done with tortilla bread (quite popular in America I think) but I didn't have tortillas and I didn't really want to buy any since we have bread... so I just squashed her sandwich, rolled it up and cut it up. You could give it any fun name and I'm sure your fussy one will try it. Bug lover? Sandwich Snails. Mermaid lover? Sandwich Sea Shells. You get it!
 Ham Fairies

Fairies. Or butterflies. It was actually random play dough cutter- but she finally ate ham. Isla is notorious for picking the ham out of things and she is such a huge fruit and veg fan I really try to make sure she gets something meat based too.

We've added in some microwave vege rice- you can make this SO easily but when tag teamed by a two year old and two month old, sometimes good old Uncle Ben has to come in and save the day if you want to shake lunchtime up a little bit.

Dino Platter

Lots of little bits to pick at- this really is the key to getting Isla to eat some of everything on her plate. If we just give her a big sandwich, I think she gets bored of the taste. I mean, as an adult I love lots of little different things on a buffet or a platter compared to one big meal which gets a bit boring after a few bits. It's also a great way to try sneaking something new in to their plate and to use up the bits which will expire soon or don't have much left.

Oh, and tell her that if she doesn't eat it quickly, the dinosaur will. That works.

Tiny Heart Trio

How cute are those tiny sandwiches? They've got a little cheese inside and yes I was back at it again with the play dough cutters... but she ate them! Bread success. Mum win. Mum of the year. I also encouraged her to crumble her biscuit into her yogurt, dip blueberries- get messy yes, but she really loved mixing the flavours up.

Toddler lunches don't have to be a battle. Or expensive. Or super fancy. I hope this post has given you some ideas for making lunch time a bit more fun without taking hours or costing the world!

If you have any ideas you'd like to share, please do! 

Steph xo

My Random Musings

Monday 21 August 2017

Archer's 11 Week Update

This week marks Archer entering his last week classed as a newborn. He was only 3 weeks early, so we don't adjust his age for milestones- so yes, when he hits 12 weeks old at the end of this week he will officially need to get himself a proper baby job because he will be an infant.

It's had me all sorts of emotional- especially since he has officially outgrown his preemie, newborn, and 1 month clothing. Putting it all away I've realised I will never have another fresh baby (we're done with two!) and he's started to look and feel huge to me.

Length: >61cm (51cm at two weeks)

Weight: >13.5lbs and to be weighed next at 13 weeks (6lb 12oz at birth)Clothing size: 0-3 months and Up to 3 Months

New this week: Purposefully kicking his piano play mat, sleeping in his own bed for most of the night, having a "bed time" and sticking to it, keeping hands open and not in a fist when playing, able to smack toys hanging above him

Likes: sitting up with support, squealing and cooing at daddy, chewing his fists, the elephant hanging toy on his swing & playmat

Dislikes: getting out of the bath and dried, the majority of dummy brands, when mummy puts him down during his nap

Mummy & baby product shout out this week: Fisher Price Kick & Play Piano Mat. I hate the music, and he loves it. It takes up room as we now have two mats in the living room, but it's been so worth it. He absolutely loves it and the second we put him on it he starts to kick and pant with excitement. The toys dangle at the perfect height for him too. He's getting more into toys now so it's nice to have something so colourful to stimulate him.


Saturday 12 August 2017

An interview with my two year old

This is a new feature I plan on writing every 6 months to a year for the forseeable future. Even if I were to move away from blogging, I think it'll be lovely to ask Isla the same questions and compile the answers as they change and grow. It'd make a great gift to share with her one day!

Isla turned two on the 13th May, and as you will find out, she's a big chatterbox and she has a very cheeky attitude!

1. What do you think of your baby brother? I like him because he does not cry loads and very very much.
2. What makes you happy? Mummy!
3. What makes you sad? Fire engines.
4. What makes you laugh? You and ha ha ha!
5. How old are you? Six, I'm six aren't I? (She is two...)
6. How old is Mommy? I dunno... four. I'm four! (She is still two haha)
7. How old is Daddy? Daddy is four and he buyed this house because he's four.
8. What is your favorite thing to do? Er..Play. Just play.
9. Who is your best friend? Cat! (Her special teddy)
10. What do you want to be when you grow up? To be a doctor, all on my own.
11. What are you really good at? Tricks! To make him sit!
12. What don't you like to do? Any more games.
13. What did you do today? Made something. We need to go out, can we go out? We made eggs.
14. What is your favorite thing to eat? Spetty Bolnais. (You can guess what this is!)
15. What is your favorite movie? Moana!
16. What do you want for Christmas this year? A car present again
17. What is your favorite animal? Er a cow who says moo for the grass
18. What is love? Er.. I love YOU
19. What does daddy do for work? Sits on his computer with the ladies (Pretty accurate description of his office there!)
20. What is your favourite colour? All of them but purple is my favourite
21. Tell me something fun about you? No I want a film do your own questions!

How would your little one answer?

Steph xo

Friday 11 August 2017

Newborn Must Haves- The First Weeks

You'd think after my first baby was born, I'd be all clued up on products when it came to the second. I thought that I'd make do with the same things I had the first time around- but boy was I wrong.

When I got pregnant with Archer, I didn't see myself getting tempted by any of the new tech for kids, so a trip to the shops to just look was harmless...nope!

On top of what most people end up unable to cope without- nappies, muslin cloths, dummies etc. here is a small sum up of the things we use day in day out and really are a must have for us.

Muslin and Velcro Swaddles:

We didn't swaddle even once with Isla after we left the hospital. We didn't own any, and I couldn't seem to replicate the technique the NICU nurses had used with her blankets. So we just prayed she would sleep and held her till she was quiet and then put her down as gently as we could (often multiple times).

Now with Archer, I couldn't imagine not wrapping him up like a little fajita every night. He went through a phase where from 7pm-10pm every night he would scream bloody murder as he was so over tired and over stimulated from being tired- nightmare right? Not once we started swaddling. You can even get the type that velcro themselves so you don't have to fiddle and faff. I could not recommend them enough- we use the Groswaddle by the Gro Company most nights.

Fisher Price Take-Along Swing and Seat

Isla had a bouncy chair. It vibrated and was pink and adorable and played some awful and annoying but so catchy you can't help humming along tunes. But she liked to be rocked. So we would rock her for hours if we had to.

Archer has a swing. Me and Jack still fawn over it's ability to raise our newborn better than us. It has toys, music, and it rocks him so I can eat my KFC without worrying he will slip out my greasy fingers. Looking back, I wish we had splashed out for one last time. Other than our pram, it's Jack's favourite bit of baby tech for sure. It even folds down for travel and the cover is removable for washing (lets face it, it'll get dirty).

Gripe Water

Babies fart (just wanted to get the word fart out of the way fast, have a good giggle!) all the time. They do it so much I'm honestly surprised they don't visibly deflate after they're finished. The rubbish thing about newborn babies, is that they don't know how to fart by themselves. That means all that gas is stuck in there somewhere- and if it comes up, it'll push out all that milk onto your lovely outfit you finally found time to put on at 4pm.

We used infacol with Isla, but Archer just couldn't stand the taste. The poor boy kept himself up all night in the first few weeks because every fart would make him sob with effort. The gripe water worked by pushing all those gas bubbles together into one big one, so after eating they would shoot right out as a big bubble (either end!). So glad I invested in some just in case!

What product couldn't you live without in the first weeks? I'd love to know!
If you think there's anything I should get now Archer is getting older, do let me know too!

Steph xo

Note: I was not asked to post about any of these products- I chose to share them because I really do believe they're must haves x

Archer's 10 Week Update

I cannot believe how fast the past ten weeks have gone. How is this little baby already ten whole weeks old?! Our little boy is growing up faster than I could've imagined. He's packing on the pounds like you wouldn't believe and he seems to learn something new every day.

A few weeks ago, Archer had his 2 month check up and his first round of injections. His irritable mood and fever from the injections coincided bang on time with a mental leap, and we had a nightmare of a time. I feel safe in saying that this has finally passed and we have our happy little baby back!

Length: 61cm (51cm at two weeks)
Weight: Around 13lbs (6lb 12oz at birth)
Clothing size: 0-3 months/Up to 1 month

New this week: Cooing and "ahhh" noises repeated and in conversation gaps, smiling at more unfamiliar people, rolling from back to side (rolled from front to back multiple times from 7 weeks!) and reaching for toys.

Likes: being swaddled, breastfeeding, sitting up against mummy's chest, baths, listening to big sister play.

Dislikes: nappy changes, getting dressed, waiting more than 30 seconds to eat!

Mummy & baby product shout out this week: Our velcro groswaddle- Archer has gotten pretty good at getting out of his muslin swaddle blankets and being swaddled is the only thing that settles him each evening before bed. Having the velcro for that extra hold has been a lifesaver.


Thursday 10 August 2017

What They Wore: August Week 1-2

Welcome to a new feature on the blog I'll be publishing every fortnight- "What They Wore".

In this short segment I'm going to be highlighting some of our favourite outfits from the past few weeks and I'll be sure to let you know where we got them from!

August has so far been a wash out, with the occasional glimmer of sunshine. Dressing children so they don't get too warm inside when playing, but with the added compatibility of going outside has been near impossible so we've just stuck with summer clothes in the hope it encourages some warmth.


Nothing is cuter than a baby in dungarees. I mean every word of that statement- especially dunagrees with a sweet teddy bear face on. These are from Next and he will probably wear them at least 10 more times this month as I want to make the most of them before he outgrows them.

This romper has the appearance of a tee and shorts but it's actually a pullover all in one that unbuttons on the bottom for nappy changes. I combo'd it with a lovely jungle print top and bottoms for Isla but she managed to spill coco-pops all down it before I could take a picture of them together. That's children for you! This was from Mothercare.


I got this adorable shirt and short combo from the "Wish" app. It's not the best material but it was a bargain and the candy stripe bottoms were too sweet to pass up. Perfect for our upcoming holiday!

A sweet and simple combination, pink shorts from Next with a lovely ruffle around the waist and this watercolor effect bicycle tee from Mothercare.

We're slowly moving away from pure Cbeebies on the tele, and Isla is getting herself fully besotted with all things Disney. Hopefully this means a trip to Disneyland is on the cards in the next few years! Minnie top from Next and the simple denim shorts were a bargain in Matalan.


Chatty Blog - a new start, and a new baby!

Well hey there! That's definitely the first thing I should say, since this is my first post on this brand new shiny blog of mine. My name is Steph and welcome to Under Our Roof!

First off, an explanation for anyone who may recognise me from another blog. This blog is a rebrand and restart for me. I had a blog previously, and had an amazing time working on it- but when I got pregnant with my second in the last half of 2016, I was exceptionally poorly and neglected my little space on the internet. It just didn't feel right or possible to return as my life and voice have changed so much. I feel like a different person to the one writing it, so have made the scary decision to move on and begin again fresh.

So to start, a little about me and my family! I'm in my mid twenties (and about to be on the end closer to thirty unfortunately), and mum to a feisty two year old named Isla, and an equally feisty but much smaller newborn boy named Archer. I'm partner to Jack, and we've been together just over three years.

I've been fighting the urge to quote mean girls in this little bio... "I'm not a regular mom, I'm a cool mom!" because I am a little self inflated sometimes and I really do feel like a cool mum. I'm sort of crap at crafts, and I make most of my parenting up as I go along, but my children are happy and chubby and sort of put together.

It's really actually quite daunting starting fresh, because I don't feel as though you as a reader will fully understand my voice until this new blog is nice and stuffed with posts and stories. I guess we're going to have to grow together- so stick around and keep an eye out for more posts about our life and adventures. I hope you enjoy this little look at the chaos under our roof.

Steph xo
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