When I was little, and would have a sick day from school, I remember how snuggly it felt to lay on the sofa with my quilt at home with my mum whilst my sisters were at school. Almost as if by tradition, I would then enjoy (but not too much – I was sick!) a lovely warm bowl of tomato soup! I loved it, and from then on it has been a firm fave of mine. Whenever it was a soup day for lunch, I always opted for tomato whilst my older sister had the chicken, and now when I hear the Heinz Tomato Soup adverts I get all warm and fuzzy inside remembering how comforting those days were!

I have recently shared this little love with my own kids, and it was seen on our lunch menu a couple of times over half term, and for that reason I write this post about the ordinary moments of enjoying warming a bowl of tomato soup!

Megan was the first of my kids in a new generation to have a bowl of tomato soup on a sick day. Remembering how great I used to feel I wanted to pass that on in my parenting and hoped she would embrace it. She did, and much to my detriment I suppose, she spent the next few days saying she wanted to stay at home always because lunch is “sooooo yummy”! Of course Ethan never wants to miss out so I promised we’d have it for lunch during half term, and of course we did.

We’re not as fancy as to keep the Heinz tins in our cupboards, especially when Lidl have a rather tasty one for 30+ pence a tin, but it is most certainly a staple at this time of year. I absolutely love making my own soups (carrot and coriander is a speciality) but with the nostalgia and pure yuminess of it, there’s something wonderful about cracking open a tin of tomato soup and sharing it with your little ones. We love to dunk in some bread and butter, and then comes my favourite part – I love to see their little soupy moustaches and stained chins!

I love to remember those ordinary moments with my mum, or my sisters, and our family generally… enjoying a delicious bowl of tomato soup after a family hike or on a sick day. It is something so cheap, so simple and yet it is something I love and remember with fondness. I hope when my kids are grown and left home, they too will remember these small little ordinary moments (as well as the big ones), when we sat around the breakfast bar on a chilly Autumn half term day, dunking in our bread and enjoying tinned soup together!

 

The Ordinary Moments
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Part of our weekly routine now includes playgroup on a Friday morning, and we love it. Whilst taking toddlers and preschoolers to playgroups is an ordinary moment for most, it hasn’t been for us until now, and its taking some remembering, but we are now really getting into it.

Alice is obviously my 4th child, and the 3rd we are raising, and in some ways I am doing things differently. With the “Ethan and Megan at home” years, our routines were very similar for them both. We went to baby massage, Yoga, music sessions and soft plays – it grew with them. Despite being surrounded by various playgroups, I never accessed them or perhaps went sporadically but never felt a part of it. I guess I was a little nervous to break into what I assumed were already formed friendship groups and worried that i’d be a loner on the edge so just didn’t bother. With friends I already had, and family I already saw, I didn’t feel a need for it in my life as I had enough contact with other mums and tots! Either way it wasn’t until my sister in law told me how much her kids loved playgroup, that I felt perhaps I was missing out there and made a mental note to go … one day!

When we moved here and I received the list of the village baby and toddler groups I spotted that a playgroup ran every Friday and was rather excited! Despite that (and several invites from mum’s in the playground) I only made the effort to start going just a few weeks ago. Like all things here in the village I was made to feel so welcome, had plenty of people to talk to and get to know better, and we have both enjoyed the lovely little group that meet weekly for playgroup.

I think in a lot of ways it’s different to other playgroups I tried to go to, because it has that familiar community and inclusive spirit running through it that we have really loved here, and grown accustom to! Such welcoming, kind people instantly relaxes you and makes you want to return because everyone is just so lovely. For a newbie/outsider and first timer like me, that has made an incredible difference.

I am glad I went and continue to go… walking up after the morning drop off, because I have loved watching Alice become more and more comfortable over the weeks too and get into the flow of it all. Her confidence has grown, and she has gone from clinging to me on the first week, to now where she now plays for ages with prams, trikes, and her fave – the little slide! I love to see her waltz in, and see her at break time sit with the other kids drinking her juice and eating her biscuit (custard creme is her preference apparently!), and then running around with no real direction. Every week she ends up on top of the tables whilst I am engrossed in nattering, and every week at approximately the same time she whines at me to say its almost nap time and we need to hurry up and leave!

I love that she loves playgroup, and that we have both slotted in and have an enjoyable time there. I love we have these moments together that are so different to what life was like with the others.

Play group has never been an ordinary moment for us, and perhaps I missed something there with Ethan and Megs, but now it is with Alice, and we both enjoy it and I am grateful for that. We look forward to our ordinary moments of playgroup each Friday morning, from the friends we meet there and the fun we have, to snack time, and of course those custard cremes!!

The Ordinary Moments
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For the last month or so we have been trying out Haliborange Children’s vitamins every day. I feel like a bit of a drug store as we have literally being trying them all – from multivitamins, to the baby toddler liquid, and ones specifically for Vitamin D, C, omega 3 and immunity. My kids have probably never being healthier, and as I write this,  I am now wondering if this is the reason they have so much extra energy at bedtimes? Boosted with all manner of vitamins!

Well they sound, look and apparently taste great, so lets see if they are as a good as they seem. Here are our thoughts and experiences.

Children’s Vitamins – Yes or No?

Giving my kids a vitamin supplement is something that I have never thought about doing, or felt a need for. We eat a very well balanced diet, rich in veggies, greens, fruit and calcium products, and eat them with Quorn or lean meats and pulses and wholewheat foods. Of course we have our fair share of treats but as far as nutritional value goes, i’d say we are doing well. And so until Haliborange got in touch I hadn’t ever bought them or looked at getting them.

I guess I was looking at children’s vitamins as making up for things rather than enhancing what the kids already are putting into their bodies and really giving them the best/most. Since getting into a habit of giving the kids daily vitamins I have thought of things that I previously overlooked that are a plus to them having them – Things like immunity (especially for Autumn/winter and back to school) and Vitamin D, which is now recommended by the government that we give in a supplement to children and Teens. I’ve thought about the benefits to little Alice (our 14 month old) who is quickly growing and developing, and her extra need for goodness and vitamins to enhance her protection and growth.

Having read more about children’s health and having them back into school now, where germs are ripe, I’d have to say that I think multivitamins, immunity, Vitamin D and Omega 3 (to support those developing little brains) get a Yes from me…I think there is a need for them alongside a balanced diet to give kids bodies the best health they can get.

Overall Look

Getting kids to take vitamins has never been easier. The Packaging is child friendly with a safety cap and Mr Men/Little Miss characters (or the little Softies berries), and each one resembles fruit jelly sweets. They smell appealing and look yummy, and I am rather jealous of that fact. How far kids vitamins have come on since when I was a kid, when we used to take those chalky type ones you’d wash down with a drink!!! So yes – We love the look of all of them and the packaging is fun too.

Guaranteed taste

Haliborange are so proud of their products and guarantee the taste to be yummy to all kids, that if your kids don’t like them, they will give you your money back! There is no issues here for us, as both Ethan and Megan LOVE the taste of them all (as does Alice with her Baby & Toddler orange flavoured multivitamin liquid)! In fact, I have found that vitamin time is a time of day that they go a little nuts about … it seems to be a treat to them, and their giddiness about taking them is like i’m dishing out sweets!

They come in Orange, strawberry & blackcurrant flavours and shapes, depending on what vitamin supplement they are.

Overall we are really impressed with Haliborange products. The range is as vast and different as each child and their needs, and they look and taste great (I may have scoffed a couple). They definitely serve a purpose in boosting kids immunity and helping them in their development alongside a healthy and nutritious diet, and they will be something we will continue to give the kids daily… for peace of mind, and as an opportunity to have regular chats about vitamins and what they do, general health, good foods and our bodies!

If you would like to try them for your kids, they are available in Boots, and online at Amazon. I think they are definitely a good idea for babies or toddler’s and kids back at school at this time of year. They also have a range for Teens if you have any, though as ours are only young so I couldn’t say if they’re as tasty (lets hope so!).

*Thank you to Haliborange for sending us several tubs of Vitamins to try in return for an honest review. All thoughts an images are my own. 

Family Fever
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An ordinary moment for the majority of children, comes the day when they can stand up tall! Oh the joy when they learn to stand. That moment when they’re not quite ready to take those first steps, but the wobbles are diminishing and they are gaining their confidence. They stand there so amazed at what they can do and its just so cute!

It seems like a lifetime ago that my kids were learning to stand, learning to walk, and learning to hold their own and stand tall. I forgot the excitement it brings, the sheer joy and relief that they can do it, and just generally how great/useful it is to pop them down on their feet.

Last week was a tough one, but on Tuesday it was made a little brighter when Alice suddenly stood up grinning at us. I couldn’t believe it! She was 13 months a couple of weeks ago (the age both her living siblings were walking by) and out of sheer anticipation I have wondered when the day will come that she takes those first steps. I practice occasionally with her, and the kids walk her around daily to get a feel for it, but up until now she finds it more fun to drop down on her bum and start laughing than toddle along. We stand her up, she drops down and it has become a great little game – for her!

On Tuesday however it was different, she was steady, she was determined and she stood up tall in her room with the biggest smile. I tried not to be too over excited whilst I grabbed the camera, but when Ethan and Megs got wind of it, we all just went a little nuts clapping and cheering!

Since that ordinary moment of standing up tall on her own, day by day she has gained her confidence to stand a little more, for a little longer. I am so excited to have witnessed this ordinary little moment and milestone in Alice’s life and to feel the joy of seeing another of my kids standing up!

The Ordinary Moments
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