Saturday, 4 April 2020

Ninety Minute Cinnamon Rolls || My Favourite Recipes | Foodie Friday



3/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup margarine (soft)
3 1/4 cup flour
3 teaspoons bread yeast (or 1 packet of instant yeast)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg


1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup margarine (soft)
1/2 cup softened apples or raisins.


Heat almond milk in small saucepan until it bubbles slightly, remove from heat. Stir in margarine. Then cool
In large bowl, mix 2 1/4 cup flour (leave 1 cup free), yeast, sugar, salt. Add almond milk mix and egg.
Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time.
When dough has just pulled together turn onto floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
Cover dough with damp cloth for 10 minutes

Mix margarine, brown sugar and cinnamon together to form a paste (add small pieces of fruit if desired)

Roll dough into a 12x9 inch rectangle
Spread on brown sugar mix
Roll rectangle carefully pinching the ends of the tube.
Cut roll into 12 equal sized rolls. Grease 12 muffin trays. Place rolls into trays and let rolls rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 190°C
Bake in oven for 20 minutes until brown (you may need a tray beneath the muffin tray to catch any spilled sugar mix)

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Reading in 1hour 30 minutes (90 minutes)
Removed from muffin trays to cool

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Hazel's 5 month update || Baby diaries

Hazel turns 5 months today and boy has it been a fun month of changes for her. She has mastered the art of rolling over in both directions which means she hasn't been get as frustrated with being stuck in one position. Consequently she is now on the move as she can roll over and over in the same direction and can make her way across a room in a surprisingly short amount of time. Along with the rolling she can also rotate on the spot and shuffle backwards. Fortunately she is yet to figure out how to go forwards, and I'm in no hurry to teach her either. Slow down baby girl, you're growing up too fast! She has been gaining dexterity with her hands, passing toys from hand to hand or putting them into her mouth. She now speaks "wookie" with a relentless stream of gurgling, pigeon noises, coos and squeals.
Teething has been hard on her this month, although none of her pearly whites have popped through yet. I can see that her gums are inflamed and she loves a good chew on the frozen teether toys we keep in the fridge, especially on hot days.

She still loves and is fascinated by her toes and hands and likes to hit/slap them hard against everything (faces/floors/toys etc). This means that her favourite toys go flying across the room and if I dare to drink from a glass while holding her, there is a good chance it will end up on the floor if I'm not careful. Textures are also intriguing for her, and she is constantly scratching the wood at the top of her bassinet, stroking Chris's beard and squishing anything that could possibly be squished. 

She still thinks her Dad and Auntie Holly are the most hilarious people ever and never fails to crack a huge smile when she sees them. She hasn't laughed as hysterically as when she first did it at 4 months but we do get the odd chuckle and squeal. She loves it when we hold her up high over our heads, with her eyes sparkling and mouth open wide, a long mozzarella drool often greets us.
In the last day or so she has started saying " Mum Mum Mum" while having a grizzle or trying to get my attention. I'm not entirely sure if she actually is asking for me or if it is just a natural sound she's making by chance, but either way my heart swells when I hear it.

Hazel has started reaching out to Chris when he comes home from work and gets so excited to see him. She also reaches out when she wants to get out of her bassinet or wants something I'm holding, most commonly my phone.

Hazel has now decided that she likes to sleep on her tummy. I have been trying to prevent her from falling asleep like this, as it's not as safe as on her back, but she is a determined little bean and keeps on flipping herself over. I have spoken with the Plunket nurse and she has reassured me that she has good enough neck and upper body strength that she is unlikely to be in danger in this position, so we now let her be in what ever position she likes best.

We purchased an Ergo 360 carrier which she seems to enjoy (ie. falls asleep in) and we have been taking her on sunny day bush walks (places where the buggy cannot manage). This has opened up a whole range of local walks we were previously missing out on.

Hazel has developed strong legs which she likes to stand up with and has recently decided that sitting up is WAY better than reclining, although she can't sit herself up without assistance yet. 

We finished the month with our usual Pop-in-portraits and both of these photos make my heart sing. She is both the picture of innocence and mischief all rolled into one.

A few other things that I want to remember about this time are, that her hands are as soft as velvet, she always smiles after she sneezes and sneezes normally come in threes (just like her mummy).

We are gearing up for the festive season now so expect an extra post about Hazel's First Christmas in the coming weeks.

Five month stats:

Height: 62cm

Weight: 6.9kg

Sleeping: Mostly sleeping from about 10pm until 5:30am or after (I'm one lucky mummy). We did have a week or so of sleep regression which had her waking once during the night (usually between 1-2am) but it didn't last long.

Eating/Feeding:150ml tends to be a pretty good amount

Sizes: 3-6 month sizes

Milestones: Rolling over (both ways), laughing

Nicknames: Bubba, Darling, Gorgeous, Poppet, My Girl, Miss Madam, Hazy-daisy

Likes: Smiling at us, making her mobile spin, getting her nappy changed, singing along with me, rolling over, tummy time, blowing raspberries, sucking on her toes/hands, being lifted above our heads/being superman

Dislikes: Waiting for a feed, feeling left out while taking a nap, teething

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Hazel's 4 month update || Baby diaries

We have a roller! Hazel rolled over this month (3.5months) from back to belly. She actually did it for the first time and I almost missed it in the early morning the day of our friends wedding. She had been trying SO HARD for the week prior, spending most of her time awake on her side but not quite completing the roll. She was so stoked with herself when it finally happened and so was I. Now that she has done it once, she will not stop rolling over, her tummy is her favourite place to be and now she is only on her back while sleeping or playing on her playmat.

Hazel is still sleeping next to us in her bassinet but as I was cleaning her room (currently our guest room) I put her in her big girl cot and realised just how little she looked. The day is coming when she will grow out of her bassinet but for the time being I like having her right by my side at night.

She's developed lovely chubby cheeks which you can't help but want to smoosh and her personality is blossoming. She is still a lovely chill baby who gives us lots of smiles and is pretty easy to figure out what she needs when she is upset. Let's hope the dreaded "Four month sleep regression" doesn't change all of that.

Just prior to Hazel turning four months old, her Uncle and Auntie returned from their adventures in Europe and stayed with us in Auckland for a week while they recovered from jetlag and got their affairs in order. It was an adjustment for Hazel to have so many people in our small house but she also absolutely loved all of the extra attention. Holly and Lee have a great report with her and she found it hilarious when Holly would blow raspberries at her, so much so that Hazel started blowing bubbles ALL OF THE TIME and gave herself dribble rash in the process. Hazel also laughed for the first time while they were staying with us. She had been awake for way longer than usual (due to all of the excitement) and was overtired but still in a good mood. As I was changing her nappy I was blowing raspberries at her and she started cracking up hysterically. The other three ran into our room to share in the moment, it was such a good feeling and we all laughed along with her.

Hazel's 4 month pop-in-portrait was a little more difficult than usual as Hazel had some serious stranger danger going on, and took a dislike to the photographer (who was really trying her best to get a good smile). We ended up getting a slouchy half grin and one of her chewing her gums (sore teeth) hopefully next month will be more cheery.

Four month stats:

Height: No measurement this month

Weight: No measurement this month

Sleeping: Mostly sleeping from 10pm until 5:30am

Eating/Feeding:150ml tends to be a pretty good amount

Sizes: Some larger 0-3 month and smaller 3-6 month sizes

Milestones: Rolling over and Laughing!

Nicknames: Darling, Gorgeous, Poppet, My Girl, Miss Madam

Likes: Smiling at us, making her mobile spin, getting her nappy changed, singing along with me, rolling over, tummy time, blowing raspberries, sucking on her toes/hands

Dislikes: Waiting for a feed, feeling left out while taking a nap, waiting for us to roll her from tummy to back

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Hazel's 3 month update || Baby diaries

11 weeks old
I know I said the same thing last month, but this month has been my favourite and has gone by so fast (is it just going to continue like that?). I have started becoming more confident as her mother and we have all been pretty happy. Hazel and I have been getting out and about, enjoying the warmer spring weather and admiring the spring blossoms.

Hazel has become even more interactive this month with a pretty constant string of ohh's and ahh's and general babbling. Her jibber-jabber is at its peak while I sing to her, which can be a mix of radio hits, nursery rhymes and general nonsense I make up on the spot, and she just tries to sing-along. She gets very excited and waves her arms and legs around when I sing the songs she knows, her favourites seem to be the ABCs, Row-your-boat and You are my sunshine. She still loves her play mat and being on the change table too. Along with all this babbling she is now dribbling more, blowing spit bubbles and chewing on her thumb (or entire hand). I've heard that this can be a sign of teething, as this coincided with her recently (11 weeks) starting to chewing her bottom lip. This makes me think that her lower gums are a bit sore, it hasn't seemed to affect her mood yet but knowing that I got my first tooth at 4.5 months, she may be the same.

Rocking that tummy time
These dribble bibs have been coming in handy
Sleep has been the other big change this month which we are super pleased about. Our little angel was sleeping 6-7 hour stretches during the night and smaller sleeps during the day at 9 weeks old, which we were pretty impressed with already, but she has recently started to build upon this. At 11 weeks she started occasionally sleeping 8 hours during the night (10pm to 6am) and by 12 weeks she is sleeping 7-9 hours most nights, which gives us a full nights sleep (as long as we aren't silly and don't stay up past our own bedtime). She has been taking much shorter naps (1-2 hours max) late in the day in preparation for her long sleep at night, which just gives us more cuddle time with her when Chris finishes work. She is still generally tired after about an hour and now lets us know when she wants to go to bed by having a little grizzle, rubbing her eyes, and yawning.She sometimes will yell out suddenly in her sleep, but then will return to her dreams as if it never happened. While Chris and I have been startled and almost jumped out of our skins waiting to see if it continues, ready to jump out of bed and get her.

I had another lactation consultation this month (week 11) where she introduced a feeding tube. This is a device that gives extra milk through a tube while the baby sucks at the breast. However, the nurse could see how reluctant Hazel was to breastfeed and how much stress is caused both of us, so she reassured me that it would be a difficult road ahead and not to feel bad if we decide that it's not for us. Which I am relieved about as I have been feeling guilty and inadequate about not being able to breastfeed her properly, I know this is silly and that "fed is best" as she is still getting all the nutrients she needs to thrive. In order to banish these bad feelings I have been reminding myself that a happy mum and happy baby is the end goal and I give her lots of extra cuddles and one-on-one attention to compensate. While bottle feeding my expressed breast milk, we have introduced "paced feeding" and still use a newborn teat in order draw out and slow down to process to stop her guzzling it in one go. She has now become more contented and patient with her feeds, and she knows the routine of getting fed when she wakes up, so she is happier to wait and smile at us first, rather than going straight into meltdown mode.

Postpartum Recovery 

As for an update on how I am doing. Postpartum hair-loss is no joke. I am shedding like a Samoyed in spring-time. You could weave a rug from all the hair I am losing at the moment, and with having fine hair it's all the more concerning as I can't afford to lose it as it is. I just hope it looks okay at our friends wedding next month. Fortunately I know that this is completely normal and is nothing to be concerned about. It is just the hair that you would have lost during pregnancy, but didn't due to the extra hormones you produce during that time, starts to shed once your body starts returning to its normal cycles.
Talking of cycles (TMI warning) I think I may have got my first mini period at 12 weeks. It only lasted like half a day (which I am grateful for) but it looks like my body is gearing up for making a bigger family already. Chris and I however, are not making any plans to expand anytime soon, and we will need to be very careful until or even if we change our minds. So don't go asking when Hazel will be getting a sibling any time soon. Understood?! Okay, good.

Oh yeah, I don't own a scale so I'm not sure when it happened but I am now back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I also tried on my old jeans a couple of weeks ago and they fit too. Woohoo! It felt good to dig through my clothing storage bins and add a few pieces back into my wardrobe. Although my body has certainly changed and my tummy doesn't look the way it used to, I'm not putting any pressure on myself to "bounce back" since it took 9 months to get to my biggest, it's only fair to allow 9 months to return to normal.

I couldn't resist dressing her up in this pumpkin outfit for an early Halloween. Don't mind the substitute orange jack-o-lanterns, we didn't have any mini pumpkins to hand so I improvised.

Just as Hazel hit the three month mark we took a trip down to Taranaki for a family reunion which was a really fun experience and good to catch up with everyone but it also totally altered our usual routine/schedule. So it was interesting for me to see how Hazel responded to the changes. I was very grateful to have family there who we all too happy to comfort her when she was over-tired and allow a bit of extra wiggle room in their plans to allow for some longer naps. We had a busy schedule of long car journeys, walking and adventure activities. All of which had Hazel on the move and sleeping and feeding on the go.

Hazel with her Nana (my Mum) with Mt Taranaki in the background
Mount Taranaki
Sleeping like a starfish
Still in a good mood even after a long car ride

After spending a few days at the family reunion in Taranaki we all loaded up our cars and drove to Taumarunui to go on the Forgotten World Adventures Tour (Hazel included). Golf buggies on rail tracks took us along the forgotten world railway, through old pitch black coal tunnels (where we could see glow worms on the tunnel ceiling) and through the lush New Zealand country side.

We arrived back in Taupo on the Monday and took Hazel out for her first time on the boat the following evening. We caught 3 good sized trout and threw the small ones back, all while enjoying a beautiful sunset. Hazel was no trouble and the gentle rocking of the boat sent her straight to sleep.

Some people call the first three months of your baby's life "The Fourth Trimester" as your body goes through another huge set of adjustments and changes just like during the pregnancy. Getting your baby into the world safely is the first step, getting your baby fed is the second and figuring out what else your baby needs is the third but it doesn't stop there. Over the last three months my body has (almost) returned to normal, but it has been a long process to get there. My milk supplies have now balanced and I don't leak any where near as much as I used to, as my body knows how much my baby needs now. My sleeping schedule was all over the place in the beginning but we are now into a much nicer routine. My hormones have not been affecting me and my anxiety levels have returned to normal (low). We have settled into a good routine and I feel like we are winning at this parenting thing. Although, don't worry, I have been told that as soon as you feel like you've got it sorted, Baby will change things up. So I am not feeling too smug, but I am ready and waiting for Hazel to through me a curve ball, but keeping my fingers crossed that we'll make it work. 

Three month stats:

Height: 58.5cm

Weight: 5830g

Sleeping: 7-9 hours at night! Woohoo! Then she will have another long 4-5 hour nap first thing in the morning, and as the day progresses the naps get shorter.

Eating/Feeding: 150-220ml

Sizes: 0-3 Months (000)

Milestones: Much the same as last month, but she now likes to talk to herself (babbles and coos) while in bed or in her stroller. She has also discovered her hands and will occasionally stare at them and is starting to reach out to grab things.

Nicknames: Darling, Gorgeous, Honey Bee, Poppet, Hazel Mazel Mouse, Miss Madam.

Likes: Smiling at us, watching her mobile spin, getting her nappy changed, looking at the world map on our wall, getting a bath, me singing to her

Dislikes: Waiting for a feed, feeling left out while taking a nap.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Hazel's 2 month update || Baby diaries

This second month has been so much more enjoyable than the first. Hazel has found her little personality and we are getting lots of smiles, coos and babbling without much prompting. She doesn't really feel like a newborn anymore. As a newborn she would happily fall asleep in our arms or against our chest, soothed by our warmth and heart beats, it didn't matter what was going on around her as she wasn't interested in anything else. This has not been the case this month as now she doesn't want to fall asleep in our arms any more and always wants a clear view to see what's happening around her, which includes wanting to watch our TV, much to our disapproval. So we have had to turn our screens off for her to focus on what she is meant to be doing. With this new awareness she has also become so much more interactive and whenever she gives me a big gummy smile it makes my heart sing. These smiles are some-what difficult to capture on camera as they also come with waving arms and legs which often make for a slightly blurry, out of focus photo. Hazel's favourite spots seem to be her playmat and her change table of all places. Where she likes to wriggle and wave her arms about as much as possible.

She has developed a nice strong neck which she uses to headbutt me when I burp her. So while burping her on my shoulder I have suffered a few headbutts to my face while tuning my head to see what she was up to and getting the message loud and clear.

She has a healthy appetite but not a lot of patience, so breast feeding has become more difficult. She wants milk, lots of it, and she wants it immediately and unfortunately that's not how (my) boobs work. Unfortunately she needs to work a bit harder to get fed than with a bottle. So if she doesn't see results within one or two sucks she gets very upset and refuses to nurse any further, which prompts us to resort to my expressed breast milk in a bottle, which she guzzles quickly. I am coming to terms with the fact that breast feeding may not work out for us, as I now find it very stressful and have lost confidence in it, knowing that it will most likely result in a melt down, causing her swallow air which turns into a gassy, crampy tummy later on. The good news is that I still produce and can pump a lot of milk, which is actually way more than she currently needs. So we are both keeping happy and healthy.

Being bottle fed means that we can fill her up to maximum capacity, keeping her fuller for longer. She is now sometimes able to sleep up to 6 or 7 hours straight during the nights, although most of the time it's still 4 or 5 hour stretches, however the 7 hours overnight is a nice treat. It's not all smooth sailing in the sleep department though, as she now thinks she has the stamina to stay awake longer and be around us more, which is nice in theory but then she gets tired and doesn't want to go back to her bed, which results in her getting overtired. This always seems to happen right around dinner time or when Chris gets home from work (witching hour). Most nights we can get her back to sleep within an hour or two but there have been occasions when it takes much longer for her to settle. I have cut out eating broccoli and spicy foods as eating these seem to coincide with her getting a gassy tummy.

Chris celebrated his first Father's day when Hazel was 6 weeks old, we didn't do much except spend time together as a family, which we all enjoyed. Next year will be a bit more eventful with a toddler I'm sure.

6 weeks old

She has taken a liking to her video monitor camera and because of the night vision, when she smiles up at the camera it is equal parts cute and a little creepy.

7 weeks old

7 weeks old

At almost 8 weeks old she has grown out of her newborn clothes and is now in size 0-3 month (000). This has been bitter sweet for me to pack away her teeny tiny onesies which hold such precious memories but it's also very rewarding to know that she is growing nicely and now gets a hold new wardrobe.

Hazel did brilliantly at her first photoshoot with Little Annie Monthly Pop-in Portraits. This happens once a month where a professional photographer opens their studio for the day and each participant pays $20 to get a nice photo. It only takes a few of minutes and doesn't break the bank. I took along her teddy bear that she got from her Grandad as a size comparison to show how much she grows every month.

Hazel at 8 weeks old at her first photoshoot

That weekend she also had her first road-trip to Taupo to visit the grandparents and she met her Nana's two dogs for the first time.

Going for a walk at the lake with Nana and the dogs, Cello and Abby.

At her two month Plunket nurse appointment she got weighed and measured and I am thrilled with her growth, she is now a healthy almost 50th percentile in weight and height. All that good breast milk has been doing the trick and she finally has the chubby cheeks and thighs to prove it.

Two month stats:

Height: 57.5cm

Weight: 5.190kg

Sleeping: Generally 4 hours during the day and 5 hours at night

Eating/Feeding: 150-200ml

Sizes: 0-3 Months (000)

Milestones: Rolling/tipping over (front to back), lots of smiles and babbling

Nicknames: Darling, Gorgeous, Honey Bee, Poppet, Hazel Mazel Mouse, Madam.

Likes: Smiling at us, watching her mobile spin, getting her nappy changed, looking at the world map on our wall, getting a bath, me singing to her, tummy time and her playmat.

Dislikes: waiting for a feed, getting out of the bath, gas bubbles,