The most bizarre thing happened to me today & although I have other blog posts planned for this week I really just wanted to write about this mainly to get it out of my system!
Today was the first day in nearly 3 weeks that I haven't had Henry with me, so I was feeling a little soppy when he left with his Daddy this morning for a day with his Nanna, but as soon as he was gone I was actually relieved that I would be able to sit down and get some admin work done without a little 'helper' demanding I hand over the laptop so he can play Cbeebies games! The day went on as planned, and I certainly wasn't feeling overly sad or emotional. I was teaching a private tuition student in Clifton this afternoon which went really well and I was in a good mood as I walked to the bus stop on my way home. However just as I boarded the bus a song came on my iPod that really reminded me of Henry's first few months. I sat down and was overwhelmed with the feeling that I was about to cry, I'm not normally an overly emotional person and I absolutely hate crying! I will avoid it at all costs if I can as it really makes me uneasy, but thinking of Henry as a baby and how fast the time has passed since he arrived had me choking back tears. Then the thought that everything is about to change for all of us had me actually sobbingand the more I tried to stop the worse it became.
I could not shake the feeling that having a second baby is going to affect the special relationship that I have with Henry. We are so incredibly close, and he really is a Mama's boy. I'm there whenever he needs me and he knows this. The only nights that I have been away from him were when I was hospitalised at the beginning of this pregnancy. He really is my little shadow and my little buddy. Sitting on that bus today I suddenly realised that our lives are about to change so much! I felt so guilty and worried that the arrival of a new baby would break Henry's heart and make him feel less loved somehow, and scared that I would struggle to give him everything that he needs from me with the demands of a new baby as well. I know that I have enough love for both of them, but that doesn't mean that Henry will know that does it? He's growing up so quickly and It looks like he will be starting a local Pre-school soon, what if having a baby around means that I don't get to savour these last precious moments of his toddlerhood?
My reasons for having a second child were never because I didn't feel that Henry was enough. He is, and if I had only been able to have one child I would have been so happy and thankful that I got to be his Mama. My reasons for having a second child were because I wanted Henry to have the same close relationship with a sibling that I have with my sister. My parents are divorced and during so many occasions in our lives my sister & I have been each others support system. Very often in times of crisis we are each other's first port of call, and when nobody else seems to understand what we are going through we seem to be able to have that understanding for each other. Don't get me wrong there have been many times where we could have happily throttled each other, and many, MANY arguments over the years, but all is forgiven quickly and no grudge is held. Even when we are mad at each other if something were to happen we would always be there for each other in a flash. I think it's rare to find that closeness & level of forgiveness in friends. I want Henry to have the chance to have that close relationship with a sibling and I know that he will be a fantastic big brother.........but right now all I feel is guilt for the fact that I am about to turn my precious little boy's world upside down!
So I sat on the completely packed bus in rush hour traffic and cried the whole way home! I was the crazy pregnant lady sat at the back of the Number 90 bus sobbing silently.....the women in front of me turned around to offer me a tissue and ask if I was ok! I don't think I have ever been more embarrassed! Rather than explain to her that my hormones had turned me into a emotional mess over my ability to be a good Mama, I lied and said that I had had a hard day at work and was feeling overly emotional thanks to pregnancy hormones. I cannot believe that I had such a meltdown on a packed bus in rush hour traffic, I couldn't have managed it in the privacy of my own home?!
I guess I wanted to write this down so that in a few months I can write another post telling myself that everything was OK and Henry is fine with the arrival of his little sister.
Because I am being silly aren't I?
I've never really been very vocal about my breastfeeding experience with Henry, because although I know that it's a very 'hot topic' for many mothers for me it was just a very personal experience that just developed over time between my son and I. However lately I have been reflecting a lot on the experience, partly due to the fact that I will shortly be starting the experience all over again with a newborn, and partly due to the fact that it wasn't that long ago that Henry and I stopped breastfeeding all together, and I wanted to note down some of the experiences I had on that journey with him before they get clouded and blurred with that of my next baby. Today marks the beginning of National Breastfeeding Awareness week so it seems like a pretty good time to write some of my memories and experiences of breastfeeding down.
When Henry was born in February 2011 i knew that I wanted to try breastfeeding and that giving it a really good attempt was important to me. My mum breastfed both me and my sister for the first 6 months of our lives so it only seemed natural that I would do the same. It wasn't the easiest of starts as due to a retained placenta my milk didn't come in for nearly a week & Henry was losing a lot of weight & crying in hunger 24/7! I didn't know that I had retained placenta at the time and I was so upset that I didn't seem to be providing my baby with what he needed most.....the temptation was there to give up. I remember sitting in the bath crying listening to Ken trying to sooth a distraught Henry and feeling like a total failure. Luckily later that day my midwife came to visit & spent over 2 hours with me showing me different ways I could stimulate milk production and calming me down. Later that night Henry was still crying and I was at the end of my tether, so I tearfully begged Ken to go out in search of some formula to feed him. Ken was gone for over an hour as it was a Sunday night and most places were closed, and I am so grateful for this because during this time all of the attempts at feeding & stimulating my milk production paid off and I was able to feed Henry successfully for the first time since he was born. Ken returned home to me holding a sleepy milk drunk baby, and the box of formula that he had searched high & low for sat unused until I gave it away a few months later.
I had to work hard for the first 6 weeks to keep my milk production up, feeding on demand & pumping when Henry slept. However once my retained placenta was diagnosed & removed my boobs really changed! I hadn't suffered with any engorgement initially and thought I had escaped that experience, however I woke up in the middle of the night after the operation to find that I had boobs like pamela Anderson all of a sudden! They were HUGE and rock solid! I lifted my top to examine these new arrivals only to squirt myself in the face with milk. It's funny looking back on it, but at the time I was a bit weirded out by it all. After weeks of worrying I didn't have any or enough milk in there I was now so full of the stuff it was making a bit for freedom in my face! I attempted to feed Henry to relieve some of the engorgement but my milk was coming out so fast that the poor little chap couldn't keep up. In the end with the assistance of gravity we managed to feed properly with my lying flat on my back & Henry lying across my chest.
After that night I never really looked back. I was very lucky that sore nipples were never an issue for me, and feeding was never a painful experience. In fact I loved it! I adored the closeness i felt with Henry, I loved how convenient it was, especially at nighttime, and I loved that I didn't have to carry lots of stuff with me when I went out in order to feed him. In fact it was such an easy, pleasant experience that when Henry was approaching 6 months and the questions from Friends and family started regarding when I was going to stop I suddenly didn't know how to answer them! I had not intended to extend breastfeeding beyond 6 months, but I knew that neither Henry or I were ready to stop, so I carried on. In fact we carried on for much longer than I had ever anticipated, and I am so glad that I did. Breastfeeding really worked for us, and there were times when Henry was quite poorly last year and refusing all food and drink that I would have found impossible to deal with if i hadn't had the option of offering breast milk.
Despite some criticism from some friends and family members I breastfed Henry until just past his second birthday in February this year when he finally self-weened. It was a good thing that he did at that time because I was just starting to suffer with Hyperemesis and became so dehydrated that I doubt I would have been able to continue feeding him anyway. I think that being pregnant this time may have affected the taste of my milk because Henry seemed to want less and less milk from me almost immediately after i conceived, and had completely stopped 2 weeks later when I found out I was pregnant. However it had been coming for the previous 6 months and he had slowly reduced his feeds to just being at bedtime anyway. We were both ready and happy to stop.
Despite the negative comments that my extended breastfeeding would make Henry clingy, wimpy or unable to make friends, the opposite has been true! He is a happy outgoing little boy who doesn't feel the need to cling to me, because he knows he doesn't have to . Years of feeding on demand have meant that he is confident that whenever he needs comfort from me he only needs to ask. This means that he rarely cries or acts out to get my attention and is generally a really calm little guy. He is also fiercely independent and I think that trusting your baby/toddler to lead the way with breastfeeding helps you as a parent to trust both your child's and your own instincts in other areas of development as they get older and try new things. I'm not saying that the same could not be true of a bottle fed baby and I don't think that comforting your child is solely linked to the act of breastfeeding, but i do know that it really did shape our relationship into the one of mutual trust and respect that it is today.
I hope that I enjoy breastfeeding my daughter as much as I did my son and I am excited to start the process again, but this time I hope to be more relaxed about the whole thing. I'm not going to give myself targets of stopping by a certain date or even reaching a certain age and still breastfeeding. I'm going to hopefully relax and just take each day as it comes and concentrate on whether it's right for me & her as we go along. I strongly believe that it doesn't matter how a baby is fed as long as they are fed by a mother who is happy. The only negative thing i have to say about breastfeeding is that I hate how the topic can often turn women against each other when really regardless of what decisions you make on feeding your child what we need to do is support each other.
I appreciate this is a rather long post so if you've made it this far thank you for reading *
Believe it or not I started writing this post a month ago, however life has been really busy for us this month (in a good way!) and I never seemed to manage to finish it! However After a fall down the stairs this morning I have injured my back so have been ordered to rest. So the silver lining is that I finally have a reason to lie still and finish telling you all about Henry's birthday!
January was a HORRIBLE month and I was dreading 2013 if it was going to continue the way it started. However I have to say that things improved 100% in February! I have been really busy with Knitting tuition and am now teaching at least 3 days a week which is amazing! I cannot tell you how much I love my work and how being busy with it really does make me a happier person. I have lots lined up for March & April too so i'm really excited.
However that's enough about me, I only mentioned work because I think it's the only thing that stopped me going a little bit crazy over the last few weeks because......The main event this month was that our lovely little boy turned 2! How did the last year pass so quickly?!?!? I've only just recovered from the fact that my baby turned 1 and now he's 2! Don't get me wrong i absolutely love the age Henry is now because he has become the funniest & cleverest little boy i know (He can count to 20 & knows the alphabet!) and really is my best little buddy, but i really am in shock at just how quickly time is passing by since he was born. It feels like somebody has pressed the fast forward button on our lives. Is it the same for everybody? Does life ever slow back down again? It never feels like I get enough time to savour each stage of his development before it has passed like a flash of lighting & we have moved on to something new! I'm hoping that the millions (and that's not an exaggeration!) of photos that we have taken since Henry was born means that we will be able to look back and remember everything clearly even it does feel like we are zooming through his childhood at 100 miles an hour!
Because both me & his Daddy feel that life gets too hectic & we don't all get enough quality time alone as a family we kept Henry's birthday to ourselves without any Grandparents, aunties or friends around. It was a lovely day filled with all of Henry's favourite things. He had blueberry & banana Pancakes for breakfast, followed by presents which included more brio sets for his ever growing train collection and some new books. We then all set off for a train ride on the Avon Valley Steam Railway
. It was the perfect treat for our train obsessed boy & he loved it! I highly recommend it to any local parents!
We ended the day with dinner at Wagamamas (Henry's favourite) and then our little guy was exhausted so had an early night. I spent all of Saturday night baking in preparation for the little tea party we threw at home on Sunday for family so we were forgiven by the Grandparents for not inviting them over on the Saturday. I made a blueberry & mascarpone birthday cake, loads of cupcakes & a chocolate & cherry trifle (A nigella lawson recipe that was AMAZING!) plus the usual mountain of sandwiches. The party was great fun & Henry really enjoyed himself, but it's amazing how small your house feels with 20 adults & children running around in it! It was Mummy & Daddy's turn to be exhausted on sunday as we had family & neighbours around from 11am-10pm! Henry sure knows how to throw a party! :)
It was a lovely weekend full of laughter and generally a much more relaxed affair than his first birthday that fell in the midst of renovating & moving our house. However I have to say I have been left a little shell shocked now because since turning 2 years old all of a sudden there is talk of which play school & school we want him to go to and all of these decisions and events that seemed like forever away as I sat staring at my beautiful newborn baby 2 years ago now seems to be approaching at high speed. I enjoy and embrace every single day I spend with Henry but I guess what I'm trying to say is stop growing up so fast little boy, this Mama just isn't ready.
So Christmas has been & gone! Did you all have a lovely festive period? I hope so! I had a lovely Christmas! We saw lots of friends & family in the run up to the big day including a full christmas dinner and celebrations on Christmas Eve with Ken's family. We then enjoyed a quiet Christmas Day at home on Christmas Day (Ken especially who took the opportunity to stay in sweat pants all day!). My sister joined us on the day & we cooked our first Christmas dinner, and without wanting to sound like i'm boasting WE RULED!! It went without a hitch or a single argument which surprised everybody because my sister & I have never managed to share a kitchen without bickering in the past. We then traveled home to visit my Mum & Step-dad on boxing day for another round of food, drink & presents!
I feel very lucky to have been able to spend Christmas in my own home with my family and also to have received such lovely & thoughtful gifts from my loved ones. My favourite surprise gift was this beautiful print
from my sister. I have been admiring it for ages on Etsy so was so pleased to open it on Christmas Day! It's by Lucy Smith who often frequents the Tobacco Factory Market if you fancy a look at her work. I also received some lovely clothes from Ken all of which were items I've been lusting over for a while......It would seem that my not so subtle hints weren't wasted after all!
To be fair though I enjoy giving presents the most, I love seeing people's faces as they open the gifts I have bought or made for them. It really makes me happy. This Christmas was the first year that Henry has really understood that something exciting was happening so it was great to witness his wonder at all of the presents, food and lights! His young mind was on overdrive, and eventually we had to call a Christmas time out depriving him of sweets & presents after boxing day as he was HYPER! I think it's fair to say that christmas is a big hit with this boy! He has also made his poor dad & I watch the Polar Express on infinite repeat throughout December so I think he'll be bereft when we cut him off!
Here's a few pictures from our Christmas:
Colour in christmas table cloth = fantastic idea if you have a toddler!
So it's 2013 already! Wow! Where is the time going? I remember having a conversation 10 years ago with a university friend on New Years Eve laughing that in 10 years time we would be toasting 2013's new year as responsible 30 year olds drinking expensive wine instead of our homemade Cherry Cola cocktails using Lidl's finest & cheapest vodka & cherry brandy. Well some of that was true....I am indeed 30, but I didn't toast the new year with expensive wine, in fact since buying our house & having to tighten our purse strings as a result, most of our alcohol purchases are once again from my trusty Lidl! In fact here's the sad truth: If left to my own devices I wouldn't do anything for new year & would be in bed asleep at the stroke of midnight! I love Christmas & all of the festivities surrounding it, but by New Year I'm over it all to be honest & just want a bit of peace & quiet and to crack on with the new year ahead. Does that make me a grumpy old lady? Oh Well! New years day sees our decorations come down & the January spring clean begin and as much as i love seeing the tree go up & filling the house with festive cheer; i also really love how clean & spacious my home is once its all gone.
Last year I blogged my new years resolutions & I actually stuck to them! I have learnt to crochet at last, blogged more and started to teach knitting & I also started to spend more time in the kitchen cooking for fun again. So I hope to have similar success this year if I once again make the resolutions more public. I love having little aims for myself as I really need something to push me to do more......I suffer under the black cloud of depression a lot thanks to my PCOS so very often need something else to focus on and push me forward and get me out of my slump. This years aims are:
1. To get out without Henry either for a run or a brisk walk with George my Collie 5 days a week. Neither myself or Poor George have got as much exercise as I would like recently thanks to 2012's never ending rain. However after a few long outing with just the 2 of us I remember how good it is for both of us! I love getting out & listening to my favourite music loudly in my headphones as we pound through the miles together, and George gets more of my time and attention in the process so it's a win/win really. So far so good with this one.....even if i have gotten soaked!
2. To get more organised with my admin. I hate paperwork, but avoiding it only makes it worse so i'm going to get on top of this in 2013.
3. To keep my washing pile small......at times when I've been exceptionally busy or exceptionally low my washing pile has managed to take over my bedroom & become a mountain. The bigger it is, the worse i feel.....it's a catch 22! So I've started the year with a washing marathon & plan to keep it down. Wish me luck as this is the one I'm most likely to fail in!
4. To learn to let the small things go so I can focus more on the big things. I get stressed about the silliest things sometimes and i really need to stop. It can be exhausting and they really don't matter in the grand scheme of things. I need to take a step back and learn when to walk away from something.
5. Have more family outings. Lack of funds often leave us doing the same things at home or in our local park most weekends. However we have been planning to go swimming as a family for ages, and take a weekend trip to M Shed together. After our family outing in December to the theatre
we realised how much Ken misses out on so plan to do more as a trio at the weekends.
6. To blog through the good & the bad. I only blog when I'm happy.....so when I'm low i go quiet. Not because I don't want to write about it, but because at that time i don't have any motivation to do anything really. However I'm hoping that by aiming for 2 posts a week regardless I'll force myself to keep going & not get stuck in such a rut of "nothingness".
So there you have it.....bye bye 2012 (you were full of real highs & extreme lows) & hello 2013! So far this year is going well & I am full of optimism which can only be a good thing.
I hope you're all having a great 2013 & I look forward to speaking to you more in the coming year!
I'm so excited for Christmas!! It's our first Christmas as a little family in our new home without our own parents doing the cooking etc for us so I'm getting really into all of the preparations this year! However as per usual I started a long list of hand knitted presents in October......then left them untouched for a few months while i was busy looking after a poorly toddler or trying to keep up with my long list of things to do so I am now in full on speed knitting mode trying to finish all of the homemade presents in time! It will be worth it though as there is nothing quite like giving presents that have been lovingly made especially for the recipient......also although I am usually quite cash poor, thanks to years of yarn, material & button hoarding I am craft supply rich so I may as well turn them into beautiful presents!
I've been wanting to share pictures of all of the lovely things I'm making lately, but i an't until after they have been given or else it will spoil the surprise.....I'll be doing a post Christmas post of all of my homemade projects & I'd love to hear what everybody else made too.
I cannot remember the last Christmas Eve that I did not spend manically knitting trying to finish the last of my homemade gifts, last year it was a giant knitted blanket that i made for my sister. But Christmas Eve to me is sitting in the warm with a glass of mulled wine watching the Polar Express knitting presents! Every year I swear I'll finish everything sooner, but really I do love that feeling of finishing & wrapping the last of those special gifts!
Tonight is the last knit club of 2012 at Cordial & Grace (seriously where did this year go?!) and I am really looking forward to a toddler free evening of knitting & chatting. I love my son to pieces but his idea of helping Mama knit is to run off with my ball of yarn shouting "Mummy's Ball!!".......not really very helpful at all! I think that quite a few of my students from my last Christmas knits class are coming too so it will be lovely to see them all knitting Christmas decorations!
If you are interesting in learning to knit something for Christmas it's not too late, I have places left for my class at the Making Things Pop-Up shop in Cabot's Circus On
19th December 6.30-9pm. It's £16.50 for the evening and this includes all materials and patterns and a glass of mulled wine or spiced berry cordial and yummy gingerbread (i don't like minced pies!). Also because I'm super excited about this class & Christmas in general I'm giving away a present to everybody who signs up to the class to make the evening extra special!! For more details about the class see here
. Also I don't know if you all know but I now offer Knitting lesson Gift vouchers.....so if you know somebody who wants to learn this would be a great Christmas gift. Vouchers are available from £10 and can be emailed so are a great last minute alternative to commercial vouchers. I think it's lovely to take a break from buying generic commercial presents for everybody and to either go handmade or shop local with independent makers You can get some lovely gifts from as little as £5 & they are so much nicer than something mass produced. If you are short of inspiration I would really recommend a trip to Making Things club when you're shopping In Cabots for some fantastic locally made beauties!
It's been a while since I've posted again, but not due to a lack of blogging motivation this time! November hasn't been that kind to our household. W§e have all been ill, I've had a couple of root canals done too after being in horrible dental pain for a few days, and if you follow me on twitter or facebook you'll also know that we had mice in our house too! I initally thought it was rats because my terrified mind convinced me that the rodent i saw was HUGE however apparently they weren't that big. Apparently i'm a drama queen when it comes to rodents! Anyway we had to decamp to the in-laws for a week while we tried to get the issue under control........and well moving your family in to another home with different ideas on how to do things is always interesting isn't it?! Anyway I can't say that I'm sad to see the end of November.....the only real shining glory in November was that I had the mst fantastic Christmas knitting lesson at Cordial & Grace last week! It was such fun & listening to A very She & Him Christmas album while knitting christmas ornaments with a lovely bunch of ladies was a lovely was to end a pretty tiresome month!
So It's now December so it's time to put this misfortunes & stresses of November behind us and start looking forward to the fun & festivities that this month brings! I love Christmas, I always have but I have to admit that i'm a worse with it this year as It will be the first year that we are having our own family Christmas in our own house. We won't be rushing around trying to appease all of the grandparents, but staying home and enjoying a more relaxing day together. This Plus the fact that Henry is starting to appreciate the magic of christmas seems to have us all a bit more excited this year. He loves seeing all of the lights and the fact that there are chocolates wrapped in colourful foil in all of the shops......the thought of making Christmas as magical for him as it was for me as a child fills me with Joy! My mum made Christmas amazing for my sister & I every year regardless of what else was going on in real life! Despite being a single mum who worked full time she always saved up her holiday days up and took lots of time off of work at this time of year to make it extra special. We had lots of traditions that she kept up long in to adulthood for both of us! I guess with Mine, (and his dad is even starting to come around to Chrismas cheer too!) my sister's and My mum's love of Christmas Henry is never going to be short of people who want to do festive activities with him.
Today being December 1st marks the beginning of advent and the first year that Henry seems excited and gets involved. Last year after seeing the idea on Pinterest I spent October and November scouring charity shops for 24 Christmas themed books for his book advent calendar. We're doing it again this year too, with each book wrapped in brown paper & numbered 1-24. Christmas eve is obviously going to be the night before christmas, but he also has a new pair of christmas Pyjamas wrapped up ready to wear to bed that night.
A few of the books wrapped up for our advent calendar....
He also has a chocolate advent calendar and a set of advent crackers that are each filled with a little character to make up a Nativity scene throughout december. This was originally on sale last year in M&S for the rather steep price of £20, but my Mum bought it in the January Sales ready for this year. Although the crackers will only last for this year next year each of the characters will be wrapped up with the books so it will become part of our yearly traditions. Henry loved this morning & seemed really excited by all the surprises that were waiting for him! He even requested to watch The Polar Express too, bringing the DVD up to his dad saying "Choo Choo train!! All aboard!!"........well it did seem like a pretty perfect way to start December!
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Mary being taken for a toddler tour.....thankfully she's still in one piece!
We're off to a Christmas market tomorrow where Henry will get to ride on a mini steam train which i know he is going to love! I hope you all have a lovely weekend too!
If you want to make the Knitted Christmas ornaments at the start of the post you can still book in to one of my Christmas classes & I'll be popping the collection of patterns up for sale over the weekend on Ravelry & Etsy too.
P.P.S. Watch out for a little giveaway at the beginning of next week because I'm feeling particularly festive! :)
So it's been over a month since i last posted anything.........this wasn't a planned break, it just happened. I became a bit internet weary & all of a sudden I just stopped going online. It was a mixture of being too busy to sit down & document life & being a bit disillusioned with the internet why I choose to document my life here.
This is quite unusual for me, I have used twitter & reading other people's blogs as a support tool & general escapism ever since Henry was newborn. I would sit for hours at a time either breastfeeding or holding a sleeping baby after a feed with only my iPhone for company. I made some amazing 'real life' friends this way & I don't think I would have been able to start up & continue with The Homemade Mama without the support I found online. However Lately there has been quite a shift in the way social media is being used and I'm not sure if I like it all that much to be honest. I log in to twitter, my google reader account & the dreaded facebook only to be bombarded with 80% sponsored posts & advertising.
I don't read blogs or go online to win free things in giveaways or to see what people are buying so that in some aspirational bid for their lifestyle I can run out & buy the same products. I go online so that at the end of a long tiring day (which a lot of them are) I can either be comforted by the fact that I am not alone in feeling exhausted/stressed/overwhelmed/or just plain grumpy or I can find something inspirational and beautiful to read about that reminds me that life is pretty amazing and full of lovely things despite my lack of sleep/money/time/motivation (delete as appropriate). It gets a bit much when you log in to find that 20 people are all trying to sell you the same cleaning product & trying to make cleaning sound fun..............Newsflash: This is not the 1950s so you are not going to sell me anything by trying to convince me that housework is going to be great fun. While i'm hiding from the mountain of washing that needs doing by looking on the internet instead, I don't want to be constantly told how amazing washing powder is & how much you all adore doing your washing!
Don't get me wrong there are still amazing blogs & accounts out there which I still love to read, many of whom accept advertisers but there doesn't seem to be the balance that there used to be & somedays I really have to search to find content that isn't trying to sell me something. But the problem isn't with the blogs & accounts I follow, it is totally with me. I mean don't you find that once you've noticed something irritating you begin to focus on it? Instead of just skimming over the bits I didn't want to read I would scoff & get annoyed about it. Looking back it's quite ridiculous getting annoyed about something that nobody is forcing me to read & that I can easily ignore.......but alas the brain of a tired & stressed Mama does have the tendency to get irritated about the minor or even irrational things in life (well this tired mama does anyway!).
Anyway that's enough of my moaning, what I'm trying to say is that I started to question why I go online and why I wanted to blog. I don't care about where I am in any blogging popularity charts or how many followers I have. In fact I don't even know if anybody reads anything I post. So I stopped, and at first it felt quite liberating taking a step back from all things internet based, but then I started to miss it. I missed checking in to see what people were up to, I missed the support that I get from people when I have a tough day, but mostly i missed documenting all of the good things that happen in my life. I found that when I stopped writing about the good days & the things that made me happy they somehow started to blend in with the bad days more & I just wasn't as positive about things. It's silly isn't it, but it's true that taking the time to write about & share all the fun things we do as a family or the new things that Henry has done, or new craft projects that i have made seems to make me appreciate those moments more before they get lost in every day life.
So I'm back......even though i'm not sure anybody noticed I was gone in the first place. :) I love autumn, and there have been so many instances where I have wanted to share a recipe I loved, or pictures of a beautiful walk in the Autumn Sun or even a project that I have finished ready for my stash of homemade Christmas presents.......yes that's right I'm starting to get quite excited about christmas! So I think I need somewhere to share it all so that Ken doesn't get too annoyed with me just babbling on about it so much to him!
Despite all of my moaning here are a few of the blogs that I have really enjoyed lately:Little Green Shed
: Lou always has something beautiful & Inspirational to show you that will brighten up your day. Nimble Fingers & Steady eyebrows:
I adore this blog filled with letters between friends Annie & Laura! It's full of the simple things in life. Sew Scrumptious:
A must read for fabric addicts & crafty Mamas. Louise also organises a charity effort which makes pillowcase dresses for charity. Over 2,000 dresses have been distributed to girls living in Malawi, Kenya, India, Ghana and Uganda. You can get involved if you like what you read as she is running a free pillowcase dress sewing workshop at Cordial & Grace
. Bristol Craft:
Bethany's blog is 100% inspiration & full of beautiful pictures. I'm only saying what you're thinking:
A diamond of honesty in a sea of 'perfect Mummy' blogs.
And to finish off here are a few pictures of recently enjoyed things from the last month:
After 20 years of trying I have finally learnt to crochet thanks to some amazing tips on crocheting for knitters from my fantastic & very crafty Auntie Hilda!
Autumn walks in the park
Oh yes I did......i reorganised my bookcase by colour so that it was full of rainbows! A sign that I am indeed a bit of a loser! ;)
Henry getting his groove on & dancing the night away at his Auntie Jess's 30th Birthday party.....I don't think there is anything cuter than a toddler dancing!
Running a packed out Wool & Knitting craft room at Windmill Hill City farm.....literally hundreds of people had a go making things with yarn! It was fantastic!
Going back to my Mum's to watch the Carnival in Warminster. Henry LOVED it as it was full of trucks & Tractors that played music. :)
Last Sunday we went for Sunday lunch at The Ethicurean
as a little treat. We don't really go out anymore unless it's for special occasions so it was nice just to do something for the sake of it. As I mentioned before we went to the Ethicurean last year on my birthday, it's such a peaceful place and can be a welcome escape from the city sometimes as it really feels like you're miles from anywhere when you are there.
Anyway the point of this post is because I was looking through pictures from the 2 September visits and I cannot believe what a difference a year makes! Henry was nearly 7 months old when we visited last time & wasn't mobile at all. He was still a little baby really (although at the time I couldn't believe how big he was getting!). Now he's 19months old, and spent every moment he could running around the gardens with energy that only a toddler possesses! Sometimes you don't realise just how quickly your children change because it happens so gradually. I feel like I don't get to savour Henry as much as I would like because life gets in the way sometimes, and we always seem to be so busy. Every now and again though I stop in my tracks & take a moment to appreciate what an amazing little boy he is & how much he learns and changes every week! He really does take my breath away.
It was lovely to take him there again as a toddler because he really got to enjoy the place fully and spent every spare moment running around asking what everything was.......although they no longer serve macaroni cheese as their children's meal which is Henry's all time favourite food so there was a bit of disappointment after being promised that for lunch!
Anyway that's enough of my soppy Mama ramblings! Have a lovely evening!
This weekend has been a bit of a non-event on the whole. We had lots of plans to make the most of the lovely weather & a few belated birthday celebrations, but I came down with something nasty on Friday night & ended up having to spend Saturday mainly in bed feeling quite sorry for myself. I'm feeling quite a lot better this afternoon so hopefully I'll be back to 100% for the week ahead.
Despite me being ill, one major thing has happened this weekend.......Henry, who turns 19months old today is no longer in his cot! We turned his cotbed in to just a bed! Argh!!! How is my baby big enough to be in a bed?!? He slept on just a matress on the floor when we were away last weekend & seemed to sleep better than in his cot because he wasn't bashing himself on the bars all of the time, so the time seemed right to make the change at home too.
He loves it already & has spent all evening climbing on & off the bed & having a good time showing Daddy his new bed. He's just got out of the bath & run over to his bed straight away & jumped on it completely soaking wet & naked!
We have bought a mesh side to put on the bed because he seems to do some form of toddler gymnastics in his sleep & I'm convinced that he'll roll out of his little toddler bed. I'm sure I'm being over protective & he'd be fine without it, but it makes me feel better having it there.
So there you have it.....my baby really isn't a baby any more! I will feel a little sad as I put him to bed tonight knowing that we really are leaving behind his baby days, however I'm so proud of how well he seems to handle all of the changes & developments that toddlerdom brings him. I guess tonight will be the real test as to whether he actually stays in his bed! Wish us luck!!
We have olympic fever in our household, even Henry has it bad! He's cheering "Go Go Go!" whenever a race starts & cheers with both of his arms in the air whenever somebody wins.......It is so cute! I'm now convinced that he will be an olympian because of his early enthusiasm for competitive sports.
I really wasn't that excited about the olympics before they started mainly because of the politics involved. Watching David Cameron's smug face on every news report related to the Olympics really does dampen ones enthusiasm for the event! However once they started my opinion completely changed, I have been hooked! Watching how hard these athletes work & the amazing things they can achieve has moved me to tears on numerous occasions.
It has been fantastic to watch every country's achievements & the gamesmanship between athletes. However i have to admit that seeing Team Great Britain doing so well has been the icing on the cake! I have been cheering along with Henry watching sports that I really wouldn't under any other circumstances! Also I have been blown away by the achievements of women in this Olympics! It makes me so proud to think that my son will grow up expecting to see women competing & performing like champions! It will never occur to him that females are less worthy of competing.
Anyway in the spirit of the Olympics I have made Henry his own medals! They are super easy to knit & even the most novice of knitter will manage them. I knitted all 3 of them in just over an hour while watching the gymnastics yesterday so it really is a quick DIY. I'm tempted to show some of the older children in my wool workshops
because they're great for children as they can use them in games afterwards. Anyway I hope that you can spread some olympic fever with these medals like we are!
Olympic medal pattern:
Yarn: DK weight yarn in gold, silver & bronze.
Tapestry needle for sewing up.
k = knit
k2 tog = Knit 2 stitches together
Cast on 39 stitches.
Row 1-4: K all stitches.
Row 5: *K2, k2tog* repeat to end. (30 stitches)
Row 6-9: K all stitches.
Row 10: *k1, K2tog* repeat to end. (20 stitches)
Row 11-13: K all stitches.
Row 14: K2tog to the end. (10 stitches)
Leaving a long tail cut the yarn & thread the the tail through the 10 remaining stitches. Draw them together & fasten off. Then sew up the seam neatly at the edge stitches.
At the top of the work make a loop using the tail. Then weave all ends in to the WS of the work. The work may curl inwards at the edges, but if you block them by pushing them flat under a damp tea towel & iron on a low heat they will stay lovely & flat like a medal should be!
All you have to do now is tie some ribbon to your medals & now you can award them to everybody who you think deserves one! :) Have fun with them!
© Kimberlee Daly/The Homemade Mama All rights reserved This pattern is for personal use only. It may not be reproduced, distributed or archived in whole or in part without prior permission from the designer. It may not be sold or used to produce garments for resale. Contact via: www.thehomemademama.co.uk