Monday, 20 October 2014

Handmade Baby Gifts :: The Knits ::

There's nothing like bringing a new life into the world to help realise how many wonderfully kind and generous people you have in your life. I cannot tell you how many gifts this little girl (and her big brother) have received, both before she was even born and in the last few weeks.
Not only that but, my do I have some talented friends too. I really wanted to share with you some of the truly gorgeous handmade gifts this little lady has been gifted.

There have been so many I thought I'd do a little series, starting today with the knits.

Obviously I knit a fair amount of items for her myself, but I was so very touched to have received so many hand knits from others. 'Any excuse for some,' Johnny declared, he's quite right of course, but the fact that because knitters love knitting (and let's be honest baby knits are some of the most fun things to knit) only makes the items Effie's been gifted even more precious in my eyes.

One of my lovely neighbours and fellow craft night and knit and natter attendee brought round this gorgeous box of goodies a couple of weeks before Effie's arrival.

She also included a oil blended especially for labour, which was great, I rubbed it on my belly during the early stages and found it super relaxing.
The knits are the gorgeous (Petit) Artichaut by Solenn Couix-Loarer with matching booties in Drops Alpaca ::

And my utter favourite, which has been worn a whole lot by little Effie, is Granny's Favourite by Georgie Hallam also with matching booties knit in Malabrigo Sock ::

You can see the ravely notes on Angie's knits on her page here.

Another lovely and fairly new knitter, though you wouldn't really know it by her incredible knitting skills, Bex of Ampersand Commodoties, knitted this incredibly dress for Effie ::

It was knit from a vintage Paton's pattern and I cannot tell you how many compliments it received on it's first outing last week. My sister has already claimed it as a hand-me-down for her daughter due in February.

Lastly is this lovely little cardigan, knit for Effie by a friend's Mum ::

She is so unbelievably lucky to be wrapped up in all these lovingly created gifts and I feel so blessed to have such wonderful folks around us

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Four Weeks ::

I cannot believe how quickly the past four weeks have gone by. I'm trying my best to cling on to every moment with my tiny baby, but it doesn't seem to stop time flying by much too quickly.

I never would have imagined life with a newborn baby could be this easy, my previous experience of being the mother to a newborn taught me so much so quickly. Mostly how little sleep you can actually survive on and that there has been some major evolutionary error when it comes to breastfeeding, because something that is meant to be so completely natural and utterly essential can be one of the most difficult and painful things you'll ever have to go through. Fortunately this time round we've only had a handful of 'difficult' nights and feeding has been a breeze.

Since before reaching the 1 week mark, Effie had worked into a bedtime routine which sees her wake once between 12 and 8 and happily return to her moses basket without fussing, once her tummy is full and her nappy clean. Granted I've not managed more than a 5 hour stretch of sleep in 4 weeks, but I know I've got it easier than most and I'm still getting a good 7 hours most nights.

As for daytime, we have no routine what so ever, accept maybe, daytime is for feeding. And therefore feed she does, all day long. She doesn't much like sleeping during the day either, though she might go for an hour or two in the sling or the pushchair if you're lucky. As far as I'm concerned as long as she sleeps at night I'm happy to go with whatever she wants during daylight hours, for now anyway.

She'll have long periods of time now where she is awake and not feeding but instead an utterly joyful thing to watch and coo at and will reward you with delightful smiles if you're lucky.

We've had a bit of a slow start at weight gain, at first things seemed to be going well, however at 2 weeks her weight suddenly plummeted and despite being discharged from midwife care, we had to go back to regular weigh ins for a week. It was decided there may actually have been a bit of scale error at some point. Finally yesterday she was back up and slightly over the weight she started life at. The health visitor still showed some concern as she's dropped 2 centiles on the chart since birth, but as yet there has been no suggestion that she be 'topped up' with formula, the root of my all my feeding issues with Milo in my opinion. As far as I'm concerned as long as she's feeding lots, alert, sleeping well, happy and content (plus lots of dirty nappies) I'm happy that she's growing at just the right pace for her.

As for me, I'm completely recovered now, my tummy (though a little bit jiggly) seems to be back down to it's original size and I feel really really well. Like I said feeding is going well and we've already been out and about lots and had quite a bit of practice of feeding in public which I'm feeling quite happy about.

The whole household has taken to Effie being here as though she always was. I can't imagine a time without her now. Milo is neither put out by her presence or particularly enamoured with her, just yet, to be fair I can see how she is pretty boring as far as he's concerned. Though he's quite happy that she's here and looking forward to a time when he can teach her all the things and he's super helpful, will always get something for me if I need it and is happy to keep an eye on her whilst I leave the room if required.

All in all these past 4 weeks have been truly magical. I am so besotted with this deliciously cheeky baby.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Deramores ::

I should have posted about this a couple of months ago really, but what with being pregnant and all, it just didn't quite happen. However I am pleased to say Deramores are now selling a range of independent designer's knit and crochet patterns, including some of mine, all of which are available as downloadable PDF's.

I'm a big fan of Deramores as it is so having my patterns in their shop is a great honour. Their customer service in my experience has been fantastic, they always ship super quickly and they have a great range of yarns.

One of the other things I really love about Deramores is that I can get cashback on my purchases through topcashback, which when you buy as much yarn as I do is very beneficial. If you haven't heard of topcashback, this is something else that I'm very happy to recommend. Simply sign up, then every time you shop online go to topcashback see if the merchant you're shopping with is on their list, then if they are click through to their site from there. You will then earn cashback on any purchases you make. We use it for everything, let the money build up over the year then come Christmas we withdraw it either into cash or gift vouchers to help with our christmas shopping. You can use when purchasing train tickets, coach tickets, pizza delivery, a whole load of clothes retailers and much more, those are just a few we use most regularly.

Hope everyone's week is going well.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Weekending ::

This past weekend, Effie met her Grandad (on my side) for the first time and Milo acquired said Grandad's childhood train track.  I think you can probably guess which of those things Milo would declare the most exciting.

I hadn't seen my Dad and his wife since the summer holidays, so it was lovely to see them and have Effie meet yet more of her family. It's been such a joy having all these people come to see us, Milo gets especially excited, spending at least an hour before anyone's arrival asking if he can go wait on the doorstep for them.

We went to Jamie's Italian for lunch. If you're local Cheltenham and haven't been I thoroughly recommend it, for the courtroom seating and dungeon toilets alone. Though the food is pretty good too!

On Sunday we mostly had a lazy one, investigating Milo's new train set, keeping out of the rain, eating popcorn and watching Jurassic Park, which Milo mostly declared 'boring' much to mine and Johnny's dismay.

All in all it was a lovely weekend.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Friday, 10 October 2014

Effie's Birth Story ::

I appreciate birth stories aren't for everyone, but I really wanted to share Effie's here as it turned out so incredibly well, so far away from everything I imagined (and had experienced) induction to be. And also because I'm still so proud of how I did, amazed by the way my body took over and knew exactly what to do and totally in awe of the little being I produced.

So if you are interested, click to below to read the rest, be warned it's quite long!