Monday, 19 January 2015

4 Months ::

So I'll say it again... 'how can it have been that long' and 'it's just going all too quickly', but it really is. 4 months is closer to 6 months than I would like, 6 months means crawling (maybe) and real food and I'm just not ready for all that yet that. Namely because Milo's current favourite playthings, lego and marble runs, do not mix well with adventuring babies, I expect a playpen will be in order. But also because I'm just loving being a mama to this little girl, we have our ups and downs, of course, but for the most part it is absolute joy.

We have been through all 3 sets of jabs now. All but the last were fine and even then she was just a bit more unsettled than usual and required extra cuddles. No more until she's one now which is a relief.
I took her to be weighed on Friday at the local Children's Centre. It was the first time since her 6 week check. I just decided I didn't really need the worry of all those constant weigh ins. She's obviously content and feeds well, so avoided watching her go up and down that chart for a little while. I'm pleased I did, she's still sitting just below the 25th centile at 12lb 10, but I expect there would have been weeks where she was under that.
I'm still breastfeeding and don't see that stopping anytime soon really, now we've mastered it I can't imagine feeding her any other way. Johnny and sometimes Milo will give her bottles of breastmilk, which she happily accepts, as long I'm not too close by.

As for sleep, she sleeps well but we don't have much routine. She tends to have a morning and afternoon nap, but not always both and the duration of these varies a lot. In the evenings she tends to be up until I go to bed. I've tried putting her down earlier but it doesn't matter how fast asleep she is when I lay her in her moses basket, if I'm not in the room she awakes within 30 minutes. However when I'm in the room, she now sleeps right through to morning, so it's not all bad. Usually that's around midnight until 8-9.
I tried starting a bedtime routine last night, bottle with Johnny, bath, pyjamas, story, feed, then to bed. Except she fell asleep in Johnny's arms before he even managed to give her any of the bottle. She only snoozed for around 30 minutes so then we tried again. All went well, but within 20 minutes she was awake as suspected because I had gone back downstairs. Once I put her back down and stayed in the room she slept until morning.
I guess I'll just keep trying, maybe doing the whole routine before I go to bed myself so she understands more that it means bedtime, but I'm not going to get myself too worried about set routines just yet. They're only little for such a short time, I don't want to spend that time stressing us both out with rules and routines.
We've just started venturing out to baby groups and really enjoying it. Especially anything that involves singing. Plus I've discovered we are both so much happier if we actually get up and dressed and out the door before the 3pm school run!

Some things I'd like to remember for this stage ::
Effie currently has 2 favourite toys, this gorgeous gingerbread man and a lovely colourful giraffe that was handed down to her.
She can roll unaided from front to back with ease and has accidentally gone back to front on a few occasions now.
She is still in her moses basket despite appearing too small for it weeks ago. If she sleeps well I guess she must be comfortable!
She smiles with recognition at people she knows well, laughs when tickled, talks a lot, roars (thanks to Milo) and generally makes a fair amount of noise.
She adores Milo and the cat, I have a fantasy in my head that her and the cat will become best friends but we'll see how that goes once she has sticky, grabby toddler hands.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Magic Yarn Ball Swap 2014 ::

So as you may have been aware, last year I hosted a Magic Yarn Ball swap. I loved putting together the ball for my partner, I'm always amazed by how much you can hide within a little ball of yarn! But I won't post much about that, just incase Alessandra hasn't worked her way though it all yet.

 However my ball from her arrived the day before we headed away for our Christmas break, creating a perfect excuse to cast on something new especially for the holidays! I decided on Martina Behm's Brickless shawl, because I've knit it before and therefore have the pattern pretty well committed to memory, so no massive brain power required and I could just knit on until I ran out of yarn.

I cast on, on the train as we set off on our adventures and I finished about a week ago. The yarn itself is gorgeous, it's malabrigo Arroyo in the Lotus colourway which looks like mermaid tales in my eyes! But the gifts hidden within those strands were something else. So thoughtful and personal, it was such a joy everytime I heard something fall out and I spent quite a lot of time prodding and poking at the ball to try and get an insight as to what might be hiding inside. It was so much fun to knit with and I'm so thankful to Alessandra.

I'm thinking of running another swap as this one was such a success. Maybe to coincide with Valentines day? If you fancy taking part, pop your email in the box below and I'll send out some more details in the next week or so.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Effie and her Gingerbread Man ::

The day before we headed off on our Christmas holidays, this gorgeous little gingerbread man arrived for Effie from Hello Daisy and it was love at first sight.
I think it probably helped that Milo unwrapped and presented it to her, he is very much her favourite.

It's the first toy I've ever seen her have any interest in, it's lovely to see her face light up when he appears and she actually makes attempts to reach for and hold it too. Plus she does that super cute excited whole body shake baby's do when they're especially happy, when you present it to her.

This lovely fairtrade, crochet gingerbread man is soft with a little rattle inside, all his details are made of yarn so no choking worries, which is reassuring as putting things in her mouth is currently Effie's favourite.

The gingerbread man himself is handmade by Pebble in Bangladesh by local women and is run in association with Hathay Bunano, from their website: 'Hathay Buano provides fairly paid, good quality, flexible and local employment for rural women who are poor and often disadvantaged'. I love their ethos and especially love that the majority of their toys are crocheted!

Hello Daisy have a whole range of lovely Pebble crocheted toys along with a whole host of other gorgeous baby items, plus they are local to me, in Cheltenham.

**we were kindly sent this gingerbread man to review but all thoughts are our own.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Christmas and New Year ::

Hello and apologies for unexplained absences, you may have noticed Christmas happened and we all got a little lost and caught up in the mayhem that was nativities, gift buying, wrapping, tree decorating, baking and general fun and merriment.
We had a fabulous festive season, Effie, though completely disinterested in the whole affair, I'm sure had as good a first Christmas as can be and Milo was positively spoilt as usual, but more importantly got to spend precious time with all his cousins, grandparents and great grandparents, the most wonderful part of Christmas.
We headed up to Norfolk on Christmas eve, stopping at my Dad's on the way to my Mum's all the way up on the North Norfolk coast. It was a long long journey, during which we witnessed both sunrise and sunset, but it was lovely to finally get to our destination and visit my Mum and step Dad's newly moved in to house. We spent both Christmas Day and Boxing Day with my Mum, before heading down to Cambridge on the 27th, where we had a couple of days visiting Johnny's family, before heading back home again on the 29th.
It was a long trip and Effie found being away from home and her usual routine a little bit disturbing, meaning neither of us got very much sleep, but it was worth all those long hours on trains to be able to see so many of our family members over such a short space of time and be able to introduce Effie to those of whom she had yet to meet.

New year is a quiet event for us generally, when you have children it can't be much else really. But the four of us headed out for an early dinner at one of our favourite Cheltenham restaurants, The Tavern, a newly found tradition. Once back home and baby's in bed we drank champagne and watched a little of the hootananny. Milo requested to be woken at midnight, but not only was he almost impossible to rouse, after finding too few fireworks to watch he declared; 'I didn't know it would be this stupid, I'm going back to bed'.
Today I boxed up all the decorations and tackled the impossible job of removing the tree without getting needles in every nook and cranny of the house and so we return to normality...

Monday, 15 December 2014

Festive Face-Off :: Christmas Wreath ::

Make a simple wintery wreath, using wire, ribbon and crochet.

A while back, Country Baskets asked me to take part in this years bloggers festive face-off. They kindly sent me and a collection of other bloggers a box of crafty goodies, we then put our crafty skills to the test to create a festive decoration with the supplies we were provided with.

I was so thrilled with the contents of the box when it arrived, it all looked so wintery and crisp and I was immediately inspired.

After much deliberation I decided on a wreath for our front door, something reasonably simple and classic. I used the wire to form a ring, using a large mixing bowl to help me get the shape and size right, I then carefully twisted the ends around the ring and finished them off with a little tape, just to keep the ends from poking out rather than to keep it in place as twisting did that just fine.

I then grabbed the biggest crochet hook I could find and using the ribbon and double crochet I worked all the way around the ring. This bit was quite tricky to get going, but once I got the hang of it was a breeze and worked up so quickly. I particularly love how the crochet ribbon not only covers the wire but also provides perfect little pockets for inserting decorations.

Next came the difficult task of deciding what to add to my wreath. In the end I used the mistletoe, the snow like pom poms and a few of the bells from the hanging bell decoration, using the little pockets created by the crochet to put them in place.

I'm so thrilled with my end result. It's proudly hanging on my front door and I love the little tinkle of bells it creates every time I come open the door.

If you fancy having a go at making your own you can find all the supplies I used over on the Country Baskets website.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Festive Crafting :: Hama Bead Baubles ::

Adorn your tree with bright and colourful, easy to make Christmas baubles and decorations.

On Sunday afternoon, the lovely Bex popped round for some hama bead lessons from the expert on such things in our house, Milo. Well, one thing led to another and all of a sudden I found myself getting slightly over excited about the possibilities of hama bead Christmas decorations!

Inspired by these gorgeous hama bead creations, found on pinterest, of course! I set about making some baubles, Milo made a couple too. I cannot wait to get our Christmas tree at the weekend so we can put them up in pride of place!

I am, oh so tempted by these gold Hama Beads I just found on Amazon! Think of all the possibilities!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Box Pencil Case :: A Crochet Pattern ::

Make a quick and easy crochet box pencil case with this free pattern.

I have a love affair with washi tape and pencils with rubbers on the end. They are very much two of my favourite things. Unfortunately they are also two of my cat's favourite things. He loves nothing more than to bat these treasures of mine around the room, until they get trapped under the abyss of the sofas. Therefore I am forever battling the dust bunnies that reside under said sofas to retrieve them and I'll tell you something else, cat chewed washi tape loses some of it's original beauty.
So I decided what I really needed was a new pencil case, especially for these particular treasures.
Getting the sewing machine out seemed like a bit of a daunting challenge, but I have learnt how to hold a baby and crochet, so a crochet pencil case it was to be.

If you fancy making your own pencil case to prevent cat stationary attacks or maybe as a quick Christmas gift, I've shared my pattern with you below.

Enjoy x

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