Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Pipecleaner threading

I've discovered the ultimate in toddler activities. Clean, easily portable, and developing motor skills.

I pinched the idea off of Jennifer's Little World for threading beads onto pipecleaners. From now on I shall always carry beads and pipecleaners as this turned out to be perfect entertaining Kit firstly on our train journey to Bethnal Green, and then whilst we were queueing to get into the Bust Craftacular. Kit has been to this event every year since he was born, it is quite the tradition! We originally went because my friend had a friend who had a stall (and who we now seem to stalk at all the craft fairs we attend!), but it is definitely my favourite of the London craft fairs.

We aren't doing very well with preparing for Christmas anymore, but I think we might do some pipe cleaner threading and bend them into shapes to hang on the Christmas tree. I will post pictures of our tree once we have it finished, but it won't be on the 1st as originally planned.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Mr Tumble

There is one person on children's TV that I have a particular strong dislike for. I think Something Special is a great concept for a TV programme, but I dislike the choice of presenter, I hate Gigglebiz (but hey I'm not a school-kid and I'd probably have watched it when I was at school had it been on). So imagine my joy when I heard that Justin was visiting the Glades in Bromley. Kit already had plans for lunch with his Dad (which generally involves me going too), and when I stupidly told his Dad that Mr Tumble Justin was going to be in the Glades, that was our new plan.

So Kit met Justin Mr Tumble (although to do so his Dad had to buy him a copy of his new book). I apologise for my photos, Kit wanted to look at Mr Tumble not the camera!

We had to queue for an hour for this (I'm not sure it was really worth it - he didn't even tell us a joke!).

Friday, 25 November 2011

Plot F5B - The beginning

We had the very exciting news a few weeks ago that we had been offered an allotment across the road from us. Last weekend we went down to see it and decide whether we wanted to take it on. We did, so we now have our little patch of earth and are very excited about growing lots and lots of yummy things to eat. I haven't had much of a chance to work on it yet but this is how it was when we first week down after we had signed for it.

We went down for an hour on Thursday too as Kit was a bit better, and I started weeding the patches that already have yummy things growing in. We have inherited a rhubarb patch, a strawberry patch, two gooseberry bushes, a thornless blackberry bush and another unidentified berry bush.

We also discovered one, very small, lonely carrot. Which Kit was desperate to eat!

P.S. We don't always eat in the bathroom but Kit was supposed to be washing his hands and the carrot and he couldn't wait any longer!


Sometimes, despite our magic powers, there are things that even Mums can't kiss better.

Kit has been sick for the past week. He had a cold last week, which by the end of the week had managed to spread to his eyes and he had conjunctivitis (the worst episode he has had so far - his eyes are still sore from it). When the gunk in his eyes had cleared up and I thought he was on the mend he was sick, most likely from the mass of snot and goo he has been inhaling, swallowing! He seems much better now (apart from the redness around his eyes and a flair-up of ezcema on his cheeks), but there is no easy way to make a toddler with conjunctivitis feel better. In fact, I've spent the best part of a week tormenting him trying to wipe goo out of his eyes and keep his face clean. Sometimes kisses aren't enough, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Tell me about yourself award

I'm on a bit of a go slow on the blogging front at the moment, so I'd like to apologise to the lovely @blubirdsunshine and @BooAndMe_ who both tagged me with this award. So I have to reveal seven (more) most secret things about myself. I'm really scraping the barrel here, sorry.

1. I probably have the coldest feet in the whole wide world, yet I hate wearing socks. I was once known to wear flip-flops in the snow!
2. I have a grade 8 in theatre singing. I haven't sung anything bar 'The wheels on the bus' for quite a while though!
3. Copying Boo and Me a bit, I also have stars on me. One on my forearm, one on the sole of my foot and an Aboriginal star on my back. (I also have a few slightly random piercings in my ears - one of which is a miracle that Kit hasn't accidently ripped out yet!).

4. I'd really really love to do a PhD about fairytales (in some way) but I don't think there are enough hours in the day, maybe when I retire!!

5. I hate having my haircut! I have nothing against the cutting part, but for some reason every hairdresser seems to either want to turn me into a poodle or cut off 5 inches more than I ask creating a look that once washed makes me look like I've been electricuted!(As I'm going for my biennial haircut tomorrow, argh!).

6. I think I might be addicted to biscuits. Rather than a beer belly or a baby belly, I think I have a biscuit belly.

7. I wish I could surf. I've tried several times, here and in Australia. I've resigned myself to the fact I'll never be able to stand up! On the other hand I wasn't so bad at snowboarding when I learnt, but I've never been near enough snow to go snowboarding properly.

So now I'm supposed to pass on the award to 15 other people! I think most of you have already had it but I've tried to find some people that haven't...

@2starsandaswirl @The_EmilyB @domesticgoddesq @beachpebble @lulasticblog @smilinglikesuns

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Kit's Birth Story

Actually Mummy has asked people to share their birth stories. Having said a while back on Mammasaurus' blog that I thought it was good for women to share their experiences so that new mothers are better prepared for the reality of birth, this was the kick up the backside I needed to actually share mine. Check out all the other linked up stories on her blog here.

Actually Mummy

So here it goes...

Following a relatively stressful pregnancy - not due to my actual pregnancy but due to the breakdown of my relationship with Kit's Dad - I was in the situation that a week before my due date, having decided late in the game to try to give it another go, I moved into a flat with Kit's Dad, it was Monday or Tuesday. (This move included me single-handedly putting up a bed, because I really wanted somewhere to sleep - my parents had moved my stuff in the day before but the bed belonged to Kit's Dad, who'd decided to only use me to help him move). On the Thursday evening I text my old housemate and said that I either had really bad wind or I thought I might be going into labour. Gradually the pain got worse and it became apparent that it was labour. Kit's Dad came home from the pub to me in slight agony. I spent the rest of the night wandering around the kitchen squatting on a chair as I couldn't get back to sleep. I was booked to have Kit at a birth centre in East London (which was where I had been living through the whole of my pregnancy). I called them early in the morning and they suggested that I came in because I was having hardly any break between contractions. We got in a taxi and headed up, only to get stuck in traffic for over an hour!

On arriving at the birth centre I was checked out and wasn't very far dialated, the midwife said we could stay rather than go and come back, but that I should go for a walk to try to move things along. We walked to Canary Wharf shopping centre and got some lunch (all whilst I was trying not to look to the casual passer-by as though I was in fact having contractions every 4-5mins!). Walking back I really thought I might actually not make it back to the birth centre! I was checked again when we returned and although I had progressed I was still a long way off. As the birth centre was equipt for water births the midwife part filled the pool to try to ease my contractions a bit and left us to it. Being the hottest day ever recorded on Earth (that's a lie but it felt like it) I sat in a warm bath and after a while I felt a bit drowsy, fell slightly asleep - so we very nearly didn't make it to the birth - thankfully I woke up before I slipped under the water!

In a huge panic I got out of the birthing pool (never to risk returning again) and just sat gently sobbing through the pain instead. My contractions had massively slowed down from the bath and so when the midwife came in to check she was trying to get me to do things to get them going again, but I was already exhausted by this point having not managed to sleep at all. We were left again to keep trying by myself and that was the last I saw of that midwife. Noone came in for ages after that. Kit's Dad went out to supply me with ice-pops because I didn't feel like eating but it was baking and I really needed some energy. When a new midwife came in it must have been Friday evening. She found me lying on the bed having completely given up the idea that I might actually ever give birth, and unable to get up from the pain. She checked me over, and for the first time I was offered gas and air - I never realised how lovely gas could be!

My waters hadn't broken and I still wasn't progressing so the midwife took the decision to break my waters. On doing so (apart from noting that I had a massive amount of waters - it completely soaked me, the bed, the floor) she realised that I had meconium stained liquor (Kit had poo'ed in me). The birth centre wasn't equipt to deal with any complications in birth so they had to call me an ambulance. I was still gushing water and all of a sudden everything had become a lot worse, plus I was being told my baby may be in distress - in my head I had the perfect birth centre birth planned I hadn't even contemplated the possibility of ending up in hospital. The ambulance arrived and I was wheeled on, but as soon as I was on I felt like I needed to push so I travelled sirens blazing through East London to the Royal London Hospital in Mile End.

On arrival at the hospital noone checked me over, but it seemed the midwifes had decided that I needed an epidural and I was in such a state I didn't feel like I could refuse (I had really wanted a drug-free birth, just gas and air). I still wish I'd had a drug-free birth as things went even further downhill from there. You see, it turns out my spine is slightly squewiff - great thing to find out as someone is trying to inject you at the base of it - it took them over an hour and several failed attempts (I have the scars to prove it) to get an epidural in, so I had to sit deadly still for over an hour and I wee'd myself! Once they had the epidural in they checked me and realised I was fully dialated - great!

So now I was in a situation where I couldn't feel my contractions but I needed to push with them. The Dr was urging me to watch the monitor and try to push, but after a short time the midwife told me not to bother and to get some rest. I then got scolded by the Dr when he came back in and he stayed and tried to get me to push Kit out. Kit wasn't going anywhere. I felt like the Dr didn't feel like I was trying and I couldn't feel a thing to tell if I was really pushing anyway. After trying and trying and trying the Dr decided that he would have to try a ventouse. We were briefed that I might be headed for theatre if this didn't work, I was devastated. Anyway, with a tug and an episiotomy Kit popped out - only he had the cord around his neck. They detangled him (so to speak) and thankfully he was good.

I couldn't have him straight away as they had to check him over due to his inappropriate pooing! After he had been checked he was passed to me and I tried to feed him. From this point I just remember shear love and panic. I was overwhelmed with love for him, but I had no idea what to do with him, and I can genuinely say noone in the hospital was on hand to help me figure that out. I constantly felt like I was doing everything wrong when I was there, which wasn't helped when I had a shower and a blood clot the size of a small plate fell out, and when I called the midwife she seemed extremely put out that I had dared to make a mess of the shower!

Once out Kit became jaundice and we ended up in A&E and I felt like the worst mother ever. By the time we were transferred to the HV a few days later I'd figured out feeding and Kit was ok, and the HV had nothing but praise. I honestly believe that if I'd had a different HV (including some of those I've encountered since!) it could have been a much worse downward spiral and I'm not sure I'd have coped. Just having someone who was supportive and congratulatory towards me really changed my outlook.

So that's it. And yes I would do it all over again - but there are a few things that I could have changed and would have done differently if I could have had this hindsight. Mainly I wish I hadn't planned the perfect birth. I wish I'd planned the worse case scenario and then whatever actually happened would have felt so much better. That, and I wish I'd read more about what to do after the birth rather than just focusing on that event!

If you haven't shared your story yet, join in!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Lord Mayor's Parade

We spent Saturday in the City of London celebrating at the Lord Mayor's Parade and fireworks. It was the first time that I'd ever been to the parade and I have to say I was a little disappointed. The website suggested that it would be a lot more excting than it actually was, as a large part of it was just people sitting on not very decorated floats. Kit really enjoyed it though, mainly through pointing out every house that went past! It has to be said that he had a much better view than me, and maybe I wanted more from the parade as I was suffering a wriggly toddler sitting on my shoulders!

There were highlights in the parade though, the military vehicles and bands were exciting though, and I was excited to find out that West Sussex County Council had a steam roller!

We cheated a bit and stood on London Bridge to watch the fireworks (which are set off on a barge near Temple), obviously we were a bit further away than the masses, but there were quite a few people also watching from there. Kit was preoccupied eating a sandwich during the fireworks as he'd been asleep until shortly before and woke up starving (as usual!), but he did still enjoy them - although possibly not as much as the boats that were passing down the Thames!

So all in all, on reflection, we should have gone to a stables near a river and Kit would have had a ball! Seriously though, we did have a lovely time, and although I don't think I'd keep the date free for next year if I am at a loose end I think we'll probably go again.

Sunday Night's Film Night

Sunday night in our household is now 'Film Night'. As you've probably figured out by now, we have really hectic weekends. I work Mondays and I'm generally exhausted by a Sunday night. Kit is a massive bundle of energy all the time and he never ever sits still. My theory is that by teaching him to sit down and watch a film he might learn to focus his attension on one thing for a bit longer. And, it means we can have a quiet Sunday evening together.

Normally I feel like I'm often busy doing things that don't focus on Kit. I do sit and play with him as much as possible, but I also feel torn to do chores and get shopping etc because I never have the chance to do this without him. So any quality time I can set to spend with him feels great, even if it is sat down watching a film I feel like this time is uninterupted Kit-time, a much longer version of his bedtime stories (which we do every night) where I am concentrating wholly on him.

Our test film night we watch Lilo and Stitch, and Kit really enjoyed it. He wriggled lots which was expected, but he didn't try to go off and play at all. This Sunday we watch Ice Age 2, and he wasn't as engaged (although as you'll see below he did enjoy parts of it lots!). It was a bit more effort to get him to stay and watch it, but he did stay to the end, when he took himself to bed! 

I also made a discovery... I wanted to do popcorn for our film night (as I thought it would help with the sitting down for a while), but I didn't want to feed Kit lots of sugar before bed, and I really didn't want to destroy my saucepans popping it either. I read the packet of some plain corn and it said that you could just pop it in the microwave in a microwavable container (with a lid)! Completely guilt-free popcorn, literally just corn popped! (You all probably knew that already though!)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Wool-wrapped Christmas Trees

I know, I know. Another Christmas decoration post and it is only November - but you see the decorations need to go up on the 1st December so I have a lot of work to do before then!

One of my lovely friends bought Kit a Thomas toy for his birthday back in June, for some reason the box for it had still been lying around when I went to find card for my treasure post, I think I've said before I tend to collect recycling! Well, not only did I want to recycle the card into something, but I also found that it had some of those long wire ties that they use to prevent you from ever being able to remove your toy from the box! I wondered what I could do with them. Well I was thinking about Christmas decoration ideas and I thought I'd use them for christmas tree frames to wrap wool. I'll show you how...

I'm making more with the left over wire, this one will be for our tree, the others I'll hopefully sell at a Christmas craft fair. 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

What makes you happy?

I have a very happy smiley little boy, he makes me happy. Especially with his attempts to hide!


Friday, 11 November 2011

Really Easy Scary Spiders

Halloween may have been and gone, but in this house we are still crafting spiders! As you might have seen on my Happy Halloween post, we'd been making Halloween spider cards. I thought that as Halloween had been and gone I could move Kit on to making other buglike things with pompoms and googly eyes so we made these flower things.

When I popped in the pound shop today and saw a pack of pipecleaners I thought they would come in useful in some crafting with Kit. When he saw the pack of pipecleaners all he wanted to do with them was to make spiders! So we made more spiders.

Apparently spider craft is going to be a year-round theme in our flat. Spiders are for life, not just for Halloween.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Needle Felted Mouse

I've been wanting to try needle felting properly for ages. I had a brief encounter with it at the V&A lates, but I wanted to learn to create lots of lovely little creature for Kit to play with. I bought some felt and some needles ages ago. I stupidly thought that you could just felt with those, but after several holes in my fingers realised that I did need a sponge thing too. So when I popped into hobbycraft the other day and they handed me a 25% off everything voucher, I ran to get myself a sponge so that I could start creating a zoo of animals.

I'm starting simple, so I made a mouse. A slightly oddly coloured mouse. Here is how I did it...

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Felt Christmas Decorations

I love Christmas. I want Kit to love Christmas too. But I want him to love it for the lights and the sparkle, not for the presents! I think Christmas should be an attack on the senses.

I know it is early, but I want to make a lot before Christmas, I want a truely handmade Christmas in my flat (and possibly with some handmade gifts to others too), so Christmas is officially underway here. I bought a wire Christmas tree from Ikea (if I can't have a real tree I don't want a plastic one), now I just need some bits to hang on it.

First Christmas decorations...

I want to make a lot of the decorations with Kit as well. I'm hoping that we can make lots of decorations that we can bring out every year, and that Kit can make new things each year.


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