My sweetie baby has arrived!

Welcome to the world, baby Sweetie! My daughter was born on 18th May in the morning, and we all fell in love with her instantly!

Sweetie at three and a half hours old

The birth was straightforward (maybe that will be a separate post) and we were able to bring her home the same day, much to the delight of her big brothers.

She has slotted right into our family as if her place here had been waiting for her forever.

The relief I felt when she was safely born was tangible – it took a huge weight off my shoulders, and people have been commenting on how much better I look, quite apart from having got rid of my crutches! Weirdly, Sweetie was born a year to the day that we found out that our last baby had died – the midwife who delivered her said that it was meant to be to replace our sad memories with happy ones.

Sweetie has two names; the first we chose just because we really liked it, and the second is an amalgamation of her grandmothers’ names. Handsome was named for his grandfathers, and so this seemed like a great idea for Sweetie. Also, having lost my mother in law last summer, it felt important to include her.

She was the lightest of my three, weighing in at 7lbs 10.5oz. She’s piling on the weight already though, having increased to 8lbs 6oz by Wednesday this week. She feeds more often than either of the boys too, she obviously wants to catch them up as soon as possible!

GG has had much more time off than with either of the boys too; he gets three weeks leave as standard from work, and as we’ve got a double bank holiday in the middle of his leave, he gets to tag the extra two days on to the end of his time with us. Although I’m sure that whenever he went back to work, it would be too soon for me!

I’d forgotten how much newborns sleep; the boys have been grabbing cuddles whenever they can, but she’s been asleep for much of the time they’ve been home. They’re off for half term now though, so hopefully there’ll be more time for hugs with her!

There’s so much to write about our precious addition, but I’ll save some for another day. I’ll just finish by saying that after a year of sadness and anxiety, I feel happy, and as if my little family is finally complete.


Two weeks to go!


I apologise for the bad photo – self photography in a mirror on a camera phone is not ideal, but I keep forgetting to ask GG to take my picture when he gets home from work. Plus, slumping in an armchair and yawning are not the most attractive ways to be photographed, and that’s how I tend to spend my evenings at the moment!

38 weeks down, two to go. Although by my dating scan I’m 38 weeks and 4 days – I prefer that as it brings me nearer to Bonus Baby being fully cooked. At this exact point in my pregnancy with Cheeky I was just about to be told that I was probably going to have the baby sometime before morning. Just over an hour later, he surfed out on a wave of amniotic fluid! So, this one will be gestating for longer than her little big brother. But hopefully not as long as her biggest big brother who waited until a 41 week induction.

As you can see from the picture, I’m pretty big now. There was a much worse photo I could have used where I put my hand under the bump to show just how big it is, but I decided that no-one would believe that it could all be baby bump, so I used this one with my dress hanging down artfully! My wardrobe is now severely limited. I have two dresses which fit; this one and a black dress, although I’m trying to avoid wearing that as it makes me look a bit washed out. Then as far as trousers go, I have two pairs of jogging bottoms which still fit (stretchiness is key!). Quite a lot of my tops are still fine, although this is probably more down to the fact that they belong to my sister in law who had to accommodate her extra height in the tops, rather than such a large tummy. Oh, and my pyjamas are still good, although I’m resisting the temptation to wear them all day!

I saw the community midwife on Friday, and I’ll be seeing her again on Wednesday. I’ve been disappointed by her in that she doesn’t listen to anything I say. As with every other pregnant woman in Britain (I assume) I have my medical notes which I have to carry around and have filled in at every medical appointment I go to. All the other doctors and midwives have been very good about writing down any concerns I’ve had, or problems like the pelvic girdle pain I’ve been experiencing. This midwife though just seems to want to get through the appointment as fast as possible. On Friday I hobbled in on my crutches, which she commented on, asking if the pain was worse than before. I replied that it was getting noticeably worse each week. She then asked me how I’d been feeling, so I told her that through that morning I’d been experiencing crampy backaches and stomach aches as well as feeling nauseous. Although I didn’t spell it out (maybe I should have) this is very similar to how my previous labours (and probably those of plenty of other ladies) have started. She replied with something along the lines of “Oh well, we’re all entitled to an off day now and again”! I also mentioned how I’d not had any contact from the physio department and that it was worrying me in case I have any issues during my baby’s delivery or post-natally and there’s no-one for me to contact. After all of this, and after trying to convince me not to bother seeing her this week (despite my pointing out that the obstetrician had specifically told me to see the midwife every week) all she wrote in my notes was “No issues; seeing in a week”. Awesome. These notes are supposed to inform the hospital midwives and doctors of what has been going on through my pregnancy, especially in a scenario where I’m unable to adequately fill them in. Fat lot of use my notes from this midwife will be! What especially stuck with me was that when she tried to convince me to cancel this week’s appointment she told me that there was no need for me to be seen as I am a “healthy mummy of nearly three children”. I felt like shaking her before reminding her that actually, my third baby should be seven months old already except that that baby died for apparently no reason at all half way through the pregnancy, coincidentally almost exactly a year ago. And so please forgive me if I’m not so complacent and blasé as you seem to be about my delivering a healthy baby! But of course I didn’t, just staring at her until she told me that if I felt a need to be seen weekly that it really wasn’t a problem. So I see her again tomorrow, although if my baby decides to be born before that appointment, I really don’t mind!

I’m really hoping that I will be posting pictures of a beautiful newborn baby rather than a 39 week update next Tuesday; keep your fingers crossed that she decides that it’s time to move out and experience the big wide world soon!

Exciting new venture (again!)

It’s not long since I told you about my Etsy shop selling jewelry, And yet there is another venture which I’ve not yet shared with you. Since the summer, Ellie and I have been dyeing yarn, and we also have an Etsy shop set up for that at I’m so enjoying doing this. It’s so close to my most loved craft; knitting. And yet it’s so different that I can flit from one thing to the other without getting bored!

Another thing about it that I love is that if I feel like knitting, say, a shawl in purple, I know that I can now go and dye that yarn myself rather than waiting to get to a yarn shop or wool festival before I find my perfect colour.

Anyway, I’ll share some pictures of my yarns with you in a minute, but first off, we had very good news at the weekend! As soon as we choose which yarns to take, we will have our yarn stocked in ‘Big Knitters’ yarn shop in Roath, Cardiff! This is tremendously exciting news, especially as we are such a new little enterprise. We’ve only been dyeing for a few months, but we’ve had such a gratifying response both from people we know and those we’ve only just met. Many of our friends at the local knitting groups have been kind enough to buy some of our yarn. We’ve also been fortunate enough to sell to crafters visiting from the United States as well as, via our Etsy store, to the US and Finland! And every skein I hand over or send off brings little shivers of excitement! It’s thrilling to think that, sometime in the future, this could be a viable, profit-making, income-bringing business for us!

Anyway, here are some of my yarns so far:

Firstly, those which will be listed in the shop in the coming few days;

Witching Hour

Midnight Jade

Autumn Days

And next, those which are already listed in the shop, or have already sold;

Acid Hiss

Blackberry Blueberry

Gryffie Roar

Ocean Swell

I am loving the opportunity to play with all the different colours and see how they all meld together so beautifully. My only problem at the moment is that I want to knit with them all! I have reserved a skein of the ‘Midnight Jade’ for myself (there have to be some perks to this job!!) and I’m designing a shawl with it at the moment. To my credit, I think I’ve only held back four or five skeins for myself so far, all to use to design new knitting patterns, so I think that’s pretty restrained!

This yarn is all British wool, from Blue Faced Leicester sheep in a 4ply or sock weight. The wool is yummy because it takes the colour so well, but it also has a sheen about it which really accentuates your work. We’ve also got new yarn bases in to try, so I’m looking forward to sharing some of them with you soon, just as soon as I’ve planned which colours to use for which bases!

Things to make me glad

After many, many weeks of cold, dark, rainy and sometimes snowy times, finally the first herald of spring has arrived in our front garden. The snowdrops have started to bloom. Unfortunately, they haven’t yet brought any crisp, sunny days with them, so my camera was sulking when I took the photo of them, refusing to believe that I didn’t want to use a flash! And, as I was balancing somewhat precariously to take the picture, it’s a little fuzzier than I’d like. However, you get the general gist. I’d not noticed them because I always look to the right when I leave the house, looking for where the snowdrops were last year. This year, though, there’s only one lonely looking little snowdrop sitting in last year’s patch, so I think something has been at the bulbs. So, I had a lovely surprise to see this healthy looking little patch around the left side of my house.

The other thing which made me happy yesterday was this glorious sunset.

This is the view from the front of our house, so we had a grandstand view of these beautiful sky colours from our living room window. Again, I don’t think my camera really did the sunset justice last night. It amazes me that such colours can be seen in the sky, and I sat gazing at it, enraptured, for some time before it occurred to me to rush outside with my camera.

Little bits of blue are just starting to appear through the clouds, so hopefully this afternoon will be a little brighter than we’ve grown accustomed to over the past couple of weeks. I find it very hard to get energised to do anything when the world outside looks so grey and gloomy. Bring on balmy spring days!

Another wintry walk!

We made the most of the sunny day and went down to the local lake again today. It was much harder to stay upright today, since lots of the snow on the pavements has now turned to ice. I felt exhausted by the time we got home just from the sheer effort of staying on my feet! I’ve got a couple more pictures to share with you before my fingers actually turn to icicles and snap right off!

These frost flowers were on one of my car windows.

The lake was still frozen solid, so the birds were all very glad of any food thrown to them. We chose to throw our bread to the smaller birds in the trees and bushes at the side of the lake, as I expect they don’t get so much attention. Plus, I’m hoping that my robin friend (the one in my header) will have found some of it!

If you want to do a full circuit of the lake, you have no option but to cross this footbridge. Now, it worries some people enough on fine days, given that there’s no handrail. So you can imagine that today, we crossed it very gingerly indeed! I love the shape of the bridge. So much more interesting than a straight bridge!

Completed projects, 2009

Taking a leaf out of Mandi‘s book from the beginning of 2009, I thought I’d like to share with you details of most of the projects I completed in 2009. I was busier than I thought I was!

Missing are a couple of presents waiting to be delivered to the recipients, and a couple of gifts which I forgot to photograph before wrapping – oops! I shall track down the people they now belong to and ask if I can photograph them. I find it makes a handy record for next Christmas, so I don’t double up on presents!

So here is my pictoral review of my crafting year;

brown and gold scarfCassia scarfshortbread roundsblanketpink hatCrochet squares 1Cheese sconesChocolate truffle cakeHeart sconespotholder heat paddishclothspotholdersChocolate truffle cake slice with raspberries

So, 42 (plus a few I’ve not posted pictures for yet -call it 50) projects completed in 2009. Can I beat this for 2010? There’s a challenge – an average of a project a week!

You will be hearing more about some of these projects through January as I do my run down of who had what for Christmas. I’ve missed being able to blog about what I’ve been up to, so you’ll be getting the brunt of the catch up next month, I’m afraid!

I’m sure I’ll say it tomorrow as well, but happy new year to all my readers, and may 2010 be happy, healthy and a nice balance of peaceful and exciting for you all!

F.A.O. Jo BmS!

I wanted you to get a proper idea of the sort of evening snack I was talking about in my last e-mail! The hot chocolate looked more impressive when GG gave it to me, but I greedily slurped most of the cream straight away. However, I think it still looks fine! xxx