Mornings

I like mornings more than I used to. Of course, it helps that I wake up to this view;

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Not the best photo as, again, it was taken on my phone. But sometimes even a poor photo is good if it brings back happy memories. This one will certainly do that in years to come. The memory of that pretty little face smiling over at me from her crib beside my bed is already so precious.

She’s so good in the morning. She wakes up smiling, and waits patiently for us to talk to her. Then she has a little play while I drink my first cup of tea. Only then do we get her up and start the changing and feeding. She’s such an easy baby. It’s so nice to have a little time to wake up in the morning rather than having to go from fast asleep to fully operational in half a minute!

Finding her feet

Well, her toes at any rate! Baby Sweetie has in the last couple of days decided that her feet are a couple of the best toys ever. Which is good this morning as she woke up more than an hour earlier than usual, and those built in toys have been keeping her very happy!

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Not the best quality photo as it was taken in the half light on my phone, but you get the general idea.

By the way, I absolutely love those pyjamas on her. She had them in newborn size, and the boys and I loved the outfit so much we went back and bought it in 3-6 months size. I must confess I’m very tempted to go and see if Sainsburys has any in size 9-12 months to lengthen the joy!

Contentment

Baby Sweetie sitting on my lap, two hours ago when I started writing this post. Things take longer nowadays with this little distraction around!

A year ago, if you had told me that I’d be sat here today with a beautiful four week old baby in my arms, I would have wanted to believe you but my levels of optimism were sadly lacking. A year ago it was just four weeks since we lost our baby and I was dreading my birthday the next day. You see, last year I had planned my birthday out months in advance. GG was taking the day off and we were going to do our first shopping for baby Trouble (Trouble was his bump name, meant in a tongue in cheek way as I went off chocolate early in that pregnancy and I said that any child that put me off chocolate must be troublesome, but I’ve felt guilty all year that he didn’t have a more loving name). We would have found out if he was a boy or a girl the week before my birthday and so would have been able to buy some boy or girl clothes and nursery equipment. Then we were going to go and have a nice lunch, celebrating my five and a half months pregnant appetite before going home and gazing at all the gorgeous baby things we’d bought.

It’s a tiring life being twenty nine days old and having a mummy, a daddy and two adoring big brothers to charm!

Obviously, my birthday didn’t go according to plan. I think I spent most of the day in tears, thinking about what might have been. So what a contrast with this year! Having a four week old baby has meant that I’ve made practically no plans; my Mum is making me an afternoon tea, but other than that it’ll be a quiet time. My day will revolve around Baby Sweetie, as have all of the last twenty nine days (and rightly so!). It’s the best birthday I can imagine. My husband and boys will be home, my baby will be right with me all the time so that I can gaze at her and tell her how beautiful she is and what a lucky Mama I am; who cares that it’s probably going to pour with rain all day!

Ceaseless motion!

I took this photo literally just now, wanting to demonstrate how much she has grown already. But I had to giggle when I saw the photo as the blurring shows just how active she is – I couldn’t catch her at a still moment to get a non-blurry photo! She’s still going now, as if she were training for a marathon! And despite the basket of nappy changing stuff in the foreground, I think I really like this picture because it seems to capture a bit of what she’s like as well as what she looks like. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, the red cow is called Clover and the elephant (a present from a knitting friend of mine) is called Rainbow. They often watch over her whilst she has her nappy changed!

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.

A real live shop!

This morning, I took some of mine and Ellie’s Jelliebean Yarns to Big Knitters yarn shop on Wellfield Road in Cardiff! It was very exciting! Anna, who runs the shop, had already made a space in the shelving for our yarns, and let me put it out myself! (I know that made me sound like a five year old, but I was THAT excited!)

Anyway, I took some photos (of course!) so that I could show you how beautiful our yarns look in the shop setting!

This is the shop that we are stocked in (oooh, even typing that makes me squeal inside with excitement!), right on the corner of a lovely, busy shopping street in Cardiff. Doesn’t it look lovely?!

There’s our yarn, on the middle shelf below King Becky’s yarn. It’s a great position in the shop, right opposite the door as you enter and next to the checkout. Don’t all the colours look beautiful together!

I’ll be going back in next week after my next dyeing session. I’m glad Anna’s so friendly and understanding about my need to go and say ‘hello’ to them now and again! Now, hopefully, the yarn shop’s customers will love them enough to buy them!

Exciting new venture (again!)

It’s not long since I told you about my Etsy shop selling jewelry, www.jennieworldcrafts.com. 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 www.jelliebeanyarns.etsy.com. 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!

Easy crier

I cry so easily. I blame the kids. Before I had them I was as hard as anyone else, but now I’m a soft, tearful mess at the slightest provocation! And usually, happy events will set me off more easily than sad ones (I’m a freak!). So, Chilean miners being reunited with their families – me crying. The Scottish performers looking so happy during the handover ceremony at the Commonwealth Games – me weeping. A happy outcome in a film – that’s right, more tears. Uplifting music – I’m gone. I can’t even talk sometimes!

We used to laugh at my mother in law when, on watching some young sportsperson doing well on the TV she would say “Imagine how happy his mother is!” rather than commenting on the actual person’s performance. Now I find myself doing that as often as not, imagining how it must feel to be a family member of almost anyone featured on the television. So I don’t laugh any more!

I’m glad that I’m empathetic (yea, I said EMpathetic, thankyouverymuch!). Empathy is a good thing, and I think goes hand in hand with tolerance and understanding, which are all virtues I prize. However, I do so wish that I could find the ‘off switch’ for my tear ducts, and keep the glistening eyes for genuine times of great emotion!