Handmade Mummy returns

I know I’ve been absent without leave for quite a while now so I should probably start with an update on the world of Handmade Mummy. I now have two children! When the little man was about eight months old we discovered that we were expecting another little person. It turns out that it a girl, born in July at a whopping 4.68kg (10lb 5oz to those who work in old measurements) and so we now have a little miss too. Thankfully she is a pretty chilled and very smily baby so the transition hasn’t been too painful so far.

You may remember that we were due to move as well, that happened and we now live in Wellington, New Zealand. It took quite a while to feel settled here but we’ve got there slowly and I am happy to have found an awesome group of fellow crafters to share my passions with.

In the world of crafting I have been busy with the crochet hooks as ever, making hats mainly. Hubby and I have a big project on the go at the moment but more about that later.

I decided I wanted to share the crafty journeys I have been on again so decided to resurrect this blog as a means to do this. As always I will share the projects I have been working on, my insights into life as a mummy and general musings on life.

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An exciting month ahead

The blog might be a little quiet for the next month as my little family is heading off on an exciting adventure. The Hubby and I are taking the little one back to the UK to meet the family he has not yet seen. It is going to be a marathon getting there (two flights and a journey time of over 24 hours) but I keep reminding myself that there will be lots of pairs of hands ready to have a cuddle when we get to the other end so it won’t be so bad. We are away for a month in total, spending half the time with Hubby’s family and half the time with mine. It is going to be awesome for everyone, great for us to catch up with people we haven’t seen for a long time (it’s six years since we last went back) and great for the little man to get to know his extended family.

So please excuse my quietness, I promise it is all in a good cause and I will be back as soon as the jet lag has gone on our return!

Ode to my sewing machine

I love my sewing machine. It is a calming influence on my life and delivers hours of relaxation. Through it I can fully unleash my need to create in a purposeful and useful way. Skirts, trousers, bibs and toys have all been born with its help providing clothing for my family and fun for my little man. I don’t say I’m particularly good at using it and there is still so much I have to learn about it (I only discovered yesterday for example I can type a whole word into it, press the peddle and “Bob’s your uncle”, you have a perfectly embroidered word!) but that’s part of the fun, discovering all the secrets it has hiding away and then finding new and exciting ways to use them.

As I have said before there is something so incredibly satisfying about making something yourself. I will admit to feeling a little smug when someone asks me where a skirt I made is from and they give me an impressed look when I tell them I made it. I don’t think it is hard to make things yourself it’s just that it is so cheap not too and people, rightly or wrongly, feel they don’t have the time so they don’t bother. I love the fact that the things I make are one of a kind, no one else can have one like it as I only made one. It’s great to see some fabric I like and with the help of my machine turn it into something I can wear or use.

The fabric from my last post is already a skirt (although frustratingly without its lace trim thanks to a measuring error at the shop) and hopefully will soon be a pair of trousers too. A pile of fabric scraps became a cuddly toy yesterday and I know my machine and I have many more sewing adventures to come. So yes, my sewing machine really is the bee’s knees, hence I dedicate this blog post to it!

The truth about babies…what I’ve learnt so far!

I thought I would share some of the things I have learnt in my first six months (almost) of mummyhood. In no particular order…

1. Your baby will always fall asleep on a walk just before you get home/back to the car, just in time for you to have to wake them moving them into their car seat/bed.

2. Just when you think you have a schedule happening your baby will change things up just to keep you on your toes.

3. Your baby will always wait until your other half has gone to work before doing the biggest, smelliest poo possible (Monday mornings are a particularly popular time for him/her to do this)

4. Whenever you think it is safe to get a hot drink/some food your baby will prove you wrong.

5. Just when you think your baby can not scream any more they will find their second wind.

6. Your baby will save his/her cutest smile for the time he/she knows you are most annoyed/frustrated with them (I’m sure this is a built in survival mechanism!)

7. Your baby will behave impeccably around other people, making you out to be exaggerating everything you say about them. The second those people have left your baby will revert to normal behaviour.

8. Your baby will save their loudest burp/fart for when you are in company (but it’s ok to laugh at baby burps and farts!).

9. You will try all those things you were told not to do, anything to get some sleep (a cuddle or a snuggle can solve many things)

10. Despite and because of all these things it is an amazing first six months (even if it is at times difficult to see this)

Please let me know any pearls of wisdom you might have learnt about mummyhood (or daddyhood) as it is always good to get warning about what might be ahead!

A new venture

Being on maternity leave is great and I love spending time with my little man(providing he’s not screaming his head of for no fathomable reason!) but there are times when I wish I could contribute again. With this in mind I made the decision this week to start trying to sell some of my crochet baby hats and set myself up a Felt shop.

It is exciting to have my hand made hats up for sale but at the same time a little daunting. A lot of people sell crochet baby hats so trying to make mine stand out is hard work. I like to think that I am making lovely items but obviously the only way to know that other people think the same is when they buy something. Pricing the items is tricky too. If they are too expensive people won’t buy them but if they are too cheap you are devaluing the labour that goes into producing a handmade item. Felt is a New Zealand based craft website though so I keep my fingers crossed that the people selling there will recognise this and already have made the decision that handmade is worth something.

I put my first hat up on Wednesday and two more have followed. Since then I have checked numerous times to see how many times they’ve been looked at with fingers crossed that one might have sold! So far all three are still on offer and another (rather kooky) one is being made. Fingers crossed they do get noticed though as I am rather proud of them.

Nanny and Granddad

When I was little I was very close to my Dad’s Mum and Dad, they were known as Nanny and Granfy. I’m not really sure where the name Granfy came from but that was what grandfathers were called as far as I was concerned. Hubby’s grandparents were Nana and Granddad and Grandma and Pop’s (Pop’s apparently deciding on his name to slightly annoy his wife who went with the more conservative option!). As soon as we found out we were expecting the little one the obvious question had to be asked of both sets of parents, what did they want to be known as.

It was funny to think of these people who we had only ever known as Mum and Dad now had to decide on what their grandparental identity would be. It got me thinking about all the quirky names that grandparents are known by, those funny little family words that make those grandparents even more special to their grandchildren. It’s almost like a special little club with a secret password that only those in the know use. I guess I kind of expected that my Dad would choose Granfy after all that’s what grandfathers are called, aren’t they?! He didn’t though. My Mum and Dad went for Nanny and Granddad and Hubby’s went for Grandma and Granddad.

The really exciting bit for us is Nanny and Granddad arrive in New Zealand on Thursday for a three week visit. The little one is going to get lots of cuddles and to be honest Mummy is hoping for a few too!

A Passion for Snail Mail

I’ve always loved sending and receiving letters, when I was younger I had ten pen pals in order to feed this habit! There is something so lovely about discovering a hand written letter from a friend or relative tucked in between the bills and junk mail. As an adult life often gets in the way of this simple pleasure and I have tended to resort to email or … *shudder* … Facebook. These obviously serve a purpose and definitely allow me to stay in touch but they remove that personal touch, that hidden message of someone setting time aside to concentrate on you and nothing else. Personally I think more thought goes into a letter than into an email, an email is too easy.

Since the little one arrived I have rediscovered the pleasure of writing letters (although I’ll admit that I tend to write them on the computer as I can do it one handed whilst feeding as well!). A letter is another way to hold a conversation with someone when I am stuck in the house, it helps me to feel connected to people who are far away (when I would really love them to be close by). It is easy to feel isolated with a newborn and that is compounded for me by living on the other side of the planet to my family and a lot of friends.

Family and friends have had letters fired off to them with tales of the boy and thank yous for the many gifts we have received. We have also received more parcels and letters than we have for many years, and although I know the parcels will stop, I look forward to the postie cycling past and the excitement and anticipation of what we might find in the mail box each day. I might not have ten pen pals any more but I am certainly getting more exciting mail than I have for a long time and with my re-found love of writing letters fingers crossed it will continue.

A new nationality

Today was a big day, a day when Hubby and I became citizens of a new country.

We’ve lived in New Zealand for six and a half years now having originally only come for a years adventure. In that time I have trained as a teacher and we have started our own little family. It only seemed right that we make our lives here somehow more official. In order to make our citizenship official we had to attend a ceremony and affirm our commitment to the country so today we made the journey across to the next town to do this *. We had hoped to do this before the little one arrived but had to wait for a ceremony to be organised so he beat us to becoming a citizen by five and a half weeks. It is good to know that we all have the same nationality now though, now we just have to work out which passport we should use next time we travel back to the UK.

* This was a major effort as Hubby had just finished a night shift and getting anywhere to a schedule with the little one is quite a challenge.

Today is the day…

…the day we go in to hospital to be induced and hopefully meet our little one. It is obviously very exciting but I will freely admit that it is more than a little scary as well. Being the wife of a doctor I am pretty clued up on what is about to happen to me. In some ways that is a good thing as knowledge can help you prepare for what is to come; knowledge however can be frightening for the same reason, I know what is going to happen to me! I am very lucky as I have an awesome Hubby who I have no doubt will be my rock throughout the whole process.

baby-23991_640I know that it will all be worth it and at the end of the process I will be able to hold my little one and I am sure I will forget about the struggles I have been through to meet him. We both can’t wait to meet him and give him a first proper cwtch (Welsh for cuddle). We are also prepared for the sheer exhaustion that having a newborn will bring, the endless feeding and nappy changing, the sleepless nights, the crying for no reason we can figure out. It’s going to be fun!

With all this in mind it is likely that this will be my last post for a little while as life is going to become all sorts of crazy! Wish us luck as we start out on this adventure!

Reality bites!

Everything got a little bit more real today!

Tiny feet ahead!

Tiny feet ahead!

I developed gestational diabetes just before Christmas and because of this the doctors want the little one to make a slightly early appearance. We’ve known this since the New Year but being given the date for induction today was a serious reality check. Obviously we are both very excited but the nerves have really kicked in! My mind has started racing with things that still need to be done, things that need to be bought, rest that needs to be taken. Hubby is being amazing, valiantly trying to keep me calm! I have no doubt that his mind is racing too.

So there are just a couple of weeks of life as we know it left…I’m already thinking a nice meal out the night before going into hospital is in order, it could be our last meal out as just two for quite some time!