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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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!

Bring on the apple

We made the decision to try the little one on some food. He’s been watching us eat for a couple of weeks now and makes the occasional grab for my cup of tea and then on Sunday he managed to get a piece of apple peel and was in seventh heaven licking it (to the point that he got very distressed when it broke!) With this in mind I stewed up some apple ready for our first attempt as he seemed to already like the taste.

Deciding whether it was time has been tricky with so much advise around about when is the right time. Lots of Mummies I know have already started their little ones on food at around the four month mark, other people say wait until six months. Our little one has never been a very consistent eater as well, some days he will take almost a litre of milk in a day and other days we are lucky to get him to have more than 700ml. I had been advised to wait until he was more consistent but to be honest I don’t think he ever will be so we decided to try and figured if he wasn’t interested he wouldn’t take it. In other words nothing tried, nothing gained. All this advice is enough to make someone want to tear their hair out!

I guess that’s the problem with babies, there is so much “advice” out there that you can end up feeling very over whelmed. As a first time Mum I want someone to tell me what to do, after all I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, but there is no one answer and there never will be. It’s taken time but I realise that what works for my little one doesn’t work for another. Some of the babies I know sleep and eat like champions, some lie quietly taking the world in, some are big, some are small. My little boy is a power napping, constantly wiggling,fussy eating little monkey! Together Hubby and I are slowly working out what works and also figuring out that what works one day might not work the next, it’s all good as we are learning together.

He didn’t look too impressed with the new experience of apple and pulled some wonderful faces. Fingers crossed he will slowly grow to like the experience of eating and we will have fun giving him the chance to try new flavours.

Finally some crafting

New funky bibs.

New funky bibs.

So after weeks of struggling to find time to make anything I have been on a bit of a roll the last few days. I managed to make some more bibs (we seem to use them so quickly I’m struggling to keep up with washing them!) and I made some bandana style ones too for when the teething dribbling starts. I’m pleased with how they turned out and love the way they let me use up odds and ends from my fabric stash, suddenly I feel justified in having all that fabric!

Then yesterday I was set the challenge of making another hat for the boy, an Asterix style hat. Hubby has a Viking helmet (complete with horns, although actually the Vikings didn’t have horns on their helmets but we won’t go into that here!) and his sister thought it would be cool for the boy to have a winged version just like Asterix. A quick hunt on the internet and a wings pattern was located off Ravelry and I already had the Viking helmet pattern which I knew would work too.

The wings pattern was pretty easy to follow although somehow I ended up down the wrong end at one point so had to finish off and start again! The wings are built in two pieces, one slightly smaller than the other and then sewn together.

The crazy new hat.

The crazy new hat.

I made them a little smaller than in the pattern as I thought they would be far too big otherwise. The Viking helmet pattern is nice and easy to follow and includes a really cool stitch called the popcorn stitch which basically makes a little bump of wool (it looks like rivets on the helmet). With the two pieces made all that remained was to sew the wings onto the helmet and “Bob’s your uncle” it was done! Saying that I might try and line it later to make it really nice and snuggly to wear.

I love to be challenged to create things like this and hats are among my favourite things to crochet. I can’t wait to try it on him and show it off on our next cold day outing. He’s grown out of his aviator hat already so it’s good to know he has a new slightly crazy hat to wear instead!

It’s so nice to have finally made something again as some of the things I want to get done (like the toy box) are difficult to find time for which I find frustrating. It is great to have a bit of me time as well after the little one has gone to bed, it helps to keep me sane. I already know what I’m going to make next as well, I feel like I’m on a roll!

The baby pincushion

There were tears!

There were tears!

Our poor little boy was used as a pin cushion yesterday, it was time for his six week jabs. Mummy showed him how to be brave first by having her flu jab and then it was the boys turn. Daddy held him while the nurse got on with what she had to do. There was screams but thankfully they disappeared quickly with a good cuddle and all was soon forgotten. As the son of a doctor there was never any question of him not getting the jabs, obviously Daddy has great faith in them (and so does Mummy). Thankfully the others at our antenatal class were in favour of them too and so we managed to avoid what could have been an awkward argument and the loss of some new friends.

Vaccinations are obviously a rather controversial topic between new parents with the debate over whether they are safe or not continuing to rage across the Internet. In fact the Internet has a lot to answer for, it makes information (both fact and fiction) too readily available to people who may or may not fully understand it. The main culprit here is a piece of research done several years ago by a British doctor that supposedly showed that vaccinations (specifically the MMR vaccine) could cause autism. This research was shown to be bad and the findings were discredited. However once something is on the Internet it is there to stay and so this information is still there and still causing people to not vaccinate their children (I do recognise that this is just one reason people choose but it is generally the most prominent).

As with any medicine I recognise that there is a chance of side effects and even a chance that it won’t work and my little one will still get what he has been vaccinated against but that chance is small. The illnesses that he is being vaccinated against are potentially much worse. Something like one in ten people who get measles for example will suffer a side effect which can range from deafness through to death. Those are odds that I wouldn’t want to gamble with (and it’s highly contagious with over 750 people being affected by an outbreak in South Wales at the moment).

A quick cuddle and a plaster and all was forgotten!

A quick cuddle and a plaster and all was forgotten!

I was heartened to see some parents in Auckland advocate for people to vaccinate their children after their son caught tetanus. They had no idea how serious the illness could be and have now vaccinated all their children, hopefully their plea will help prevent other children having to suffer because they didn’t have the “evil” injections. I was also heartened to read that in general New Zealand parents are good at getting their children vaccinated (all be it a bit slowly), as a teacher I am always aware of those children in my class who aren’t protected (even more so last year when I was pregnant).

Now I don’t mean this post as a preach at people, it is simply a way for me to express my views. I know there are people out there who strongly disagree with that view and they are entitled to feel that way. However I urge people to research carefully when making this decision, check where the information you are reading comes from, make sure it is current and credible, after all it is your child’s life you are gambling with.

I found this rather well written opinion piece in the New Zealand Herald, the facts and figures make for compelling reading and the author is right, there really is nothing more persuasive than seeing someone who has suffered the effects of the illness that could have been so easily prevented.

Night shifts

We’ve managed a day home alone but tonight we are entering the realm of the night shift. Hubby works in the ICU department of the local hospital and does shift work. He has successfully got away without having a night for quite some time but we can avoid it no longer. So far we are going ok (30 minutes in!) as the boy is asleep and obviously I am getting to write this.

Fingers crossed for lots of this.

Fingers crossed for lots of this.

I shouldn’t be daunted really as I normally deal with the night feeds and nappy changes by myself to let Hubby sleep for work but somehow it feels a little different knowing that I have no support should things go wrong. I guess there is no reason to believe that things will be any different tonight to how they are most nights and I’m sure a positive attitude will go a long way after all the little one is well behaved at night more often than he isn’t.

I know it is hard on Hubby as well, he desperately wants to be at home with the boy too, he doesn’t want to miss out on a thing. I’m sure he will be rushing home from his shift to grab some cuddles and maybe a smile before he has to head to bed for a daytime sleep. I’m sure that the little one will be totally unaware for the most part that Daddy isn’t here either and as long as I stay calm then we’ll be sweet.

I’ll report again from the other side…wish us luck!

Time flies

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Everyone always tells you that time flies by when you have a little one and you know it will be true but it is still surprising how quickly time does pass. It’s not as though we have done much to make time pass; each day is generally made up of cuddling, feeding, changing nappies, napping and maybe a tiny amount of housework or crafting; yet time is whiz zing past at an amazing rate.

The little one is four weeks old today, almost a whole month of life with our tiny man. It’s not always been easy, there are days when we can’t work out for the life of us what is wrong with him and there have been nights of very little sleep. It can be incredibly frustrating at times, especially when you think he’s hungry but it turns out he’s not after a struggle to get him latched (you’d think that struggle was a clue but not the case as sometimes after a struggle he’ll feed for ages!). We have made it through the days that Daddy has gone back to work and we are getting things done (even if it is just little things at the moment). It is fun watching the lights slowly come on though and I think we are becoming more confident parents.

He makes up for all the crying with his lovely snuggles (Daddy particularly likes these) and we are starting to see the start of a smile developing (and boy is it going to be a winning smile!). Today he appeared to be reaching out for a toy on his play mat, something he hasn’t done before. I know this time is precious so I make a conscience effort not to wish it away (although I do wish he would stop crying some days and count the hours until Daddy is home to help), these milestones will soon be coming thick and fast.