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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Where do ideas come from?

I got asked the other day where my ideas come from and I must admit I found it quite a hard question to answer. I often think I have quite an over active imagination and ideas just tend to pop into my brain. I guess I might see something I like and it’s like a little seed that slowly grows. I’m a fan of the quirky so most of my ideas will fall into this category, remember the octopus hat? I’m also a fan of colour and as I ink most children are too I tend to get to indulge this passion. Inspiration can come from many sources, the TV, things I see in shops, a picture, the list could go on. When an idea comes to me I have to do one of two things, make it or jot it down so I have a little note book in which I doodle down my ideas for safe keeping. (If I go down the making road I always take a picture of the finished product to make sure I have a record of it for later).

I like to think of my crochet as my main creative outlet (at least until the boy is old enough to get stuck into some serious crafting with me – I can’t wait for that day!) and as such I let my imagination run wild. I am a teacher by trade and so am not afraid of a challenge, I have taught 32 nine and ten year olds how to make sock creatures before now (a note for any teachers out there, sewing with 32 children, two thirds of which can’t thread a needle, is really hard work but extraordinarily rewarding!). I miss that creative outlet as you are allowed to be quirky when it comes to children, I guess therefore that it was only natural that I would need to find another. I’m just thankful that there seems to be at least a few people who like my ideas so I hope they keep whizzing my way!

Life just got a whole lot more interesting

We’re back from our travels (actually been back a couple of weeks but has taken a while to get back into the swing of things!) and life has got interesting. We had a lovely time away with family, the little one getting thoroughly spoilt. The really fun and interesting bit though is that the little one became mobile whilst we were away! It was great that the grandparents got to share this moment and it was a lot of fun to watch, it has however made getting home rather more fun.

Obviously we left with a pretty much stationary baby who could roll but basically stayed where you put him. We came back with a baby who refuses to stay in one spot for more than about five seconds! All of a sudden something as simple as going to the toilet is filled with dilemma!

We took the decision not to massively change things in the house and hope that he learns ‘no’ nice and quick, so far it has worked. We are due to move house in two months so if we need to we can set the new house up better for a small mobile monster!

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!

Battles won and lost

I feel like I am fighting a battle most days, battles about feeding, battles about sleeping, battles with washing, battles to get things done…you get the picture.

At the weekend I surrendered to one battle, after eleven weeks of stress and discomfort I decided that my breast feeding journey needed to end, my sanity couldn’t take it any more. I have been a much happier bunny since making the decision and am proud of myself for making it this far. Yes it is preferential to continue to breastfeed but it is also preferential to have a mummy who is not an emotional wreck.

The next battle to conquer is to do with sleep. The little one is actually not to bad at sleeping at night thankfully, we normally have him asleep by 8-8:30 and he will normally go for about five or six hours from that point. After that it is three or four hour blocks until about 6 or 7. It is the daytime sleeping that is the battle, the boy does not seem to like napping. I watch for the tired signals, pop him down and within 20-30 mins he is awake and screaming. He is clean, fed and happy when he goes down so I am at a loss as to what the problem is. I am beginning to tear my hair out as it obviously makes it very difficult for me to rest or to get anything done. It sometimes seems that the only time he will sleep in the day is when he is in the car or in the buggy (again not very helpful for me to rest).

Can any of you lovely experienced mummy’s offer me any advice, suggestions before I go crazy?!

A sad day

My Mum and Dad have left for home today so we are all feeling a little glum. It has been so wonderful having them here to stay and help and I know the little one has enjoyed the extra cuddles he has been getting.

Generally it is not too bad being so far from home, I guess we just kind of get used to life on our own. The world is much smaller now with things like Skype to keep in touch and actually see each other. Now Mum and Dad have been here though suddenly I feel so far from home and hate the fact that I have made my son live so far from his wonderful grandparents. I know in reality he will know no difference and will have a special relationship with them regardless, it will just be a different kind of relationship to that which I had with my grandparents.

I also know that in a week or so we will all be back in to the swing of our normal life. We will get used to having only the two of us to get things done, to grabbing our opportunities to do things while the little one sleeps rather than having others to occupy him. It’s not going to be easy readjusting but we will. For now though I will concentrate on trying not to feel too glum, to having fun with the little one and getting the things I need to done.

Definition of Grandparents: Amazing

My Mum and Dad are staying with us, they have travelled all the way from the UK to New Zealand to meet their one and only grandchild. They are loving all the cuddles they are getting (as is the little one who seems particularly fond of snoozing on Nanny!).

Having my own child has made me appreciate even more the awesome job my own parents did in raising me and I see them in a whole new light as they calmly and confidently help to soothe my little man. I always thought my own grandparents were the bees knees and loved spending time with them (especially helping with the baking and the all important job of licking the bowl!) and I can now see how awesome my own parents will be as Grandparents. I feel slightly guilty in having their grandson on the other side of the planet knowing that they and the little one will miss out on those fun weekend visits but I know the visits we do have will be ever so special.

For now I am loving the extra pairs of hands, the extra sleep that is allowing me and the happy looks on their faces every time the little one gives them a big toothless grin.

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.

Finally some crafting time

Since the little one has started on supplemental feeds he has been sleeping which means I now have some time to do stuff. Annoyingly some of this stuff has to be things like trying to keep on top of the ever growing washing mountain but it has also included some crafting time over the last couple of days.

The newsboy hat

The newsboy hat

I decided another hat was in order as generally they are quick, relatively easy and you can never have too many hats…even at 3 weeks old! A few moments on Etsy and a little newsboy hat pattern had been purchased. A quick check of the wool stash revealed a rather lovely blue ball that looked perfect for the job. I was rather excited!

The next time the little one was asleep i jumped into action and spent a very happy hour crocheting away. It was so nice to do something I wanted to do rather than something I had to do. It is still a work in progress but that doesn’t matter, what matters is life feeling a little more normal and not being simply about feeding, cleaning and sleeping.

I will post again when I get it finished!