My Journey

From mind to paper and back again.

Project life

Every time I have looked up ideas for scrapbooking recently Project Life comes up.  I have been looking for something to use to gather all the memories from Olivers first couple of years and display them but I haven’t got lots of time for crafting so I looked at the products in Hobby Craft.  Then I fell in love with the idea.

For those of you who haven’t seen, project life is a quick way to still make elegant scrapbook pages.  The page protectors are split into different sections of either 3″*4″ or 4″*6″ and each one will hold either a journal card, filler card or photo.  You can embellish if you want or not.  The cards look good as they come.

I bought the mini project kit for new baby (boy) and a pack of the page protectors to get me started and ordered some of Olivers baby photos off the free prints app I use.  I have decided to use them for a base of the scrapbook.  While I wait for those ones to arrive though, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer to get started so I did this one.   Not the best picture as it is late here but I wanted to show you how it turned out.

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I can’t wait to do some more!

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A day of fun

We have been busy today.  After a quick trip to the doctors we all bundled into the car and off we went to The Deep.  We have a free pass plus where we can visit as often as we like in the year since we went on my birthday so we decided to use it.  It only takes 40 or so minutes to Hull from our house so we were there by dinner.  I have to say, it was BUSY!  But then, its six weeks school holidays.  Having said that, we didn’t have to queue for very long and we were in within a few minutes.  Oliver loved the big fish, but wasn’t so sure at the smaller tanks.

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Oliver tried to catch the fishes! lol, after this bit we went under the glass tunnel and up in the bubble lift which seemed to go down very well.  (So did the little teddy from the gift shop).

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After The Deep we got in the car to drive home and decided on the way that we would go to Cleethorpes for the afternoon instead.  So Oliver got his first go on a fairground ride (or three) and we had a nice walk along the beech front before we had some tea in a promenade cafe.

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Oliver really enjoyed the different rides and then the chips at the beech but it wasn’t long before he looked like this:

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We all had a really good day and that was after a really good weekend where me and Oliver went to see my mum and step dad on Saturday and my dad and step mum on Sunday.  While we were there my older sister came to see us as well.  Here is a picture of Oliver with his cousins Bella and Riley Smile

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Oh and by the way, we’re full time cloth bums now! how cute is this?

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Cloth bum take one :)

There are lots of things I wanted to do when I fell pregnant, some I couldn’t and some I just didn’t.  Cloth nappies were one thing that I just didn’t do.  I know all the benefits, less nappy rash, kinder on the environment, saving up to £400 in 2 years etc etc… but disposables are easy.  So that’s the way we went. 

Recently though, I’ve seen lots of pictures of babies in ‘cloth bums’ and the patterns on them are gorgeous.  It renewed my want to try cloth nappies, so off I went, trawling the internet for information on the different nappy types to try and understand which one would best fit our lifestyle and routine.  In the end I opted to try some pocket nappies.  Then I had to try and work out all the different inserts.  I opted for bamboo as most people seemed to think this had the best absorbency and due to initial outlay I was only ordering three nappies to try at night.  I had to go with what would last Oliver 9-12 hours.  So the order went in on Saturday for 3 Little Bloom pocket nappies.  You can find them on Amazon.  At £5.70 each including 2 bamboo inserts they were some of the cheapest I had seen but I couldn’t find any bad reviews so I decided to give them a try.  I ordered a slightly cheaper package with only one bamboo insert per nappy.  They arrived yesterday.

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Then the questions started.  So many people wash nappies before use to increase absorbency.  So I went and got some natural soap flakes and was all ready for washing them but decided to ask in one of the mummy groups I am in.  One lady told me that at times she has used the nappy straight away and just expected to change it earlier but that she only uses Microfiber inserts at night.  I decided to use two bamboo inserts for the night and just go with it.  I went to Boots and got some flushable liners and also some bed saver mats and when Oliver was getting ready for bed we just went with the flow.

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Doesn’t he look sweet?  There is a bed mat underneath because I was panicking but we had no leaks what so ever and I was over the moon when I changed his bum this morning and the bamboo inserts had sucked all the moisture away from his bum with no sagging involved unlike after a night in a disposable.  So we have some more nappies on the way with 2 bamboo inserts each.  I’m hoping after a few nights we can start to convert to day time use as well Smile

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Sew, what have we been up to?

I wonder if you can guess before the end of the post Smile

First I hand dyed some fabric green, then I made a little bag out of some printed cotton fabric I had in.

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Then I printed out some pairs cards and a nursery rhyme.

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I also printed and laminated a small pattern.  Then cut it out and started to trace around it on the hand dyed fabric.

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Then I got started on stitching them up.

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And stuffing them.

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And then I made four more Smile out of hand dyed speckled green fabrics Smile

Have you guessed yet?

We’ve been making a nursery rhyme bag for five speckled frogs! Open-mouthed smile  If you would like to make your own, you can get the pattern from here.

The pattern has the chart and instructions to make your frogs, the chart and instructions to make your bag to hold them, the pair cards and the nursery rhyme to print off and laminate too.

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After spending 9 months on the inside

Oliver has now spent 9 months with us on the outside too!  That’s right, my gorgeous little boy is nine months old today!  Time has flown and he is getting bigger everyday and doing something new everyday too!  Soon mummy and daddy won’t be able to keep up! (Very soon).

From this:

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To this:

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I can’t believe where the past year and a half has gone!  Here are some other photo’s from our journey to today 🙂

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Do I look like my mummy or my daddy?

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Or do I just look like me?

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This is me at one month old

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And at two months old

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Here I am at three months old playing with my toes

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At four months old I started using my teether toys!

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I learned how to play peek-a-boo at five months old

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At six months old I picked my favourite teddies

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At seven months old I took a real liking to my food

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All that play time is tiring, at eight months old I started sleeping at night better.

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And here I am today, nine months old, playing on the swings in the park.  (I even got to go on the slide too but I wasn’t sure of that one).

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What a week

this week has been.  It started with a funeral followed by a friend losing her 7 month old baby.  Being back in work and Oliver being off didn’t help and on Friday I ended up at the doctors and she has put me on anti-depressants.  Hopefully this will help as the one that she put me on was also the tablet that my pain specialist recommended for pain relief in my back and leg. 

The tablets are making me very foggy first thing in the morning but surprisingly (and what I was worried about) I am waking up in the night to Oliver’s demands so that is good even if the morning brain fog isn’t.  It’s taking me over an hour to shake it at the moment but I have only just started to take the tablets so hopefully over the next few days it will become easier to function.

In the mean time I have done a little stitching on my current Heaven and Earth Designs project: SK Fragile which has no less than 45 different shades of pink in it.  I am enjoying seeing this one grow and am hoping to get it finished by the end of August which is when the reward programme finishes.  I already have CCK’s Dragonflies finished and have decided on which chart to request for finishing this one but if I do finish SK Fragile in time I have no idea which one to ask for in it’s place, it might be that I ask if I can combine the two for a bigger chart. (I have done a little more since these pictures were taken).

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Oliver has found the transition of me going back to work hard too, he has been up and down with his eating and sleeping and generally being a winey baby which is very unlike him.  We have had some success in the eating side of things though as he is willing to eat lumpy food and I have found a new bowl that I adore.  If you have read my posts in the past then you will know that I haven’t ever found one that suits us before and I ended up just using little picnic bowls that I got from Asda.  Not any more – Nuby have done it again and released a new addition to the weaning range and I love it!  The bowl comes with a completely sealable lid and it has a place to clip a spoon and fork (included) and a little flippy thing that keeps them covered and clean.

These bowls are brilliant!  They are currently on sale at £3.99 and come in a range of colours that are nice and bright ready for the summer Smile They are microwave and dishwasher safe and are the perfect size for a single portion (either a jar or home made) for Oliver and I am looking forwards to getting our next package and trying out the other new weaning products.  If you haven’t seen the new additions to the range I would highly recommend taking a look.

I have also been doing some bits of crafting recently – you might have seen the teddy I made from one of Oliver’s baby grows recently, I am also currently attempting a doggy too.  The teddy pattern is from Funky Friends Factory – it is free for signing up to the news letter and really easy to follow.  The doggy I have the pattern for and no instructions so it is proving a little more difficult but so far we have a head with stuffed ears, and a nose.  It will hopefully be done by the end of next week for me to share with you.

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I am hoping later this afternoon to make some salt dough hand prints with Oliver.  If I manage to do so I will get some pictures on in the week once they have been painted.

Have a good week everyone x

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Is the hardest part over?

I knew going back to work after having Oliver would be hard.  We all dread it don’t we? I never realised quite how hard that would be until it happened.  I haf never planned to go back full time but circumstances meant that I had no choice, so on Monday morning and every other morning this week I have set my alarm for 5.30 am and been at work for 7am. Yes I have a baby and I am generally up early but not that early. I am shattered! And I feel like someone stole my son for a few days and replaced him with the devil child. He wasn’t sleeping or eating during the day and then only sleeping a couple of hours at night so until Thursday we were at our wits end. That was when we decided to go out for some tea. The pub we went to served Oliver a proper baby meal (not many places do them as well as kids meals). He had a full portion and a nice big drink and by 7.30 after just a little bit of a fight he was asleep!
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We had tears from me, tears from him and it’s been stressful but we are now getting there. We are currently visiting family for the weekend and have had 2 good nights followed by days where he has eaten. Hopefully this will stick as next week I am working later shifts and am hoping that being there in the morning will help me get his routine back on track.

People have told me that the first week is the hardest, I hope so.

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We’re on the Move!!!!!!

We’re on the move and it’s hard work!  Oliver in the past couple of weeks he has going from rolling accidentally and looking surprised to doing it on demand when he wants to get to a toy, ornament or our dog Pepsi.  She is being terrorised.

Last night we had to put the cot mattress down because he tried to escape from the cot!  When we put it on the lower level and put him back in it, he seemed to think it had been turned into a play pen and spent until midnight playing instead of sleeping, not so good when my second day back at work required me to be up again at 5.30am.  What was worse was that he only slept until 4.30am!

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As you can see he didn’t stay in one place for very long and when he did finally fall asleep it wasn’t in the most comfortable place!  We moved him back into a comfier position and covered him over – it only lasted a few hours. 

This morning was horrific going to work, it was just my second day back and he cried as I left, it was much harder than yesterday when he was in bed, and what made it worse was that he was still crying when I called at lunch – I just wanted to come home and cuddle him better.  Now I am home and he’s still crying with a sore tummy and tiredness I feel sorry for Andrew, I know how hard it can be and have tried to comfort Oliver as much possible so Andrew has been able to have a bit of a break.  Tomorrow is pay day so we are going and getting some bits we need after work, so that will break the day up for us all a little.  Hopefully tomorrow will be easier.  Night everyone x

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Back to work

After 9 months and it was HARD. I admit I have been dreading this day since Oliver was born and as it got closer and closer, I got more and more worried and upset about leaving him, even though he is staying home with daddy and getting to spend time at Nana’s and Great Nanny’s.  I didn’t feel in the slightest ready when I was sorting my clothes and things out last night and this morning I felt like I was missing something as I walked out the door.

Oliver being in bed still (It was 6am) helped a little I suppose as I didn’t feel like I was leaving him behind (until I looked in the car seat while driving).  I cried when I got to work and then I cried when I spoke to my manager.  Then I spent the morning wondering if everything at home was okay.  I managed to hold off calling until my lunch break at 11.30am though.  By that time (I had been out of the house a while) I couldn’t wait.  I had to call and see how things were, and of course, they were fine.  Oliver had been chasing Pepsi and playing in his ball pit.  He was covered in rusk and dinner and daddy was complaining that they both needed a shower.

So, I went back to work and daddy took Oliver to his great Nanny’s house to play.  She got the paddling pool out with all his toys and by the time I got there at 3.30pm (one good thing about the early shift) he was fast asleep on her knee.  I got the biggest smiles when he woke up and lots of snuggles too.  Andrew said he had been good all day, no issues Sad smile I felt worse knowing that they can do it all without me in a way.

And work wasn’t too bad, I have a settling in period at least and it was nice to see adults again.  Although I know I am going to be changing teams again soon so there will be some upheaval but I will just have to take that on the chin and deal with it.  On the plus side Andrew has a test for an apprentice job next week and if it is something he does get I would be able to drop down to part time.  We won’t know for a while though if he will get it and the earliest will be August before he starts so I will have to stay full time for a while at least.

One thing I will say is I am SHATTERED! It’s just after 7pm and I am off to bed as I am back in work tomorrow at 7am, people tell me that the first day is the hardest, we will find out tomorrow x x night all x

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Summer Holidays

You may remember in my last post that I was trying to work out exactly what I needed to take with me for Oliver?  Well, we’ve been and come back now and I have some tips for other mummy’s who are going away for the first time.

We travelled at a nice time on the way out – 3.30pm leaving Manchester Airport with Jet2, the flight was 4 and a half hours long and Oliver slept through take off and landing which meant he had no nasty surprises with his ears.  (I took some of the Calpol sachets through in my hand luggage just in case).

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Packing was a nightmare for the hand luggage, yet when I got to Boots to collect the milk I had ordered I was told I could have actually ordered any of his medicines, food pouches and snacks for Oliver too – I would recommend doing this as the choice is very limited.  I ended up finding a very good tip that I want to pass on to you, when packing your nappies in the hand luggage put each one in its own nappy sack so that you don’t have to route through the bag, have some travel packs of wipes and take two in the hand luggage – they weigh less overall than a full pack and can be split up to fit in what ever gaps you have.  The toilet on the 737 that we flew on did have a fold down changing table but as you can imagine the space is very tight and trying to take a full changing bag in there would have been a nightmare but one nappy in its own sack and a small pack of wipes was fine.

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Getting off and ready at the other end was completely different, we were quickly through passport control and on our way to collect our buggy and baggage – the buggy came off first so I was able to put Oliver in it and go wait for the cases.  It was at that point we found out that my step-grandad had passed away while we were on the flight.  It was terrible news to get at the start of the holiday but we had to take heart in the fact he was no longer suffering.  Although it was in the back of my mind I was determined not to let it ruin Oliver’s first holiday.  We got on the coach and were at the hotel in less than 30 minutes.  The hotel was lovely, we had an apartment each and they were massive – we stayed in the Barcelo La Galea in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote.  My only qualm was that there were no lifts (it wasn’t possible in the layout) but even knowing that we had a baby under one year old we were initially put on the 3rd floor.  Not great with a baby and buggy, luckily we were able to swap with my mum who had been put on the second floor but were told there were no ground floor apartments available – we would have to check back in two days when the next flight had left.  I didn’t bother because we were only there for a week.

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The food was okay – it was a buffet for the all inclusive at breakfast, lunch and tea.  It was very continental but we were able to find something everyday (even if I did descend on the pastry every morning).  We had morning and evening meals in the indoor restaurant and the lunch time meals in the pool bar.  There was always something to get and Oliver had fun trying new things, including chips (bad mummy) and cucumbers Smile

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The all inclusive included ice cream and pour your own drinks which was great, there was no waiting around in queues for drinks or anything like that.  We weren’t at any point made to wait for food or drinks.  Of course, baby milk wasn’t included so we went and got a five litre bottle of drinking water and then found one of the local spars – the Nestle brand milk was 8 Euros whereas the Aptimil was 19… luckily Oliver has never had an issue with switching milk.  If I went with another baby I wouldn’t take any more than enough milk to get me through the first couple of days.  Nappies were a different matter at 7 Euros for a pack of 14 they are much cheaper at home.  However, wipes and clothes are all available so there really wasn’t any need for us to take as much as we did.

As well as shopping we went to the beach for Oliver’s first experience of sand and sea, the sand was a hit, the cold sea wasn’t. 

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We did a trip to Teguise market and my only two issues were there wasn’t enough time to get around it all and I didn’t have enough money to spend!

We also found a bar that was English, it was nice to go in at night for something to eat or a few drinks, they had a quiz every night (we won three of the five we entered) and a raffle, we all came away with tee-shirts and Oliver even got a beach ball, the staff were brilliant, really friendly and I would love to see them all again.

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The week passed far too quickly though and before we knew it we were repacking our cases and getting ready to check out.  I got some pureed meals for Oliver and cartons of milk for the plane.  We were stopped briefly at security but not made to taste anything the lady checked the hand luggage and said ‘for baby’ before sending us on our way.  Another good flight with Oliver sleeping through the majority of it and we were back in Manchester.  If you’re buying a carton of milk for the plane whilst away be aware that the six moths plus milk has cereal in it and is VERY thick.

All in all we loved our holidays.

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