Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Are You an Art Tart?

To celebrate the launch of the new Art Tart website, I'm very honoured to have been given a unique discount code giving all of my readers, friends and family a whopping 10% discount, (Code BB03).

This site is usually for members only but I have a sneaky little guest login that everyone can use:  NUMB22.

The site is a custom design gallery for both artists and art-lovers alike.  I spent most of last night browsing the hundreds of images and awesome artwork until my shopping cart was overflowing!  The thing is, these images, (starting at a mere £4.99), make the perfect pressies and there's a bit of something for everyone.

You can also make custom prints using your own images.  I wonder what my partner will think if he comes home to find a massive multi-panelled print of our gorgeous bubba adorning the living room wall!  It would look amazing though!
For those of you out there who are a dab hand at producing your own images then get in touch through their website, you could be selling your own work and earning a nice little commission too :)

Go on, have a nosey round the site and don't forget to claim 10% off your orders using code BB03 at the checkout.

I'll leave a link on my blog so that you, your friends and all the lovely bloggers in blogland can benefit.

Sun is shining and the zoo is calling!  Happy shopping xxx

Monday, April 18, 2011

Baby Walker, Dresses and a Massive Ruddy Coldsore!

That about sums up my weekend.
Firstly, my partner was mooching around in the garage and happened upon the baby walker my sister gave me yonks ago.  I had totally forgotten it was there!
Here is the wee man having his first ever taste of independent mobility:

He's made me a little sad this morning due to excessive face scratching again....drawn blood on his nose and it's horrid.  He practically lives in mittens or those baby grows with the attached flappy thing but he must have sneaked out a thumb or something.  I hope he grows out of this soon.

I've managed to fit in a bit of sewing and completed 2 dresses so far for the Dress A Girl Around the World campaign.  It's just a bugger finding the time, or when I do have the time I can't do anything noisy without waking up Bubba.

And finally, I have a big, fat, stinking cold sore.  Not even on my lip but between my lip and nose.  I don't know where it appeared from but I shall mostly be hiding my distorted mutant face from the world today!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Contents of My Fridge!

I was tagged a couple of days ago over at the fabulous QWERTY Mum blog to post a photo of my fridge.  The inside that is, the outside would just be boring!
So, here it is in all it's unhealthy and untidy glory.  We only have a wee fridge built in to our kitchen units but it still holds a lot of cider....see Exhibit A:

Thankfully the cider is tucked away behind the cheese so not that easy to spot.  There's a distinct lack of greens in there as the lizards eat it all!  Just count yourselves lucky that it's not snake feeding day so no dead mice!!  I'm serious.
Off to rethink my unhealthy lifestyle!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Can I Ever Leave Him?

A strange panic has been stalking me for weeks...lurking in the back of my mind ready to lunge at me when I least expect it. 
I only have a couple of months maternity leave left....
It's not a case of being ready to go back to work or not...I simply don't know if I could go for even an hour without my baby. The more I contemplate it the worse I feel.
I absolutely adore the wee man, he is my bestest friend in the whole world and we're a team.  I can't spend every minute of every day with him and then just abandon him with strangers.  What if I missed his first words?  What if he missed me?
It's going to be a tough transition and one that I'm not looking forward to but I have to put it out of my mind or I'll waste away my days with worrying.

Do you regret going back / not going back to work?  What would you have done differently?

Monday, April 11, 2011

I Made a Dress!

Having endured a day of interruptions and limited working space, I finally managed to make a dress.  Two in fact but I have no finished photos of the second so I'll leave that out for now....batteries died in the camera!

I am not good at sewing.  Fact.  Anyone who prides themselves in perfection please look away now.....I hate patterns, (never understand them), can't be bothered to pre-wash fabric or iron as I go, (although ironing always gives a better finish).  I want my dress and I want it now!!

So, to start with I took a dress I'd made previously and sort of cut around it in a very makeshift and haphazard manner:

I then had two pieces cut for the skirt:

I did this for all the pieces I'd need to recreate the same dress, (my second dress is a modification of this as there are at least 3 of these pieces that seem a waste of time to me)!! :

As you can see I lined the breast bits to stop them being see-through and add a bit more structure.  Finally, I sewed them all together in the quickest way possible!!  It has a zip at the back which I just did with the normal sewing foot as I have no zipper foot here at the moment.  Hey presto, we have a dress!! :

This fabric was £1 per meter!  Very cheap dress and I know it fits me so happy days.  Going to make 5 or 6 in total to see me through the summer.

Bubba is very naggy today so no time to post anything else!  Hope you're all well xxx

Edit : Here is a photo of the second dress I made.  Not the most beautiful in the world but looks nice on!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

And The Winners Are:

Well, everyone that entered! 

- Caroline
- Becci
- Sian
- Inside the Wendy House

If you could e-mail me your postal addresses and your free pouches of Ella's Kitchen will be making their way to you this week :)  Hope your bubbas enjoy them as much as mine does! 
Email me at :
Thanks for entering guys!

Well, it doesn't feel at all like the weekend here as my partner is working overtime so neither of us gets a day off!  Still, I can't complain as the weather is fabulous and I have an awesome wee man to keep me company!
After my fabric shopping trip, (where I bought these lovely fabrics):

I decided that I couldn't live without my sewing machine any longer and brought it back out of storage.  I plan to make myself a dress out of each fabric as the ones I've made previously no longer fit....this one was my favourite:

I really like halterneck dresses so I think I'll do at least one of idea where any of my patterns are so will just have a rough guess at it using this dress as a guide. 
Note to self - full length leggings are not flattering...three quarter length every time please!!

Bubba had an all-out screaming session yesterday...the ones where you're scrabbling to get their clothes off and check every inch of them for injuries or any sign of what could be causing such distress.  A good burp, bit of sick and a few more tears later and he's absolutely fine....Jumperooing his heart out!  It's so stressful though and I was home alone which seemed to make everything worse. 

Off for a look at the car boot sale today...this could be dangerous!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mothership Here We Come!!

I'm off to The Mothership today, (aka Abakhan - a large fabric shop).  Do I need fabric? No, but if I need an excuse I shall have one thought up before I get to the shop!  I have piles of pretty fabric but need some new stuff.....just to look at though as my sewing machine is in storage for now.  I'm also going to look out for funky t-shirt material so I can make Bubba little joggers with matching mittens.  I've given up trying to find trousers in the shops that a) acually fit and b) are not boring old blue.
They have a whole section for wool too and it would be really silly not to buy any of that too whilst  it's right there!  Crochet crochet crochet!
Bubba woke up once at 2.40am this morning for a feed but then slept until 7am.  Not bad considering he went to sleep at 8pm last night.  I love going in to see him each morning as he never fails to produce massive beaming smiles that fill my heart right up with mushy nice stuff!  It's this that gets me through any screaming episodes throughout the day!

It's going to be a glorious day today, the sun is already shining.  The flowers are all blooming in the garden and it's getting me excited for summer.  Just have to get the campervan back on the road and we can take Bubba on his first tour of the Welsh coast.  It's beautiful.

It's Friday everyone! 

What are your plans for the weekend? xx

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bubba has his own Tree!

The Welsh Assembly Government run a scheme called Plant! which I'd never even heard of until Bubba was born.  An information pack arrived one day letting me know that a tree has been planted in honour of my new baby and even included a grid reference for the exact location of it!  What a splendid idea :)

I'm actually rather relaxed today.  Bubba slept from 8pm until 6am without waking so I too got a decent amount of unbroken sleep. I've got lots done already this morning including a load of washing, washing up, hoovered and even watched something I Sky+ed.

Off to sit in the garden while we have a few rays of sunshine xx

Day -7
Total miles - 4.2
Total calories - 520
Weight - 73kg

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Maybe I'm not so pathetic after all!

It's a long-shot, I know!
Ok, so I'm sat last night watching the last episode of One Born Every Minute, a programme I couldn't bear to even think about until at least 6 weeks after Bubba was born....the traumatic labour still too raw in my mind.  I haven't written a detailed birth story as I felt like a complete wimp.  I had not coped well with a situation that many women seem so in control of or at least didn't have that look in their eye that I recognised as my own experience.  That is, until last night.
A girl called Sam writhing about on the bed shouting and screaming in pain probably made a lot of women laugh at her lack of control.  Yeah it's sore love but there's no need to shout.  I saw something quite different and when she said "please, somebody help me" it brought tears to my eyes as I had also said those very words.
Could it be that, for some of us, the pain coupled with total lack of progress is overwhelming?  It's not that we have any less tolerance or control but the manner and devastating speed of the transitions during labour make it so much more painful?
I went into labour at 3am and right from the very first one my contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds.  It was very exciting.  I phoned the hospital just to forewarn them but was quite happy at home watching a film and having a bath.  My waters broke and I went down to the labour ward.  Family came to visit, I read a magazine and for the first 9 hours it was very, very sore but nothing I couldn't handle.
I believe that had I been left to get on with it then my body would have progressed at a more manageable speed and things would have been different.  Instead, a nurse decided to examine me and try to 'walk my cervix forward'.  The pain was beyond anything I can describe.  My body fought against her hand and clamped down so hard I think I almost broke it.  Blood everywhere.  That moment traumatised me and I couldn't believe that inflicting that much pain could be of any use.  And then they came.  My contractions went from pain level 3 straight up to 10 within a matter of minutes.  I fell to the floor, blood pouring out of me and crying out in pain. I went from 1cm to 7cm dilated within less than an hour.   Everyone kept saying 'come on, calm down' and other such useful things but it was nothing I had any control of.  It was another 14 hours before I finally had an epidural.  I can't remember any of it apart from being on the floor in the hospital corridor begging for someone to help me.  I was given all the drugs but they just made me sleepy in between contractions.  Nothing touched the pain.  Right before my c-section about 4 people did internal examinations and decided I had un-dilated (!!) back to 5cm....nature is a cruel bitch!
As if the whole thing hadn't been enough of an ordeal, my surgeon fainted whilst guddling about in my belly.  Actually crashed to the floor taking a tray of instruments on the way past!  Oh how we laughed...not!

And so I can finally allow myself to believe that perhaps my labour was particularly bad and I'm not completely pathetic after all.  Still, it's not something I would do again, just in case.  C-section please.....I'll be paying for my own room and won't forget the massive pants and paracetamol!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Car Park Police...What Would You Say?

Grrrrrrrr, some things really wind me up!  Just back from a trip to the supermarket, (muchos baking/cooking supplies needed for our family lunch tomorrow), and pulling up next to me in the mother and baby spaces is an elderly couple clearly without a baby in tow.  Now, I don't think mothers with children over school age should be allowed to park there, (lets face it, you no longer need the extra side space for the pushchair...I hope), but these two were clearly taking the piss.  The worst of it was, I didn't say a bloody word just scowled a bit.....this was wasted as it was completely unnoticed.
What would you do?
I mean, I'm more than happy to park in the normal spaces if you don't park too friggin close to my car...why do people do that too??  Just reverse out and have another run at it....don't leave it abandoned straddling two spaces!!
While I'm teetering on this soapbox I may as well mention roundabouts.  Indicate FFS!!!  Yes, I appreciate that you know which way you will be travelling, (sometimes I wonder though), but it's sometimes a good idea to let the rest of us know.

Time to attack the treadmill me thinks!

Busy Busy Busy!

Oh how lovely it is to be busy in fact I've had to make a 'To Do' list.  It's not all baby stuff either..woohoo! 
I'm currently doing some work for my brother.  It's just renaming files but anything more taxing might cause my head to explode!  There's over 9000 of them to do so it should keep me busy for a while.
I have a million things I want/need to sew.  Not sure how to sneak my sewing machine and overlocker back into the house, (they're in storage as we have the house on the market).  For starters I'm sick of boring baby mittens and baby trousers that are WAY too tight round the waist.....seriously, have these people actually measured a baby?  The mittens should literally take about 5 mins to make.....I love my overlocker!  Baby trousers don't take much longer, they are easy-peasy-poo!

I used to sew away to my hearts content....I'm determined to get back to that again.  As an inspiration to myself I am posting some photos of past creations:

Looking through these has just reminded me that I have a small pile of baby trousers already made....just need to see if I can find them.  I refuse to buy any more baby clothes for a while as nothing seems to fit properly!

Right, off to tackle the next item on my list - baking!  Off to have lunch with family tomorrow and I promised to make pasties etc.  I'm going to do some experimental cooking.  I don't know why as it never, ever turns out well!  Think I'll take postmortem photos of this cooking crime so you can share in my despair.

No idea how I'm managing to stay awake these days.  Bubba has signalled his desire to commence weaning by waking up several times a night again.  I don't really want to see 2am unless I'm at a party, (a good one...rubbish parties are almost as bad as night feeds).  This morning I decided that I can't just waste the surplus baby foods I bought a while back so I decided to try Bubs on Banana Custard this morning.  The gelatinous substance smelled worse than adult vomit and went straight in the bin!!  Eeeeew. 

Right, can't sit here chit-chatting....I have a to-do list don't you know!!

Day -5
Total miles - 3.2
Total calories - 400
Weight - 73kg

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bathing Babies - Lather, Rinse, Repeat?

I have no idea how often I should bath my baby.  I do hope it's not every day.  I find the whole process quite stressful and struggle with the standard baby bath design coupled with a slippery baby.  In an attempt to make it slightly easier I have cut a strip of cheapo bath mat and suckered it down the length of the bath.  He enjoys being in the water, as long as it's not too cold, but hates being lifted out and laid on the towel.  Even after I've bathed him I still find neck grubs, (random bits of fluff and the likes), stashed away in his many neck creases or in between his fingers.  He guards these areas well.  If I try to get at his neck with any sort of cleaning medium he pulls his head in like a tortoise and access is very much denied.  I usually resort to a baby wipe attack when he's already crying....usually when we're engaged in our daily battle of putting arms in sleeves.  He hates sleeves.  Be it dressing or undressing we always lock into a test of will at this point.
My last visit to see the witches ladies at Baby Clinic resulted in the following conversation:

Jamie is being undressed for weighing.

Lady - Is everything ok?
Me - Yes, he just hates sleeves.
Lady - Are you sure, he seems very upset?
Me - Yes, he just hates sleeves.

Sleeves complete, Jamie instantly happy and smiling on the table.

Lady - Oh.....How is his bottom, did you get treatment for his thrush?
Me - No.
Lady - Oh, did you take him to the doctor?
Me - No.

Silent pause.

Me - I didn't take him because I knew he didn't have thrush.  The rash cleared within 2 days using Sudocrem.
Lady - Oh.
Lady - Any other problems.
Me - No.

I do not like Baby Clinic, the women there seem hellbent on finding something to criticise and it really annoys me.  I resist the urge to tell the woman just to weigh my baby as is befitting her level of knowledge...but I don't.  I'm sure if I asked her how often I should bath Bubba she would reel off the government guidelines for baby bathing as they insist that all babies are the same.  Annoying baby health care workers is my new favourite sport!

On a different note, I came across this photo of me when I was little.  Now I know I'm getting old because my outfit is bang on trend by todays standards....I wish I looked this good in skinny jeans now:

Pity about mums DIY fringe cutting service though!

Finally, I shall be keeping a tally of my treadmilling each day.  Feel free to laugh heartily at my piss-poor efforts to lose weight!  This will be cumulative so don't think that on day 53 I actually ran 45

Day -2
Total miles - 1.2
Total calories - 150
Weight - 73kg

Friday, April 1, 2011

I'm Grateful For....

Well, on this dull and dreary Friday I was going to post about being stuck indoors with a very demanding baby and the lengths I have to go to just to get a shower but upon reading a post by the awesome Maxabella, I decided to have a think about the things I'm grateful for rather than wallowing.

I'm grateful for:
- My son.  Despite being a total monster all the time most of the time, he has brought pure joy to my daily existance and can break me with a flash of his gorgeous smile.
- Having the means to purchase my treadmill.  We're not the richest of people and I never dreamed I could afford such luxuries, especially with a new baby but an unexpected bonus from work put me in a position to do just that.  It will change my life.  I love running and finally I can see a realistic way to lose this baby weight.  The fact that I used it for exactly 2 minutes total since picking it up last night is hopefully no reflection on my dedication to the cause.
- My fabulous mum.  Always at the end of the phone, (she lives up in Scotland), and puts up with my daily phonecalls and endless baby chat.  In those moments of panic she will calm me down and always be forthcoming with practical advice.
- Having a crafty mind.  Hehe, probably in both senses of the word but I'm grateful for the one that constantly thinks about creating children's books, (see the link to my finished ones top right of my blog), sewing and pretty much anything creative.  I'm pretty rubbish at all craft related genres but my love of it wins through and it's something I'll never stop.

The list could go on but His Majesty my son is voicing his objection to the lengthy stay on his playmat so I have to dash.
Check out the post at Maxabella and link your own blog post :)

Happy Friday everyone! xx