Friday, 31 December 2010

You say you want a resolution...

I'm not big into New Year's resolutions. It's the standard idea "you're going to break it in a week" so why bother? But this year I do have some goals and I want to put them pen to paper...or keyboard to blog.

1- I want to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.

2- Knit and complete 12 projects. They don't have to be big projects, I just have to do 12 of them.

3- Bake more. (You may notice, there is not going to be any of that "lose 15 pounds" nonsense here. I like the food).

4- Have more sex. (tmi? Most definitely!)

5- Learn to sew

6- Read to Oscar more.

7- Combat Slacktavism. I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things. So I want to try and do one good deed, or one service of activism for things I care about each month. This year I did really well. We recycle about as much as we throw out, we compost, we cloth diaper. Those are good environmental steps. But there are other things I could and should be doing. However, I don't want to broadcast every good deed I do because then I will look like an asshole. OR I might inspire my little group of readers here to maybe reach out and do something as well. It will probably be a mix of both, but believe me, I have big plans for myself this year!

8- Spend less time on the internet. I'm not going to give up the stuff I love, but just maybe try and love it a little less. There is no reason why I need to know everything happening on Facebook all day. Especially when I could be curled up on the sofa watching Supernatural with my amazing husband knitting up something cute.

9- ...and to complete contradict number 8---BLOG MORE. I love blogging, I just need to be a bit more organized and do it.

10- Finish the Sherlock Holmes series. I've been working on it for 2 years, and to be fair, I barely touched it this year, but I HAVE to finish it. So maybe tackle a story or 2 between books? We'll see.

I'm completely psyched about 2011.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas

It's been an odd December, and by odd I mean, it hasn't felt like Christmas AT ALL until Christmas Eve. We went out and about for a bit, and while it was hardly a hustle and bustle of crowds, it finally felt like Christmas. Better late than never!

So today was Oscar's first Christmas and it was lovely. Santa left some very nice presents, including a Glow Worm that Oscar loves and a stuffed Yoda, approximately the same size as Oz. Griff went completely overboard and bought me way too much and made me feel guilty about his small pile of presents. Fortunately, his birthday is right around the corner and he will get a nice stack of gifts then.

It was really lovely today. We opened presents, we took a nice family 3 hour nap, watched TONS of Christmas telly and made a very filling dinner. While sitting down to eat, Oscar played in his saucer and we had Edward Scissorhands playing on the tv. Griff looks at me and says, "I love our life", and that is really the best present of all. We have such a wonderfully simple, perfect life full of a lot of love and laughter. It's not always easy and we have our bumps in the road, but I agree with the sentiment entirely. I love our life. And I think 2011 is going to be awesome.

*sorry for lack of photos. Will upload later!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Fairytale of New York

It was our first Christmas together and we were driving downtown. Griff said he wanted to play a song for me, so I said okay. It was Fairytale of New York and I'll be honest, I was confused. "Is that his real voice? Seriously?" But now, it's not Christmas without listening to it several times over.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Some Riot

I've been listening to a lot of music lately. I had all sorts of songs I wanted to post up, but then when I got here my mind went blank. So I found this one. I adore this song. I have just listened to this live version and it is just as beautiful as the studio version. I do hope I remember those other songs tho....

Sunday, 12 December 2010

So Tired

I vaguely remember a conversation (on a thread) about how at the 6 month mark, your energy stores drop and you become TIRED. I feel exhausted all the time lately. Oscar is so much fun, but he is a lot more work than newborn Oscar. Newborn Oscar took long long naps and would be happy to play by himself sometimes. Oscar at the moment wants to play with lots of things all at once. He also wants to move in ways he hasn't quite figured out, so he gets frustrated and cranky.

This sounds like complaining, but I'm not. Because he is actually so much fun to play with now. Peek-a-boo is no longer scary! He laughs out loud. He thinks his reflection is funny. I want to update on all the good things going on....

But man am I tired. TIRED. tired. tired.

Sing it, Lennon.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The End of an "Almost" Era- Goodbye Nook

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted our baby to sleep in the same room as us. We re-arranged our room and made the (pictured above) adorable nursery nook. It was precious, it was perfect; a gender-neutral mini-sanctuary just waiting for our beloved Bumble to come home from the hospital to.

Fast forward to real life present day...we don't use the nook. Oscar has slept in that cot *MAYBE* a grand total of 10 times in his 6 months of life. We co-sleep and don't see that changing anytime soon. I've asked Griff if he's happy with our current sleeping situation and he is. Waking up to that smiling face every morning is awesome. I can nurse while sleeping AND get a full night's rest. It's working for us. The nook is not.

So, sadly, we are dismantling the nook. Not all of it, mind you. Actually we're really just getting rid of the cot, moving the cubes to another room and bringing the chest of drawers back and putting the glider next to the book shelves. Star Wars is definitely staying, as well as the awesome ABC's poster.

It's just breaking my heart a little. It felt like such a perfect blending of us and baby, but in reality I guess our family bed is just a better fit.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Skully Sweater

See this sweater? I finished it a fair few weeks ago and we're just now blogging about it. Life is so crazy hectic, but I'm pretty darn proud of this sweater so it gets it's own post. I started this when I was pregnant, making it extra roomy with the intention of wearing it--you guessed it--while pregnant. Yeah that didn't happen. Baby knitting soon took over and this sweater was stashed to a bag to be left until Oscar was a few months old. But now it's finished and i can wear it this winter! Yay, go me! Unfortunately, it is VERY bulky, which makes it kinda not breastfeeding friendly. *sighs* O well...one day Oscar won't be breastfeeding (sad) and I can wear it for years and years to come.

*Pattern came from Stitch n' Bitch edited by Debbie Stoller

Monday, 18 October 2010

It's October, when did that happen?

The year is flying. Oscar is almost 5 months old and I look at him and think, "It took me forever to be just 5 months pregnant! How is this going by so quickly? I was pregnant forever!". But now more than half the month has been eaten into and I haven't accomplished nearly as much as I had hoped.

Every year I usually have a Halloween list of movies to watch. Yeah, that hasn't happened this year. We have been way to busy to watch a movie every evening. We have watched our fair share of the scary, but not nearly what we usually do. AND here's how much being a mommy has changed me...some scary movies I can't even watch anymore. Isn't that sad? I know the cool thing to say is "O being a mom hasn't changed me at all", but honestly people, I think it's changed me to my core...all in good ways of course. But yeah, that one was a shocker to me too.

We did get out to the Pumpkin patch though. Me and Oscar were both having a rough day and when Griff got home I insisted we get out of the house. He came home to a Mommy and Son sitting dressed and ready to go. So he googled the local farm that has a pumpkin patch and we were off. Fresh air is Oscar's cure-all so it was a lovely late afternoon out.






Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Oscar's photo shoot at Fontaine Studio

Having a baby will get you a fair amount of presents (for baby). The majority is usually baby clothes that said baby will grow out of in a matter of weeks. Sometimes, they can never fit into the baby clothes at all. Seriously, Oscar wore newborn for a matter of days it seems like.

Our friends the Fontaines, Dee and Sareta, gave us the wonderful present of a photoshoot for Oscar. As you can see, the results were amazing and something to forever cherish.



Monday, 20 September 2010

NCT Sale!

I do love a bargain. I must have gotten that particular trait from my Momma! Well we hit the Nearly New Sale with a few things in mind. Didn't get any of those things, but o well. We were initially looking for some cloth diapers (which, we talked to a woman volunteering at the sale and she said generally you don't find them there) and a jumperoo. I think we may end up buying our own because all the ones we saw either had stains on them or looked pretty banged up. But some of the GREAT stuff we found:

-Cath Kidston cowboy blanket. These usually retail for £15 and I got it for £3!!!
- Dr. Sears Fussy Baby Book. Retails for £10 got it £4. (Oz isn't a fussy baby, but you never know, right? And I love some Dr. Sears.)
- a set of 3 John Lewis long-sleeved onesies for £1.50
- a mobile for £2.60
- Baby swim seat that retails for £7.40 for £2

...and a few other things. We spent £20 the whole day and then found a £5 on the floor on the way out! I don't feel so guilty spending money on Baby Gap clothes when I get so many good deals like these.

Baked Ziti

My friend, Tracy over at Forked blogged about this dish the other week. We make it pretty regularly in this house and it definitely qualifies as Comfort Food. This dish is so easy. Ridiculously easy. I will give you measurements, but 1) we usually cut it in half because there's the 2 of us and it makes enough for 2 lunch portions for the next day and 2) once you make it once, you can make it again without looking. It is that easy and such a quick meal to make! Make a starter salad and add some bread and butter and everyone's happy!

Ingredients:
454 g Ziti Pasta
680g Ricotta cheese (2 pots)
455 grated mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
896g spagetti sauce (2 jars)
25 g grated parmesan

To Cook:
1. Cook pasta till tender
2. mix pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, egg and most of the spagetti sauce together
3. heat over to 375 F (190 C)
4. lightly grease a big enough baking dish and pour in pasta mixture
5. top with remaining spagetti sauce and sprinkle parmesan
6. bake for 30 minutes and then let stand to cool

Unfortunately, tonight's dinner of Baked Potato Soup didn't go as planned. It was too freakin' hot today. What is that about England? Fuckin' up my menu....sheesh.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Car Booty and Green Glass finds

A few weeks ago we found out about a MASSIVE car boot sale that happens every Sunday on the road behind us. I have no idea how we have lived here for 2 years and NOT known about this. So we go to check it out and find all sorts of treasures. We bought a stuffed dragon for Oscar, some books for Griff, some books for Oscar, a funky 70's canister for my kitchen, 3 Harry Potter dvds that I needed to replace and a Patsy Cline cd. And of course I had my eye out for some new pieces for my green glass collection. I think the whole morning we didn't spend more than £20 and had bags full.

I found these 2 pieces individually and spent £2 for the decanter and £1 for the salt container. I love them both so much and are great additions for my collection. It's about time to find another shelf to continue on to.

And while I've never thought I would expand the collection to blue glass as well, I found this beautiful little vase for £2 and wanted it. I can't wait to put some gerber daisies in it!



Saturday, 18 September 2010

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup















The combination of being sick and the weather beginning to feel like fall made me want nothing more than comfort food. All week. So this week we've done an entire menu dedicated to our favorite comfort foods. Fatty? Yes. But totally worth it.

Here is the recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup. Griff cooks this one in our house, and it made me feel so much better! I have gotten a nasty cold (part II) after just getting over one. So here it goes:

Ingredients:
4 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup of butter
8 oz. egg noodles
12 cups of water
9 cubes of chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon dried parsley

To Cook:
In a large pot, saute celery and onion in butter. Add chicken carrots, water, bouillon cubes, marjoram, black pepper, bay leaves and parsley. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add the noodles and simmer for 10 more minutes.

It is too lovely! We found this recipe on Allrecipes.com, but as always we sometimes play with amounts (for example this last time there was more bay leaf!). Guaranteed it's better than ANYTHING you can buy in a can.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Down with the Sickness

So far I have really just shared all my new mommy joy. Yes, most of the time it does feel like all sunshine and butterflies but today I wanted to share something that has been hard for me.

Being sick. Being a new mommy and being sick IS HARD. It is the worst conflict ever, because your body wants to stop, sleep and rest and you have this itty bitty person who still depends on you 100% and has NO CLUE that you don't feel well. On top of that, you still want to love and cuddle itty bitty, but you know you shouldn't because of GERMS. UG. It's been a rough week people. I'm ready to feel like super-mom again.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Oscar at 3 Months

I say it all the time, but I can honestly not believe how quickly the time is passing. I know everyone says it happens, but then all of a sudden it's 3 months from the day your baby is born and it's just disbelief.

3 months ago I was meeting my son. It's almost 9 pm here, and it was around this time that we were being settled into a bay to recover and I was having him put on me for the first time and was completely overwhelmed by the sheer perfection of him. It's true that the love you have for your child is so strong and so immediate, there is nothing like it. They don't have to grow on you. Yes, in the coming weeks there's definitely a "getting to know you" vibe going on, but you LOVE them.

So at 3 months, Oscar has laughed out loud for us twice. He smiles ALL the time and acts like he's laughing, but no sound actually escapes. Sometimes he sucks his breath inwards and it's like a froggy laughing.

He's not rolling over yet, but he's definitely trying. He's discovered his hands and arms and concentrates very hard to make them do specific things. He LOVES to be read to, which absolutely warms my heart. I was originally skeptical of reading to him this young but now, I am so glad we started!* He prefers being in the Moby to the stroller and sometimes has a hard time on long car journeys, but can sometimes be pacified by holding Mommy's hand. Bath time is always a winner. He splashes and grins and loves all the goofy songs that I feel compelled to make up at bath time.

I'm becoming paranoid about the things we watch in front of him now too. I really don't want his first memories to be some snippet from True Blood or Dexter...although it is freakin' adorable watching him dance around to the True Blood theme tune.

I do believe we are starting a bit of teething as well. We have massive amounts of drool and bubbles and gnawing on the hands and burp clothes. I even see a bit of nobbley white under the gum. I want to find a teething toy for him, but I'm having a hard time finding one that says it's BPA-free.

And that's Oscar at 3 months. I would say....awesome.


*While typing this Oscar is currently in the Moby being read Isaac Asimov's Essays on Science. Griff is such a cute daddy!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Movies Watched Lately.

So I've FINALLY been able to take advantage of my LoveFilm membership by watching a movie while breast-feeding during the week. It's been awesome. I get to watch new things and feel nostalgic for school. I miss talking about movies and watching new things. Plus, I get so excited whenever I get a new film. It's like a little mini-Christmas surprise. Score. So here's what we've watched lately:

Revolutionary Road- I was so excited about seeing this. I love Kate. I love Leo. It looked like it would be a beautiful (literally) movie to watch. I was surprised to find out that I was utterly bored by it. It's that same comment made a 1000x over about how horrible suburban life is, especially for the stay at home wife/mother, who has always yearned for something more but couldn't have because of what society expected of her. *YAWN*. I get it, I really do. But I also feel like it's been done and the story I was just...boring. Ironically tho, the performances from Kate and Leo were still amazing.

The Wrestler- I'm a wrestling fan. It's not cool, but there you have it. I loved this movie. It moves with such an honestly about it, that you sometimes feel like you are watching a documentary rather than a fictional story. It's a role that Mickey Rourke's face was made for. I honestly had tears welling up at the end. I am curious tho if non-wrestling fans enjoyed it as much?

The Warriors- You know when you get to a party late, and you're a little worried that it's passed you by but then surprisingly you have a fantastic time? Yeah, that's how I felt when I watched The Warriors. It's so cult and has so much built up around it, I was afraid I might not get it and it would have passed me by. But I LOVED IT. It's fantastic and I will definitely be adding it to my DVD collection. Go watch it.

My Placenta & Me

It's funny how having a baby can take you places you would have never considered before. For example, taking your placenta in capsule form.

Never in a MILLION years would I have thought I would consider, let alone actually, ingest my placenta. But early in my pregnancy I read this article on a website I frequent, Offbeat Mama. I will give you three guess on the words that got my wheels turning. BREAST MILK. If there was even the smallest possibility that this would help my milk production, I was immediately on board.

Like the author, I couldn't fathom actually eating or drinking my placenta in a smoothie, BUT having it dried out, blended and put into capsules. That I could deal with. But how do you even go about finding someone to do that for you? There's not a lot of people anxious to talk about placentas and it's moments like this, you have to be grateful for the internet. Amazingly, there was a woman who does Placenta encapsulation in the UK and lived in the town over from me.

When Oscar was born, my placenta was put into a glass dish that we brought with us and Griff took it home to wash and place in the fridge till Lynnea could come and collect it. She was amazed at how large and healthy it looked and said it was one of the biggest she had seen. I have to say, Lynnea's enthusiasm made me feel even more like I was making the right choice. The woman obviously loves what she does.

So, how did taking my placenta work for me?

I feel like it helped. A lot. I felt like an emotional roller-coaster after having a difficult and long labor that ended in a cesarean. I needed to feel like me again and quick. I didn't want my surgery to prevent me from bonding with Oscar.

Lynnea had my capsules to me with 48 hours of handing my placenta over to her. My placenta made an astonishing 178 capsules! AMAZING. I started taking 1, 3 times daily and then started taking 2 caps twice daily. I had energy to get tasks done and take care of Oscar. I wanted to get out and enjoy the summer. My breast milk came in abundance and within a week Oscar was no longer needing formula supplements. And speaking for vanity's sake, I haven't lost hair like a lot of ladies do.

Would I have had the same outcome even if I hadn't taken my placenta? It's difficult to say. I will never be able to compare. I know people are constantly complimenting how well I am looking and how emotionally well I am for a "new mother". And I do feel good. Yeah, I have a ways to go to lose the baby weight, but hey, it's not a miracle pill.

I do know that I plan on taking my placenta for my next pregnancies. I am now down to my last hand full, and I'm at the point where I only take them when I feel like I need a bit of a "pick me up".

If you are interested here are links for the UK and US for encapsulating. I honestly can't say enough about how much I think it's helped and how fantastic I think it is. Questions? Comments?


Friday, 20 August 2010

This is the day, your life will surely change

There are so many things I want to blog about. I mean to, I really do, but it's SO HARD to find time. I want to blog about placenta capsules, our trip to Weymouth, the movies I've watched lately, the books I've been reading, how much cooking we've been doing, how much Oscar is growing and changing....but it's so damn hard! So instead I will post this video:



and promise to return soon with a blog with an actual theme to it! Trust me, I have loads to go on about....

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Moby!

Today was a bit of a wonderful experiment. We bought a moby (and was given a moby), but until now we've only tried it on Griff the once. Having a c-section left my abdomen quite sore and today I decided it was time to give the moby a proper try.

It has been awesome! We each had a turn, I had Oscar in the Kangaroo hold and Griff had him in the Hug Hold. Oscar slept beautifully each time. AND we were able to get so much done today! Usually as soon as you put Oz down for a nap he wakes himself up after 10-15 minutes. In the Moby he just snoozed. I was able to do laundry, wash bottles and pumping equipment and tidy the living room a bit, organize his closet and start packing for our trip to the States next week.. This was all done very SLOWLY, but it was done, without any interruptions or crying. For Griff, I think it allows for some very special bonding time.

We are so impressed with how today went, I hope it hasn't been a fluke. I am really hoping he keeps enjoying the Moby, I think it will be great for when we want to take Oz for walks on the beach in 2 weeks.

In other news, I was able to finally get in the bath with Oz. I was so excited and no sooner did we get in and settled he took a GIANT poo all over me. *sighs* Griff thought it was hilarious and I just looked at my Little Man and told him he was the only person in the whole world I would let poo on me. So it was a bit of a task emptying the tub, showering off and then refilling the tub. But 2nd time settled and it was fantastic. Bathing with Oz is so so so much fun because he loves the water so much. I can't wait to get him in the pool!

(I know his neck looks weird in that picture but he LOVES to throw his head back when sleeping. He breathes just fine, so I'm figuring that's okay? It's how his Aunt Mimi likes to sleep...)

Sunday, 27 June 2010

We call it, "Liquid Gold"...



...My Breast Milk that is (and yes, "Breast Milk" deserves to be in capital letters). The journey breastfeeding has been an interesting one...for me.

While pregnant my midwife told me straight off the bat that I wouldn't be able to breast feed because of a reduction I had when I was 20. The foolish things we do with youth and too much money (and because of insecurities...how they seem so silly now. Especially since my boobs just grew right back). Needless to say, this information left me heart broken. I cried and cried and then did what all modern day people do, started googling and finding out whatever information I could. I also relied on a wonderful support system I have online that also provided lots of links to information.

A few months, maybe 2, before Oscar arrived I finally saw the tiniest bit of boob juice when pinching my nipples. This was HUGE for me. I went streaking thru the house, yelling for Griff to come and look what was coming out of my breasts. He was like "IS THAT!?!?!?" to my enthusiastic "YES!!!" and then we did a happy dance and lots of hugging. This was a GOOD sign. I don't have TONS of sensation in my nipples or aureolas, but this was proof that if manually expressed, something could come out. All my inner tissues weren't severed, something was working.

Because of said operation being listed in my notes, during my pregnancy my midwife never talked to me about breastfeeding or gave me the free DVD that all moms-to-be are supposed to receive. And when Oscar finally arrived, the midwives in the hospital were very negative about my ability to adequately nourish him. I breastfed him what I could, but because of my nerves as to whether or not I was making enough, we gave him top-ups with formula. With all the emotions that come along with childbirth, this one for me really broke my heart.

In the days that followed of us finally being home (he was born Sunday evening, we were discharged Wednesday evening)we continued topping him up with formula until I started pumping. There was one morning where I could not stop crying because I felt like I was failing him. I always knew there was a real possibility that I wouldn't be able to feed him. I thought I had made peace with that and I would try my best, but if need be, just move on. It's the full tummy that matters, yes? So the Medela Swing pump came out, along with my copy of Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding and we started a very tiring process.

I would feed Oscar for 20 minutes on each breast and then about half an hour after feeding him I would pump. Slowly, the days started turning out results with more and more milk. By day 3 of us being home, we were no long using formula because I was feeding him and pumping regularly, and with the milk expressed Griff could help me out and feed him so I could get an extra couple hours sleep in the morning. The first sitting where I pumped 5 ounces, there were high fives to be shared. I love that Griff gets excited with the more that is produced and is a constant encouragement. Because believe me, some days it so easy to want to NOT pump.

In addition to pumping, there is a LOT of water drinking, sometimes a couple cups of raspberry leaf tea and taking my placenta caps (for those of you scratching your heads, there will be a whole separate post on that topic soon.). Since my mom has left, it's been a lot more difficult to find time to pump; if I'm lucky I'll have 2 opportunities.

I also have NO sensation in my breasts. That whole let down reflex? Yeah, don't have it. Tingly when Oscar is crying? Nope. Nothing. Nada. I know my breast are full only because they are hard. In the last week I have started leaking, but I only know it's happened because all of a sudden I am soaking wet. This is frustrating, as there is no warning and a lot of my clothes are getting milk stained. Ah well, tho. THEY WORK, so I'm not complaining. Also, Oscar has a great latch and the discomfort level has been minimal, so I am one of those people that other women hate for saying that breastfeeding isn't painful. Sorry.

Oscar is a growing boy. He barely dropped any in birth weight and has increased at a good pace. I am going to breastfeed as long as possible, and if it comes to a point where it's not going to work anymore (or have to supplement), I will be sad but I am so thankful and fortunate to have had this chance.

I absolutely love to cuddle with him while he is feeding (most of our feeds are still lying down. I can't lie, it's more comfy for both of us and I can read.). I love to watch him get all excited when my boob is coming at him and how when he decides it's time to come off, he will stretch his little neck and then settle back onto my breast like it's a perfectly made little pillow just for him.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go pump some Mommy Milk before this Little Man wakes up and wants nom-noms....

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Oscar


It's been almost a month (!!!) and I've just updated NOW to include my beautiful son. But to be fair it's been a busy month of being a mommy, which is completely new. This is Oscar Lomax, born on 30 May 2010 at 8:08 pm. He weighed 8lb 14 oz. and was 21 inches. Yes, this was incorrectly stated as something else when he was born, but apparently Kingston Hospital is into doing things wrong. That's okay tho, because Oscar was perfect. More updates to come soon!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

41 Weeks

We are 41 weeks today and feeling it. I am so sore and swollen and achy, and adding to that I have developed a horrible cold. Last night I could not sleep to save my life between my hips hurting, my back, sweating like a pig, not being able to breath because of my stuffed sinus' and then waking up with bouts of reflux. JOY!

I have to say, while I have been sad about my pregnancy ending, I don't know why it's wanting to go out on such a downer. I mean, really. I have absolutely LOVED being pregnant.

But I am so ready to meet Bumble. I did not think that we would be seeing week 41. I thought I would be getting to know my baby. Still having the sleepless nights, but for a completely different reason.

It's 9.30 and I'm going to bed. I feel so out of it and yucky and I'm hoping I sleep a little bit better tonight than last night. I mean... wishful thinking isn't always dangerous, is it?

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Bumble's Playlist

I've made a little playlist to play during the day. I usually sing along with these songs and it's my usual mis-match of songs, but I hope Bumble enjoys them. Seems to by the amount of movement I get. Of course, I could totally be misreading the signs and Bumble is actually "O my God would please stop!!!!", but I will think not for now. Here's my little playlist:

1. Baby I Love You - The Ramones (I've actually sung this to Bumble since we found out I was pregnant, so....before Bumble even had ears)
2. Here, There and Everywhere- The Beatles
3. Love Me Tender- Elvis
4. Over the Rainbow- Judy Garland
5. Real Love- The Beatles
6. Heartbeats- Jose Gonzalez
7. Baby Mine- Bette Middler (I wish I could just find the version they played in Dumbo, but no luck. Ah well....)
8. Love Is Like A Butterfly- Dolly Parton
9. Here Comes the Sun- The Beatles
10. The Rainbow Connection- Kermit the Frog
11. That's How Strong My Love Is- Otis Redding
12. Tonight You Belong to Me- Folk Uke
13. Clementine- Pink Martini
14. Hang On Little Tomato- Pink Martini (This was also one of my songs during those shaky first 12 weeks of pregnancy)
15. I'm Only Sleeping- The Beatles
16. And It Stoned Me- Van Morrison
17. Across the Universe- The Beatles
18. Farewell and Goodnight- Smashing Pumpkins

There are some other songs I really wanted to add, but they have somehow disappeared from my Itunes, which is quite worrisome. I can't decide if I want to take this playlist to have during labor, if I should make a whole nuther playlist for labor with songs that "pump me up", if you will. But those songs are very cheesy, like, "You're the Best Around" from the Karate Kid. We shall see.....

Friday, 2 April 2010

Oreo Cake


 This was without a doubt the most delicious cake I have ever made. I am not a huge fan of chocolate cake and am even less impressed with white chocolate (which is what is in the icing), and with that said, it was still THE BEST CAKE. I'm not one of those cooks/bakers who will shy away from saying if something I make is good. IT WAS GOOD. The picture isn't the best; apologies. I'm including the recipe for any of you out there who want to give it a go. It was sooooooooooooo worth the effort! 



For the Chocolate Cake:

Dark Chocolate Cake
makes two 9-inch round cakes or three 8-inch round cakes

2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans, or three 8-inch round baking pans. (I used 8 inch pans and had enough batter for 4 cakes)

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixer bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Mix in boiling water - the batter will be quite thin. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack, then tap the cakes out of the pans. Cool completely before frosting.


For the Icing:

FROSTING:
around 4-6 oz white chocolate

1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar
a couple splashes of milk

Melt chocolate. I usually do this by placing a glass dish in boiling water. It melts more evenly than using a microwave. Meanwhile cream butter. Once chocolate has melted add to butter. Continue to mix at low to medium speed while adding vanilla. Gradually add in milk and sugar until frosting reaches desired consistency.


This wasn't my recipe and I can't take credit for it. I found it on Ohdeedoh.com and I found the frosting website on someone else's blog. It seriously was the tastiest cake I have ever had, or that could just be my prego hormones talking. But it was pretty damned good! 






New Floors--- The After!


Aren't they beautiful? I would say it was definitely money well spent and I can rest a little easier now knowing that at least one BIG project was done and finished before Bumble gets here!



New Floors--- THE BEFORE

When Griff and I started our house hunt, we always had hardwood floors on the top of "The List". So when we found the house we now call home, we loved the floors. It quickly became apparent that the job that was originally done on these floors was a pretty piss poor job. I know hardwoods are a lot of work and need a little extra TLC, but things were getting ridiculous. We have been here almost 2 years now and I felt like I was pulling splinters out of my feet constantly. While I know our baby won't care about a lot of home renovations, I knew the floors HAD to be done. Because as quickly as Bumble will be here, I know we'll be turning around and have a baby crawling and learning to walk. I want to minimize the splinter situation if possible. So here are some photos of our floors before they were done. Extremely discolored, many boards were ruined by a shoddy plumber who had done some work for us before we moved in, a fair few split boards and just ugly damage. Yuck.




 



Ruby Slippers


It seems so long ago that I was begging for votes for some beautiful replica Ruby Slippers. Not long after winning I found out I was pregnant, and suddenly red sparkly shoes just didn't seem like the accomplishment I thought they were. 

When I finally got the shoes they were more beautiful than I could have imagined. I was very disappointed to find that they were the wrong size. I would say a half-size too big. So even though I can't wear them, I keep them up on a shelf in my guest room, right below my collection of Green Glass!

I would definitely like to say thank you again to all the wonderful people who got me those votes and who pestered their friends and family to vote for me some magical shoes! I do love them very much! 

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Mother's Day- The UK edition

While our little Bumble has a few weeks left before arriving, Griff was very sweet to still let me "celebrate" a little bit of Mother's Day. The flowers, he said, were from Bumble and the card was from him. On Wednesday a surprise is coming in the mail and he said he talked it over with Bumble while I was sleeping. I am curious and anxious (and also have a sneaking suspicion of what it may be). I will have to post what arrives later this week.


I absolutely cackled when I read this card. It's pretty much how I feel at the moment. No matter how much I accomplish and scratch off my never-ending "To-Do" lists, I can NOT catch up and there's more waiting for me. It was seriously one of the best Mother's Day cards I have seen. I'm glad my husband has such a good sense of humor.



Thursday, 25 February 2010

Four Squares Blanket

This pattern is from Debbie Stoller's Stitch n' Bitch. I have made this blanket once before for a friend of mine and I think it's such a great pattern. It's modern but classic looking at the same time. And quite big! I'm thinking this will probably be the blanket we bring Bumble home in. 



Here you can see where the four corners "meet" and are made of 2 different stitch methods. It's just garter and stockinette, so any newbie knitter can pick this up pretty quickly!

The border is in moss stitch, which is time consuming but I think absolutely beautiful. It's very textured looking and feels wonderful. I would do more projects in moss stitch if it didn't take so long!



Soft Colors Blanket


This is actually more of a blankie than a proper blanket. It's so soft and snuggly! It's from another Lion Brand kit, and I have plenty of wool from this one to make probably 2 more blankies. 


Patchwork Squares Blanket



I have been so slack at posting new knitting projects. I've been knitting up a storm, but it's taken me awhile to get around to photographing (for getting Griff to) them and posting them online. It's such a pain uploading stuff!



I've been making blankets. Since we don't know Bumble's sex, I feel like blankets can be all sorts of colors, and no baby can have to many blankets to snuggle, spit up on, play on the floor on, use as a cape and fly around the house....

So this here blanket, is my patchwork squares blanket. I bought the pattern and kit from Lion Brand, which is a company I usually love. I am not very happy with the end product. The squares just didn't come out as evenly as I hoped, and my sewing tension is still a bit tight. I try pressing them with an iron, but it's still very wobbly looking. 

Griff, bless him, says that "mistakes" like this just go to prove that it's homemade and better than store bought. He also thinks that because I am so disappointed in how this one turned out, it's bound to be Bumble's favorite. We shall see. I do still love all the colors...

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

My mission in Life is to make this....


I don't know what occasion I will find to make it, but this cake has to be made. I found the website over on Whisk Kid (and to be honest, I found that link through someone ELSE's blog who also attempted at making this cake). When I showed it to Griff his reaction was "Wow that's a lot of icing" because the man isn't crazy about too much icing. But then I mentioned that it's  LEMON BUTTERCREAM and he looked a bit more eager. 

Is it not the most beautiful thing ever? *sighs*

Friday, 29 January 2010

Pet Peeve Case File no. 1




I have worn glasses since I was 9 years old. I've gone through the whole contact lenses phase, but I always come home to my glasses. I am finally at a point in my life that I think my face looks empty without them. They are part of my face, of who I am. 

So nothing gets me more annoyed then this newish "fad" of people wearing glasses *WITHOUT LENSES* as an accessory. Drives me up the walls, yell at the television, wanting to bitch slap the person causing the offense. To all of you who are doing this, you look like a tit. If you want to wear the glasses and play a bit of dress up, at least please wear some lenses. 


*I don't know why I felt the need to start a list of my pet peeves, but hey, it's my blog, do what I want! 

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Missing school and smoking in films....

I came across this article today online, which initially I thought was going to be about rebooting the current ratings system in the US, but instead was largely about characters smoking in movies ( This Article is Not Yet Rated ). First off, it made me miss being in school like crazy. This is just the sort of article I would HAVE to get into a paper somewhere, or devise writing an article further exploring the argument itself. 

And like all things currently, I have to make it tie back to our impending parent-dom, and what kind of parent am I going to be in letting our kids watch this or that. Because the article itself is so devoted to the argument of smoking, let's start there.

I can honestly say, I don't think I know anyone who would admit to smoking because they thought it looked cool in movies. Sure, when we were little we all mimed it (you know you did!), but when it came to actually trying a cigarette for the first time, all I could think about it how horrid it smelt and I couldn't wait to get the stink off my fingers. Now when I was 22 I did start smoking, but that was more an extension to drinking, and when the drinking dried up, so did my smoking habit. 

I can recall as a youngster being taken to 3 different rated-R movies at the cinema by my Mom. 
1. The Good Son
2. Ransom
3. The Birdcage

Apparently thrillers and gay comedies were a-okay in her book (and God love her for it!). But I remember being forbidden to watch Natural Born Killers, even tho I wanted to watch it more than anything. Eventually it came on cable and instead of sneaking and watching, I went into her bathroom where she was getting dressed, told her it was on, and I was going to go ahead and watch it. Honesty was always the way to go in our house, and I know I probably would have been grounded if she walked in and saw me watching it instead. 

BUT BACK TO MY POINT.....
If all the smoking in movies now are relegated to R-rated films, and assuming it just the baddies and rebels lighting up now, does it make it less of a threat when your 13 year old is offered their first cigarette? Will they sit and think "Well, I never see Jennifer Aniston lighting up in movies, and she's my favorite actress, so I think I'm going to give a pass". Um, no....not reality. 

Why is smoking suddenly so dangerous that it's rarely seen or spoken about in films today? Yet guns and violence are still okay? Whatever happened to just common sense? If I want my kids to see this, I'll let them watch it, and if I don't, I won't let them. And honestly, they're going to get to an age where if they really want to watch it, they are going to. (That's a whole nuther story about me and A Clockwork Orange right there...). 

This is hardly a very concise argument or train of thought, but....I am slightly worried that we're going to be seeing that closing clip from Thank You For Smoking a reality. You know, the one where old movies with smoking are digitally re-mastered and altered to remove cigarettes. Bette Davis without her smoke curls? No thank you.....

Sunday, 24 January 2010

SHAAAAZAAAAMMMMM!!!

We're growing, We're showing.....

*I took this at 23 weeks. I'm 24 now. Gonna have to take a new picture soon. 

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Contemplating the insane?


  Well boys and girls (but I'm assuming girls), I have become increasingly irritated  at the lack of variety of quilts for baby cribs here in the UK. I found a LOVELY bedding set on the Target website, but was frustrated to find the 4x5 inch discrepancy between US and UK cribs. 

There is just NOT a lot of selection here, especially if you are not finding out the sex of the baby (which we're not). The only thing I have found are a boring boring creme, with boring boring cartoon characters on them. Not my cup of tea at all. I want vibrant fun colors!

Here is where insanity has kicked in....

...I think I'm going to make my own quilt. 

Bear in mind I have extremely limited sewing skills, but I do have a sewing machine and I do have a book and most importantly, determination that my baby will have something beautiful and colorful and fun. So if anything, this blog might get mildly interesting as my baby quilting exploits begin. Today was my last day of volunteering, so I'm officially on housewife-mode till baby comes this May. Might as well get a good project done!!! Let's see what happens!!!