Saturday, 31 December 2011

It was a very good year

As it's the end of 2011 I thought it would be nice to go through my blog and take a look back over the past year. And I'm so glad I did as I'm quite surprised by what I've learnt.

At the start of 2011 I felt well and truly stuck in a rut, but with no clue as to what was causing it or what I wanted to do to change things. There was a lot of moaning done about the weather and the dark winter days. On the bright side, we did get to see Band of Horses play in Bristol and it remains to be the best gig we went to during 2011. So beautiful.

Spring saw optimism start to creep back into my blog. I got my chickens (finally!) and finished a granny square blanket that I'd been working on for nearly two years. It was a small achievement, but one that I was proud of nonetheless. 
I also started missing my old business and desperately wanted to start it up again. I had a vague plan in mind, but nothing solid.

After taking part in a craft fair and selling off my old stock I set about making some new items for the shop.
However, my vague plan had remained just that, so by mid-summer they had soon sold out and unfortunately the shop has remained empty ever since.

We got the chance to go to Glastonbury at the last minute (I became Stephanie Kitchen for the day), started making plans for a road trip across America and enjoyed a cracking camping weekend with friends.

It was after this camping trip that I made the rather surprising discovery that I was pregnant. Without going in to it too much, the start of the pregnancy was pretty stressful. That along with the usual nausea and tiredness meant that I had no energy or desire to do anything, so I took a break from many things, including this blog.

By the autumn the dreaded first trimester was over, the pregnancy stresses were thankfully no longer an issue and so I returned with renewed energy.
However, regular readers may have noticed that despite the renewed energy, I have been posting a lot less since then. The reason for this was a dressmaking course which I started in September.

So far, I've completed nine out of eleven assignments. With only two more assignments and the final examination left to go, I'm well I'm on track to have it all done and dusted long before Pip arrives *touch wood!*
As well as working on the various assignments, I've also been working through a massive 'to do list' which I frequently refer to as, The Beast List. 
Basically I took all my other existing lists, the winter list, the New Year list, the things to do before Pip arrives list and merged them altogether to create the mother of all lists, The Beast List!
It's taking some time as it has over 70 items on it, but we're getting there.

And this pretty much brings us up to date. It's been an odd year really. Not a great deal has happened and yet, so much has changed.

And what have I learnt from it?

Well lesson one clearly has to be that I have a problem when it comes to making lists! I really ought to stick to one main list and then daily to do lists rather than have four or five on the go. That way I might actually get to complete one of them and stop myself from feeling stressed out for not achieving anything despite being constantly busy.

Lesson two would be to take more photos. Not just photos for this blog, but of my day to day life too. It doesn't matter if the weather is miserable, if the house is a mess or if I have spots on my face. One of the photos I included above was taken by Dan during the summer when I was two months pregnant. I'm sat at the bottom of the garden feeling sorry for myself. I felt awful and was unhappy that there were so many things I wanted to do, but just couldn't. That may not sound like a moment you'd want to remember, but when I found it, I spent a good few minutes staring at it, recalling how it felt and remembering things I'd already clean forgotten about. All because of the power of photography. So there you have it, lesson two is that you should always take photos of your life. The good, the bad, and the spotty.

Lesson three would be to go easier on myself when it comes to setting goals. I'm a big goal setter and to give myself a little credit, if there's something I really want to achieve, I will usually succeed eventually.
However I almost always underestimate how long something will take, or I will set my sights too high and make my goals too ambitious and I will always, without a shadow of a doubt, forget to allow myself any time to relax and do other things. All that leads me to feel burnt out pretty quickly and again, as with the to do lists, I end up feeling stressed out when I try (and fail) to get everything done in time to meet the deadlines I've set myself.

So in short, 2011 has taught me to make my to do lists shorter, take photos of everything and make my goals a little more realistic.

2012 has got it's work cut out to beat this one and I can't wait to see what it has in store. The good, the bad and yup, you guessed it.

The downright spotty!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Seed to Pie - The Conclusion. Sort of.

So at the start of the year I had this grand idea that I would document the life of a pumpkin, from seed, to plant, to pie, to face. That was the plan. Everything went as it should, the seed sprouted, it grew, it produced pumpkins, which I then made in to a couple of pies and of course there was no issue with the applying to face part. It was the documenting part that didn't quite go to plan.

The reason? I'm rubbish, simple as that folks.

So here you go, the last instalment in the seed to pie process. Where are the photos of the pie you might ask? Well, there are none I'm afraid, it comes back to the whole me being rubbish thing I mentioned earlier. Below are the only two photos I did remember to take when I started baking the pumpkins.

I know, thrilling right? I think it's fair to say that this idea was a bit of a non starter!

The pie tasted bloody good though.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas sneak peek

Home is where the heart is and my heart lives behind this front door.

Early morning driving

Christmas Day carnage at the In-Laws..our tree is better

Surprise gift from Dan. Didn't even know it existed, but I love it. And yes, it's as twee as it looks!

Dan's mum stocked up on my favourite sweets because she's ace.

My current view when I look down. I'm fairly sure it's about 30% baby, 20% turkey and 50% Refreshers by now.

This little beauty is a praline and cream latte from Costa. I'm getting as many of them in while I can. 
And don't worry, it's decaff. 

Now we are home and I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of the Christmas holiday. 

I hope you all had a good one! x

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Bump update - 7 months

One more sleep 'til Christmas!!!

Today I hit the 7 month mark which means another bump post. I know I only posted the 6 month update recently, but I'm determined to do them on time from now on which will mean only one a month.
And hopefully more non-baby related posts in between too!

I forgot to mention in my last post that at 24 weeks, Pip became legally viable. That means that if she were to be born now, she would have a good chance of surviving despite being early. Obviously I don't want her going anywhere for some time as she's still got a fair bit of cooking to do, but it's reassuring to know that my girl has made it this far - keep it up little Piposa.

The most bizarre change I've noticed at this stage compared with last month is that I am not so grumpy with the pregnancy now. And thank god! This is despite being bigger, clumsier and less able to move around than before. I think perhaps it's easier now because I've found ways of keeping the worst of the pelvic pain to a minimum. That pain really got me down with how constant it was so to have some relief from it now is, well it's just that, a relief! And it's left me free to enjoy the pregnancy more, like I ought to be.

I am huge though! I now have to put cream on my belly day and night as it itches all the time. The itching is caused by the stretching skin apparently. Nice. No stretch marks yet although I've been told that these can come right after you've given birth instead so we'll just have to wait and see with that one!
I also can't eat regular sized meals anymore because there's less space in there for it. I have to eat little and often..which suits me just fine haha!

Pip's gotten bigger two. It's not just kicks I feel now, but actual movements too. Sometimes when I lie down in bed and my belly is lying against the mattress I can even feel little hands or feet, it's crazy! I also got my first boot in the ribs last night. 
Oh and she gets scared at loud noises now too. Dan was watching football the other night and suddenly shouted really loudly which woke Pip up (she'd been still in there for a while) and I felt her whole body jolt! I then got kicked for a good half an hour after that. Nice one Daddy. 

We've also been playing her music and it's interesting to see that she seems to react to some songs more than others. I started singing Lana Del Ray's "Video Games" to her a while back as I thought it might be something that could help her sleep later on. She doesn't react much to it, (maybe that means that it works?) but if we play Ben Howard's "Old Pine" she goes nuts every time without fail. Whether this means she loves it or hates it is anyone's guess though!

Right, that's pretty much it. This was a bit of a long post full of baby gumph and for those of you who are not all about the little people I do apologise. I'm just getting this all down for myself so that I can look back in years to come and remember what each stage was like. 

And to summarise, 7 months is pretty damned awesome!

Friday, 23 December 2011

It's only bloody Christmas!

Today, at precisely 11.45am and 0 seconds, it finally started to feel like Christmas around here.

And why you might ask? Because I finished work for the holidays! Gingerbread biscuits and Roses chocolates have been consumed, hot chocolate has been drunk, presents have been wrapped and Christmas music has been played.


Hot chocolate and gingerbread biscuit break after present wrapping.

My crochet snowflakes that still have not been made in to a garland and I fear, probably won't be.

My tree!

Roses chocolates, obligatory Christmas treats.

And my favourite card  that we received. Although technically, it isn't actually ours. Every year we get a card for a couple who lived here years and years ago. They never have a fowarding address on them so we have no way to let the senders know that they've moved on. But I fell in love with this card and so we've kept it. 

Happy Christmas Eve, Eve everyone!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

4 Simple Goals

Finish all the sewing assignments in my course.
This was outstanding at the start of the month, but I actually completed this last week so I'm already on track!  

Finish re-vamping my crafting corner
This task has been on my list since forever, it's time to get it done and I'm so close!

Start exercising regularly  
I'm currently suffering from pelvic pain due the pregnancy so some gentle exercise is needed to help keep the worst at bay.

Make a bigger shelter for the chickens
Poor chooks. The one Dan made for them a couple of months ago is too small so they don't use it. It's time for an upgrade.

And for those who are curious, this is how I got on with last month's goals..

1. Drink more 
I failed miserably at this. I'm really trying for Pip's sake, but I've never been very good at drinking enough water at the best of times so it's proving to be something of a challenge. I had been doing well with fruity teas, but then they started giving me heartburn which has made things more difficult. I'm not giving up though!

2. Complete 3 assignments
Almost completed. I completed two, but got hopelessly confused with the last one so I was still struggling with it by the end of November. Still, it was a good effort.

3. Start making Christmas cards
I did! However, I didn't actually, finish any of them! The idea was to crochet a snowflake to stick on the front of each card that could then be removed to use as a tree decoration. I got as far as making the snowflakes before stumbling across an old pack of cards from last year in amongst a box of other tree decorations and deciding to use those instead. 
The snowflakes will now be used to make a Christmas garland which I will be posting about shortly.

4. Start making Christmas presents
Nope. I didn't even make a start on this one. I thought about it a couple of times. But that's it.

So in short, November's goals were a complete flop. However I am determined to do better this month. DETERMINED.

Just you wait and see..

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Bump update - 6 months

I meant to post this last week, but as has been the way this entire year, life got in the way.

Not a lot has changed since last month bump-wise apart from the size of my gut. I never think I look that big until I catch a glance at my profile and have a "who ate all the pies?" moment.

I've also decided that while some mother's to be love every moment of being pregnant and could do it again and again and again, I'm not one of them. I love that Pip's doing her thing and seems happy and healthy in there. I so can't wait to meet her, but I think I will be happier when she's here and I can have my body back. Before I get shot down in flames, this has nothing to do with me getting bigger, I've no problem with that one.
It's the lack of mobility that's I'm having problems coming to terms with. I start to ache if I sit down too long, if I stand up too long, if I walk about too much, if I do too much, if I don't walk about enough or do enough. It's ridiculous.
I can't bend down anymore, getting off the sofa involves shuffling my bum to the edge and then heaving myself out, I also can't seem get in or out of the car without making some kind of involuntary "ooompf" noise and I can almost feel what I fear is the start of a waddle.

Also, braxton hicks contractions. I do not like the feeling at all. AT. ALL. They're totally painless, but it's an odd sensation to have what feels like your whole abdomen turn to lead and then back to squidge again. It almost feels like the baby is rolling slowly around in your gut and without exception, I will need the loo after I've had one, even if I only went two minutes previously. Yeah, I'm not a fan.

One part however, one very big part remains to be very, very cool and that's Pip herself. Feeling her kick is just awesome. It's like having a little friend around with me all the time keeping me company at work, in the car, even as I'm typing this.
Her kicks are getting stronger too and Dan's felt and seen them now which is just ace. I still have my freak outs about her arriving. Will I be any good at this? Will I be the first to drop her on her head? What if I leave her at the shops or sit on her or something? I have been assured that babies bounce so I'm counting on that to be true.

On a serious note, I don't want anyone to think that I'm not happy or grateful for what I have here. I am, more than I can put in to words. It's just all so very strange and I want to document exactly how I feel about the experience so that I don't forget in years to come. That includes the stuff that I don't like so much. Pregnancy isn't just about loving your unborn kidlet, there is plenty to be grumpy about and damn it, I've earned the right to be as grumpy as the next mother to be. And I am. Sometimes. As anyone who follows me on Twitter can testify!

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