Currently…15th December

Currently...

Currently… image from rukristin

Watching:
Strictly Come Dancing (Final next week wahoo!!)
Grey’s Anatomy (what’s going on with MerDer??)
Scandal (Season 2)

Reading:
Started Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher. Loving it so far but by the time I’m getting to bed I can’t always keep my eyes open!

Listening:
Christmas songs. Now have Rend Collective’s Christmas album on my phone so can listen to it lots.

Making:
Bouncing between a Christmas present and crochet squares for another exciting project I’m working on.

Planning:
Plans for Christmas, plans for meals this week and plans for the little business.

Loving:
The countdown to Chris’s Christmas break and the days to Jaxon’s first Christmas.

Rambles: Attempting to Be Superwoman

Rambles

This is a bit of an unpolished post – I think I spend so much time trying to polish up the posts and made them publishable that I don’t blog and disappear for over a week! So this is just a spontaneous ramblings around what I’m thinking and feeling…

Yesterday I sat at my Mum’s dining room table, I asked her, when she had me and my Dad was at work all day were there days when she didn’t want to go home to an empty house. It was a simple enough question but it made me cry all the same. Maybe I’d just been holding it in or all those crazy Mummy hormones exploded everywhere, but it was a cry that I needed. Our Sidekick and Chris were both out for the afternoon and the idea of coming home to an empty house sort of filled me a bit with dread – there was nothing to fear and I’m fine now but I just didn’t want to go home at that moment in time. Don’t worry I am keeping a note of all these feelings just in case but as they seem to come and go rather than hanging around for hours on end I’m not entirely worried but now that my Mum knows how I feel hopefully her and Chris will keep an eye on me and point me in the direction of help if it looks more serious.

My Mum gave me a hug too which made me feel a bit better then she took charge. I’ve been working on a present for Our Sidekick’s Mum for Christmas and his Christmas Contact slot is getting closer and closer and I just have to keep knitting and getting it done. (I’m writing this post when I probably should be knitting but right now I need a time out lol). My Mum told me it was completely fine to feel like that sometimes and that with Christmas coming we are all trying to be Superwomen and get everything done before Christmas gets here. She’s self employed so not only is she trying to get all the Christmas shopping done and get the decorations done she’s trying to get all the ends tied up ready to have some time off over Christmas just to hang out. My Mum took charge and send me home to get my knitting and then come back, Jaxon was asleep in his car seat so my Dad looked after him and made sure he was okay while I popped home. It was just what the doctor ordered so to speak, I came home and made dinner and then watched Strictly while knitting and feeding Jaxon in the gaps.

If You Can See This My Baby Fell OffEarlier in the week my new shirt arrived from Redbubble designed by GeekySweetheart. I decided that I was going to wear it to church but figured that if I was going to do that then I needed to make sure I was wearing Jaxon for at least part of the service. Although I’ve got a bit rubbish and stopped baby wearing for a bit – it’s something I want to get back into especially if I can start back carrying Jaxon as I might find it easier than having 18lbs of baby strapped to my front! I decided to invest in this shirt because I think it’s really funny. I’ve got a baseball shirt with it printed on the back in pink font and wore it to church today. The pastor was the first one to spot it and thought it was really funny – I got quite a few comments especially when Jaxon wasn’t with me and people were genuinely like “Is Jaxon okay?”

So while I attempt to be Superwoman I need to hit publish, evacuate the computer for Chris and go back to knitting. What are you all attempting to do before Christmas? Are you like me and have a mass to do list running that doesn’t seem to be shrinking right now?

 

Dear Jaxon…5 Months

Dear Jaxon...

Dear Jaxon,

Hello little boy. How are you today? This morning you weren’t so great. I think you knew that you were spending part of the day with Grandma and Grandpa and decided to be grumpy. Each time I put you down you started to cry. When I arrived back at Grandma and Grandpa’s you had started to cry but as soon as you heard me you settled again. We had a little feed as you had already had enough to drink. Then you crashed out and slept in my arms for about half an hour. While I write this you’ve just opened your eyes but I’m pretty sure you’re still asleep.

It’s now past bedtime and you’re asleep in your cot. Daddy, you and I went out for tea while Our Sidekick was at trampolining. You had a feed and I put you back into the car seat while I ate. Part way through my dinner I looked over and you were falling asleep.

We had less crazy adventures this last month. We went to Milton Keynes with Grandma and Heathrow with Cat, Kieran and Loz. With Christmas coming up we have some adventures with Daddy and Our Sidekick. One of those is going to Suffolk to visit your Great Aunt. Actually it’s meeting your Great Aunt for the first time. We were going to see her earlier but various things got in the way and we couldn’t go in the end.

You love to smile and sometimes manage to sign something resembling “drink” or “milk” which is really cool. It’s easier when it’s an obvious sign but sometimes I have to go with the big cheesy grin you give me in response to my question.

Anyway, I love you little one.

Love Mummy x

So here’s some stats…

Weight: Around 18lbs. We haven’t been to get you weighed recently but on Thursday I’ll be getting you weighed so we can figure this one out properly
Clothes: 3-6 months but you’re on the border of 6-9 months.
Nappies: Size 4 -we attempted reusables but they kept leaking. I need to have a proper look at what’s going on.
Feeds: You had been down to one feed a night but I think you might be growing. You seem to have a feed around 1-3am and then a second around 5am. Some nights it’s okay but sometimes it’s hard work to get up twice in the night. Sometimes you end up in the bed because I can’t keep my eyes open and I fear I might drop you.
Teeth: Those two bottom teeth are still in there. You have three of your four middle teeth on the top poking into your gums – daddy and I can see the teeth getting closer. You like when we run our fingers over your gums. I think it’s soothing.
Bedtime: Sometimes it still varies but nearly every night you’re in bed around 10pm so it’s more of a routine.
Likes: you still love the bright colours and music of Strictly Come Dancing but according to Grandpa you like Top Gear too. You like being naked or just in your nappy.
Dislikes: You’re still not a fan of being on your own and some days it’s worse than others. You like being naked but don’t always like putting your clothes on. In the summer it’s fine to run around with no clothes on but right now it’s very cold!

Currently…8th December

Currently...

Currently… image from rukristin

Watching:
Strictly Come Dancing
Grey’s Anatomy
Home Alone 4 (It was okay but not the same without Macaulay Culkin!)

Reading:
Not a lot really mainly FB statuses and emails.

Listening:
Christmas songs. About to add Rend Collective’s Christmas album to my play list. If it’s even a fraction of how good Homemade Worship for Handmade People is then I’d wear it out as I love that album.

Making:
Christmas presents and “stockings” – technically they are pillowcases with our names on them but it works for us. Been crocheting a heap of squares too.

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Planning:
Plans for Christmas and plans for the little business.

Loving:
Loving hanging out with friends. Saturday was such a good day between hanging out with friends and my folks

Mary, Did You Know?

It’s Advent and I’m sure nearly every Christian blogger is somehow writing about Christmas and I’m joining them for now.

It’s 3am on the 1st December. Why am I writing this now? Because while feeding Jaxon I was starting an Advent bible study. I have got so rubbish about reading my bible, so I decide to sort it. When Jaxon gets up for his night feed around 3am I read my bible and the devotional notes and I deal with it. If anything crosses my mind then I scribble it down before I forget or the “Christmas craziness” kicks back in.

There are to do lists in my head to be written, there are Christmas cards to write and presents to wrap but right now I need to get my heart right.

There’s lots going on in my life at the moment and my emotions are being stretched, bent and broken. But God is constant. At Church when I was a kid we’d sing a hymn:

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift or firm remain?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Stedfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.
Found here

But does my heart cling to God in the storm? Sometimes I don’t think it does. I cling to the life raft of technology or my knowledge. I know in the past I’ve gone all out to hang on to God but I think too often I chicken out.

I got thinking about Mary this morning. You know the story but hear me out. Mary is going about her day to day life and an angel shows up to tell her that God thinks she’s the woman for the task and tells her she’s going to have a baby.

“Woah hold up!” You can imagine Mary saying. “Having a baby? But I’m not married and Joseph will dump me once he thinks I’m having another “man’s” baby.” And yet, she’s actually like “Okay, if that’s Gods plan then let’s do this thing”.

Now if God sent an angel to tell me I was having a special baby I think Chris would think I had officially lost it and would probably take me to the local psychiatric unit (not to mention the hundred of medical questions surrounding having a baby this close to Jaxon’s arrival and a C Section!). But rewind to when we were engaged. I can imagine that Chris would have questioned whether I’d been up to no good and things like that but we’d either have dealt with it by moving the wedding date forward or I would have done what was needed to bring up baby myself.

But God had that covered too and sorts out Joseph too.

Chris and I have trusted God for quite a few things since we’ve been married. A job for me when I was unemployed, the strength to look after Our Sidekick, the provision to get pregnant and then the finances to support our family not to mention other things.

So Mary steps out and says “if this is your plan God then I’m in, but you’ve got to help on the Joseph front” and God does because his “Save My People” plan needs full commitment from all parties.

So Mary Did You Know just what was going to happen to your baby?

Jaxon will go through heartache in his life I know that, he’ll fall in love and that girl might break his heart too. He’ll make and break friendships. His “big brother” will leave our home and (I hope) still have contact with him. But in a way these are all little things. I joke that Jaxon has figured out all complicated things like world peace and the cure for the worst sicknesses in the world but because he’s a baby he can’t explain them or write them down to share with people. I hope for him that he’ll find happiness in his future. That he might have his own family one day when God has got it planned for him. I hope that my Grandma is alive to give Jaxon the same advice that she’s given my cousins, my brother and I over the years. But in his life time he will lose his great grandparents just like I’ve lost mine. My Great Grandma for example would have been 100 in October this year.

Did Mary know that her little baby boy was sent on a rescue mission? That he’d go through the worst kind of death that the Roman World could throw at him and yet he would still go through it all because he was God incarnate, he was our superhero and he was here to save the day whether we accepted or not. He chose us before we even chose him. He came to mend a broken world. He came to father the fatherless.

Okay got to sleep now because my brain turns into mush. It’s a bit of a ramble but apart from tidying the formatting up a bit and making sure there’s a link to the hymn website this is how it came out of my fingers at 3am on the 1st December.

Currently…1st December

Currently...

Currently… image from rukristin

Watching:
Strictly Come Dancing (I guessed who was going this week and got it right).
Grey’s Anatomy
Home Alone
The Newsroom
Dancing Cheek to Cheek (BBC documentary – it’s fascinating – there are classes and people who study historical dance – cool!)
Snow and Snow 2 (has the girl who played Victoria in HIMYM)

Reading:
Mainly been reading crocheting patterns, finished another Christmas present and working on what to do for the rest. Then have some samples to work on which is exciting and scary lol.

Listening:
Christmas songs. I know it’s only just December but I decided that if I was going to write about Christmas traditions and plan presents then I needed Christmas songs in the background.

Making:
Finishing up some Christmas presents and start others. Also working on my friend’s website.

Planning:
Still plans for the little business. Actually explained it to two people last week who weren’t family members. I seriously need to work on my “elevator pitch”. Any tips?

Loving:
I’m still cooking more but need to get a bit more adventurous with what we have in the house. We get a veggie box each week and when I cook we nearly always end up with boiled to death carrots. I need to actually learn how to cook them properly instead of just killing them!

Our Christmas Traditions

Christmas Traditions

Source

Each family have their own traditions when it comes to Christmas and the “holiday season”. With Halloween, Bonfire Night, Thanksgiving (for you U.S./Canada Peeps and us this year as we celebrated with our friend from the U.S. who is working at church.) and then Christmas all in quick succession I thought I’d write about what we do leading up to Christmas

Growing up, Christmas would start with Mum blu-tacking our advent calendars to the banister opposite the living room door in the hallway before bed on the 30th November, so that they were there ready for the 1st December. During December we’d work our way through very curious. It would then continue by putting up the tree together as a family. My Mum would have had a theme all planned out and we went from there. Everyone would join in but Dad had the assigned job of putting the topper on the tree.

During the Advent period we would work our way through the Christmas films that we had on video and then the ones of television as they were shown. These including Miracle on 34th Street (New version), White Christmas and Santa Claus: The Movie amongst others. Some were more preferable than others but would end up working our way through the collection.

On Christmas Eve as kids we would leave a carrot out for the reindeer and a mince pie and drink for Father Christmas. As we got older, Christmas Eve involved going to the Candlelight Carol Service at church. The service would start at 11:30pm and after a few carols and a short talk, the service would finish around midnight and we’d wish our grandparents a Happy Christmas before going home to bed.

Overnight our stockings (which were Christmas themed gift bags) would appear at the foot of the bed. Each year there would be a different selection of little presents but the stakes would be a satsuma and a bag of chocolate coins. My satsuma would either be eaten before we got downstairs for presents and breakfast or it snuck back into the fruit bowl at some point on Christmas Day.

Once Richard and I had managed to encourage Dad out of bed, we’d all head downstairs together to get open our presents. There was usually some kind of winding up from my Dad, he’d put his head around the door and then comment how there were no presents for us and the living room was empty – he did it every year and we still fell for it as if *this year* was the one that it actually happened. While I opened my presents my Mum would write down who they were from so that I could write thank you letters in the following days after Christmas. My Dad would do the same for my brother. Now that it’s the boys and me, I tend to end up writing down the thank you list and we take it in turn to open our presents as there were three of us last Christmas (this Christmas with Jaxon will probably be the same as he’s probably not going to manage to open his own presents himself).

My mum being the organised type would have the potatoes peeled and the vegetables prepped the night before. I think the turkey would have been in the utility room defrosting too the night before. Following present opening, Mum would get dinner ready. When we were younger it would often be that she’d sort dinner while we played – I think as we got older we would try and help out even if it was just getting mum a cup of tea or a cold drink to keep her fuelled! If we weren’t helping out we would be playing with our presesnts or watched a DVD for example. When Richard got games for his games console we’d often end up playing that even if we weren’t all that good at it – one year when he got his first Playstation we spent most of the morning trying to figure out how to play one of the games – I think it’s one of the few games I probably could still play and not die every time!

Mum would have decorated the table either different to the theme in the rest of the house or with a similar theme to the house. As we got older there would often be big church candles in the middle of the table. One year it became a competition to attempt to blow out the candles – you weren’t allowed to properly blow like you would your birthday cake candles, I think Richard figured he breathed heavily enough he could somehow manage to get the flame to go out. I think we were banned from playing it in the end!

The afternoon was spent recovering (usually nursing a very full tummy), Dad would get us all to watch The Queen’s Speech on the television and then work our way through the specials that were on the TV. Tea would be nibbly food and sandwiches rather than anything big. If we end up back at Mum’s for tea on Christmas Day, we usually end up co-ordinating tea around the specials including Doctor Who.

As part of marriage prep, we discussed traditions and creating our own now that we were going to be our own family unit in a way. We talked about the traditions that we each had in our own families and how we’d adapt those traditions into something for us. Something we decided was that Christmas Day would primarily be us at home together. We would go to the Christmas Day church service then come home to do stuff together as a family. Once we were married and had a proper conversation we decided that before church we could each open one present before getting dressed and having breakfast then heading off to church. Following church we would then prepare lunch and get it cooking then when it was at a convenient point we would intersperse the preparation along with opening presents. During this time we’d also call our parents to wish them Happy Christmas and also the grandparents and other relatives (this year it might include ringing Richard and Heather!).

When dinner was ready we’d gather around the table, pull crackers and tuck in after saying grace. Following dinner we’d either all help tidy up or come up with a deal where we’ll recover for a bit in front of the TV and then go back to tidy up.

Tea would either be at home or we’d go to Mum’s for tea and board games (and an episode of Doctor Who).

Boxing Day would typically be spent with my Grandparents growing up but now Chris and I are married between Christmas and New Years there’s a whole shuffle of attempting to see at least his parents, his aunt and housemate and my grandparents. We usually come up with some order that works.

This year with Jaxon’s arrival I think it’s going to be pretty much along the same lines but we are going to start leaving the bits out for Father Christmas and the Reindeer, have additional bits as its Jaxon’s first Christmas. I have a special bib for him although I don’t expect him to be on solids in any form until after Christmas and a special onesie made by a new local company called Handmade in Castle Road. Can’t wait for Jaxon to be able to wear it.

I even end up blogging about Christmas now. 2012, 2011, 2010. It seems I didn’t blog about Christmas but I definitely did write about it in relation to Jaxon’s arrival (at some point in the future) – Christmas 2013.

Do you have any particular family traditions? Do you have any particular ones that are a bit unusual to people outside of your family?
Now

TIGF: The Thanksgiving Edition

Gratitude

Things I'm Grateful For

Joining up with:
Ashley from Hello Nature, Laura from The Laura Way & Nay from Coffee-N-Ink.

I’m actually going to keep up and post this on Friday – believe it or not!

Friends this week started off with the mother of all Monday Blues. I just felt like the wind had been kicked out of my sails and for a chunk of the day didn’t really know what to do with myself. I tinkered with my friend’s website as it wasn’t rocket science and the particular bit I was on didn’t need a ton of brain power. I posted on FB how I felt and got a few comments back. A friend of mine in the US saw my status and wrote a comment to the effect of “see how you do tomorrow and if you still feel rubbish go to your doc”. It was only when I went to read about Post Natal Depression (PND) did I clock that although it usually comes on within the first six weeks following the baby’s birth it can take up until six months to properly surface. The fact that at least one friend said something along those lines I’m grateful that I’m not alone and that even from the other side of the Atlantic someone is watching out for me. (I felt a heap better on Tuesday and wondered if it was just Monday Blues. I am going to keep an eye on my moods and get Chris to keep an eye too).

Pottering around On Tuesday, Jaxon and I delivered some leaflets for church. It was good to be out in the open even thought the temperature has dropped and it’s been colder the last couple of days. Yesterday I pottered round town before and after a coffee date with Rachel 1. After that I ended up having lunch with Rachel 2 and her gorgeous little boy who is super cute and has a crazy Afro like Our Sidekick. Today I hope to go for more of a potter especially after last night’s dinner!

Unexpected Dinner Invites
So you have it in American shows and films where someone gets adopted by a family for Thanksgiving dinner rather than them be on their own. Well that was us last night. I think “Our First Thanksgiving” might need its own post at the beginning of next week otherwise this will be an essay while I gush about the food.

Our Sidekick
He’s a sweetie. I had a headache yesterday and probably should have given up and attempted to nap when Jaxon decided to give up but I didn’t and my headache was getting worse. I fed and changed Jaxon then asked Our Sidekick if he could look after him for me, I’d only be in the shower so if something happened he could knock on the door and I’d get out asap. Well they had a lovely time. Jaxon was curled up on a blanket on Our Sidekick’s floor like he does on the living room floor and Our Sidekick packed his papers for his paper round. It meant that I got a proper shower and the hot water helped to release the tension in my neck and then my head.

Coffee and Lunch Dates
I’d read about how sometimes being a new mum can be a little bit lonely but it’s only know that I am a newish Mum that I’ve kind of got it more. Some days I do feel lonely and spend a chunk of time on my own. Other days like yesterday I bounced from a coffee date to a lunch date to a quick chat to a dinner. Today will be boring in comparison! It might be something little but just having sandwiches made for me and then someone to hold Jaxon while I ate my lunch just made so much of a difference. It doesn’t cost much just the bread, a filling and maybe some nibbles to go with (we had halved cherry tomatoes, grapes and egg muffins) but it just made me feel more human and less lonely. It was lovely to hang out with Rachel 2 and her little boy (he’s about 13 months older than Jaxon).

Getting Healthy – Part Six

This is a bit of a ramble so I apologise!

There’s a store in town called Michael Bailey and even when they have sale clothes on display in the window I do not have the money to buy an outfit from there. However part of me wants to go and try on a dress they have in the window.

2st 1lb down. 10lbs to go to Target! Bring it on!!

So what’s that got to do with getting healthy? Well as you can see from the picture I have a new sparkly sticker on my book and a new certificate for the fridge. On Tuesday after going to Slimming World and collecting my two stone award, Mum and I popped into town at high speed. On the way home we stopped at the traffic lights just outside the Michael Bailey shop. There was this very slinky long red sparkly party dress. Even minus the price tag it isn’t something I would necessarily wear – it was almost a Bond Girl dress.

But as I lay in bed Tuesday night attempting to go to sleep before Jaxon woke up next, part of me wanted to try the dress on, just because I could. Well who knows if I actually could fit in it but the idea of fitting in a smaller dress size is filling me with excitement!

My size 16 maternity jeans no longer fit me. I’m having to wash them more frequently so that they will “unstretch” again after being in the tumble dryer. My size 14 smart black maternity trousers do fit better but are getting baggy. Really I need to go and get a new pair of jeans but I need a pair that doesn’t rub against my C-Section scar. Any ideas?

When we were in Milton Keynes on Friday I told my Mum my plan. When I am in a smaller dress size and reach my target (currently 10lbs away). I’m going to go to Superdry in Milton Keynes or Boutique Planet in town (they stock Superdry too so that’s all good!) and treat myself to a Superdry jumper in a size that actually fits me rather than drowning me to hide my curvy bits. I might even go into Marks and Spencer or Debenhams and have a look to see if they have a sparkly number like the red Michael Bailey one but more in my price range just in case there should be an event to wear it to!

At the weekend I went through my chest of drawers and cleared out two bags of clothes. I had a button up shirt that I bought from Next. IN A SIZE 20!! And a smarter top to wear out in a size 22. What was I thinking?? I think I was actually a 16/18 but once Jaxon was in my belly this time last year I was going to need that extra fabric to cover up the bump. When I went back to work after Christmas last year and was beginning to show I went back to tighter t-shirts. Well they were tight at a size 16. Now my size 16s are getting baggy oh yeah! I tried on a skirt that my mum gave me after it was to big for her. I tried it on and it was a size 14! If I lose the extra 10lbs I might even get in a 12 but we’ll see how that goes first!

If you’ve attempted to lose weight or get healthier have you set yourself goals like that with a physical thing as a present to yourself?

Dear Jaxon…20 Weeks

Dear Jaxon...

Dear Jaxon,

This week or so has flown by. You’re getting stronger and stronger when it comes to standing up and moving around. You’ve still not got the hang of holding up your head while lying on your front but you will happily stand up while we hold your hands or under your arms. (Depending on who’s helping you depends on how you are held).

Last Friday you, Grandma and I went to Milton Keynes. We started in the Centre looking at the Christmas lights. After doing out shopping we went to IKEA as Daddy had asked us to get some bits. While we were there I spotted a high chair so we got it. You’re not entirely sure about it but I keep putting you in it while I do cook, clean or generally tidy up in the kitchen. On Sunday I moved your chair into the hall way while we all did our chores so that you could see me while I swept the stairs.

You’re starting to get more frustrated and noisy at meal times because you really want to get in there and start eating. Daddy and I have discussed two or three (or more times) but keep coming back to trying to breastfeed you exclusively a bit longer. You’re 5 months old in almost two weeks so it’s about six weeks and then we can start to introduce solids. I’m excited to see how you react.

I think I am going to change it so that I write to you monthly for a little summary and then when there are new things that you do or new adventures that we’ve had them write about them too rather than attempting to write a weekly post. We’ll see how it goes otherwise I might be back.

Love you lots little one

Mummy x