28 Nov 2013

Musings on Motherhood: My Baby is Four Months old!

You are such a sociable little boy and when we go anywhere you work the room looking from face to face for a reaction. Most people grace you with a smile and then you beam back at them with your million dollar smile (as Granny says your whole face lights up). You are a happy chappy and love babbling away to yourself and exploring your toys. You are really enjoying all of the toys hanging from your baby gym and especially love the big sheep head with crinkly ears. You also love holding the ribbon ring that 'Auntie' Hannah made for you. You have recently started clutching onto your blankie and will probably take after your mummy with a comfort blanket. You have also spent a lot of this month chewing on your fingers and hand - I think you are teething. We are going through about three dribble bibs a day!
Your new trick is 'standing up' and you just 'plank' all the time - making it tricky to get you into your car seat or baby bouncer without karate chopping your middle! You also love blowing bubbles and look very pleased with yourself for managing it. You are trying to roll over and when you're having tummy time and can roll onto your back (or fall as some would see it). We love going to baby sensory classes and you have just started water babies with daddy and you love, love, love being in the water. You look so cute gliding along like a little seal in your wet suit.

You have had a sickness bug this month and it has taken you a while to get over - in fact you are still doing some pretty explosive nappies. Mummy pretends she doesn't love it when you want to snuggle on her chest for hours. It is no secret that she hasn't enjoyed laundering the three outfits a day you have been going through!
We had a visit from auntie Mara and enjoyed a day out to the pumpkin patch when daddy went on tour with his football team to France. We all went out for a meal for daddy's birthday and you were very well behaved. We also visited the grandparents in Hodnet and granny enjoyed lots of snuggles with you. Grandad was very impressed with how strong you are and how close to rolling over you are. He pushed you all around a craft fair like a very proud grandad.
You have continued to put weight on well and feed well every two and a half to three hours of between 4-6 mils, but in the last week you are clearly putting on a growth spurt and are now draining bottles of 8 mils. I think you are getting a bit tired of milk and are always eying up our food - it will be fun to wean you in January. 
You are also becoming more sociable with other babies and I can see that you are going to be a friendly and confident young man. You have been reaching out and holding hands with other babies - or pulling their hair like the cheeky monkey that you are.
You are falling into more of a routine with your sleeping and the last few nights we have been following a new bed time routine and you have fallen asleep around 7pm and so we've had an evening together - score. Previously you were sleeping from about ten till four and then waking again at 7 for a feed. I miss our lie ins till nine as you get up earlier on the new regime.  

Mummy and daddy:-

We are still totally obsessed with you. The sickness bug we all caught knocked the wind out of our sails a bit and there were some very tiring days with a fractious little baby with a poorly tummy. Mummy is really enjoying being home with you and we love to play, take walks in the pram and go to all the groups. She already feels sad at the prospect of leaving you one day to go back to work. Recently you only like being fed by mummy and she pretends to be put out by this, but secretly likes being so wanted and loved by you. 
Daddy finds he is tired after work and often needs a little power nap - on the floor, or with you in bed. He has the ability to make you laugh and giggle the most by pulling silly faces.  The other night I was making dinner whilst he watched you and there was a lot of noise coming from the lounge. I came through and daddy was standing on the revolving sofa with a tambourine and music blaring from the radio - you were sitting in your baby bouncer killing yourself laughing. What a pair of nutters! 
Daddy is really excited to take you to Belgium at New Years and for his dad and grandparents to meet you. Mummy is really excited for Christmas and putting up a tree full of twinkling lights to beguile you.
We are so blessed to have you in our lives.

So very thankful for...

These two heart breakers!

Daddy's jumper - Ted Baker Outlet in York
Baby's jumper - Next

25 Nov 2013

Mini Memory Mondays: Fifteen minute layouts

Recently I have had a few questions asking about how I manage so much baby scrapbooking when I have a real live baby to deal with. 
I have been loving Ashli's series on fitting it all in and agree with her advice to just scrap whenever you can and to leave your projects out so that when you have a spare few minutes you can quickly do a small part of your layout. 

However it is difficult when you don't have a specific scrap space - I used to but now it is The Baby's nursery so I use our dining room table. As we all know scrapping gets messy - my supplies explode all over the table, chairs and floor - and then we need to eat! Sometimes I can convince The Belgian to go for lap suppers and leave a project out for a while and then I am far more likely to scrap.

My best times to scrap are during nap times, late at night when The Baby is asleep or when The Belgian is at home and 'on duty' (as we call it!). I like Ashli's advice about avoiding the internet vacuum. I can seriously spend hours browsing pinterest, facebook, instagram and twitter but if I get straight to scrapping I get a lot more done and it is more satisfying than mindlessly pinning pages you wish you could be producing.

So why were these three layouts so quick?

1) I used scraps from other projects so that I didn't have to sift through all of my papers

2) I used papers from 12 by 12 pads that are already co-ordinated so that I don't have to think about colour co-ordination

3) I embellished with buttons, stamps, stickers and thickers and I keep a grab box of my favourite embellishments close by when I scrap

4)  Use washi tape or staples as adhesive - super quick and no drying time

5) Use stamps or stickers as the title so that you don't have to think of a clever title

6) If they are 'just because' pictures you don't always need journalling and so they are even quicker to complete

What are your scrapping quick fixes?

(These pictures break my heart a little bit as my baby is four months today and he is not that little helpless baby with milk spots on his nose anymore...sigh...four month's post coming soon...)

24 Nov 2013

Christmas card ideas...

On December 4th I am running a Christmas craft evening at my church and so I have been scanning pinterest for some quick, easy and effective card and wrapping ideas. Check out my inspiration board here.
Here are some of my trial runs:-

Supplies needed for card: blank card, red, white and green buttons, fine liner black pen, green washi tape, wooden star, sentiment stamp and ink pad
For wrapping: kraft paper, washi tape, bakers twine, stamp and ink pad

 Supplies: washi tape, sentiment stamp, printer parcel tape and green embellishment

 Supplies for card: green scrapbook paper, polka dot scrapbook paper, making envelopes tutorial, washi tape, sentiment stamp and ink pad, red buttons

Supplies needed: washi tape, stamp, star and ink pad

Do you like making your own cards? What ideas have seen for this year?

23 Nov 2013

7 Highly Irritating Habits of a Husband

So in a spirit of love and banter I have been planning this list in my head during the night feeds:-

1) Washing only three items he needs for work / football when the washing basket is full

2) Refusing to be in any photos (hence why I have to take them when he is asleep)

3) The non-verbal feedback on my driving, for example sighing, pressing the pretend brake pedal, wincing and occasionally (and most annoyingly) reaching across and beeping the horn when he feels I have been wronged!

4) Watching documentaries about serial killers - seriously?

5) He has lots of really nice jumpers - Ted Baker, Next, Tommy Hilfiger, Zara - and yet he always wears the same grungy, grey hoody from Primark. Like every day.

6) He answers the landline and then, without saying anything, hands it to me to speak. When I am totally unprepared. Grrr.

7) He hangs his bath towel over the shower and so when I get up to shower I have to find somewhere else to hang it so it doesn't get wet and so that I can shower. I tell him to do this part himself, yet every morning what do I find? That towel taunting me. And I hate the towel too because its about a decade old and is red with some Belgian football team crest on it (surprise, surprise). He insists it is the best towel we have. I think its an eyesore.

 Please let me know which number(s) apply to that special man / woman in your life - or is it just me? Or has your partner got some uniquely annoying habits?

Plus coming soon a guest post from The Belgian himself entitled 'Payback'... 

22 Nov 2013

Foodie Friday: Toast in Ilkley


In my family we are all big fans of sour dough bread and so on a recent mummy and baby trip to Ilkley I spotted this cute new cafe and had to pop in to check it out.
I loved the cute little touches with the decor, like the mini Hovis loaf tins and the metal drums to house the loaves for sale.
The menu is fairly limited and is based around toast and the idea of comfort eating - perfect for a chilly November day in Yorkshire. 
It was reasonably priced and would be a perfect place to stop for some homemade cake and a hot drink.
I went for the special of the day - Tomato and carrot (I think?) soup. I should really write these things down. It was tasty, hot and perfect accompanied by home baked sour dough bread lathered in butter. I do feel that they were a bit mean with their portions of bread - but then I do love it so...
I also had a big mug of hot chocolate and that was very welcome on this autumnal day.
There was a raised table and stool at the front of the cafe that was perfect for parking my pram besides. The Baby likes lots of eye contact and smiles and so he enjoyed this very much.
The waitresses made a fuss of him and service was quite good.
They have only been open for a few months, so if you are in the area then pop in for a snack or light lunch.
Plus Ilkley is a very pretty little town and has great charity shops (thrift shops to my American friends) and so you could bag a bargain whilst you're at it. 

What is your favourite type of bread? 

20 Nov 2013

Christmas Wishlist for my Baby

We're getting excited around here for Christmas and trying to remind ourselves that he will only be five months old at Christmas and probably won't realise he is getting presents. However, I have seen the idea on blogland of something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read and think this will stop me going too crazy.
So some ideas for The Baby's stocking...

What is on your Christmas wish list?

18 Nov 2013

Mini Memory Mondays: Finishing touches

Just quickly popping in to share a few more baby pages. We have all been hit by the lurgy this weekend so I won't include !y usual essay. I am sure you can spot all the finishing touches from glittery pegs and thickets to buttons, washi and ribbon. Some of the embellishments were even cut from wrapping paper that people wrapped his gifts in and so I liked recycling that too.

15 Nov 2013

Foody Friday: Date night at Pho at Leeds Trinity

So, I am told that three date nights in three months is pretty impressive by my other mummy friends and we are lucky that we have great friends who we trust and who volunteer to babysit.
The lovely people at Pho invited me for a complimentary meal and said I could bring a plus one - which is so much better than flying solo! So date night number three was on the cards.
The mention of Pho always makes us laugh as during our road trip to California a few summers ago we were relying heavily on a guide book to find good places to stay and eat.
Upon arriving in Orange County we wanted to visit a place called 'What the Pho' and so we pounded the pavements in search of it. We asked several people who said that they had never heard of it. One shop owner even let us come in and check up on their internet. Turns out it didn't exist. The perils of a three year out of date guidebook. And half an hour we'd never get back.
So finally two years and a baby on and we got our Pho.
Only we didn't technically get any Pho...just a whole lot of starters and juice.

I am not a big seafood fan so I found some of the dishes a bit flavourless, especially the Goi Cuon (summer rolls ) however The Belgian loved the Goi Cuon Tom - a summer roll with prawn filling instead. The chilli dipping sauces did add some spice and interest to the dish.
The Cha Gio Chay (fried veggie spring rolls) were really tasty and I would definitely order them and they even had the carnivores nod of approval. High praise indeed when there was chicken, pork, prawns and squid to choose from.
We all loved the Nem Nuong (grilled pork and lemongrass meatballs) and were advised to wrap them in the lettuce leaves they were served in and then dip in the plum sauce. Very juicy and packed full of flavour.
The Muc Chien giong (tender fried baby squid with salt, pepper and lime dip) was very popular on our table and were soon just an empty platter.
The fresh juices were a real treat too and I got to try every flavour. Certainly got my five-a-day! I would recommend apple, mint and lime as it was refreshing and zingy, but the carrot, apple and ginger was warming and festive too.

We finished off our night with an oreo shake at TGI's as we were under strict orders by our babsitter to make the most of our baby free night. And so we did...and boy did we need it! 

12 Nov 2013

12 weeks in one layout...

I love all the chalk board cuteness going on on pinterest and in the world of scrapbooking.
In those frustrating weeks waiting for my baby boy to make an arrival I purchased a mini chalk board on that well known bidding site.
When it arrived I was a bit surprised exactly how small it was.
My plan had been to write messages on and to take pictures of the baby 'holding' it. Things like 'thank-you' and it turns out all I could really fit was numbers.
So each Thursday I took an instax mini picture of him for the first 12 weeks to chart his growth and how he changed. 
I didn't quite manage every week and so I used a journalling card as the title and to replace the missing picture. (I do think that I got all of them on my digital camera but it wouldn't have fitted in.)

I really enjoyed making this layout and using up all my scraps. 
I also stamped and added washi tape and wood veneers to add some texture.
Washi tape added colour and interest to the mini poloroids. 

I don't want to be the cliched mummy, but he really has grown up so fast and changed so much.
These photos aren't perfect (and they aren't even the outtakes!) so you can imagine...but I like that. That is the point of instax - it captures the moment and you can't just delete them like digital pictures. 

This layout makes me smile. 
What has made you smile today?

10 Nov 2013


I have blogged before about my families' remembrance Sunday tradition of visiting the cenetaph in London. However since we are all scattered across the British aisles with families of our own it doesn't happen anymore but above is a layout I made to celebrate this tradition. In fact we also have some video footage of us all red nosed and shivering, but happily, waiting on a wall to wave at the Queen. My little sister, Gem, always had her 'boy' hat on.

The journalling on the layout reads:
"There are a few things I love about this photo. Firstly we are waiting in the freezing cold to watch the remembrance day parade and that is a family tradition we always loved. Secondly the green jeans, the multi-coloured jumper and baseball cap are 90's fashion all over. Lastly I have my nose stuck in a book and not just any book one of The Babysitter's Club books. I loved those books and got the whole series. It's always the little things that you remember about a big day."

I have always thought its funny the things we remember and how somebody can be at the same event as you but yet remember things completely different to the details that you remember. In fact it is one of the things that I discuss with my sixth formers when we study 'Aspects of Narrative' and the factors that affect the readers' relationship with a novel. I always get them to tell me the details that they remember from prom as an example of how each person's story is different. One girl had just broken up with her long-term boyfriend and so spent the evening glum in the corner, whereas one had over indulged and spent the evening hugging the toilet and one had got to dance with the guy she had always liked throughout school so it was the best night of her life!

Recently members of my extended family have posted pictures of my grandparents on Facebook. Both pictures that I had never seen before and so I was very excited to see them when they were younger and to imagine their lives before me. Since this blog is part of my own personal records and family history I thought I would note down some of my memories of my grandads:-

Grandpa Jones: 
  • he made great bread pudding and he would give it to us covered in tin foil and my dad and I would devour it on the way home.
  • he always made really tasty roast dinners when we visited on a Sunday and even though I always told him that I was vegetarian, he always gave me meat as he didn't "believe" in being veggie and so I would just slide it onto my sisters plate when he wasn't looking . It was always greatly received by her.
  • he had a 'mighty mouse' in his shoulder and would twitch his muscle and we would scream with delight. I think that I really believed that it was a mouse.
  • he had a dry sense of humour and I could never tell if he was being serious or not.

Grandad Dallendar:
  • I only met him on a handful of occasions as he lived in South Africa and one of these of these times was a two week holiday to France.
  • He loved playing cards and taught me to play rummy on that holiday.
  • He got stuck halfway down a water slide at the camp sight as it was the children's one! So this little French boy, who was next in the queue, just went down after him and simply climbed over him when he got to the 'obstruction'. We all found it hilarious!
  • He loved Maggie Thatcher and thought that she had done great things for our country. (He was an Eastender but moved to South Africa with the army.)
I will leave you with my favourite stanza from the poem Flanders Fields:-
"We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields."

8 Nov 2013

Foodie Friday: Wahaca South Bank, London

I'm a big fan of Mexican food and I love street food where you can have a little try of everything and share dishes. So during the summer my sister took me to Wahaca on the South Bank and I loved it.
Here is a pictoral summary of our experience:

All of their food is seriously tasty and 'moorish.' I would highly recommend going here with a big group and sharing lots of little dishes - it's the way forward. For London it is very reasonably priced and the service was friendly. 

The Belgian was very taken with the decor and spent weeks researching how to build a home from shipping containers. It is very on trend and the hot pink and turquoise is a striking combination. 
Bear in mind we had the summer menu - details of the winter menu's available here.
Plus I got the owner, Tomasina Miers', recipe book for my birthday and highly recommend making the broad bean, feta and mint quesadillas...the flavours are magical together. Plus there are some great recipes on her blog.
I only wish that she would open some restaurants in the North as the Mexican's round here need a bit of livening up.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...