Wednesday, 27 November 2013


I don't remember any of my Grandparents, my Mum's Mum was my last living Grandparent, but my memories of her are very hazy and possibly based on photographs. 

I have always hoped it would be different for my own children. At some point during my teenage years I tried to make my Dad promise not to die until he had met all of my children (I have no idea how many I imagined having). My Dads age worried me, and I had grown up with my niece's and nephews having more grandparents then they could ever wish for. I wanted my children to have a similar experience and relationship with their Grandparents as my nieces and nephews have had.

Well it seems that wish of mine has been granted. Fred has four very doting Grandparents :)

Jamie's parents came to visit a week after Fred was born, they helped with the upkeep of the house and spent much time cooing over our beautiful little boy.

I am surprised by the strength of feeling on the side of the grandparents. I hope she won't mind me sharing, but a couple of times during my pregnancy Marion, Jamie's Mum, told me she hated children and it was a miracle her children survived. I have since realised that this was a little tongue in cheek; but as a hormonal and irrational pregnant person, I worried she would find Fred a nuisance and not want to spend time with him. 

It turns out she is completely in love with Fred and a very proud Gran who is excited about shopping for Fred's Christmas presents.

My parents visited a couple of weeks later when I had myself more together so we were able to go out and do things together. We still took it easy with many relaxing afternoons. Fred spent many hours draped over my Dad's belly, it seems it is the perfect shape for sleeping babies.

My Mum threatened to take Fred home a few times. I don't blame her, he is a cutie.

 Unfortunately both sets of Grandparents live many miles away, and even though we have always made a concerted effort to visit and contact our parents regularly, it is hard on them and us that they are so far away. Having Fred has highlighted this, because he changes so much even day to day. I feel bad that they are missing out and will only get to see him a few times a year. 

One thing that has and will greatly help is Skype. We used to talk about many things over skype, now it has turned in to the Fred show :). My Mum tells me off if she cant see him.

I love it, and so do they.

We will be visiting both families over Christmas. Something Jamie and I are really looking forward to. It will be wonderful to see Fred interacting with our families.

If you have any advice about maintaining a healthy long distance grandparent- grandchild relationship I would be grateful for your input.

Friday, 22 November 2013

6 weeks after giving birth

It is safe to say that my life has changed dramatically in the last 6 weeks and so has my body, the next two photos are the before and after. The first was taken the day before I was induced, the second taken yesterday, just over 6 weeks after giving birth.

To be honest, I'm quite surprised that my body has sprung back so quickly! I am eating more than I have ever eaten. Last week when Fred and I had colds all I did for 3 days was sit on the sofa watching day time TV (yes I am ashamed that I watched 60 minute makeover 4 times in one week!) and eating huge amounts of chocolate while I felt ridiculously sorry for myself. Somehow I still lost 1 pound of baby weight! Maybe I should be a pin up for breast feeding. Fred does eat A LOT, that has got to burn many calories : )

I do have a few stretch marks around my belly button, but hopefully they will fade with time.

Anyway enough about me, Fred is recovering well from his cold and we have recently discovered the joys of 'baby wearing' Fred loves it and will usually fall asleep within minutes of being in the sling. 

It is also pretty nice being the carrier, having him all snuggled up and happy on your chest.

Photos from my phone

I received this beautiful blanket in the post. It was made for Fred my lovely friend Kayleigh, I absolutely love it and I'm sure Fred will too!

I had a lovely day out and managed to have my hair cut, all thanks to my friends Abbie and Jen who helped look after Fred.

To cheer me up last week, when Fred and I were both ill, my mum sent me a little card of flowers. So cute and a really nice idea!

Cute, I am. Hmmmm!
I'm still trying to get a good photo of him in his Yoda hat, kindly knitted by his ultra talented Aunty Vicky.

Fred is now a member of the library. He is well on his way to being a genius :)

The return of 'photos from my phone' shows that I have been getting out more, until recently all of the photos on my phone have been of Fred. 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Sale on at People Tree

If you have been reading this blog for a while you will know that I try to shop responsibly, this includes trying to buy clothes that are either from charity shops or are fairly traded. This is sometimes pretty difficult because I have a limited clothes budget and finding particular things you need when charity shop shopping can be almost impossible, so I refuse to beat myself up about shopping in Next or New Look for things every now and then.

When there is a great sale on a People Tree I get excited and go shopping guilt free! People Tree is a pioneer in Fair trade and environmentally friendly fashion. Which can sometimes mean the clothes are a little out of my price range. But they currently have a mega sale, free delivery on orders over £30 AND a cheeky extra 10% off the sale price!

Here are some of my favourite finds...
This really cute cat T-shirt is only £16.20 down from £45! and it has cats on it, what more do you want?

 This dress is more expensive at £43.00 (it was £60) but it is green, has bicycles on it and the model obviously feels sassy.
And look at this sausage dog scarf! perfect for cheering you up on a cold day, only £20.16 reduced from £32.

If you are not a size 10 you can get a goody bag, with 4 items of clothing and an accessory for only £35!
You can't return or exchange the items you get, but after reading the reviews I think it is a good gamble! I would do it in a heart beat but they don't have a pack available in my size : (

Monday, 11 November 2013

Lego; lets build

This advert makes me excited for the many years of fun we have ahead of us. I'm not wishing time away, but thinking of the future is helping me to get through Fred's first cold. I am feeling really sorry for him and myself. On well, it won't last forever!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Jamie's Giant Jaffa Cake (Recipe)

Jamie loves Jaffa cakes.
Mcvities don't use fairly traded chocolate so Jamie can't eat them (he has given up eating non fair trade chocolate)
I have been planning to make him this giant Jaffa cake for his birthday for almost a year. It was a challenge, but it turned out pretty well so I thought I would share my recipe.

Orange Madeira cake (adapted from the best of GBBO Lemon and poppyseed Madeira cake):

250g Plain Flour
1 Tsp Baking powder
Pinch of salt
225g unsalted butter
200g Caster sugar
1 orange
3 large eggs

20 cm round cake tin

Orange jelly:

Two packs of orange jelly 
1pt water

Chocolate top:

300g of plain or milk chocolate

Method for the sponge:-
 Cream the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Add the zest of the orange and beat for 5 minutes.
Gradually beat in the whisked egg, and the the juice of the orange. Gradually fold in the flour with a metal spoon.
Transfer to the tin, and spread evenly, bang the tin on the work top to get rid of any air bubbles then bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for an hour or until golden and springy.

For the orange Jelly:
Make up both packs of jelly using only 1pt of water so it sets harder then usual. Leave to set in a round bottomed dish. Getting the jelly out of the mould and on to the cake is the most tricky part of this recipe. I warmed the jelly from beneath by putting it in a hot bath of water then up ended the whole thing straight on to the top of the cake. It didn't end up central on the cake but it did stay.

For the chocolate top:
Melt the chocolate over a saucepan of water, then leave the chocolate to cool to almost room temperature. Spread over the top of the cake and jelly whilst praying the jelly won't melt. 
Leave to set and voila you have a Giant Jaffa Cake!

Jamie was very happy with his surprise Giant Jaffa Cake and enjoyed his Birthday cuddles with Fred.

Monday, 4 November 2013

It takes a whole village...

Having Fred has helped to further my understanding of community and its importance. As well as our family and our friends we have an extended family, our church family.

The day before I was induced some of the women of the church got together to bless me with another awesome baby shower. This baby shower was really quite poignant because I felt so loved and accepted by the church family, and the excitement of welcoming the new baby in to the church was almost palpable.

I had a lovely afternoon, eating cake, sharing pregnancy stories and opening mountains of presents!

Since giving birth Jamie, Fred and I have been extremely blessed to have our main meals provided for us for 4 whole weeks, the first week my house group took the reins then our church family took over for the subsequent 3 weeks. It has been wonderful not to have to worry about meal planning and food shopping. 

Frankly some days I don't know how I would have eaten without this wonderful version of meals on wheels.

Even though our family all live over 200 miles away, we have a great network of friends and church family that already actively support us and even more importantly love Fred to bits. We have managed to get to church for the last two weeks, the best thing is seeing the joy a baby can bring to people of all ages. I am so thankful for this community and I hope I can be a blessing to them also.

Friday, 1 November 2013

What a difference a baby makes...

Wow Babies are demanding!
 Fred is the most amazing little person, he makes the best noises and faces.

When Jamie went back to work, it was a bit of a shock for both of us. I tried not to wake Jamie at night and then quickly burnt out, loosing patience with Fred, Jamie and Myself. It has been a couple of weeks now though and we are slowly getting the hang of it. I know now when I need to wake Jamie for help, also some evenings Jamie looks after Fred while I get a head start on sleep.

We are getting the hang of the reusable nappies, we have had a couple of accidents and are using disposable at night for now. It makes me feel better to know that every reusable we use is one less nappy in land fill.

Fred eats A LOT; breast feeding is going really well, thank goodness, the only issue is that he sometimes uses me a bit like a dummy, and can feed for hours at a time. Google tells me that this is because he is going through a growth spurt. He is certainly growing very quickly, he is already in the next size up in baby grows.

I'm recovering well from my C-Section. The scar is healing really well, it currently looks like someone has drawn on my with a red biro, it is also very low down; I could still wear a bikini and no one would see it. I have lost a lot of the baby weight already, I put that completely down to breast feeding. It makes me really hungry and thirsty!

My favourite thing about  Fred is the cuddles when he is falling asleep. 
he smells great, even though we don't bath him that often!