Monday, 30 May 2016

Going on holiday with a baby and all the STUFF!

We decided to go on a 3 night trip to Cornwall when baby Andrew was 4 months old. Pre-baby I had no idea just how much STUFF they need. I don't think we were being excessive, yet here is what we ended up taking. I've probably forgotten something too.

  • Travel cot and mattress cover
  • Spare mattress cover
  • 2 x blanket
  • Pushchair and car seat
  • Rain cover for pushchair (definitely needed!)
  • Baby carrier
  • Cold water steriliser tub
  • 6 x bottles
  • 4 x little containers for milk powder
  • Box of formula
  • 6 x instant milk
  • Milton sterilising tablets
  • Approx 20 nappies
  • Wipes
  • Cotton balls
  • Nappy bags
  • Sudocrem
  • Eczema cream
  • Infacol
  • Calpol
  • Thermometer
  • Changing bag
  • Dummies x 3
  • 4 x night sleep suits
  • 3 x day time outfits
  • 6 x vests
  • One emergency outfit that lived in the changing bag
  • Sunhat
  • 3 x bibs
  • 3 x muslins
  • 2 x booties
  • 1 rattle
And a small backpack each for mum and dad's clothes, toiletries etc.

The car, which isn't small, was completely rammed and I think we used pretty much everything we brought with us except the Calpol and thermometer (phew). How do people with two children manage? Hopefully it gets easier when they aren't relying on sterilised bottles of milk.

Anyway, a good time was had despite experiencing almost every kind of weather, until the way home when I started getting an upset stomach. Thankfully I managed to hold it together until we got home. Hurrah for easy access to buckets! I rather ruined the end of my holidays by being sick all evening. Meanwhile my superstar husband unpacked everything and took care of baby Andrew as I upchucked the last of my holiday meals out. What a champ!

Beautiful, British holiday weather. 

Friday, 27 May 2016


I love this time of year. My garden is properly greening up and stuff is starting to grow. We've planted out the potatoes, the peas and beans, some spinach and lettuce and the sweet corn will be going out soon (it's currently sat on a window sill in my living room). The birds are making babies and we've seen some swallows. Summer is on its way soon!

Continuing on the nature theme, I've been doodling leaves recently. Personally I love when everything is in its green stage.

green leaf onesie

green leaf onesie

But autumn colours are pretty too. 

autumn onesie
autumn onesie

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Back to Nature

Bit random, but I decided carrots would look nice on a baby onesie. And why not? We do a lot of gardening, and grow some epic carrots, maybe that was in the back of my mind.

As well as getting a bit bored of blue for boys and pink for girls, I also get bored with cars/dinosaurs/bears for boys and flowers/butterflies for girls. Girls can like dinosaurs if they so wish! And boys can enjoy flowers too. I've got plans for lots of other cute fruit and veggie themed onesies.

On a similar note, I made another onesie which features fir trees.

A simple design but something a little different. 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

My name is Anne-Marie and I'm addicted to patchwork hexagons

I do love a patchwork project when I find the time. I especially enjoy English paper piecing as you can get really precise joins all sewn by hand so you can do in front of the telly without annoying your other half with your sewing machine blaring away. See, I'm being thoughtful of others (sort of, if you ignore all the bits of fabric and thread strewn about the place).

I am particularly obsessed with hexagons. I don't know why they're so appealing, but ever since I discovered the English paper piecing technique for patchwork, I've become a hexaholic. If more proof were ever needed, I present to you the hexagon quilt!

Please excuse the terrible photography, but you get the idea.

The hexagon quilt started off life as hundreds (maybe thousands, I never counted them) of little, individual paper hexagons which I covered in fabric:

These were then all hand-sewn to each other like this:

And they were all sewn to each other with a little white path between each one.
This design is a grandmother's flower garden, although mine is quite a funky one.

Once I'd finished hand sewing all the hexagons together, I had to quilt the whole thing. I had planned on doing this by machine, however my sewing machine is really not set up for quilting and it couldn't handle the thick wadding I used (clever me). So I ended up hand-quilting the entire thing along the white paths, which took For.Ev.Er.

Once all the quilting was complete, I machine sewed the binding on the front side, and hand sewed the binding on the back side by stitching in the ditch. Also seemed to take forever! I am a lot more enamoured with the patch working than I am with the quilting.

More hexagons...

So there we have it. This quilt took ca. 13 months to complete from start to finish, although I did do several other projects during this time, as well as moving house, doing tons of DIY, changing jobs, relearning how to drive. So a normal person could probably finish it sooner. I really enjoyed sewing all those hexagons together, but I am relieved it is finally finished. And it's being given to a special friend of mine, who I hope will get plenty enjoyment out of it too.

If you're interested in going hexagon mad (and how could you not be!?) then I highly recommend the following tutorial from Cintia at My Poppet. I found it easy to follow and pretty to look at. What more could you want? 

PS, I only meant to make a table runner at first, and it went and turned into a double quilt. Like I mentioned, hexagons are addictive. You've been warned.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016


I am enjoying maternity leave for the most part, but some days I do feel myself going a little dotty.

Ah I made myself laugh at least. Seriously though, if I don't get out of the house, or do something fun and crafty with my fingers for a few days, I do start to go a little stir crazy. It's safe to say colouring in onesies has become a form of therapy on the days when we're cooped indoors.

The possibilities with dots and circles are almost endless.
I think this will be the first dotty onesie of many.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

All Stars

I do love a colourful star design. So I drew one, then another, and another. 

rainbow star onesie

rainbow star

orange star onesie

orange red star

green star onesie

green star

I drew these very freehand but I think the slight wonkiness adds to the charm. 
There will be different colour variations of this to come soon as I am still addicted to drawing stars.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Stuff I wish I'd known before I had a c-section

Baby A was not in a hurry to make his way into the world, so in the end he was evicted by emergency c-section, but that is a story for another day. Here are the things I wish I had known prior to having my c-section.

The pain! Of course I knew it would hurt afterwards, but it didn't hurt how I expected it to. The first time I went to stand up, about 24 hours after the op, I couldn't stand upright. I had to do this hunched over shuffle, like they had sewn me up too tightly! Very weird. And it took a good few weeks to be able to function. I couldn't get in the shower on my own, or carry my baby up the stairs for the first two weeks. Three months on and I still get the odd twinge if I've had an mildly active day. The moral of the story is, take it easy and accept any pain medication they offer you.

Don't invite funny people to see you and the baby afterwards. It hurts to laugh for at least a couple of weeks. Sneezing is also not recommended.

You get to wear oh so sexy compression stockings day and night for 6 weeks afterwards. 6 WEEKS! I had no idea. And the hospital only provided 2 pairs so I was constantly waiting for a pair to dry while suffering from very stinky feet.

You're not done with needles once the op is over. I had to have daily injections for a week afterwards to lower the risk of DVT. I couldn't bring myself to do this so my husband did it. I hope you or a close person aren't squeamish.

Even if you feel fine to drive before the recommended 6 weeks, your car insurance might be invalid until then. If like me you live in a rural village 5 miles from anywhere, it makes for a stir crazy couple of weeks counting down to the magical 6 week number.

I don't mean to be so negative, c-sections are of course wonderful things when nature isn't going quite to plan. So here are a few positives I didn't expect from c-section.

It doesn't have to be scary, even if it is unplanned. Mine wasn't a crash, get the baby out this minute kind of section, but it was an emergency. My waters had been gone for 3 days, a whole day of induction had done nothing except cause me pain and the baby was just starting to get stressed. Yet the staff were all so calm and caring that I didn't feel scared or anxious in the lead-up or during. And when it was confirmed I'd be heading to the operating theatre, my overriding emotion was relief. We'd be meeting this baby at last!

Even though I was pretty much off my face by the time I got to surgery (diamorphine will do that to you) I knew the precise moment my baby was pulled from my body. I didn't feel any pain, but I did feel a sudden weight lifted off me and all of a sudden I could breathe deeply for the first time in months. It was very surreal. True a lot of c-section births mean you are separated from your baby while they stitch you up, but I don't feel it negatively affected the bond I have with my son. And it did mean Daddy got to have those first minutes-old cuddles instead. Lucky Daddy!

I'm strangely proud of my scar. When I look at it, I think, that scar represents what saved my baby and probably me too. I dread to think how things could have ended had I been giving birth a hundred years ago. My scar is not ugly, or something to be ashamed of, it is my happy ending.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Speaking of rain

It's nothing new that the weather is pretty changeable in the UK. Case in point, on Monday it was bright sunshine, over 20 degrees C, gorgeous. I was going to take baby Andrew for a nice, long walk when I realised we don't have a sunhat for our winter baby. 

So the very next day, I bought him a sunhat. So cute!

This is what the weather did. All day long.

And you know what we also don't have for baby Andrew? A raincoat. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Rainy Day

Is there anything more British than rain? Probably not. 
So here is my own version of patriotism.

rain onesie

Some might say it's a little depressing, but I can't think of many more fun things to do with little ones than put your wellies on and go and jump in some rain puddles. So keen on this are we in our family, that a dear relative bought baby Andrew his first pair of wellies when he was not yet a fortnight old. True they probably won't fit for a good couple of years, but when they do, boy will we be ready to jump in some puddles!

Also, let it be noted I made a predominantly blue onesie for once. But I think it's suitable for girls as well as well as boys. We can all have fun on rainy days.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Little Star

In baby news, my little lad slept through for the first time last week at 3 and a half months old and it was amazing! I don't for a second believe we've magically cracked it, and it would have been extra nice had Mummy managed to also sleep through, but it sure is an improvement on the waking every 2 hours to feed we were doing until not so long ago. 

I find it awkward to talk about my baby's developments and milestones among baby circles, since it either seems to descend into who has it worst or a my baby is a genius competition. It always seems as though one person hasn't slept a wink in 28 years, while another person's baby came out of the womb signalling in semaphore while whistling some Mozart. We're probably somewhere in the middle. Sometimes my baby sleeps well, and sometimes he doesn't. Either way, he's a little star. And with that in mind, here are some more little stars.

star onesie

I like this particular star themed onesie because it is so colourful. 
And I could use almost any range of colours I like on future ones.

star onesie

There's something really therapeutic about drawing lots of stars. I've already made a long sleeved version of this design for my son since I enjoyed it so much. If he keeps on sleeping like this, hopefully I'll manage a whole lot more.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

My other baby projects

I enjoy a variety of crafts such as making dollhouse miniatures from polymer clay (more on that another day), drawing, patchwork and sewing. But when I discovered I was pregnant I decided to learn to knit because that is the thing to do (in my strange, little world). 

It didn't start out so well, this was meant to be straight...

bad knitting

But I persevered and I got better. My first proper project was this baby blanket. 

baby blanket

All I can say is, it's a good thing pregnancy last 9 months! It took me at least 6 months to complete this even though it is entirely knit stitch throughout. But I am pretty pleased with it, and we have gotten a lot of use out of it.

Then I started to get ambitious (sort of) and in the last month or so of my pregnancy made a matching cardigan, hat and bootie set.

knitted baby outfit

pig button

green baby hat
Including world's tiniest handmade pom pom!
I was super pleased with how these turned out for a first attempt. The only problem was no-one mentioned to my unborn baby how big (I mean small) a newborn is supposed to be. The not-so little dear came into this world at nearly 10 pounds and wore his first cardigan all of once on the trip home from hospital. The hat and booties were too small to ever fit!

Cute but his tubby gut was already bursting out at 3 days old.
Oh well. If I ever get around to doing some more knitting (if the baby ever allows it) I will size everything to be enormous!

Monday, 2 May 2016


I think this might be my favourite hand drawn baby onesie so far. It's probably because I got to use all the colours on this one.

baby onesie rainbow

But who doesn't like rainbows and chevrons? I think I will be making some of these to keep.