40+3

40+2

(This was technically taken last night before bed)

Come on Blueberry!!!

Today is Blueberry’s original delivery date but following the first scan back in December, their due date was moved to the 1st. It’s now 5:40pm and currently there is no sign of Blueberry joining us today either.

My feet/ankles can’t decide whether to swell or not so each evening they are swelling up, they go down by the morning and start again.

I’m fed up as I’m not sleeping great (all in practice I know!) but Chris is then encouraging me out of bed most mornings to get moving and do things.

Blueberry can’t decide where to sit so keeps fidgeting which is good but I’d like him/her to stay engaged and heading the right direction! (Preferably quicker too!)

Today we went to the garden centre which I didn’t mind but it’s been hot and very sunny today so actually heading for the shade today would have been good. I spotted this while we were there, so I snapped a picture and sent it to Kewey.

You are my sunshine

Around lunchtime we grabbed a snack. I had a cream tea but Chris had a coffee instead (it tends to work out cheaper that way!). Chris had gluten free Lemon Drizzle Cake (he said that Jaffa’s was better!)

Cream Non-Tea

Following that we headed back to the car and home via Hobbycraft so that I could get some wool to carry on Christmas presents (already! I know).

Our Sidekick has got in from school late and WW3 kicked off again. Nearly every afternoon/evening for the last two weeks ish there’s been an argument about one thing or another – I can’t put my finger on whether it’s teenage boy hormones or pregnant lady hormones but I’m sure usually it’s not my fault but this evening, I don’t think I helped matters. I tried to walk away and did but when you add it to my general fed up state and I shut myself away in tears because I’ve just had enough.

While writing this on my phone at a funny angle I found this post. Too right lol!

So yeah, come on baby let’s start this labour thing…please? Soon! Like NOW!

In Progress… (Take 2)

Works in Progress

Other than pottering round the house and visiting the Midwife I’ve taken up residence at the end of the sofa either blogging, commenting elsewhere, knitting, crocheting on generally trying make progress on any projects I have going. I had to pause on the crochet blanket as the weather was getting warmer and the blanket was cooking me.

Rather than surrender completely I figured that I’d switch to a smaller knitting project then decided to get started on Christmas – it does mean that I have more projects on the go but if baby keeps stalling then I might have plenty of time to keep going and who knows I could knit through labour too. How cool are the blue knitting needles?? I got these and a purple 4mm pair as a present from my Mum.

A few days this last week I’ve not really had the motivation to get on with knitting or crochet of any sorts then other day I’ve struggled to put the project down to sleep! Chris keeps telling me that I can’t stay in bed all day but some days that’s all I’ve wanted to do. Not because I’m tired but because I’d been so focused on getting to Blueberry’s due date that I hadn’t really sorted anything for this week to keep me occupied. On other days like Monday and today I’ve had other things booked so had to get up and get on with things.

I’ve been “learning” Freeform crochet which sounds easier than I’m actually finding it! I’m so used to following a pattern that when you don’t have a pattern it’s a bit of a challenge. I used Snovej’s blog for starters when it came to learning about freeform crochet. I’ve dug out some bits that my mum gave me for freeform crochet that I’d put away as I wasn’t sure where to start but now I have an idea I might give it more of a go. Have you had a go?

Do you have any projects in progress?

Dear Blueberry – 40 Weeks

blueberry

Dear Blueberry

So since we found out that you were on your way everything has sort of counted down to this day, I guess for a little while it counted down to the 4th as that was your original due date (and could still be your birthday). Technically your “new” due date was yesterday and you didn’t show up. So now it’s 8am on Wednesday 2nd July which also happens to be Uncle Rich’s birthday.

On Thursday, KT, Cat and I went for a drink – it was a quick drink before you arrived. Both KT and Cat had words with you about arriving on time. Cat thinks it would be really good if you shared a birthday with her little one. Except you missed it!!

She even posted this message to you before bed on Monday:

Now now baby Johnson we had our little conversation the other afternoon. Tomorrow is ur due date blueberry and time for u to arrive so u and Little One can share ur birthdays. Either way I very much look forward to meeting u x

(Emphasis/edit mine)

I’ve been drinking raspberry leaf tea since Lucy gave me a box on Monday. Daddy, Our Sidekick and I went for a curry on Monday (Magna on Tavistock Street, Bedford – so friendly and such good food!!). I had Butter Chicken, Daddy had Chicken Madras and Our Sidekick had a Chicken Korma. I tried some of Daddy’s Madras and I thought my tongue was on fire. There was no way I was going to make it through more than one mouthful when just the tiny bit of sauce and rice that I had was burning me! My butter chicken was lovely and could have polished off more lol. (You can tell baby has dropped given how much I’ve eaten in the last week or so).

I’d been in bed for about an hour watching TV on my iPad and decided that I needed to get up and do something so I sat on the space hopper typing out a blog post (having realised that my charger was upstairs and my battery was running out) for about half an hour, then headed upstairs again while Daddy finished some bits on the computer.

Tuesday started really lazy. You kept fidgeting but nothing resembling contractions going on there. Hopefully you decide to get a shifty on. Much to Daddy’s amusement I sit there and poke my bump telling you to hurry up and that I’m serving you with an eviction notice!

I went for a walk to the supermarket to buy a feather duster – we’ve had more spider webs appearing recently so it was needed.

I had a few random aches and pains but nothing consistent or that painful. I ended up walking to the supermarket for a second time. It’s still not doing anything but who knows. Let’s see.

Hope to see you soon Blueberry – we’re all desperate to meet you.

Love you

Mummy

Super Busy Mum

An (Imaginary) Road Trip

With Blueberry’s arrival imminent, field trips too far from home aren’t really an option. I guess we could go to the seaside with Chris’s Aunt and Housemate (the housemate used to be a midwife and train new midwives) and be covered as I’m sure the Housemate could save the day.

Anyway I figured I could plot and plan an imaginary road trip.

I posted on Facebook and Twitter for ideas of destinations. I wasn’t particularly clear so ended up with options like Atlantis, Route 66, Prague, Warsaw, Auschwitz, Berner Oberland, Portmeirion, Positano and Rio. Route 66 starts in Santa Monica, California and finished in Chicago, Illinois – if you follow from West to East (and it’s almost 2,500 miles from start to finish – that’s a mammoth road trip all by itself!)

Historic Route 66

Berner Oberland, Prague, Auschwitz and Warsaw could all be done on trip together – it was take a chunk of time similar to Route 66 but would still be really interesting. Berner Oberland would start you in Switzerland, you’d then go into Germany, followed by the Czech Republic and then into Poland – you’d definitely need the phrase books to hand then. Having said that if you were in the right part of Switzerland you might get away with just a German phrase book. Anyone else want to sing “The Sound of Music”? Some of the pictures of Berner Oberland look like that opening scene with Julie Andrews singing her socks off.

Berner Oberland - Biking

Positano is on the South Coast of Italy near Naples and Salerno. You could do a road trip along the west coast of Italy. You could start somewhere near the French border and then head all the way down through Rome and Naples. Italy is on the list of places I would really love to visit one day.

I decided to focus on Portmeirion though, I’ve wanted to go and see the village itself for quite a while (apparently the time I was actually offered the chance to go I turned it town – I think I need to go back and have a strict word with myself!). According to travel search website GoEuro it’s 4 hours 15 by car from Bedford, it also says you can go by train and by plane although by plane it involves a 3 hour drive from Manchester and that’s after the hour or so to Heathrow and the plane flight! – I would stick with the car from Bedford to Porthmadog, you also get to see all that scenery that you’d miss if you flew across the country.

Portmeirion

Portmeirion itself is a tourist village and was built by the designer Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. A lot of the buildings were adopted from other places and moved to the village in North Wales.

Portmeirion

A four episode story of Doctor Who starring Tom Baker as The Doctor was filmed in Portmeirion but in popular culture it’s probably most famous for appearing as The Island in The Prisoner. It was either on this show or on a documentary about the village that I first got interested in going to Portmeirion.

Portmeirion

The images are from Flickr and as usual should each link back to their original sources.

Currently…

Currently...

Currently… image from rukristin

Watching:
Doctor Who (started the Matt smith episodes on Tuesday)
House of Cards (after Becca posted about it – gave up part way through Episode 1 – think I prefer Aaron Sorkin’s take on “fictional” politics).
The Heat

Reading:
Knitting Yarns edited by Ann Hood

Listening:
Haven’t really been out in the car or if I have Chris has been driving so we’ve either been chatting or local radio is on. Around the house we’ve had UCB on.

Making:
Working on the stripy blanket when the temperature has been a little lower. I’ve also been knitting a blanket which is smaller so doesn’t cook me at the same time!

Feeling:
Sort of down. I think it’s just frustration and fed up ness I hit 39 weeks last Wednesday which means that tomorrow my baby is due. I am grateful beyond belief that I can carry a baby and be a Momma because I know how many ladies would kill to be in my shoes right now.

Planning:
Finishing up the packing ready for hospital. Planning the contingency for Our Sidekick and updating our Supporting Social Worker as Our Sidekick’s Social worker is on holiday.

Loving:
The sunshine and the gorgeous weather but wish it would be just a bit less muggy. Loving all the time I can spend with Chris, at first he was getting on my nerves as I think he hadn’t realised how much effort everything takes when you’re this close to popping out a baby.

My Mothercare Event – Bedford, 27th June

From my work colleagues (as a birthday present/maternity leaving present) and from a friend of mine I was given some gift vouchers for Mothercare – I figured they’d be handy whether it was to get baby stuff before baby arrives or for bits for baby after s/he has arrived. A few weeks back Mum and I went for a potter round the store. We knew that I needed cot bedding for definite but it would also be handy to get a changing mat. While looking we found the foam mats (like a handy one to keep under the sofa so you don’t have to go up and down stairs all day!) but we also found a cot top one. The cot top one wasn’t kept in stock but could be ordered over the internet for delivery to store. The cot top one is quite handy as we don’t really have the space for a separate unit but also it’s a fraction of the price of a unit. One end velcros around the side of the cot to hold it still and then the whole mat sits across the top of the cot (meaning that we use that space that you sort of lose unless baby is in the cot). In the store, the example can be hung down the side of the cot – in our case it doesn’t quite work due to the lack of space but we have a plan!

While we were in the store, the lady serving us asked if we’d like to come to the My Mothercare Event. We asked the date and when she said the 27th June, Mum and I looked at each other because it’s so close to my due date. We figured we’d book in anyway as they are bound to have people who book and don’t show for whatever reason (I’m sure a percentage is because the new mum has gone into labour before the event! Who knows maybe someone has gone into labour at the event??).

This morning I had a call from a lady at the store to check to see if we were still going. The lady was lovely and friendly and sounded excited.

We headed to the retail park and quickly popped into Hobbycraft for some bits that Mum needed for her current project.

On arrival, we were welcomed by a member of staff who ticked my name off and gave me a goody bag and a 10% off voucher, it contained some really handy bits like a bottle of Comfort fabric conditioner and a pack of Dettol wipes. There was a travel size/trial size of Oral-B toothpaste and a tube of Dove hair repair. There was also a Closer to Nature dummy. (Unfortunately mine is pink and while we don’t know whether Blueberry is a girl or a boy, our “boy” could end up with a pink dummy). Chris and I haven’t entirely discussed the thoughts around dummies yet, I’m not sure, according to my Mum I was never particularly fussed and with my brother he didn’t have one but soon found his thumb to replace it. Any thoughts on the dummies?

My Mothercare Event Goody Bag

The format of the evening starts with time to potter round the shop and do a bit of shopping, we got two bits that my Mum had thought of but I hadn’t thought of, then wandered back to the front of the shop and window shopped/researched possible wedding outfits for Blueberry as my brother gets married in August and Blueberry can’t just go in a onesie hehe.

After about twenty minutes there was a little introduction talk to explain what was going to happen during the rest of the evening. There were three mini talks around the store, the first was about car seat safety and the products that Mothercare do. The rules around car seats recently changed and from now on they are to have Isofix points rather than strapped in by the three point seat belt that an adult might use. Before you panic there is overlap for the rules and they are going to phase out the older version in the future. As we’ve already got our first car seat, Mum and I found a spare seat and sat down for a chat while the presentation was finished.

The second presentation was for pushchairs, again we’ve had ours for months as it came in a set with the car seat. We were shown the Mothercare Expedior, Mothercare Orb and the Oyster Max. Originally we had looked at the Mothercare Expedior when we were looking at buggies but ended up going with the Hauck Shopper Shop’n’Drive Travel System (we got ours from Amazon UK after Chris shopped round for the best price).

The third presentation about nursery furniture and choices, again as ours is ready for baby (we’re in single figures to the due date!) we decided that we’d pay for our shopping items and head home.

There were a couple of organisations there who had stands including Water Babies, Busy Bees Nursery and Brilliant Nappies. I guess if those were the things that you wanted more info about they would have been handy. When we’d signed up they’d mentioned how in the past they had someone from St. John’s Ambulance or The Red Cross about first aid for babies and children.

Overall, for the number of “expectant” ladies who were there of different levels, there were a distinct lack of chairs, each talk area had four chairs and that was it. Mum did say that she’d get me one and make a fuss but I said it was okay and I’d just stand, at that point we decided to sit down away from the talk anyway.

As we got to the car and I think I had said it to mum in the store, had the event been available maybe around 23-28 weeks rather than this late on it might have been more handy. Having said that there were ladies there who were a lot earlier on than me and I imagine they did find it really handy, also as a first time mum I think it would have been handy especially given the number of choice there are out there for car seats and buggies etc. All in all it was nice to spend the evening with my Mum even if the Mothercare event hadn’t been 100% useful to me personally.

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Dear Blueberry – 39 Weeks

blueberry

Dear Blueberry,

Today is 39 weeks. That means next week you’re “due”. Uncle Richard and I were both born early whereas Daddy was born late so I figure you might be on time but I guess we will see. You’ll appear when you’re ready.

On Saturday we had a worry. You hadn’t really moved between me getting up and Daddy and I thinking about lunch. I laid on the sofa, played you music (I played Bellowhead – I figured it was lively and should wake you up!) and even Daddy got me a really cold glass of water. He started with chilled water from the fridge and added about five ice cubes to the mix. Even then you didn’t move. We rang the hospital and they said come in. I phoned Grandpa and asked him to come wait for Our Sidekick if we weren’t home in time. He made a joke that I was calling to tell him and Grandma that I was going into labour well actually I wasn’t.

We got to the hospital and I was hooked up for the machine again. It was like once the midwife had a poke you decided to wake up and move like someone was tickling you to death. You kept moving and didn’t stop. We were discharged and sent home. You, me and Daddy went to get lunch then came home for a bit and waited for Our Sidekick to arrive home.

At my last appointment, the midwife decided that I needed an extra appointment so I’m off to see her again today. I’m hoping she’ll say that you’re engaged more than you were last week. We’re convinced that you’ve dropped but what do we know – the midwife is the medically trained one.

Daddy made me go for a walk yesterday. The idea being you might be encouraged along a bit – I think he’s very very excited to meet you and wants you to hurry up and get here already!

See you very soon little one

Love you

Mummy

Granny Squares

Crochet

When I was younger my Mum tried to teach me to crochet and to knit. Neither really stuck to start with then all of a sudden knitting stuck and I could do it. Crochet took a little longer but then it stuck and I could do it. A while back I started teaching my friend to crochet so I sat down and started to write down the instructions to do a granny square the way I do them, the instructions are written out the long way round as my friend is a beginner – if you like them but would like them in a condensed version (or something doesn’t make sense – please let me know). Granny squares are fairly simple and easy to start with.

I use a 4mm crochet hook and DK wool. In theory any size would work. This is the version of a granny square that I do but there are many different versions out there. (And even in writing the instructions I think I’ve tweaked what I do!)

Starting and Round 1

  1. Tie on. Wrap the thread around your finger and tie the knot.
  2. Chain 5 stitches.
  3. Insert the hook through the chain stitch nearest the knot. Bring the working thread over the hook. Pull the stitch back through the chain stitch and then through the second stitch. This leaves you with one stitch on your hook and a ring of your 5 chain stitches.
  4. Chain 3 stitches – this counts as your first treble (tr) stitch
  5. Complete 2 trebles (See the instructions below).
  6. Chain 2 stitches (to make the corner)
  7. Complete 3 trebles
  8. Chain 2 stitches (to make corner number 2)
  9. Complete 3 trebles
  10. Chain 2 stitches (to make corner number 3)
  11. Complete 3 trebles
  12. Chain 2 stitches (to make corner number 4)
  13. To finish the round, push the hook between the first chain of three (that created the treble) and the first treble.
  14. Bring the working thread forward.
  15. Pull the working thread through between the stitches – you then have two loops on your crochet hook.
  16. Bring the working thread towards you, pull the loop through the two that are on your hook. This completes the first round.

Round 2

  1. Chain 3 stitches
  2. Create 2 trebles into the hole that your chain comes from.
  3. Create 3 trebles into the next hole
  4. Chain 2 stitches to create the corner.
  5. Create 3 trebles into the same hole (Creating 6 trebles in the corner)
  6. Create 3 trebles into the next hole
  7. Chain 2 stitches to create the corner
  8. Create 3 trebles into the same hole (6 trebles in the corner)
  9. Create 3 trebles into the next hole
  10. Chain 2 stitches to create the corner
  11. Create 3 trebles into the same hole (6 trebles in the corner)
  12. Create 3 trebles into the next hole
  13. Chain 2 stitches to create the corner.
  14. Pull the working thread through between the stitches – you then have two loops on your crochet hook.
  15. Bring the working thread towards you, pull the loop through the two that are on your hook. This completes the first round.

For Round 3 and further, create 3 trebles in each “gap” apart from the corners where you do 3 trebles followed by 2 chain stitches followed by 3 trebles. Go round as many times as you like.

——-

Chain (ch)
This is a basic stitch. Starting with one loop on your hook, bring the working thread over the hook towards you, pull the loop back through your first loo

Treble (tr)
You’ll have one loop on your hook. Bring your working thread towards you over the hook. Then bring the hook towards you and throught the centre ring (the 5 stitches you did at the beginning). Bring the working thread towards you again, then pull the hook back through the ring. You should have three small loops on your crochet hook. Bring the working thread over the hook so that you have four loops on the hook. Bring the first loop through the second, this will leave you with two loops on the hook. Bring the working thread forward again, then pull through the next two loops. Bring the working thread forward again and through the next two loops – this should leave you with one loop over the hook and a completed treble.

I think the numbering was misbehaving so if it’s not clear please let me know.

Currently…

Currently...

Currently… image from rukristin

Watching:
Criminal Minds (Season 9 finale)
Doctor Who (onto the David Tennant episodes.)
Grey’s Anatomy (Season Finale)

Reading:
Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis (finished on Friday)
Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs

Listening:
McFly or Les Mis depending on what I feel like. Stars and One More Day are getting pretty worn out at the moment.

Making:
Currently working on the stripy blanket. Now on the cream between turquoise and blue. While the temperature is a bit higher I’ve carried on with a few other projects, currently thinking about what to do for Christmas presents. I’m sure I should start making some – especially with baby due so close.

Feeling:
Achy – still running out of room and feeling it. Had Braxton Hicks but according to the midwife baby hasn’t moved into my pelvis yet (I’m convinced baby has, have to pee more and can actually eat sort of normally…..)

Planning:
My hospital bag is packed minus phone charger and iPad charger which will probably be grab from the socket just before we leave jobs. Baby’s hospital bag is already and Chris just needs to sort his out – he’s started taking it with him whenever we go out just in case he has to take me to the hospital again (and they decide to keep me in or something). Wondering if my hospital bag and baby’s bag should go in the boot of the car just in case we have to go. Does this sound like a good plan or a waste of time?

Loving:
Crocheting, knitting, blogging and hanging out with Chris while he’s about.

In Progress…

While on maternity leave I’ve been working on various projects. This is the currently in progress project, the “theme” for your Seventh Wedding Anniversary is wool or copper depending on your list version. I didn’t plan far enough ahead and in the end bought Chris a wooly hat – especially as he was planning to have his mohican cut in again and when I go into labour there won’t necessarily be time for him to do his hair! In return he bought me a whole carrier bag of wool.

Anniversary Wool from Chris

I puzzled over what to make – it was suggested to make individual granny squares where the different colours represent different things – like white and lilac for our wedding or orange and blue for my graduation. It was a good idea in theory but all was a bit clashy – having seen the Granny Stripe blanket on Attic24, I decided to tweak it and give it a go. I started with a mammoth long row of chain stitches and then started extending it from there.

Row 3 - starting with cream and red

Crocheting in the park

Drawing out a plan

Second set of cream rows

First orange stripe

Row 10...

Next section of Cream

Row 15...

Row 19...

Row 21...

Row 25...

Progress made at knitting group

Row 31...