Some things we did in August

  • Babymouse started doing lots of new things: rolling, making more sounds a lot more often, being more alert, sounding like she’s talking to dolphins (she used to do this when she was younger, then stopped, but seems to be doing it again now). She managed to roll of the bed while having her nappy changed, giving Mr C an awful fright (and a guilt complex), but she was fine, despite the loud bang when she hit the floor!
  • Babymouse has her first tooth!
  • We sorted out Babymouse’s room, and she has now moved in. She doesn’t seem to have noticed the change…
  • We went to Mr C’s cousin’s wedding. They had a superhero theme. We were on The Incredible Hulk table. Here is a picture of one of the bouquets:

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  • Babymouse and I went to stay with our in-laws for a week after the wedding, with mixed success. It was lovely to see family again, especially the extended clan, who we rarely see. BM met lots of in-laws and coped quite well with being handed round to be held by lots of different relatives.
  • We have been rearranging the house, mainly so we could move BM into her room, but also because I still seem to be in nesting mode. I think it’s mainly good, though, as we’ve managed to dispose of a lot of unused stuff and make more room by tidying other stuff away and, I must admit, buying more bookcases…It was inevitable – too many books. (It could  be, and has been, argued that there is no such thing as too many books. I think this is probably true, as long as they are accessible and preferably in some sort of order, but that latter is probably just my librarian side coming out.)
  • I have gardened! It looks a lot better now, but I fear I’m fighting a losing battle with weeds, slugs and snails.
  • I read The Necropolis Railway and Chinatown Beat and started Bleeding Edge.

Things that happened in July

  • We took Babymouse to Mr C’s workplaces to meet his colleagues. It was a really wet day – we got soaked several times – but we had fun meeting everyone.
  • I did quite a bit in the garden. I bought some new lavender plants, plus some Platycodon (AKA Balloon Flower) and a daisy-type plant and planted them in the garden. I hope they all survive, but the daisy plant has already been mauled by slugs. We’re also growing a few edible things.
  • Babymouse and I have been going to the Salvation Army and library groups on a regular basis. The Salvation Army group has now finished for the summer and for the last session we went to one of the local parks, which was nice.
  • A few friends came to visit on various occasions, which was lovely.
  • I did some knitting! The Shawl of Doom is progressing, and is slightly less doomy now I’ve found a method of knitting it that doesn’t involve counting.
  • My dad came to visit on Monday. It’s unusual for him to visit on his own. It was nice to see him, and I think he enjoyed playing with Babymouse.
  • Babymouse has been a bit weird this month. I’m not sure whether she’s going through a ‘Wonder Week’ (a theory that suggests babies go through periods of time when they make big developmental leaps and it makes them go a bit stranger than ‘normal’ – thanks to @evil_jen for telling me about this) or whether it’s just the heat, but she has been very grumpy and clingy (for her) recently. She has been doing some new things, such as pushing herself up when she’s on her front, and grabbing and holding onto things (including my hair!) much more often and much more successfully. She also likes ‘standing up’ with someone holding her (obviously) and ‘walking’ around the living room. She is a very active baby – even in her sleep she moves around – we hear her in the night, and she ends up at a very different angle in her cot to where she starts from!
  • I finally finished re-reading the Lord of the Rings triology of books, which I started reading in January!
  • I also read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, which I enjoyed.
  • I invented a new curry: courgette, quorn pieces, beetroot and leek in a tomato-based curry sauce (also including a spoonful of Tesco Value soft cheese).

Songs for motherhood

Despite the somewhat grandiose title of this post, I just wanted to make a note of these two songs that were playing a lot on the radio around the time of Babymouse’s birth, and which struck a chord (excuse the pun) with me then, and still do now in my ongoing journey through the delights and stuggles of parenthood.

I put ‘motherhood’ in the title because the first song is specifically special to me, not to Mr C as well – mainly because he wasn’t listening to as much radio as me (the Tune In Radio app on my mobile was a godsend when I was in hospital, especially at night and when I was spending lots of hours expressing milk, which would have been even more of a lonely and boring time otherwise). Also, I didn’t really share this song with him at the time because, well, it is a bit soppy. I did tell him about it but I’m not sure I ever made him listen to it. Anyway, the song is ‘How Long Will I Love You’, the Ellie Goulding version (the original was by The Waterboys, in case you’re interested). When I listen to it I think of Babymouse.

 

The next song is one Mr C and I have both adopted as Babymouse’s anthem. It suits her, we think.

Also, tiger mothers and all that. Not that I am one, but I think being a mother has given me a bit more confidence, mainly because I don’t have much choice if I want to look after Babymouse as well as I possibly can. I can’t be a mouse anymore. We’ll see how that goes… :)

Shawl of doom

Shawl of doom in progress
Shawl of doom in progress

I bought this yarn (Rowan Summerspun: shade: Victoria) with some of our wedding vouchers we had left over from 8 years ago. I think the guilt I feel about this has subconciously affected my ability to knit, because everything I’ve tried to knit with it so far has been a disaster (not really, this is hyperbole) and I’ve actually lost count of the number of attempted scarves and shawls I’ve frogged. I think part of the problem is actually the shade of the yarn (although the photo makes it look worse than it is) – it’s quite easy to make it into something that closely resembles a dishcloth, and then if you go trying to put lace into it as well it just looks like a holey discloth! But mainly I think I’ve just lost my knitting mojo a bit.

I started trying to knit with this yarn in January (or maybe even December?), and then Babymouse arrived in February, so I haven’t had a lot of time for knitting recently. However, I’ve recently been able to attend the knitting group again, so I decided to try knitting a shawl. The pattern is Skipping Stones Simple Shawlette, which, you’ll note, has the word ‘simple’ in the title, so I thought it would be OK…but I didn’t reckon on the joys of a garter tab cast on. Here is a video about how to do it, which I found very useful:

The cast on is actually not as bad as it sounds or looks, but of course I got into a pickle even after looking at the video (several times) and decided to seek advice from the lovely G, an expert knitter in our church. She was very helpful so I started off with the shawl. Then I managed to get into even more mess because the pattern involves yarn overs and counting! I’ve done more complicated things before (e.g. the leafy blanket), but somehow I just couldn’t get my head round this one. So, again, I sought help from friendly fellow knitters, and the very patient A finally got me on the right track – see above picture for progress. It still looks like a mess, but I’m hoping it will look better when it’s finished…

I also found out that I’ve been knitting ‘back to front’ all this time, and wondering why my stitches are always so tight!

Why I change my blog’s theme all the time

There are several reasons:

  • I get bored looking at the same theme after a while
  • (I find my own blog boring. This is obviously not a good sign)
  • I can’t think of anything interesting to write, but I think I should do something with the blog, so I change the theme instead of writing a post
  • It makes me like my blog a bit more for a while
  • (I keep thinking about stopping blogging but then I can’t quite bring myself to do this)
  • I like re/designing things
  • Sometimes I feel the current theme doesn’t reflect my currrent mood, so I change it to reflect how I’m feeling at the time, or sometimes how I want to feel

Garden notes

I’ve found the time to do some stuff in the garden over the last few weeks, mainly thanks to Mr C and my mum who’ve either looked after Babymouse or helped me do the garden or both. Also, our friend K, who is a professional gardener, came over and got all the stubborn weeds out for me, which has made a big difference to the back garden.

Things we’re growing:

  • lettuces (various varieties)
  • peppers
  • sweetcorn
  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • potatoes
  • tomatoes

I’ve also planted some more lavenders as we took out all the Love-in-a-Mist and the front garden was looking a bit bare. A couple of the lavenders I put in a few years ago seem to have died, so I hope these fare better. I also have some fuschias (sent by my mum as plug plants through the post – very clever) to plant out but I think I might leave those until next weekend, when I will also try and take some pictures of the garden to post here. I’m feeling too hot and lazy to do that today.