Monday, 23 November 2015

38 weeks



And so, I enter my 38th week of pregnancy. I haven't spoken too much about my pregnancy on the blog.  I'm still finding my voice on this little space of mine, not entirely sure of it's intent or purpose.  But as I find my self with a spare hour it seems fitting to talk about my pregnancy as our journey draws to  an end.  I certainly haven't found pregnancy as easy the second time round. Working part time and looking after a toddler ran me into the ground a little. I was a lot fitter when I was pregnant with Frieda and my body felt stronger.  I never regained my pre baby fitness levels and I didn't return to my pre baby weight.  I have felt weaker or perhaps just older this time round.  

It's odd to think that, with Frieda, I started my maternity leave this very week and gave birth to her two weeks later; this time round I have already been on Maternity leave for six weeks and truly felt as though I couldn't have worked a moment longer.  My body was craving rest. Frieda has continued to go to nursery for 2.5 days a week (although she will be reducing her hours after Christmas) and my body has lapped up the restorative power of naps and quiet time. 

Frieda is extremely excited about the baby coming, she is keen for a sister and has named the baby.  I'm still not sure how we will tackle the whole name situation should we decided to not go with her name or worst still it is a BOY!!!!!  The last few days however have been a little tricky, we got down some of Frieda's old things from the loft and I think it suddenly dawned on her that she will have to share her old toys, blankets and clothes and she has felt a bit upset.  We have had a difficult few days, she received less attention than usual as both her parents were busily sorting, cleaning and preparing.  I haven't had the energy to do much with her on our days off together and I have relied a lot on Cbeebies, something I always feel guilty about.  I know she must be board at home because she keeps asking to go to nursery on her days off.

I am the youngest, so I am unable to relate to how Frieda might be feeling.  She remains very excited and loving towards my bump, cuddling and kissing it every morning and evening but I have noticed a slight shift towards feelings of apprehension.  She may also be picking up on my feelings of anxiety.  I feel slightly more anxious the second time round.  A lot of this is centred around the logistics of where Frieda will go.  We have a few options, with kind neighbours offering support and my parents are three hours away  but it's all a matter of ifs and buts and nothing feels that concrete. Frieda has never spent a night away from one of us and she can be sensitive, shy and awkward around other people, so I know that this will be difficult for her.  I feel more apprehensive this time round when my partner goes to work, my intuition is telling me that this baby will come very quickly (although I know that this may not be the case), it may also be that he works further away from home this time round and I have another child to look.  We are hoping for a home birth again, Frieda was born in our house and it will be nice to welcome another baby into the world at home.  

The birth pool has been delivered. I have just come back from Argos, tarpaulin in hand. The washing machine has not been off, this previous week, as we bundle into the machine dusty clothes, balnkets, soft toys and nappies from the loft. And so I sit here waiting patiently, gazing out into the garden through dirty windows, debating whether or not to clean them. 




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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Flies be gone.

Hello peeps, just a quick one from me.  I had hoped to share a few blog posts with you this week but it's been so dark and rainy that it's hard to take photos and when a bit of light appears it always seems to be when i'm about to have a rest on the sofa.

I just thought I would share a little tip about how to get rid if house plant flies.  We have been inundated with the things, these last few months, ( I blame the mild wet weather ) and my house plants were starting to look a little sad.  I recently bought a Peace Lilly to go in the bathroom and I decided that I must take action so avoid them laying eggs in my new plant.

 You will need 
  • Washing up liquid
  • Cider vinegar
  • An old jar

Pour roughly 2 inches of cider vinegar into a jar.  Add a couple of squirts of washing up liquid to the vinegar.  You can make a news paper funnel which makes it harder for the flies to escape.  I actually found that this made it harder for the flies to get in, so I took it out after a few days. 

 
Place the jar next to the infected plant and wait.  I changed the vinegar mixture every three to four days.  My house flies were gone in about 3 weeks. I can report that my house plants are well and truly on the mend.


So there we have it a cheap as chips way of beating the house plant flies. Stay dry folks and I hope to be back soon with some more interesting blog posts.
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Saturday, 14 November 2015

Hugh's War on Waste

Have you seen it yet? Hughes War on Waste on BBC1?  It's a two part documentary and both episodes are still on iPlayer.  I have to issue a warning here *you will find yourself crying over a huge mound of wasted parsnips* and this warning comes from someone who no longer likes parsnips *shudders as she thinks back in horror to the parsnip soup consumed just before the great noro virus of 2011*.  


I can, on occasions, get a bit annoyed with these sorts of programmes. You know the sort of programmes where rich privileged celebrities tell us ordinary folk how we should be living our lives.  But generally my annoyance is usually juxtaposed alongside feelings of gratitude and relief that someone has finally got the nation thinking about such important issues.  I didn't find this programme to be too preachy and Hugh's enthusiasm for the subject is so infectious.  Plus he totally took on a supermarket and a fast food chain, which is no easy thing to do and totally requires some celebratory kudos to get an on air interview . 

In the UK, the average household throws away £15 worth of food per week.  In our household we are pretty good at not wasting food.  We shop on a fairly strict budget, we freeze loads of stuff that dosn't get eaten and we don't let best before dates get the better of us!  That being said, we are not perfect and on the odd tub of hummus slips the net. I do realise, however, that I am writing about the issue from a position of privilege when it comes to cooking. Firstly I was taught to cook and grew up in a household where meals were made from scratch and I also like cooking which helps.  Secondly I work part time, this means, although it dosn't seem like it most days, I do actually have time to cook and use up left over food.  On the days that I am on child care duty it's easy for me to pop some on the turn veg in a pan, with stock, to simmer, whilst I play with my daughter.  I think to the days when I am at work, back late, my daughter is crying because she is hungry and myself or my partner has to reach for something quick to get food on the table.  It would be harder to use our left overs if both me and my partner were working full time.  All that being said though there are lots of things we can do if we are time strapped such as meal planning, shopping more wisely and storing food correctly so that we don't waste food. 

The day I watched the programme I had just tipped half a box of soft corn flakes into the food waste bin.  I felt guilty about this the whole way through the programme.  In hindsight I had purchased too big a box, as it's only really my daughter that eats them.  I also didn't seal the box correctly once I had opened them. I could have added the soft cornflakes to recipes that require cooking or baking as this crunches them up again. They would have worked well in recipes  such as biscuits cakes or batters.  Check out these cornflake battered  Quorn burgers


( Image from princessmisia.com a great vegetarian food blog)

I do urge you to watch the programme. Despite being aware of the problem, I needed to visually see a pile of a weeks worth of wasted parsnips to feel utterly horrified and shocked.  

Hugh has a website, wastenotuk.com, where you can sign his appeal to call for supermarkets to take more responsibility for the waste they cause in the food chain.

Love Food Hate Waste is a great resource for ideas about what to do with your left overs and how to store food to maximise it's life.  

If you have a Real Junk Food Cafe in your area why don't you go there for lunch and enjoy fresh tasty food, from supermarkets, that otherwise would have gone to waste. They work on a pay as you feel basis.  My nearest one is in Brighton.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the programme.  
    

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Monday, 9 November 2015

Sofa scenes

I have spent a lot more time of late curled up on the sofa. In fact, my sofa consumption may have returned to pre parenthood levels.  I'm grateful to have this time before the new baby comes.  I just wanted to show you a couple of makes I made to keep me company on the sofa.  Firstly I made a very simple granny square blanket.  I wanted a simple project that I didn't have to think much about, something to keep my hands busy whilst watching iPlayer.




Secondly I made a cushion cover, which I realise is nothing special and is something that many people could whip up in half an hour but, my friends, I am a very crap sewer, so this is something I feel pretty proud of.  I even managed a zip!!!!! The fabric is an old curtain that my partner found in a charity shop and the zip I took out from an old, stained cushion cover.





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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

And that was October



Ah October, this was the month that I finally went on Maternity leave.  First time round, I went on Maternity leave two weeks before Frieda was born and in those two weeks I moved house and could be found, paint brush in hand, painting shelves and unpacking boxes albeit very slowly.  Second time round I have begun my maternity leave/annual leave  eight and a bit weeks before my due date.  I feel terribly self indulgent in doing this and a little guilty for not trying to maximise the time I have off with the new baby but, in short, I was exhausted and I feel a lot better now I don't have to negotiate the bus early in the morning and can take a few naps whilst Frieda is at nursery for two and half days. 

We have been enjoying some unseasonably warm weather down in the South of England. I'm secretly looking forward to it becoming a little colder, and getting really cosy in the house. This month we have spent a good amount of time in the woods and a lot of time pottering at home;  I am slowly ticking things off my to do list and reacquainting myself with my old friend the sofa.  Soups, stews, pies and curries are well and truly on the menu and I can usually be found with a cup of decaf Earl Grey.....my latest obsession.

Early on this month I spent some time saving seeds and planting bulbs. We also took a trip down to the Kent coast to visit friends in Deal,  I used to live in Kent and always get terribly nostalgic when I visit.  I plan on staying put, at home now, until the baby arrives.
 

  





 

And of course, there was a pumpkin! A joint effort from myself and Frieda.


 Reading ~ I have just finished reading Lucy AtkinRead's ebook, '30 days of Rewilding'. I'm a big fan of Lucy's blog, Lulastic and the hippy shake.  So it was a real treat to read this book. I have to admit to feeling a slight fraud, whilst reading it, sat on the sofa (with no intention of leaving it for the whole day), eating biscuits and drinking tea. A bit like that feeling when you used to watch 'Why don't you' but had no intention of turning the telly off after it had finished and instead intended to binge watch cartoons.  For those of you that don't remember, or are too young, 'WDY' was a children's programme, demonstrating interesting activities you could do instead of watching T.V, it's slogan was; why don't you turn of the T.V and do something more interesting instead.

Listening ~ My hypno birthing guided rainbow relaxation has pretty much been the only thing on my head phones.


Eating ~ We found a load of chestnuts in the woods and made this amazing mushroom and chestnut pie.  

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