Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Been a while

Not posted for what seems like an age! One, because life is pretty sweet these days and I don't feel the need to moan and two because I am super busy studying, go me! Writing essays is not so much fun as blogging tho so I'm hoping to get back in the habit. 

Tonight I went to a lecture by the Wellbeing Of Women in Birmingham, they are a medical research charity and were doing this talk to get more of the cutting edge research out into the public. One of the speakers happened to be by the Professor that treated me when I was pregnant so I thought it would be good to go along. It was a really quite inspiring and fascinating lecture on some of the new research into early pregnancy. There has been some amazing work done on the uterus and it's ability to know whether or not an embryo is a viable one. The body has a 90% rate of miscarrying an embryo with chromosomal problems, which is actually pretty incredible when you think about it, how can it tell that there is something wrong? The uterus is more accurate than pretty much all the advanced screening we have available to us! If they can find out how the body normally deals with this, then it can also then look at what goes wrong when some people continually miscarry healthy embryos or fail to let them implant in the first place. There are natural killer cells in the lining of the uterus which do this job and some women with recurrent miscarriage have higher levels of these cells. The theory is that a high dose of steroids can reduce these cells and let the pregnancy continue. This is the treatment I had, which worked a treat for me! In the trials it only increased the live birth rate from 40% to 60% which means it does work but they are going back to drawing board to get it even better. Now they are going to try a mix of different drugs to see if they can make the treatment more effective and really crack the problem. This means though that no one can currently get access to trying the treatment that I had and it will take years to complete the new trial. Makes me feel very lucky indeed to have been able to have the treatment that worked for me but sort of sad that other women won't be able to benefit from it for many more years. 


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

2 years


So it's been two years since we lost Isabella and I decided to get a sky lantern and release it just like we did at her funeral. Me and DD spent yesterday decorating it with felt tip pens. I was really impressed with DD's tree design that she made, it was made from dots of different colours. I kinda copied her with my curly tree.

So this evening once Kira was in bed, we decided to release the lantern. It was kinda breezy but it stopped raining, after tipping it down pretty much all day so I figured it was now or never.  We waited and our beautiful lantern raised into the air gently.

Then suddenly, the wind caught it. It started to spin around like crazy.


Then it started to dive straight towards our next door neighbours garden, then recovered and flew up over the next few house and we relaxed. But no, the wind caught it again and by this point it was really aflame. We watched as what was by now a large fireball, dove into some poor unsuspecting persons garden at high speed. 
Frikkin hilarious!

We are now hiding and hoping not to get a knock on the door from an irate neighbour who has just been subjected to an airbourne arson attempt. Not what I was expecting from today at all really. Not very dignified. Story of my life I suppose lol!! But still wishing we had little Bella with us to  laugh at all this crazy stuff with us. 

Miss you little one xx


Saturday, 30 July 2011

YEH, I'm back!!

So after a technical intermission it looks like I'm back blogging :D
We've been getting on really well with the whole baby led weaning thing, and wow it is so much easier than all that pureeing and mashing. Can't help but feel smug when I'm out and about and my friends have been spending hours pureeing and freezing various combinations of random vegetables. Lazy parenting is the way forward!
We've had lots of picnics in the park, I'm loving this nice weather! Money worries are still the same old same old. We've got the big wedding coming up at the end of August and we've had to cancel the posh hotel we had booked and are going to camp instead! Camping with babies, this will certainly be fun.... My bestest friend who is the one getting married has started her own very cute blog, all about weddings and pretty things http://pursuitofthecreative.blogspot.com/
DH is on a stag do this weekend and left me this morning with about a zillion beer cans to pick up. I wouldn't usually mind so much  but I've got the worst cold and  a chest infection and feel like death warmed up, blergh. The whole house is a mess, it's amazing how a few days of not quite being on the ball means it rapidly desends into chaos. Everything seems so crazy difficult when all you want to do is go back to bed. Kira has luckily been super well behaved and we've spent most of the day cuddled up on the sofa. She's had a runny nose but luckily seems to not be unwell, hopefully breastfeeding is giving her some immunity.
For the first time since I moved to Birmingham 4 years ao, I've suddenly felt a little homesick. I was reading this lovely post and her house looks so much like houses I lived in back in Wales. I would kill for all that space now!! Oh, for high ceilings and wood panelling and a dining room. I used to have a huge 4 bedroom Victorian house when I had just one child, we had one bedroom as a music room and another as an office and I took it totally for granted *sigh* Now we are all squeezed in a tiny ex council house with box rooms, bad wiring and dodgy central heating. I also miss having the kind of house you can make a lot of noise in. I love to sing, and play music loud and dance like a crazy thing, and have drums and guitars, and friends over for mad parties with didgeridoos and djembes. All of that is far too uncivilised in such an urban environment as we are in now. I miss the forests and the waterfalls and even the proper torrential rain. *sigh*  Maybe one day I'll take over half our tiny garden with a soundproofed garage, that would be awesome! But I'm sitting next to our drum kit which I've dragged out from the attic to sell in aid of DS having some cash over the summer as I know it's never going to able to played here.
Also I have been plagued by this one dammed chirrping cricket! I bought crickets (which our pet bearded dragon Fizzgig eats) from a different pet shop and they looked funny, all stripy instead of plain black, the guy said they were silent ones just the same so I bought a pack. But these were not at all the same, they are super jumpy, super chirrpy, escapologist crickets. They escaped from the little cricket house, and this one dammed cricket has been happily chirrping away under my kitchen cabinets for about two weeks, it's driving me slowly insane!!! I've tried everything to flush it out to no avail, I was hoping it would just die off after a bit as they usually only live for a week. But this one seems to be very happy in it's new under kitchen residence and shows no sign of slowing down and is filling our house with jungle sound effects day and night...I'm just hoping they are not ....breeding, oh man, that would be a whole new level of horror, maybe I need to get some bug spray  :S

Thursday, 30 June 2011

So ..back to work

I've had a call from a very lovely childminder, who is willing to charge a retainer of 16 hours per week which means that going back to Uni is back on! So I've been contemplating the changes this will mean. Kira still does not enjoy being with anyone else but me and very strongly protests even if I leave her with Daddy for a few minutes. I'm worrying a little bit and probably need to start letting Daddy have more time with her and get her used to someone else having cuddles. I'm hoping to first start going to the childminders just to have playtime, then maybe start leaving her for an hour at a time and hopefully not have too much distress by the time I'm back in full time Uni.
While I was at the local children's centre I happened to mention to one of the staff about ways to ease children into childcare. Her helpful advice was that children should be left at least an hour a day on their own so they learn independence and that you should achieve this with controlled crying. I was a bit taken aback that they were advocating leaving babies unsupervised for any length of time let alone an hour every day! I told her that that was not the sort of thing I was considering and then she told me that I would be putting my child through "torture" by leaving her with a childminder if I had not "broken her attachment". That was it and I nearly bit her head off and had to go cool down for a bit before I said something I was going to regret! I have no intention of "breaking" my childs attachment to me and I certainly will not be leaving her alone and unsupervised to cry. Now I've calmed down a little I think it must have been a personal opinion rather than some sort of policy they have, but this woman is fully trained in childcare as she was giving us examples based on her professional experience. I'm half tempted to write to the centre and suggest perhaps they need to train their staff better!
Anyway, I could rant on all day about how wrong that kind of approach is but I have to say I'm still wondering what is the best approach to take. I was lucky enough to not have to go to work with the others until they were 18 months old and they were more than happy and very ready to go with someone else by that point. But poor Kira will be 9 months old when I go back, which was the peak clingy time with my other two, the exact time they scream when you leave the room. What is the best way to ease the transition? Any suggestions for gentle way of getting her ready anyone?

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Sugru



Sugru is air curing silicone that you can use to repair or even make things better. I've lost count of the things around here that had to be thrown away due to snapped handles, missing knobs or other annoying plastic bits breaking or cracking. I'm really exited by this stuff, it could be so useful! Might try some out for my shoes, I have a lot of shoes that are too uncomfy to wear.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Pink Pancakes and Veggie Boxes

So my quest to be more healthy and lose some weight continues.....and yes I am failing miserably, having just eaten two bagels with cheese for lunch and yesterday having whipped up home baked biscuits in a flash after finding bare cupboards. Must start getting more exercise as cutting down on yummy food is so hard :P

I still get my veg box every week and have now added some milk to my order as it's cheaper than the stuff we get from the milkman..go figure. Non homogenised so the cream goes to the top, lovely! But they only deliver on a Tuesday so still have the milkman the rest of the week. One pint was not going very far so we've switched to getting a 2 pint milk bag every day, yes a bag! You get a jug thing (called a Jug It) which has a lid which pierces the bag, actually works really well. The picture looks a bit odd, must have taken it at an angle, it isn't really so big at the top..

Last week I had leftover beetroot and decided to try something new. Half I made soup with, which I froze into little single size portions for me to eat in the day. The other half I made Pink Pancakes with, beetroot pancakes sound ikky but were actually really nice, sorta like carrot cake is nice. Recipe is from Able and Cole.

Pink Pancakes

Beetroot for breakfast may feel like sunbathing in the rain but on a really warm day!

Makes about 6 medium-sized pancakes (a perfect breakfast for 2)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 mug of plain white or wholewheat flour
  • 2 heaped tsp of baking powder
  • ¾ mug of apple juice
  • ½ mug of finely grated raw (or cooked) beetroot
  • ½ tsp of mix spice
  • Olive oil
  • Butter and honey, to serve
Whisk the egg until frothy. Add flour, baking powder and salt.

Pour in the apple juice. Give it all a good whisk.

Fold in the beetroot and spice.

Warm a frying pan over high heat. Brush on a bit of olive oil. Drop in dessert spoonfuls of the pancake batter into the centre of the pan.

Grab a spatula. As soon as the pancake starts to bubble up in the centre, flip it over and cook for 2 minutes or so, until cooked through. Don't be tempted to press the pancake down in the pan as it cooks as this will press out all the lovely air bubbles that make it nice and fluffy.

When all your pancakes are cooked, add a dot of butter on the top of each, and then serve with a drizzle of honey and a nice cuppa.
The batter is really bright pink!

Actually tasted really good!



Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Jizo

I always wondered about the little figures in the Japanese film Princess Mononoke (which I love) These creepy little guys are "spirits of the forest". I've come across these trype of little figures who live on mountains by the roadside in a few different films I've seen and always wondered if they were based on some kind of cultural thing.

I just came across the Japanese Jizo Statues. In Japan Jizo is worshipped as the guardian of the spirits of miscarried, aborted or stillborn babies. I can see where the Princess Mononoke animators got the idea from. Parents place toys and offerings, or little hats and bibs by the statues asking for protection of their child's soul. Something about this idea really appeals to me. I think I may just craft a little Jizo of my own for my garden. I like that they have a cultural way of acknowledging the loss of an unborn child, it's a shame we don't do something similar here.














Sunday, 12 June 2011

Mama Is

Came across this brilliant little online comic with a breastfeeding/babywearing theme, and this one really struck a chord, go check it out http://www.mamaiscomic.com

Saturday, 11 June 2011

WTF?!

So for some reason I felt the need to google my name as there was a discussion on radio 4 about online profiles and how you may want to check out what comes up about you on google.
All looks fairly normal, Facebook, picasa the usual...and then there is this
(there was a link here to a wierd peruvian travel page with loads of my pictures and random text)


Seriously WTF? I tried emailing the website but it bounced back. Any clue as to how I can get my pictures off that site? I'm assuming it's some kind of weird bot trawler type thing ...very very odd. It's kind of scary as there are mentions of a lot of the different sites I use...creepy :S

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EDIT: sorry to anyone who clicked the link it was sending out viruses

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Right Where I Am - One Year, 8 Months and 22 Days

Thanks to Angie for initiating this project. Read more here.
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I miss her still, pure and simple. But it is more fuzzy these days, it is a sad story, a tale in the past, one that is told and retold in my head over and over. I play back my memories and the littlest things bother me. I don't remember kissing her, how could I have not kissed her!  But now, at least, the replay is not on repeat, I can put it back in it's case and leave it on the shelf. But her absence pops up now and then and it bites like a dagger to the heart. The mother with a baby and toddler, a "born in 09" t-shirt in the pile of second hand clothes, her name mentioned, silly little things.

I feel my own mortality terribly these days and  I am hyper aware of just how, temporary, everything is...like the sands of time are slipping straight through my fingers. I am very mindful of everything, happy moments, pretty objects, sunny days, delicious food, people I love, every little new thing Kira does. I make a very deliberate effort to find simple things to be happy about, even if it is just that nothing is going horribly wrong at this very moment, or that we have a roof over our heads. This has stopped me from going over the edge and ending up with more of the little razor blade scars I have on my arms from when I was a teenager. 

I have still not visited her grave, in fact is has now been so long I wouldn't even know where it is any more. I feel terrible that we couldn't afford her a proper grave with her own headstone. She's in a space for 12 lost babies, it pains me that I don't know where she is. So much of the time I can't face the reality directly, it still feels so raw, like going there and seeing it would be just too real. I bought a little stone with her name on and I've been meaning to take it to her for over a year but can't quite bring myself to face it. 

I have identical baby boxes for all my children, neatly labelled with their name and date of birth on.  I have become almost scared of her box...it feels like that scene from Dune "what is in the box? .....Pain"  The first thing on the top is my husbands poem to her "A Letter To My Lost Daughter" too much for me, just too much to bear to read it.  

I'm meeting a lot of new people, going to all the baby groups and such, discussion always turn to how labour went and how many kids you have. Mostly I edit Bella out and I feel guilty for doing so but I can't stand the horrified looks you get and the dark atmosphere it brings when you talk about it openly, which is only as everyone can empathise with how it would have been to lose their child. There was one discussion about reduced fetal movements and going into hospital to get it checked out and how silly they felt when everything was fine, and the "oh yes I did that too, ha ha" from the group. I kept my mouth shut and felt bitter about it as I have learned to do.

I am far more cynical and impatient, trivial facebook posts about just how terrible life is irritate the hell out of me beyond belief. I have become a fundamental atheist, God talk makes me rage, those little pictures with little bible sayings, or "everything happens for a reason" type stuff. I have however retained my sense of humour, pitch black though it now may be. Actually thinking about it I really am a very strange mix of crazy happy high on life itself  "look rainbows YEY!" and dark cynical "F&*K your pathetic drama" . Who knows *shrug* I lost myself and now I'm a complex mash of all my experiences..... but then again who isn't I suppose. I'm running through life, kicking and screaming, laughing and crying and almost, almost enjoying the rollercoaster again.
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P.S
Here is something that made me smile today...this guy is currently ranking number 1 in the Next Catalogue model competition, awesome! ...go vote for him :D Reality FTW!



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Yummy Stuffed Courgettes with Chorizo

This recipe is based on one from one of those free supermarket magazines but with a few bits added in by me. I didn't believe that courgettes could taste so good, I'm not usually a fan! There is a glut of courgettes in my veg box at the moment so I needed to find a good way of using them up. This might not be the best one for the kids though unless they are good with eating stuff like this, I know mine would all make a fuss! It's great for the odd occasion when you are on your own and uses a lot of stuff that is usually lying around in the fridge.

Large courgettes x 3 (also good with peppers or tomatoes)
olive oil
2/3 garlic cloves (I used a whole wet garlic from my veggie box)
1 large grated carrot
chopped chorizo (sausage, bacon or ham would be good too or even a pepperami)
a handful of raisins or sultanas
50g breadcrumbs
1 egg
fresh basil
fresh thyme
50g cheese

pre heat over to 200 (fan180)
boil the courgette whole for 5 mins, leave to cool a bit then cut in half lengthways. Scoop out the flesh, chop and fry it for 5 mins with the garlic. Chuck in a bowl with all the other ingredients and half of the cheese. Spoon the mixture back into the courgettes and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 20 mins. Enjoy :)


Monday, 30 May 2011

Babies and Bathrooms

Today has been a lovely day, DH was off work and it was raining and we have no money to go anywhere anyway we chilled out with Kira all day and managed to watch a little bit of a new series called Breaking Bad while she slept. It's rather good if you like drama along the lines of Dexter or Six Foot Under, I'm in love and can't wait to watch the rest! Kira has been in a lovely happy mood all day and had a bit of a monch on a strawberry earlier. I've been holding out for weaning at 6 months but she wanted to try it so bad I couldn't resist! Also managed to finish painting the bathroom floor now just gotta get some wallpaper up and it will almost look like a real bathroom lol!
This vid cheered me up too :D

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Project Shit Pit - Jewellery Storage

So right now my house is at a whole new low, it's messy, disorganised, undecorated and generally is not something I am proud of. It's going to be a massive task to renovate this house, especially with virtually no cash and it does not help that organizing things goes against all my instincts, I'm creative, random and messy, order is for lightweights! But alas it is so bad that I can't do any fun creative stuff as there is too much cleaning and boring work to do the whole time and it is impossible to find where I put that nice bit of fabric I bought or where the string is or a pair of scissors ...it's a nightmare. So my new task is to learn some organisational skills and make living here a little stressful. So time to put my leet DIY skills into action and sort it out! This I am calling Project Less Of A Shit Pit...Shit Pit for short.... So here is my first idea....jewellery clean up!
So my nice necklaces and stuff are shoved in a drawer, needless to say as they are hidden away I don't actually wear them. So here they are before...even if  I did want one it would take a hour to untangle them.


So I got a pack of hooks from Aldi, £2.99 for a big selection pack of hooks. I found a space on the inside of my wardrobe doors that was just wasted space and decided to install some in there. First I made a pilot hole with a bradawl. If you don't have one...get one they really make life soooo much easier for all manner of DIY tasks. 

Then screwed in a hook

Tip here is that when is gets tough to turn, use a pair of pliers...no blisters required.

So this is the after...organised...yeh! I can see everything and discovered I actually have some nice stuff. Also used one of those sticky pad backed clips meant for holding tea towels to hold my mini top hat.

Then I got enthusiastic and decided to do some in the kichen too. Organised scissors!





Tuesday, 24 May 2011

OMG I WON SOMETHING

I NEVER win anything! I won a Bambino Mio swim nappy in their recommend a friend Facebook comp. My friend has won a Mio Intro Kit too. This means of course that I'm going to have to actually go swimming, DD has been nagging for a while to go, she's learnt to swim at school and wants to show off her new skills. The big question is will my fat ass fit in my old swimsuit...somehow I doubt it. No doubt this is going to mean I'm going to go swimming looking like a whale in a spray on swimsuit, fabulous.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Wreck This Journal

It's strange sometimes how something you've never heard of before suddenly crops up in several places at once. I remember reading this post about conformation bias which apparently is the technical term for it...anyway I digress. I came across this cool little book that I think I'm going to buy as a gift for a friend, and then I see a blog post about the same author.

The idea ..of course, is to wreck it creatively. There is even a blog dedicated to giving you ideas and such. I love quirky things like this! Are there any other little gems like this I should know about, let me know folks!

Analytical Armadillo: breastfeeding in public is offensive - see for you...

Analytical Armadillo: breastfeeding in public is offensive - see for you...:
Love this post :)

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Micro Origami

Something strangely mesmerising about this video of tiny origami things opening by capillary action


Flottille (detail) from Etienne Cliquet on Vimeo.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Tolkien Day Fun


So I happily got my elf dress on this morning and pranced around amazed that it actually still fitted me...then I remembered that I would be needing to breastfeed all day long and that I couldn't in my dress *gutted* can't believe I didn't think of that beforehand duhhhh! So it's been packed away again, maybe next year! I managed to find a brown jaggedy edged skirt a brown top and my brown moby wrap, which all looked suitably hobbity. Kira was super cute in her little elf top. We got to see a performance of bits of the Lord Of The Rings in the forest, a battle reinactment, DD got a free henna tattoo and made a free willow headress, we looked around the working mill and had a go at archery for just £1. A really great day especially for a free event.







Friday, 20 May 2011

Spread the Aldi love

Tried Aldi's barbeque seasoning sachets out today for the first time and they were actually really delicious! Got some cheap chicken legs from the local shop and stuck it all in a plastic bag to coat then 45 mins in the oven. Fried some onions, garlic and cabbage and some asparagus. Lovely :D This worked out really cheap and used up lot of my veggie box veggies.

Tomorrow we are off to Tolkien weekend at Sarehole Mill and I am digging out the silly medieval dress and elf ears, I even have a lil green elf dress for Kira *geek joy* hope the weather is good!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

How to do things faster



I need to learn the t-shirt folding thing and the headphones trick in this vid :D

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Budget 20 min Bolognese

I learned this recipe from my Mum and it's a fav. This is cheap, super easy and super yummy and feeds lots of people! This feeds 4 easily.

You will need:-
Lean mince beef 
Tinned chopped tomatoes
Tomato puree tube
Beef stock cube (msg free if possible)
Worcester Sauce 
Onion
Garlic
Basil
Oregano
Marjoram
-or just use a mixed herbs
-or use fresh herbs from the garden
salt and pepper






Fry the onion


Then brown the beef 


Add chopped and puree tomato


Add stock cube

Add a dash of Worcester sauce 


Lots of garlic (fresh is better) and all the herbs


Voila!

Cover and simmer 20 mins, job done!