The day we became sad Stella super fans. 

I live just a few miles away, on the other side of a mountain, from Ferndale. This small town is the home of many of the locations used in Sky One’s ‘Stella’. 

We’ve become a bit addicted to it lately. I started watching series one to pass the time one afternoon when Iris was asleep on me. We’re into series three now and still enjoying it. 

So, as we’re so close by, we decided to use our dog walk one Sunday to find some of the familiar spots from the TV series. 

Yes, we’re a bit sad. I know. 

  
Finding the house was easy. Not many streets end suddenly with a wall like this one does! My picture is a bit blurry as we passed by quickly. We didn’t want to annoy any of the residents. 

Next we decided to find the bench on the hill that the characters all use when they need some time to reflect. It was not an easy walk! Even if I wasn’t 30 weeks pregnant I still would have struggled, I’m sure. Poor Trev had to carry Iris up there and said his thighs were burning!  

 
On the TV they often walk the dog up here. Actually, in one episode Stella’s daughter even comes up here with a prom! It’s actually a good drive away to the bottom of this road. It would be a good couple of hours walk! We were disappointed to find that you can’t get to the exact spot as its inside a private farm, and there isn’t even a bench there! 

You can get pretty close though. This yellow grit bin here…

  
…is this one here.  

 You can see why they chose the spot. The views are really quite amazing! Especially when the Autumn sky is so clear and blue. It was definitely worth the trek! 

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Scarf making blogger challenge with @CosyWool. My Autumn #crochet scarf. 

  

I’ve been challenged by the guys at CosyWool.com to make a scarf using yarn from their website, using either knitting or crochet. I accepted immediately! I love both knitting and crochet, but struggle lately to find to the time or the energy to sit down and get some done. I’ve been feeling incredibly anxious lately, and as crafting is incredibly soothing this seemed like the perfect opportunity to take some time to relax and make something pretty. 

  
 Ordering from the CosyWool website is easy peasy. I’d never heard of the company before and usually use another big knitting supplies website or the little craft shop in Pontypridd. Whenever I’ve bought yarn online before I’ve had to be in to accept the delivery, or trek to the post office to pick it up. Not anymore! My favourite thing about CosyWool is that the orders always fit through your letterbox, because they vacuum pack them! It’s absolutely genius! It was a bit weird receiving a flat hard brick through the door when I was expecting squishy balls of softness, but I soon got used to it. Popping a hole in the packaging and watching the yarn reinflate was a lot of fun too!   

As it’s just starting to get pretty cold out, I went for a nice warm chunky yarn. I picked Stylecraft Special Chunky because I’ve used lots of Stylecraft yarns before and they wash and wear really well. I picked out what I thought were 7 autumnal colours, but then Trevor told me the teal was blue and made me think I was colourblind. I nearly took the teal out and used just 6 colours. I originally planned to do something elaborate with leaf shapes, sewing them all together at the end to make a scarf. The shapes themselves are easy enough to do, and I love to make flowers and leaves, but the deadline for finished scarves is 1st December and I was worried they’d take too long. 

So I’ve gone for a simple but effective long, thick and warm cowl. It can be worn long and wrapped around once, or short and doubled up for extra warmth. 

  
It’s easy enough to make, starting with a long chain and then joining it together. I did a double crochet round to start and finish, but the rest is just treble stitch. There’s no need for counting or keeping track of what stitch you’re on, so it’s the perfect project to work on when you’re too tired to function! 
Now that it’s finished I’ve decided to give it to my lovely sister as a birthday present. It’s always so hard to buy for people with December birthdays, and there’s nothing better than a handmade present. I love it so much that I’m going to make a short cowl of the same design with the leftovers. A shorter one will be better for when I’m babywearing the new little one in January as it won’t hang down far enough to touch her face. That’s the plan anyway! 

*CosyWool.com sent me two of the balls of yarn used for my scarf free of charge for the purpose of entering this challenge. I either bought the others or already had them in my ridiculously large stash of yarn. The prize for the winner of this challenge is a bundle of woolly goodies from the CosyWool website worth £60. Wish me luck!* 

Our week in pictures #2

Wow, another funny week of doing very little and feeling pretty rotten. It’s getting rather boring now. Even last weekend was quiet, with me and Iris missing our planned family swim because she hadn’t napped. On Sunday we had lunch with Grandma though, and Iris was served a ridiculously large portion of strawberry ice cream.

I had to get out of the house on Monday. Just had to. But it was absolutely freezing so we just took a walk to the swings near our house. Iris never ever gets bored with swings. Tuesday was another day stuck at home, as I was just way too tired. We did painting and sticking instead, but we both still ended up grumpy and frustrated. So on Wednesday, despite feeling like I might fall apart and Iris suddenly having diarrhoea, we went out. Iris seemed excited to be on the bus, and had a fun hour shouting at ducks and trees and tearing around the park. When she nodded off in the pushchair we went to our new local Lidl and snapped up some lovely dolls house furniture. Finally the Christmas shopping is started.

Wednesday night is when the week got really rough though, I couldn’t sleep and started having period like cramps. By morning I was panicking a bit but they eased off eventually. Iris was still poorly though, so we skipped the pottery painting party we were supposed to go to and just stayed home again.

We really need to get out a lot more next week!

Thank goodness it’s Friday. The big kids are here for the weekend again and we’ve actually got some stuff planned. Hooray! Unfortunately I’ve woken up feeling rather poorly and I can’t convince Iris that snuggling in bed is a good way to spend the day.


  
  
  
  
  

Birth anxiety

It wasn’t what I’d hoped for, Iris’s birth. It wasn’t horrific, and we’re both fine, but I just wanted something more. A birth that made me feel empowered, not out of control. A birth in a quiet place, with quiet people. Not a theatre full of noisy people. Full. I mean full. It felt like there were hundreds of them. I wrote about it here.

It may not have been the worst most traumatic birth ever, but it’s still left a scar. A scar I didn’t see until I got pregnant again. 

Now I’m terrified. 

Seriously, I’m a mess. I have been for weeks. Months probably. 

Trevor seems to think I’ve lost it. He says he feels we’ll be safer in the hospital. I disagree. I never ever want to go back to that maternity ward. I never want to have a room full of doctors looking at my private area. I never want that test where they take blood from your baby’s scalp while your baby is still inside. Not ever ever again. 

I also never want my waters to break before labour begins, ever again. And I definitely don’t want those waters to be full of meconium and I really don’t want to hear the panic that caused in the person who answered the phone on the ward’s voice ever ever again. Ever. 

What I do want is to chill out. Not want. Need. 

I’m making myself sick. Actually sick. Most nights when Iris and Trevor are snoring (so loudly) I end up back downstairs, filled with panic. Sometimes actually being sick. 

Tonight I’m lying in a warm bath writing this instead. More for my hip pain than for relaxation, but still. Tonight I’m pulling out the hypnobirthing. Tonight I AM going to start the process of chilling out about this birth. 

And then tomorrow I’m going to book to look around the two local-ish midwife-led birthing centres. I’ve been meaning to do that for ages, but the phone calls themselves fill me with dread. I don’t even know why. 

Tonight I’m going to sleep in the spare room, where the hypnobirthing recordings won’t disturb them, and their snoring doesn’t disturb me. 

Tomorrow I’m starting again. Tomorrow I am going to begin getting excited about the new baby instead of dreading the birth. Wish me luck. 

Batpig and Captain Fuzzywuzzy

  

That’s what happens when you let kids name pets. You end up with a dog called Sebastian and these are the names they pick for the Guinea pigs. 

Actually I named the cats Margot and Galahad, so maybe I don’t have a point. 

  
For some reason we decided we don’t already have enough mouths to feed around here so we’d add some more. It was my idea actually. After seeing some newborn Guinea pigs on our most recent trip to Warren Mill Farm Park I was reminded of how sweet they are. I had a whole herd of them when I was a zoology student, many years ago. Before deciding to work with kids instead of animals I briefly toyed with the idea of specialising in rodentology. Rats and Guinea pigs were my favourites. They’re just so intelligent and sweet! 

 
Iris is madly in love with the ‘binny pits’ and insists they come out to play several times a day. They’ve settled in well to our ever growing family and the cats have mostly lost interest already (although they are obviously never alone together – eek!). 

For now they live in a cage on our living room floor, but that may well change. They’ll always live indoors though. I’ve never much fancied the idea of a mostly forgotten and freezing cold pet living in the garden, and Guinea pigs are very poorly suited to living in our weather conditions! 

Welcome to the family, piglets! 

Our week in pictures #1

It’s been another funny week here. We’ve spent lots of it going back to bed to snuggle and watch Peppa Pig, which is fine by me as I’m so tired. I’m not sure what’s making Iris so tired. A growth spurt? A virus? Teething? We’ve only really got out of the house twice all week, once for a much-needed afternoon of fresh air in the park, and once for an afternoon of crochet with some other mums in a local cafe. I’m pleased that we did manage our weekly trip to the library too, although it was brief. I’ve spent much of the second half of the week trying to get the smell of wee out of the sofa, which I’m absolutely furious about! Me and the dog are currently not friends!

I’m glad it’s Friday. I’m looking forward to having Trevor and the big kids here all weekend, so I have some help and Iris has the girls to entertain her. I’m hoping I can squeeze in a lie in. Pregnancy exhaustion is really getting to me!

I’ve still managed to take an unreasonable amount of photographs this week, despite not doing very much, so thought it was still a good week to start a weekly photo post. It’s a been a long time (a year even, maybe?) since I’ve done something similar.

   
  
  

A Christmas crafternoon with @JacDoBox

  
Me and Iris were lucky enough to be invited to an afternoon of Christmas crafts with JacDo (find them on Twitter @JacDoBox) in Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. Unfortunately the timing was awful, as Iris had a terrible weekend of teething and tantrums. She had a good go at the crafts and enjoyed being allowed access to some Sharpie markers, but was generally grumpy and spent much of the afternoon shouting at me! I felt that I didn’t really get a chance to talk to any of the other bloggers, which I would have loved to do, and I ended up running off without saying much as I couldn’t keep the brewing tantrum at bay any longer. 

  
JacDoBox is a monthly subscription service. There are various package deals depending on how many craft activities you’d like to receive each month, but every lovingly packaged box is put together in Wales and contains everything your children need for the craft activities. This is one of the main selling points for me. I can’t stand it when I buy a craft kit only to get it home and find I have to provide my own glue! My two stepdaughters enjoy the types of crafts included in the boxes, so I’m hoping to subscribe for them early next year (when we are a bit less penniless) to keep them busy on rainy days.  

 
Iris is very fond of her sock snowman we made on the day. She likes to take his hat on and off and push him around in the pushchair! I enjoyed the sewing activities. We made both a penguin and a reindeer hand puppet, and they’ve been played with lots since the event. As usual Iris liked the cake at the end best. She does love her food. 

I’m still gutted that after looking forward to our first blogger’s event it turned out to be a very stressful day! The bus and train journey home was a disaster and absolutely exhausting. The pouring rain and grumpy toddler just made getting around at 32 weeks pregnant even more tricky. I think it’ll be our last trip out on public transport for a while. It is time to calm down and do a bit less! 

*We were invited to the event and provided with craft activities (and cake!) but were under no obligation to write this post. Words and opinions all my own. I’ve linked this post with the #makinghome linky. Click the image below to find out more.*

www.mrscraftyb.co.uk