Monday, 28 October 2013

Make it Monday - Granny Square Baby Snuggy Toy

No, I haven't been crafting away with a newborn in the house!


I started working on this wee toy a week past Friday, as I approached the end of my 39th week of pregnancy. I had seen a similar toy on Pinterest, but with a froggy head, and had thought about making that at first. When I went to buy the wool I couldn't find any greens that were soft enough but I did find this lovely soft self patterning tweedy wool. I bought that instead and decided to try for a bear head instead of a frog.





I didn't follow a pattern but the toy is just a basic granny square with a stuffed circle shape sewn in the middle.
I made up the square to the size I was happy with and then worked up a head shape that was in proportion. Then all it needed was some little ears.




Once the ears were on James suggested that maybe it didn't need eyes, nose and mouth sewn on. This was on the Saturday evening. I decided to leave the facial features until Monday as something else needed done at the time.

I didn't expect that the little man would be making his appearance on the Monday! Still, I'm glad that I got it mostly finished before he arrived. The features can be added later, if at all!


And here's one more photo of the man himself, being photobombed by his next oldest brother!



Thanks for all the messages of congratulations. He has settled in quite nicely and I'm taking things nice and easy still. Being a typical boy he likes to spend most of his time feeding. The longest he has gone between feeds so far is about 2 1/2 hours so I am still pretty tired, but these early days are so precious and so fast that I don't mind all those chances to snuggle him one bit. I try and remind myself that at 4am anyway, especially when I have only been asleep since 2.30am!


Oh, and the Henry VIII comment, for those who asked, was one I shared on the housefulofboys Facebook page when I shared the link to the post. The midwife at the hospital said to me that if I had been Henry VIII's wife my head would have been quite safe!


Tuesday, 22 October 2013


I honestly didn't expect to be writing this post until at least the end of the week but I'm glad to be able to do so sooner rather than later!


On Monday morning at 3.37am, only a few hours after his due date, Fraser Donald Murray was born weighing 8lb 1oz.


On Sunday afternoon the boys and dad were heading out for our usual Sunday afternoon walk to the woods and I really couldn't be bothered as I was so tired, but I had it in the back of my mind that the night David was born was after a long walk so it wouldn't do any harm to waddle along with them, just in case it should help get things started!


As I put Calum's light out on Sunday night the last thing he said was, 'I really hope the baby comes tonight'. I replied that the closest any of them had come to their due dates was David who was 3 days late so not to get his hopes up.


Everything was just normal as we went to bed about midnight.


2 hours later I woke up with what I thought could have been a contraction. I'd been having Braxton Hicks for months, as in all previous pregnancies, and some of these had been pretty uncomfortable, even to the point of disturbing me in the night, so I thought it was possibly just yet another of these. Still, because I knew we were to try and get to the hospital quite quickly then I ought to stay awake and just check if another came. Which it did about 5 minutes later. I still didn't think it was too painful though and didn't want to wake up my hubs in case it was a false alarm. Two more contractions later and I concluded that, yes, ok they probably were more painful than the usual ones and decided to get our plan into action.


We phoned my sister in law to come over to look after the boys and headed to the hospital.


By the time we got to the hospital I think the contractions were already only about 2-3 minutes apart and things just kind of escalated quickly from then on. It wasn't too long until our newest little man was in my arms. It's funny how four of the five boys were born within half an hour of 4am. Only our oldest was born late morning.



We were left in peace to get some rest for a couple of hours before the midwife came back to do the weigh in. Daddy and baby both had a nice wee snooze but I couldn't sleep.


8lb 1oz is the lightest of any of our boys - three were 8lb 5oz & Calum was 8lb 12oz - but he is also the least overdue and managed to beat them all in length. The other 4 were all 21 inches exactly but Fraser measured in at 21 1/2!


Once all the necessary checks were done we were both allowed to leave for home before midday. The maternity ward is so busy that if you and baby are both healthy and it's not your first baby, they really try and encourage you to go home if you can and we have been able to do this with each of the boys, except, like I said, our first. The midwife said that a house with four boys would probably be more restful than the ward!


It was lovely to come home to a house tidied up by my sister in law as well as a lovely pan of soup she had made us. I'd only had toast to eat in the hospital so was pretty hungry!


I think that's all the necessary details so I'll leave you with a few more photos of our newest little bundle. The other boys are absolutely delighted with him and always desperate for cuddles. Alasdair has been very good with him but not quite brave enough to hold him yet. He will help me wind him though!

















Ok, so that was quite a few shots, but he's just so adorable. Worth all 9 months of that morning sickness!


Thursday, 17 October 2013

39 weeks.


Well, the end is almost in sight!


It's funny how when you reach this stage of pregnancy, in one sense you feel as if it has gone past quite quickly, but then in another sense when you look back to the beginning it seems so long ago! Those early days of day long sickness seem so far off, but alas the days of morning sickness have never left. I kind of expected that though since it's been the same every other pregnancy.


Still, as with in all my other pregnancies, I've not had any other complaints at all so I take that as my payback for all the sickness! My blood pressure has always remained textbook level, iron levels are always fine, no problems with glucose, no swelling of hands or feet, or any other aches and pains that go along with pregnancy.


Despite saying this I am looking forward to getting up in the morning one day soon and not feeling nauseous!


I've been trying to take it easy the last couple of weeks. I don't think the third trimester tiredness really hit me until about 37 weeks, so again I can't complain.


Our hospital has a policy that for baby no 5, or more, you have to meet with the consultant at around 37 weeks so that they can double check that baby is lying the right way round. A quick scan a few weeks ago confirmed what my midwife has been saying for months, that baby is indeed the right way round.


Because my previous deliveries have been quite fast - no 4 was 45 minutes from start to finish - I was also asked to go back this week and meet with the consultant again. There had been mention of going in at around term to be induced so as to reduce the risk of giving birth in the supermarket, or some other horror story, but I politely declined. I'm a great believer that if mum and baby are both healthy then you shouldn't interfere. Especially given that all my other deliveries began naturally. I had discussed this with my own midwife the week before and she agreed that there was no need for induction.


The consultant accepted my decision and said he just had to make me aware the option was there. This delivery could be faster he said. But it might not be, was my response, and he agreed. He double checked how far away we live from the hospital - 10 minutes maximum - and that we had child care arrangements in place - several! Another check of baby confirmed, yet again, that they are lying head down, in fact the consultant was surprised that the head was quite so far down.


I'm not naturally a very assertive person and so I was rather pleased with myself for standing my ground. As I left the room the midwife followed me and patted me on the back saying, "well done you for sticking to your guns." That made me feel pretty good.


I finally packed my hospital bag last night, which is perhaps the latest I have ever left it! We also spent yesterday washing baby clothes that have been stored up in the loft and they are now neatly folded away. The boys were amazed when the saw how small the first size baby-gros are. Then I held one up in front of me and told them how squashed the baby must be by now!


Now we just face the waiting game.


I'm just hoping that this little one is not quite as comfortable to stay put as their older brothers were!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

I'm still here!

I thought I'd better check in just in case anyone was getting excited thinking that baby had made an arrival or was in the process of doing so!


My due date is this Sunday so I suppose things could kick off at any time now, but the other boys all hung on in there a bit past their due dates so I'm trying to keep thinking that we still have a week or two left. That way it's not quite so depressing when the days tick on by past your date!


I'll do a proper update tomorrow of how things are going at 39 weeks but in the meantime here's a few of things going on in our house over the last week. Which isn't an awful lot as we've really been laying low.


Just in case!


James (13) decided to teach Alasdair (4) how to play chess one night. I was a bit sceptical about how much he would understand of it, although I knew James would be good to him and let him win. The following morning Alasdair asked James if he could play "chest" again because it was his new favourite game and when James asked him if he knew where all the pieces went he got them all right!


The two buddies were also busy painting our shed and the new back fence, which was finally fixed after being in a dilapidated state all summer. The gap is where the gate is going to go, so that the boys can go out and play in the woods without having to climb the fence - which is how the fence became dilapidated in the first place!
The nice new painted bit of the fence made the rest look a bit scruffy though and so David (7) and Calum (11) also got their painting clothes on and came out to help.


And finally, my biggest boy joined the Army Cadets at the end of the summer holidays. He has been loving it so far and this week got his proper kit. I think it looks great on him. The only thing wrong is that the Tam O Shanter hat they supplied is far, far too small. It's small enough to fit Alasdair so I'm not sure what sort of teenager would have a head that small! He has another one on order though and I'll share a photo of him with the full regalia on once it's here.
Still, Alasdair is rather chuffed to be able to wear this one and accompany James in the photo!



Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Walking in the woods - as seen through Calum's camera lens.

I've posted plenty pictures of our Sunday afternoon walks to the duck pond in the woods across the road from us before.

The photos in this post are different, however, as they were all taken by Calum (11). He got a semi-decent camera this time last year for his birthday but these last couple of weeks he has really begun to show a good eye for the shots he takes.

There are quite a few photos to share so I'll just let them do the talking. 

These are how our local woods have been looking over the last couple of weeks, with the beginnings of Autumn creeping in. You might also spot Calum's fondness for wildlife shots! 

Oh, and a return of the Gaelic word for the day!

tunnag (toon-ag) - duck

Monday, 7 October 2013

Make it Monday - Crochet & Cakes

Now doesn't that sound like a lovely way to spend an afternoon or an evening?

The crochet and cakes don't come together though, rather they are two (actually three) separate makes from last week.

Firstly the crochet.

I was on a bit of a roll with the granny squares this week. In order to get the baby blanket finished as quickly as I could (there are just under 2 weeks left now until our official D-Day, although like I've probably said 100 times before, I have always gone over and expect to do so again), I decided to stick to a basic Granny Square and not do the one with the little sunflower-like shape in the middle like I did for Alasdair's blanket.

Boy did I notice a difference in the speed these ones worked up! I started last Monday and finished it on Saturday, and had just enough of the wool from Alasdair's blanket left over to make it.

Obviously the fact that it is about a quarter of the size of Alasdair's helped me finish it quicker but even so, by my calculations it would take me a month to make a blanket the size of Alasdair's using these types of squares, not the three months it took me to make his.

Here are the two blankets side by side for size comparisons.

Now, onto the cake(s).

Last week our little crofter turned 11. He was supremely chuffed to get a tweed jacket as one of his presents!

He was also very happy that my mum and dad were down for a very brief visit during the week as my dad had some meetings to attend in Edinburgh, which meant that Granny could come to his birthday tea. Shen was unfortunately too busy with his meetings that night. 

I baked the cake, in my giant cupcake mould, for the birthday tea and then largely left the decor up to James (13) and David (7). The result was this rather space age looking cake, which Calum loved.

Then, as is often the tradition with the older boys on the weekend before or after their birthdays, Calum had his best friend round for a sleepover on Friday night. Of course we had to have a cake for him coming too!

At his point, being almost 38 weeks pregnant, I did wish for a moment that we could just nip out to the supermarket and buy a cake for him, but of course no supermarkets do Gluten & Dairy Free decorated birthday cakes so it wasn't an option.

Thankfully I have a 13 year old who loves to decorate cakes and wanted to make it. All I had to do was bake the basic cake and then the rest was up to him. He asked me to bake a square cake and then he carved it into the shape and decorated it. He even coloured the icing black himself, which took some time and left his hands rather stained!

The cake he decided to make was a camera cake, as Calum still loves photography.

The only trouble with all that black icing was that it turned a few tongues black!

Calum has been busy taking some really good autumnal photos with the camera he got last year for his birthday but they need a post of their own so I'll share them with you all tomorrow.