Monday, 27 April 2015


Once upon a time, I gave birth to a tiny baby boy named Beau. OK, he was never that tiny. He came out weighing a "healthy" 9lbs 7oz (ouch)! That not so tiny baby boy is now a great big three year old who is fast outgrowing his cot bed, and what with his baby brother also growing at an alarming rate, I need to start thinking about the next step for Beau's sleeping quarters so that Ettie can move into the cot.

Initially I had set my sights on this fun little canopy bed from Ikea 

While visually it's exactly what I'm after, it's about as practical as high heels at the gym. Not least of all because its the same size as Beau's current bed. Also, James is currently sleeping on the floor in Beau's room when he's not in Oxford, so it would seem sensible to get a bed that he can sleep in too.  That got me to looking at bunk beds. I really like this one from Bunk Beds World

I was pretty much set on it, until I happened upon a post from my beloved Hey Natalie Jean in which little Henry "Huck" Holbrook gets a new bunk bed. Not just your average bunk though, it's a single over a double, PERFECT! Why didn't I think of that? It's perfect for James to sleep in (at 6ft 2 I doubt a single bed would be too comfy for him) and it means that if ever we have visitors who want to stay over then we actually have a bed to offer them! Mum, if you're reading this, that means you :o)

So in the spirit of only allowing white furniture into my house, you can probably guess what kind of bed I want. I've got my eyes on this one , again from Bunk Beds World. With mattresses too it's £569.98 so all I have to do now is hope for a miracle so that we can afford it! Joking aside, I am trying to think of creative ways to raise the funds. Selling his current bed isn't an option as Ettienne will need that until he's big enough to join Beau in the bunks. If anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears! 

Over and out :o)

Saturday, 11 April 2015


Beau came home from nursery just before Easter and said he had a story to tell me:

"Mummy I've got a story to tell you. You don't have to be sad ok but at nursery, a man died. BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE SAD! A man died at nursery but then after that HE CAME BACK TO LIFE!!" -Beau, aged three and a half

This, I think, is the best ever telling of the Easter story. 

On Easter Friday, we set off to the New Forest with my family. We went away last year too if you remember? This time, Dad had booked Old Bridge Cottage in Ringwood and it was the perfect setting for a little weekend away with some of my favourite people in the world. My sister Becs and her partner Jim came with their two children Ivy and Kit, my older brother Nick came with his girlfriend Sophie, my younger brother Matt (Sheepy) came and of course my Dad and his wife Pat. 

On the first night there, Ettienne treated me to a his first ever stint of 7 hours sleep straight through! I woke up engorged to high hell but so excited that it might be the start of a better sleep pattern going such luck. It was a one hit wonder and the next night he was back to waking every few hours for a guzzle on my breasts...oh the joys.

Over the course of the weekend I successfully palmed my children off on everyone else everyone wanted a cuddle with the baby so I selflessly gave everybody a turn holding him, because I'm nice like that :o) We all took our turns cooking, looking after the various children, planning where to go and generally having a lovely time together. I'm sure most people think this about their families, but I really do feel like I have the best family in the world. I'm incredibly lucky that they're all such kind, decent people. I was thinking about how every family has to have a black sheep/bad egg and how if you can't think of who it is then it's probably you... 

On the Saturday we all headed off in convoy to Beaulieu motor museum. I was kind of dreading it as a) motors don't really interest me and b) its pretty bloody expensive to get in. But actually it was a really great day out and worth the entrance fee. We all ended up getting separated for a little while and Ettie and I spent a really enjoyable couple of hours with just my two brothers, drinking coffee, talking about healthy eating, and stumbling across a wedding which we very nearly got in the photos of. Ettie needed feeding so we all found a bench and my brothers remarked on how sitting next to your sister while she's breastfeeding is a little like a solar shouldn't look directly at it :o)

On Sunday we headed to Sandbanks in Poole. We'd intended to go to Swanage on the ferry, but soon realised that the world and his sodding wife had the same plans that we did, and we joined the world's biggest, most slow moving queue. The one benefit of being stuck in the queue for so long was getting a chance to perve on all the amazing houses there. We all decided that this is the plot we'd go for, upon winning the lottery of course. Also whilst queueing (and losing the will to live) the car behind us broke down, so Jim and James spent a good 20 minutes helping the owners push their Audi along the road. It's like Jim attracts troubled cars. Anyway, since we were getting to the point where we were all getting out of our cars (I was handing out travel sweets to our family convoy of three cars, Sheepy and Beau had gone looking for a toilet, Jim was trying to diagnose our queue neighbour's car issues, then Ettie needed feeding) we eventually gave up on our quest for the swanage ferry and set our sights on the beach at sandbanks instead. It was pretty effing cold but the kids had fun and the men all showed off how manly they were by rolling up their jeans and paddling in the bitterly cold sea. I say it was bitterly cold; I sensibly went absolutely nowhere near it so I wouldn't know, but one can make an educated guess.  After the beach we all got a coffee and some chips to thaw us out before heading back home to cook dinner and settle in for the evening.

The following day it was decided that we would hit up one more tourist attraction on our way home, and Sheepy suggested Salisbury Cathedral.

We had been blessed with a beautifully sunny day, and it was completely stunning. It boasts the tallest spire in the UK and the architecture inside was mind boggling.

Beau and Ivy loved it there too and enjoyed spending the last day of the holiday chasing each other around like shadows, giggling their heads off and generally being cute as a button. The relationship these two have is so sweet. Every day since we got back has been filled with moans of "I miss my cousin Ivy" "I love my cousin Ivy" "When can I see my cousin Ivy?" and "I don't love you any more because you won't let me see my cousin Ivy". Charming.

I sat outside the room which holds the magna carta and fed Ettie and took a shameless selfie while we were there. Breastfeeding in such a public place is always a good way to get the measure of people...there are those who make every effort not to look anywhere near you once they've clocked what you're doing as if to say "God this is uncomfortable", those who look and give you a slightly disapproving look as if to say "Really?? Here??" and there are those who give you a little smile as if to say "Good on you, and what a cute baby" OK maybe I imagined that last bit, but he is. Those ones are "my people". I like those ones the best.

Ettie tried on his big brother's sunnies and I think you'll agree he looks quite the dude. My brother Nick is officially the broodiest of all the broodies after a weekend with his niece and nephews. Hopefully this time next year it'll be him and Sophie expecting their own little bundle of sleep deprivation :o)

And here's a picture of my big boy to take us out. After making me chase his shadow around until I broke a sweat (so all of about 10 seconds then) he pulled me down to the ground and made me do "she loves me, she loves me not" with the daisies. I don't think there's any doubt about this one though...I love this boy (and his baby brother) to the moon and stars and back. Thanks for a lovely holiday mi familia xx

Tuesday, 31 March 2015


(very slowly picking me apart...) Aaah you gotta love a bit of Stevie Wonder on a Tuesday morning...or a Wednesday, or any day in fact. My name is Katie and I love Stevie Wonder, there I said it. Who doesn't? On a somewhat serious note, if you answered that question "Me, I don't" then this probably isn't the blog for you. I'm probably not "your people" you know? No hard feelings...


Lately we've mostly been battling the chicken pox. My poor beautiful Beau has had some absolute corkers and is now one big scabby mess where they're healing up. A few days after Beau came down with the poxy pox, I came down with Tonsillitis. That was all kinds of not fun. Let me tell you, being ill when you have young children to look after (one of whom is almost constantly attached to your breasts) is a whole new kind of misery. Luckily James and my mum were around to help me; I literally don't know how people do it if they don't have good help around. I noticed a lone spot on Ettie's leg yesterday and he has been super fussy (and wakeful at nighttime :o() so I'm just waiting to see if it blossoms into full blown pox to make it our three bad things. You know bad things always happen in three's don't you?

 So this gorgeous muffin is 14 weeks old and is a real joy to be around. His favourite person in the world is his big brother...many a breastfeeding session is interrupted by Ettie hearing Beau and then pulling off to crane his head and see what his crazy big bro is up to...then come the smiles. He always beams the biggest most beautiful whole face smiles for that curly haired one. It's the absolute best thing to watch. Beau loves him just as much too, and tells Ettie all the time how sweet and beautiful he is before plastering his fat little cheeks with kisses. Oh these still my beating heart 

It's not all fun and games though. Having two children is somehow 50 times harder than just having one. I'm so tired it actually hurts, which often leads to me collapsing in a grumpy tearful heap by the end of the day (or at 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6:30am on nights like last night). I do have the added stress of mine & James' unconventional living situation, and with no idea when that is likely to change, my stress and anxiety levels are pretty bad at the moment. I try to take it one day at a time and I'm lucky that I have some good friends and family to have a moan to when I need to. My GP and health visitor are also both keeping a close eye on me which is reassuring, even if it does make me feel a little self conscious at times.

 The other morning after a particularly stressful few days, Ettie and I sat down, put some Stevie Wonder on and had ourselves a little dance party. I sang, we held hands and danced, and Ettie smiled big beaming smiles up at me, I think he loves Stevie as much as I do. If ever you're feeling like the world is getting on top of you, I highly recommend putting a little fat baby atop your lap and having a boogie to some feel good isn't likely to answer all your problems long term, but it sure as heck will make you feel a little better for a while at least. 

This weekend is Easter and we're off to spend it in The New Forest with my family (above is my wonderful dad with my wonderful boys) so hopefully with many hands around to entertain my little ones, I'll get some decent R&R and come back feeling a little better and a little brighter :o)

Until next time x

Tuesday, 17 March 2015


So, its been a while hey? Long story short, my computer is busted and doing these posts from other devices is tedious to say the least! So since I last posted back in OCTOBER (!!) I've been pretty busy...

My beautiful baby boy Ettie arrived on the 20th December, four days after his due date. As I mentioned last time, I was hoping to give birth at the Maidstone Birth Centre...well best laid plans and all that!


I went to see my community midwife the day after my due date, expecting to be given a stretch and sweep. I nonchalantly mentioned that the baby's movements may have reduced slightly but that I was confident everything was OK as I was still feeling a fair few. This immediately made Sarah hesitant about doing the sweep and said she wanted me to go down to the hospital and be monitored to check baby was alright. I did my very best to convince her that it really wasn't necessary and short of dropping to my knees I pretty much begged her to still do the sweep, I was so done with being pregnant! She said she would have a listen in and a feel of the bump so I hopped up on the bed, but it soon became apparent that I wasn't having the sweep. The naughty little baby was not even nearly engaged. His head was totally free and in fact it was so high that Sarah couldn't even be sure it was his head and not his bottom she was feeling! So she called the triage unit at the hospital and sent me on my merry way for a presentation scan and to be monitored.

As I had expected, the monitoring revealed that the baby was just fine, but just as I thought I was going to be sent home, the doctor changed her mind due to the fact that the baby had changed position quite dramatically in the short time I had been there, so she diagnosed me with an unstable lie and I was admitted to stay in hospital until he arrived! The danger was that if my waters had broken while he was not in a head down position then there was a risk of cord prolapse, and apparently if that happens then they have about 7 minutes to get the baby out before there is a high risk of the baby being brain damaged or worse. So with all that in mind, the safest place for me to be was in hospital, and I was informed that they would break my waters in a controlled manner while baby was head down.

So I had left the house that afternoon thinking I was just going for a sweep...little did I know I wouldn't be home again for quite some time! The maternity unit was chocka block and unfortunately every time a bed came free on the delivery suite, a woman in active labour came in and stole it from under my nose! It soon became apparent that I was low on the priority list and was therefore going nowhere soon...

I got busy on the birth ball in the hope that labour would start naturally. After nearly three days of hellish boredom, broken up only by little visits from Beau and James, my sister and my mum, I was completely fed up. On that third day I had been getting contractions approximately once an hour but although they were actually quite painful, they weren't getting any more frequent, and I ended up sobbing tears of pure frustration on the shoulder of the lovely midwife Anna who had been looking after me during my stay. She had little comfort to offer me, but it felt good to get it out and so I dried my eyes and slowly waddled back to my room and settled in for yet another night in my cell of eternal pregnancy! The most torturous part of it was that from my room I could see the corridor leading to the delivery suite so every time I saw a lady being taken up to postnatal with her new baby I thought it might be my turn next...but wait as I might, nobody came to collect me to take me round.

At about 6:45pm I started to notice that those few and far between contractions had gotten slightly more frequent, and I started to wonder if something might be happening after all...then out of nowhere I was in agony and by 7:30 the contractions were on top of each other. A midwife came to examine me and confirmed I was 4cm dilated so finally it was my turn! I was taken round to delivery suite and shortly afterwards James arrived. By this point the pain was making me feel totally out of it and I decided that I needed to regain some control and that despite my previous swearing off it, I had an epidural. That was the best decision I could have made, and I soon felt calm and in control. My sister arrived to be my second birthing partner and at 1:20am while watching Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett in concert on the TV,  after about 15 minutes of pushing, Ettienne Bay made his way into the world, sucking his wrinkled little thumb and screaming his tiny baby lungs out. He weighed 8lb 11oz, so a fair bit smaller than Beau who weighed 9lb 7oz at birth. 

He is fair skinned and fair haired, in stark contrast to Beau who had a shock of long dark hair and was olive skinned from the get go. Like Beau was, he's a pretty chilled laid back baby who (touch wood) only really cries when he is hungry or tired. Beau slept through the night pretty much from 8 weeks old and I always knew I was onto a good thing there and it was unlikely I'd get that lucky again...and I was right :o) So Ettie is now 12 weeks old and I'm longing for a solid night's sleep, but apart from that all is good and I'm completely and utterly in love with my blonde haired blue eyed mini me...

peace xx 

Monday, 13 October 2014


Things have been a little crazy around here lately. Things have happened, other things very much haven't happened, you know, the usual shit.

Something awesome which HAS happened is that this scrummy little monster came into the world, fresh from my sister's uterus no less! He arrived about an hour after his due date pulled on it's night clothes and went to bed, so close! I got to go up to the hospital that evening and meet the gorgeous boy. We had snuggles and got the measure of one another while my mum helped my sister have her first post-delivery shower. I told him all about his family and how beautiful he was, he peed all over my leg. I think it was a fair game. Anyway, his name is Kit Robert, he weighed  8lbs 5oz and has a rather large head. He has already pretty much outgrown newborn size clothes which just fills me with fear as I have a drawer packed full of newborn clothes upstairs for my baby and if it's anything like Beau, he's gonna be a biggun'. Beau weighed 9lbs 7oz and I honestly can't remember how long he was in newborn size for...I have a feeling that I'm going to be eBaying a whole load of stuff within the first week of my baby boy being here! And man I've got some cute stuff for him...hello Vertbaudet...where have you been all my life (as a mother)??

Other than falling in love with my new nephew, I've mostly been knitting like an absolute crazy lady...look

 Gloves for mums, hats and cardigans (which don't button up right...look at those out of sync stribes goddamnit) for babies, other hats for toddlers, dresses for other toddlers, snuggle bags and teddy bears for other's crazy I tell you. I've loved knitting since I first picked up the needles again after Beau was born but just lately it has been all that has kept me sane. If I don't have at least two projects on the go and do at least an hour a day (sometimes 6!!) I think I would go mad. I've taken a couple of commissions from friends (like the pink pinafore dress you see above) and so although my hourly rate would work out to approximately sweet FA, I am making a tiny bit of pocket money from it now and then which is nice. I have a fat stash of yarn which I am trying to work my way through and not allowing myself to buy any more (haha, yeah right) until I have used a good chunk of what I already have. To be fair I have been doing quite well and the stash is veeeeerrrryy sloooooowwllyy going down, ball by ball. Some of the patterns I've made up as I've gone along (like the pinafore dress and most of the hats) so I'm also trying to take as detailed notes as possible as I go so that at some point in the future I can write them up real nice and sell them to the good folk who wanna buy no takers? You just wait and see...Debbie Bliss I'm coming to get you :o)

The pregnancy is going well, I'll be 31 weeks tomorrow (single digits for the countdown...argh!), still got the SPD pains and they're getting worse which is all kinds of not fun. We went to look around Maidstone Birth Centre and Crowborough Birth Centre last week. Totally fell head over heels in love with Maidstone, really REALLY wish it wasn't a 40, potentially 60 minute drive away :o( I wasn't nearly as keen on Crowborough unfortunately, as thats only a 20 minute drive away. At maidstone you get your own double bed in an en-suite room after you Crowborough you get a hospital style bed, potentially in a dorm style room and with a shared bathroom. The two just didn't compare really, and I think I would rather be in Pembury hospital than Crowborough. At least you get your own en suite room at Pembury. I just need to decide whether or not I can face the journey to Maidstone in the throws of labour...and whether I'll even have enough time to get there! I think what I'll probably do is book in at Maidstone, see how I feel on the day it all happens and then if I can't face it then we'll head up the road to Pembury. Watch this space.

Anyway, here's me in my undies at 30 weeks pregnant (I really need to put a photo in that spare frame on the wall)...until next time lovers x


Thursday, 18 September 2014


I have a three year old! How the hell did that happen?!

Can you believe that this gorgeous little lump of squidge is THREE? I can't. It only seems like last week that I was still pregnant with him, and his birth feels like yesterday.

So it was his actual birthday last Wednesday and I initially thought that the day itself would be a rather low key affair. I stayed up late the night before, wrapping his presents, putting up some decorations and finishing off a jumper which I had knitted him. I had a bit of a nightmare with it, in that after sewing up the seam of the neckband, I discovered that it didn't fit over his head, whoops! So I had to make a little last minute alteration and unpick the seam and add a button onto it instead. This is the jumper...could it be any more of a disgusting Christmas jumper? It's wonderfully horrible, if I do say so myself :o)

Its saving grace is that it is made from the wonderfully soft Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran so it wears like a dream. are a couple of snaps of my beautiful boy opening some pressies on his birthday morning

We then had my sister & Ivy and our friend Emma & her boys round for a play and some birthday cake

One of the best things about having a child is that you get to buy Colin the Caterpillar cake and eat most of it :o)

The day got a little crazy later on, with a million people all turning up at once and I'd be lying if I said I dealt with it like a pro and didn't let it stress me out. Come when you say you're going to come people! This pregnant lady does not enjoy an unexpected evening of playing host and not getting to sit down!

Beau was completely pooped bless him, and fell asleep on the sofa which he NEVER does unless he's ill these days...bless his little cottons

 Yep, he's 3 and he is still as attached as ever to his dummy. That bad boy will be in his graduation photos at this rate...

So anyway, when James came back at the weekend he obviously wanted to do something to celebrate Beau's birthday too. Our local steam railway had a super cool sounding Fireman Sam day on, so we were all geared up to go but the birthday boy himself just wasn't interested at all! He would not get dressed to go along, so in the end we gave up on that idea and went out for a late lunch when he eventually stopped behaving like a teenager and got out of his PJ's. We went to the Rose & Crown at Riverhead and had a really yummy, really reasonable lunch.

 Maybe I'm biased, but I do think that he is the most beautiful creature I have ever laid eyes on, this boy of mine

 While we were eating lunch, James made the mistake of stealing a piece of Beau's bread off of his plate, while he wasn't looking. He had asked for a piece and Beau had said no...silly James took one anyway. Next thing you know, Beau is having a meltdown so James tells him that a bird flew in and stole the piece of bread. Not as silly as James took him for, Beau starts asking questions about this cheeky bird, which meant that when we went out to the car, we had to actually go and find a bird's nest to show Beau and palm it off as the nest where the cheeky bird took the bread back to, to feed it's babies. It was all rather sweet :o)

 To round off the birthday celebrations, we had some of my family round for a little party on Sunday. I cooked a big (but not big enough apparently) pot of Chili con Carne and then we had a billion different kinds of cake for pudding. All in all, it was almost a week of eating far too much indulgent food which has left me feeling like a ten ton Tessie! It was worth it though, my boy had a great third birthday, and you only get one of those.


Thursday, 4 September 2014


Twenty five down, fifteen (ish) to go. I'm fairly sure that I wasn't nearly this huge with Beau at this stage? I feel HUMONGOUS! Everybody I have seen in the last week has said something along the lines of "wow, you've just popped all of a sudden, look at your huge bump!" and sadly I feel like I'm really starting to gain weight everywhere, not just in the bump. I gained something around 50lbs (3.5 stone) in total last time, and I desperately DESPERATELY don't want to gain that much again. I haven't weighed myself for a few weeks as I don't own any working scales anymore, but I'm going to have to call in at my mums one morning soon and see just how bad the situation is so far. 

I have a fairly annoying case of SPD now too, which I guess will stick around until the end of the pregnancy. I know people have it much worse than me, so I'm trying not to moan about it too much. I just need to be careful not to aggravate it but having a rowdy very nearly 3 year old in tow most of the time, that's pretty hard. Speaking of which, Beau is just so full on at the moment. We're going through a really difficult phase and I'd be lying if I said it isn't getting to me. He has always been a very passionate child, in both loving and frustrated ways. For example, since before he could even talk, he would often grab your face to give you a kiss and as soon as tantrums started kicking in, they came pretty hard and fast. But just lately the anger seems to have got much worse and more frequent, and I've consulted the health visitor to see what she makes of it. She's coming to see us next week, two days after Beau's third birthday, so I just hope she has some good advice for me.

Pregnancy in general is going well though. One symptom which nobody ever seems to talk about (with good reason) is the oh so disgusting EWCM. Now if you've ever actively tried to get pregnant, you'll probably know exactly what I'm talking about. If you don't, maybe skip this part and consider yourself lucky. Well let me be the one to say it: when you're pregnant, you get EWCM  e v e r y  b l o o d y  d a y. It's truly gross. I thought it would go at some point but here we are, week 25 and it's still here. My sister is nearly 37 weeks and she reliably informs me she still has it by the truck load so I guess it's here to stay till the bitter end, like the SPD. Fun!

In other news, here is a rather cute photo of Beau & Ivy at the steam railway last weekend. James & Jim took them there while I drove me & Becs up to London to see our friend Will, his wife Kim and their new baby Arthur. Arthur was wearing the knitted nappy cover and booties I made him and I'm delighted that Kim absolutely loved them. She said her mum was there when they arrived in the post and she was super impressed and remarked that I hadn't dropped a single stitch. I like getting compliments on my knitting :o)

On our way back from London we took a little detour to Bluewater just for a tray of Krispy Kreme doughnuts...that is a pregnant woman's prerogative if ever I heard it.  

And just to finish up, here is what bedtime looks like for me at the moment. Beau has taken to sleeping in my bed a lot lately wince James is away during the week. I love having him there but boy does he like to kick the crap out of me. And Kiehl's midnight recovery oil: heaven in a tiny glass bottle. If you haven't tried it, do.