Baby's age counter

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Bumbo


What a weird name for a kiddie seat! Still, she looks super-cute sat in this red chair. When she first sat in it she looked really pleased with herself, as if to say "look at me! I can sit up all by myself!"

Obviously being less than 3 months old, she can't. But it's nice for her to feel all clever and it's great for me as it means I can do things with my hands free e.g. eat my cereal in a relaxed fashion instead of as part of a balancing circus act.
By the way, I didn't name the chair Bumbo, blame the manufacturers for that!!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Santa Baby

Here is photo of our little Santa baby! We took this while we were eating our lunch as the little one had to join in!!!

What a cute outfit!!!!!!!!

We had a lovely first Christmas together and enjoyed an alternative Christmas lunch: beef wellington and sticky toffee christmas pudding with toffee chocolate sauce. yum! Next year our baby can join us but she was quite happy watching yesterday.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Look at our girls now!

Although these girls are missing their friends, just look how healthy they look now. Lots more feathers and they're back in egg production. Hooray!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Balloon toy

video

Ok I know I am biased but isn't she just soooo cute?!

(And I realise that the vid's the wrong way around but I've only just got my head around posting a video, let alone it being the right way round!!!)

Gingerbread House

In my quest for a homespun Christmas (of sorts) we put together our gingerbread house today. Yes, we cheated and bought a kit! It came from a well known Swedish store and we just had to glue it together with icing and make it look pretty!!!

Quite a lot more simple than I'd done in previous years, but perhaps that is for the best. Now I just need to make a little sign for the front of it saying our surname.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Smiling!

A big day! The little one has been smiling for a few weeks now but at last I have caught it on camera!!!

Isn't she just adorable?????

(I know I am totally biased, but she is gorgeous, isn't she?!)

Monday, 30 November 2009

Sad end

At last I will explain what happened to 2 of our beloved chickens. In short, a fox got them.

We'd been allowing them out of their run as they really liked being outside. At the end of November we let them out one morning and within 10 minutes 2 of them had been killed. I only managed to rescue 2 of them by getting them into the kitchen away from the evil fox that was scampering around our garden, feasting on our darlings.

A lesson has been learnt.

So with FrouFrou and Henrietta dead, Trixie and Antoinette are cold and lonely. Thank goodness they have each other. We've applied to get a couple more chickens as it's only fair on them to be in a small flock. Hopefully we can extend their run too so that they have more freedom.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Birth Story (Part 1)

Our birth story for our baby is something I want to remember. As time goes on I keep worrying that I'll forget the little details so I am determined to record it and here seems as good a place as any.

On Tuesday 13th October 2009 and 10.50am I decided to go for a walk and put my boots on in the kitchen. I felt a sudden rush of liquid and leapt to my feet in a Jumping-Jack-type stance to avoid my waters ruining my lovely brown suede boots. All I could think was "not the boots!" Little else registered as the baby wasn't due for another 9 days so it couldn't possibly be happening.

The other side is that I had been feeling 'odd' since the Friday before when I had a sharp contraction. I continued to feel strange that weekend while I went shopping for nursing tops and bras and ran a Christmas craft party.

Anyway, when I had recovered myself I decided that I ought to ring Mr Tigerlily and let him know that things are likely to kick off in a few hours or so. No need for him to dash home and be all hysterical when I'm fine on my own. I believe the first labour is likely to last 12 hours + so there was no need to panic.

Ten minutes later and I'd had 2 or 3 contractions! Time to ring Mr Tigerlily and demand he return home sharpish!! It was quite hard to speak though so it was more like "Home! NOW!!" The next task was to get some professional assistance. I'd gone upstairs to run a bath as this was alledged to help ease contractions (I still don't know if this is true!), but this caused a few problems... how to get downstairs to get phone numbers I needed? where to place myself ready for labour??

In between contractions I managed to crawl up and down the stairs a couple of times, due to making a number of errors I had to make a couple of trips. Things felt like they were speeding up even more. Irrationally I thought that the best place to go, having rung the hospital and found out which midwife I needed to ring and rung the midwife and convinced her I wasn't imagining things, was to sit in the bathroom! I sat silently next to my nice bath, not being brave enough to climb in as I wasn't sure I would be able to get out again, and waited for help to arrive......

What a load of rubbish


Nearly 6 weeks after having our little angel and life is settling into 'normality' again. We have friends over, cook dinner and sit together or potter about in the evenings. Life has not ended. Although it's not always plain sailing we are not miserable.
Now that I am getting my sense of self back I realise that it's terrible what horror stories people tell you when you are about to become a parent for the first time. If things were that bad you wouldn't wait for your friends to get pregnant before telling them woeful tales. No, you would take them to one side while they are still single and let them know what could happen to them if they were to (gasp) have a baby. You will NEVER sleep, you will be MISERABLE, you will have NO MONEY or FUN ever again.
Lots of people have babies. Some people are not even that bright, but they make a little human being and bring it up. It can't be that bad or people would not go back for a second, third or more.
We have a gorgeous little angel who is showing us another side to ourselves. Yes she can be tricky but ultimately the good waaaay outdoes the bad.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

One month on

A month has passed and she's grown so much! It's been fun to see many of our friends and family, who've all been extremely generous and kind. Yesterday Immy was given this cute Santa suit - so she's all prepared for her first Christmas now!
I'm amazed at all the new things I have to do each day and she is so rewarding!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Lil baby

Here is a photo of our baby girl. She's a week old in this picture and taking her first bath! Unfortunately she looks a little yellow due to jaundice but overall I think super-cute!!!

She really liked her bath which surprised me as I thought it would be a blood-curdling screaming event but I was wrong!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Baby came early!

Not got a lot of energy to write too much but our little baby Immy arrived early, last Tuesday (13th October) and we've had a whirlwind week. She is (of course) the cutest baby in the world and has given us great joy. She's also worn us both out! Still, it's more than worth it when you see her cute little face.

I'll post again when I have photos and more energy!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

freedom!

So the chickens lives have changed a lot in the last month. This time a month ago they were rescued from the battery farm where they had only had the equivalent of an A4 sheet of paper to stand in, unable to stretch out their wings, scratch the ground or rummage about.

This week we decided to let the chickens out of their run and into the vegetable patch. The veggie patch has now been cleared!

So now we've let them out into the wider garden. They love it!! However, I don't think it'll be long until they have cleared all the weeds and will start on the grass. DH is not impressed. I think it's marvellous as I can't think of anything more boring than weeding.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Pregnancy is confusing

At nearly 36 weeks I thought I had been really lucky in that I have had a pretty uneventful, straightforward pregnancy (so far). I was a bit confused by new things such as back ache and braxton hicks, but I figured, that's normal.
So when I was referred for an extra scan to check that the baby is growing properly. The doctor had noticed it was about 10mm too small when she measured it. To be honest I knew that there was nothing wrong but I like having scans so off we merrily went this afternoon for another scan. Terrifyingly the measurements came back that the baby is BIG for it's expected due date. All I can say is, I am now even more convinced that the due date was confused when I had that dating scan in February.
February is soooo long ago. Even back then I was sure the dates were a week or two out. Fingers crossed I am right though as the rough weight is estimated to be 6lb 8oz NOW!!! Still 4 weeks to go!!!! As soon as I hit my offical '37' week mark I am going to do all I can to get this baby out!!! I can't imagine having a giant baby. Makes me feel a bit squeamish, actually.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Baby shower

So the baby shower happened a couple of weeks ago...

As you can see we had some delicious food. The really pretty little things are mostly down to my sister, who did an excellent job of making everything coordinated.

It was quite a giggle and we received some really useful presents (nappies, cream, wipes etc.) which has really brought home how soon The Big Day is going to arrive and then we'll be parents.

Good job I have the chickens to keep my mind occupied off other more scary thoughts.

Chickens!

Hooray! Last Saturday we finally got our girls! The one you can see pictured is Henrietta (as named by my Dad). We rescued them from a life as a battery hen that was no longer wanted... they would have gone to the pie factory. We chose to get 4 chickens as we'd been told that they would probably not lay eggs every day - probably only 50% of the time - so that would mean we should have 14 eggs per week. Plenty.

But no, now we have them laying 3 or 4 per day so we've accumulated 20 eggs in 6 days! They just can't help themselves!!

At first the little sweeties didn't go outside at all - they were overwhelmed, we think - but now you can't stop them scratching and pottering in their run. Unbelieveable in this short time they have fattened up massively and are now growing new feathers so they look less like 'oven-ready' chickens and more like our pet chickens.

I'll post more pictures when they have grown a bit more.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Sweden

Had a really fabulous weekend in Sweden. I'd never been there before but I was convinced it would be cold. Not so! It was gorgeous and so warm I felt sorry for the wedding party all trussed up with lots of layers. They still looked fabulous nonetheless.

Swedish weddings are quite rowdy affairs with lots of traditions we don't have here in the UK. For example, whenever the bride goes to the loo during the meal all the men have to jump up, form a queue, and give her a peck on the cheek! Vice versa for the groom!!! Plus, anyone can give a speech so there were A LOT of speeches.

Mr TigerLily did an execellent speech as Best Man and everyone got the jokes. I was astounded by how well EVERYONE speaks English. I made an effort to use a few Swedish words to show willing but I was shamed by even little kids chattering away in their second language!

Gooseberries

I picked a box or two of homegrown gooseberries and wondered what to do with them. I had hardly tried them before - the odd bit of jam or whatnot, so I was unsure where to start with them.

Then I saw Valentine Warner's programme last week and he had a great idea for them. These little beauties are gooseberries that are cooked and sweetened then simply topped with meringue. Easy peasy and pleased the parents.

The only thing I would change next time is to not be scared to add tonnes of sugar!!!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Friday's lunch

Here is Friday's lunch. I'd become a bit lazy during the week and ate things that I know are not particularly nutritious for lunch, such as jaffa cakes and elderflower cordial. So I pushed the boat out and made this salad. It's made from broad beans, spring onions, a squeeze of lemon, tomatoes, coriander, avocado and a dash of cream, plus seasoning of course.

I was really pleased with the finished result and inhaled it rather too quickly. (I think all the waiting around taking photos had taken its toll)

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Got the cot

Recently we've started getting baby equipment. With approx. 12 weeks to go, time is creeping up fast. My main source of baby paraphenaelia is from eBay so it is important to start now while I still have the energy to go out and pick the stuff up. On Tuesday we got the cot. A really nice lady sold it to us and gave us sheets and other bedding on top of the original cot purchase!
It really does look like someone is going to be moving in now it's set up. Getting very excited indeed.

Just call me Nigella

On Monday I felt inspired to bake. I fancied eating cake and I am rarely satisfied with the shop-bought kind so out came the cookery books. I slightly adapt most recipes that I follow and this one was no exception. I cut the quantity of eggs and added more lemon oil to the cake batter. They turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!

The best bit about baking is decorating the little darlings. I used royal icing powder which gives a nice sheen to the icing and my sweet little jelly lemon pieces are trashy but also quite cute, in a way.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Spinach from the garden


Yes, more garden produce. This time it's spinach. It looks like a fair sized bunch, but as usual I was fooled. It cooked down to about 3 tbsps! Never mind the quantity, what about the taste? Home-grown spinach is so superior to the shop bought stuff I can't even explain it properly. Basically the shop-bought stuff has little/no flavour, whereas the garden stuff just tasted so much. Yummy.

We had it with garlic and a tiny dash of soy sauce. It made a great sidedish to our rose veal patties with peanut sauce and rice. Yay!!!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Redcurrant Fool

With my massive crop of redcurrants I realised I needed to do something with them. I'd never really cooked redcurrants before as they are quite pricey if you get them from a supermarket. I figured a fool would be easy.

So I cooked up my berries with a little sugar and a tablespoon of water. They looked delicious so I took a sip. YUCK! They were soooo sour. I had to add quite a lot of sugar in the end. Another thing I learned was that redcurrants are mostly skin and pips. When I sieved the mixture I was not left with much!!!

Anyway I added this to greek yogurt and cream whipped together and finally used my posh martini glasses. Hooray! I thought they looked nice decorated like this. Stupidly in my delight I forgot about the sourness of the raw berries and popped one in my mouth. I believe my lips formed what is known as a 'cat's bottom' shape. Nice.

The fool itself was delicious. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the other 2lbs of berries....

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Chickens!

Hurrah hurrah am preparing for my lovely new additions to the family: chickens! Finally I've bought a coop which we put together last weekend. I now need to paint it, build a run and get all the other bits of equipment we'll need.
Hubby couldn't complain at the price of the coop as it was a total bargain - £32 off eBay and it's brand new! So I've bought some lovely blue paint and I'm going to paint it, make a sign for the door and add a few other additions and we'll nearly be ready.
Am planning to get the chickens in August as that will give me time to get everything sorted out but the weather should still be fine enough for them to settle in nicely before the winter. Yipee!!!!

Belly button woes


Having complained for months that I wasn't showing any signs of being pregnant, the bump has taken it upon itself to grow rapidly. These photos were taken last week and even since then the little one has grown massively.

I have become quite preoccupied with the state of my belly button and am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that it doesn't 'pop' out. I felt a bit better comparing my bump to my dear hubby's but even his is starting to look pathetic in comparison!

What have we been eating?

It's been a while since I posted a picture of something I've cooked for us to eat. This photo is of our lunch yesterday. It was a 'what needs using up in the fridge' kind of lunch. So I mixed macaroni with ham, roasted peppers, spring onions, parsley (from the garden), creme fraiche and parmesan. This concotion was then piled on top of little gem leaves and topped with a quarter piece of boiled egg. You can never have enough eggs, I say.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

June and the longest day of the year

Already we've reached the summer solstice. Amazing. It seems like only a few days ago it was the shortest day of the year! The baby's had its 21+1 week scan and it was really fab. Shame the pictures never do the images justice but it meant a lot to us.

Our garden has gone into overdrive and I've been able to put fresh flowers all around the house and you'd never know I'd even picked any when you wander around the garden. Shame the weeds have reached almost waist-height.

I've been back at work for 3 weeks now and I'm beginning to find it really hard again. I just feel soooo tired all the time. It doesn't help that work has been ultra-stressful and so I've not been able to sleep for any extended period of time. As everyone knows the less sleep you have the worse everything appears.

Fortunately my bump is still tiny by many people's standards so it's not causing too many difficulties yet. I've had to 'invest' in many new clothes as I didn't realise how close-fitting my wardrobe was until it was no longer possible to wedge myself into them.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

May Bank Holiday

It's a lovely bank holiday weekend. Today I watch my Dear Hubby (from now on to be referred to as DH) set up the washing line in concrete, rearrange the sofas, tidy the spare room, put together the baby's bed and put together flat-pack furniture. What a hero.

I, on the other hand, have been reclining on various chairs and sofas throughout the day offering "helpful" advice to my DH. He's been loving it....

On the baba front I am convinced I can feel the little critter shifting about in me. I'm only 15 weeks and 4 days and the handbook says it's unlikely to be felt til 16 weeks plus - more if it's your first. Oh well I am happy thinking I can feel it so who cares. Spent quite a lot of the day trying to figure out what baby things I'd like to get first. However, with the purchase of my first house with DH money is not something appears to be hanging around. It's all boring stuff but needs to be bought in the end.

Have had to skip lots of chapters in the baby handbook as they scare the wotsits out of me. I know it already so I don't think I want to know any more about that stuff right now. Or perhaps ever. I mean, whatever happens will happen anyway so how much do I really need to know?

Saturday, 2 May 2009

And it's all over...

It's all done. April was a.... interesting month. Our wedding was amazing and went really smoothly. I can't thank everyone enough who attended.

There was the house move too, 6 days afterwards. That was great. Busy but we're so glad we're here now.

Then there's the baby. Starting to grow an ickle bump but nothing that anyone else can notice. Just makes my jeans hurt. Then it turns out I'd been doing too much and got pretty scared last weekend and at the beginning of the week thinking the baby was trying to abandon ship. Saw the doc and luckily it turned out that it was more a warning than actual abandonment. Hurray.

Well, sort of. It has resulted in me spending ALL day EVERY day lying around doing nothing. No one I say that to is remotely sympathetic. I've had comments like "oh you poor thing!" dripping with sarcasm and many an envious comment. Seriously, if you've just moved into a new house, are surrounded by boxes and then you're told not to unpack or lift a single one of them but to sit surrounded by them, see how fun you find it.

Daytime tv is utter rubbish. There's a reason to get well soon. Fortunately I've been soooo tired that I have been sleeping all day and all night every day so there's no time for getting too fed up of the tosh that's on tv. I could never sit at home and watch that sh*t all day. Oddly, I'm not feeling particularly better. It's like there's a fog over my head. My lovely other half has diagnosed that I have clearly slept too much. Whatever. I wish we could swap bodies and then he'd be sorry.

Anyway I am really happy that it's May. Only a few weeks til we go on honeymoon to Nice and it really couldn't come soon enough!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Wedding preparations

It has got scarily close!

To be fair I've been really busy and there are only 5 main jobs left to do: hair things for the bridesmaid (I've lost the original ones), decorate the mini bubble pots and create a seating chart so everyone knows where they're sitting. Plus another 2 that start my heart tightening when I think about them... I'm sure it'll all get done. (?)

Easy.
Well maybe. There have been so many things going on it's hard to keep up. One thing I can share is the lovely tiara I'll be wearing. Isn't it great! I keep wanting to wear it around the house but I know I'll break something off it or ruin it so I'm being ultra restrained and it's staying in its box.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

News

There have been a lot of developments since my last post. First of all I realise how near the wedding is. Only a few weeks now and it all needs to be done. This has spurred me on to make favour boxes, thank-you cards and name place cards. Busy stuff.

On top of that I've been keeping the house as tidy as I can for viewings. We now have a buyer. Obviously it's early days but I am really excited. The slightly stressful thing is that the stipulation for our new house is that we need to move by the 17th April. That is the week after the wedding!

So now we're onto packing as well as going mad with wedding stuff. Phew!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Snow photos

As promised, here are some snow photos taken last Monday (2nd Feb):



The photos were taken on a 1 hour walk taken on the Monday morning. It was really early so hardly anyone had disturbed the snow. Perfect!
What's even more unusual is the fact that, nearly 1 week later, the snow is still present! Plus more is forecast for tonight/tomorrow.
The roads are a little bit scary, predominantly because they've not been gritted as the Council is scared there might not be enough grit for the snow that is forecast.
Some Councils have actually bought table salt for gritting with instead of rock salt as there is such a shortage.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Snow really...!

Yes as we all know it's been snowing. It's been an odd week as I only managed to make it into work on Wednesday & Friday so it's been disjointed and catching up mostly.
Now it's the weekend and it's still icy. I will add photos at a later date as I took about 80 on Monday!!

I've been caught up in wedding preparations. I'm keen not to be bridezilla but it's amazing how much time you waste on ridiculous pointless things, such as um-ing and ah-ing over table flowers, or what earrings would look good, and what the 'ideal' shoes would be. So I have sort of given up on those things. I bought a pair of earrings that are pretty, but not too wild so I can wear them again, I bought a tiara that looks fine but didn't cost over £100 (which was the price of my next favourite), picked a plain wedding ring, got a spontaneous honeymoon booked to Malaysia and I got the first pair of shoes that looked ok on.

Most of these decisions have worked out fine. The shoes are beginning to make me panic. They are sooo high. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a flat shoe girl 100% of the time (except for the odd posh do where I am forced into a low kitten heel). These shoes are about 4" high. I think I will be mostly falling over on our wedding day...

Sunday, 4 January 2009

The result

So here is the chicken liver recipe I wrote about yesterday. We added pak choi to make it more of a meal and it was delicious. We cooked and consumed the whole thing within 45 minutes! It'll definately be used as a quick after work dinner in the future.

The crispy noodles were so simple but not something I had done before. Who'd have thought brown sugar, ginger, marsala wine (instead of sherry), sour cream (instead of double cream) and soy sauce could be so delicious!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Chicken Livers

When I say these two innocent little words there is always one of two responses displayed. Either the person screws up their face in repulsion at the thought of offal and humans consuming such a thing, or, more rarely, the person nods in agreement with me about how great they are.

We began with chicken livers when I wanted to make some pate for presents one year. I didn't really know what to do with them but Waitrose had a small leaflet explaining how to make it and since I enjoyed eating pate I reasoned that it could not be so difficult to make some. How right I was. Chicken liver pate is so simple it's ridiculous and the results are soooo delicious.

At times when cash is tight and we've decided to economise we bought some chicken livers, tossed them in seasoned oil and then fried them in butter with a splash of sherry I was an instant convert. They are sooo delightful and pink and juicy. I love them on toast or on a salad.

Today I had my love of chicken livers shared when Paul Rankin did a recipe starring them on Saturday Kitchen. I can't wait to make this recipe. It has an.... eclectic array of ingredients that even I would ponder about mixing together (cream, soy sauce, ginger, butter), but the final result looked so good I can't resist. I'll let you know how it goes. I doubt it will be terribly photogenic though.