Monday, 23 April 2012

Baby Shopping

It just about dawned on me yesterday as I faced the prospect of returning to work that in 12 weeks, we should be welcoming our baby home. While it still seems like a dim and distant prospect as I feel like I have been pregnant for literally ever, people keep telling me how fast the time has gone and how big I'm getting. This made me decide that I probably should think about making some of the big purchases that we will need (while I'm still earning some money!).

My mum has very kindly offered to buy us the pushchair, so we are going to make our final choices about that at the weekend. And my sister in law has donated what feels like everything else we will ever need for the baby including newborn clothes, baby bath, baby walker, baby toys, moses basket etc. But what we did need to get was a cotbed.

I had looked around Mothercare a few times and thought this looked like a nice sturdy choice, but it was a bit pricey. So I was very pleased when I flicked through the website yesterday and found it with £50 off! Mind made up - I ordered it and we are picking it up at the weekend. God knows where we will put it though - everything is all over the place with the kitchen in the middle of redecoration.

So back to work today, and it wasn't too bad although I find that my tolerance levels are significantly reduced at the moment. I don't normally respond to kids too aggressively, however annoying they are, as it doesn't get you anywhere. But I am finding myself decidedly snappy when they irritate me. Hopefully they will sense the general mood and take care!

I've also been struggling a bit with my SPD for the last few days. I had it really early and went to the doctors, but then it seemed to sort itself out and so I stupidly cancelled the physio appointment that took about 6 weeks to come through. Then, as per the law of sod, it started to appear again in the last week, exacerbated by me trying to push a heavy trolley round Sainsburys yesterday. I know, not clever. I'm going to have a hot bath later and hope that it disappears from whence it came again.

So onto a layout to share with you which I made last week. You will realise there is no sense of order to my scrapping - I tend to scrap whatever photo falls on my lap or fits with the particular papers I have in front of me. This happens even more so when I'm trying to get through my backlog of kits as I am now.

I made it with the June 2011 Cocoa Daisy kit - a much brighter prospect than the May one altogether. When it arrived I initially didn't like it that much, but its actually grown on me a lot as I've come to scrap with it.

The photo is one of our group shots from a scrappy weekend away with the girls last year - I decided that we looked like one of those police line ups and was going to call it The Usual Suspects, but I didn't have enough 's's! So I called it The Line Up instead. Apologies to SJ who is mortified by the gesture she is pulling in this photo...

I was quite pleased with the little embellishment cluster here, which I augmented with some ancient Scenic Route supplies and some Girls Paperie cut outs. The date isn't on there because I couldn't remember it - I need to check!

In other news, Shimelle's new class Cover to Cover is open on the class forums, so I might spend a bit of time introducing myself over there later. In the meantime though, I want to finish a half finished page and also (shame) do a bit of work this evening too. I'm working later for the next few days, but hope to share another post with you soon, even if it is a small one!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

The one with the rumbling tum...

I think I may have to nickname this baby the Hunger Monster. The main effect it seems to have had on me all pregnancy is giving me terrible hunger pangs if I don't eat every 2-3 hours. Most of the time I am able to satisfy its cravings and have been desperately trying to snack on fruit to try to introduce it to healthy flavours even before it enters the world. But my glucose test yesterday was an ordeal and a half.

I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything after 8pm in the evening, not even a cup of tea. They don't make you do this for most operations - you can eat later than that! By the time I had arrived at the hospital at 8.30am yesterday morning I was ravenous, but had at least another two hours to wait before I could eat anything.

The wait in the day room, while interminably boring, wasn't too bad. The baby was going insane kicking me, probably in protest, but finally the second set of bloods were taken and I got up to leave. By the time I had reached the lift though, I was shaking, in a cold sweat, heat was rising up the back of my neck and my head was spinning. I was nearly in tears by the time I reached the cafe, and even more so when I saw the queue! I always get grumpy when I don't eat, but apparently being pregnant magnifies my symptoms tenfold. I now have even more respect for my poor diabetic husband when he suffers hypos - his blood sugar levels drop way lower than mine!

I think it's safe to say that with that reaction to a lack of food, the chances of me having gestational diabetes are slim to none. 

But because of this, I spent the rest of the day feeling very tired and grumpy and wasted most of my time fretting about anything and everything that had already or might possibly go wrong. Note to self: never, ever go without food again if you can possibly help it.

Today is a new day however, and so far I have managed to finish a layout and now I'm onto blogging this one.

I made this layout a couple of weeks ago, it is a picture of me and my little sister at my engagment party in 2009. The papers are still from the May 2011 Cocoa Daisy kit, some of the backs of the pages were more pastel than vintage. While I really like this photo, I'm not overly happy with this layout. I think it's missing something - maybe some stitching? Or stamping? If you have any ideas, please feel free to comment.

I've got one single and one double layout left to share, though I may scrap a little more this afternoon so there could be at least three blog posts next week, though don't be surprised if you don't see another one till next weekend as all-consuming work takes over again. But I think I've definitely caught the blogging bug again, so I won't leave it too long, and I am of course going to be taking part in Shimelle's new class, Cover to Cover (or at least attempting to!) so expect to see me trying to get to grips with my albums which are currently, to use the technical term, a right old mess.

To the two people who wanted flowers - I have emailed you!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Creeping towards Monday...

I'm thinking I'd better make the most of my opportunity to post on this blog for the next few days - Monday is creeping ominously closer and this is going to be one very busy half term - we are hitting the height of exam season after all. It is weird to think I am only going to have about eight working weeks left before I start maternity leave - school is such a big part of my life right now. Don't get me wrong, I hate getting up in the mornings and love my holidays and weekends, but I do like the camaraderie with my colleagues and working with kids is great (most of the time!).

I spent this morning in school at an event for next year's Year Seven pupils - it was quite fun as we focused on team-building exercises including a blindfolded obstacle course which created a fair few laughs. Tomorrow unfortunately I have to be at the hospital in the morning for a glucose test - two hours of boredom while they check I don't have gestational diabetes. My husband is a diabetic and has been regularly testing my blood on his blood sugar monitor, so I can't help thinking it's going to be a big waste of time, but I suppose it's better to be safe than sorry.

Anyway, onto today's layout, yet another Paris one, this time of the view from our hotel. Our hotel was a last minute deal but was surprisingly nice - it was a Best Western in the Bastille district of Paris and overlooked a long boulevard, in the middle of which they held a fabulous market on the last morning of our stay. We enjoyed a good look around all the of meats, cheeses and other delicacies before heading off on the Metro to the station.

This was made using the May Cocoa Daisy kit (again!) and I experimented a little bit with misting through a template to create the circle background. My favourite bit is probably the little embellishment cluster which I've shown in close up below though - I have absolutely tons of these paper flowers but never really use them, but I think they look really cute stapled on here. I must admit, much as I love the slightly vintage look on occasion, I am starting to feel a little bit starved of colour looking at the last few blog posts - safe to say, I have some much more colourful offerings on the way.

If any of my blog readers (if there are any of you left?) has a desperate love of paper flowers, I would be quite happy to gift a little bag of them to anybody who fancies - just let me know your name and address. I have way more than I can ever make use of in a lifetime!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Coffee in Paris

Two layouts shared in a week, I really must be spoiling you! This is what happens when I have a holiday and a bit of free time, I get back to doing the things I love for just a week or so.

Stupidly enough, I think all the anti-teacher press that's currently doing the rounds in the media courtesy of Gove and co is starting to sink into my psyche and I'm actually feeling guilty about getting up in the mornings, chilling out with a cup of tea and pottering around the house. This is madness - we teachers do deserve some holidays after all!

Anyway, back to today's layout, Paris again. On the last day we had to check out of our hotel a few hours before the Eurostar was due to leave the station. The hotel was really accomodating and let us leave our bags for a while, but we decided to get the Metro to the station with plenty of time to spare, which meant we didn't want to be lugging our bags around with us. So we found this cute (but expensive, as always!) coffee shop near the station and just sat and watched the world go by for an hour or so.

The Cocoa Daisy May 2011 kit was ideal for my Paris pictures because it had lots of grungy, vintage style papers in it that seemed to fit with the Paris scenery pretty well. Having said that, I made a few pages with an even older kit which are much brighter and fresher, so anything can work.

It's nice to be onto the June 2011 kit which is much bolder and more colourful in style for a change now though. I'm currently creating some layouts for Shimelle's online crop from the June kit which I should share on here over the course of the week. She has also announced a new class which I have signed up to - I like the fact that her classes leave you with access to the message boards and class materials for ever, so that you can access them in your own time. I've completed a lot of Shimelle's classes in the past, though none recently, and think it's about time I had another go at something to get me scrapbooking more often again.

Monday, 16 April 2012

More news from the house of fun...

So my Easter hols continue to fly past the mid point all too quickly, and today I find myself feeling so heavy, stretched and uncomfortable! It seems to happen every week or so, I think it must be little one going through a growth spurt and my poor belly trying to accomodate it!

The fun and games in the kitchen continue, but the cats have been enjoying playing amongst the miscellaneous debris which litters the back garden.

Poor Ed was not having a very happy weekend when I took this photo - apparently our walls are not very good for hanging cabinets from. I gathered the state of his peace of mind when he hit the wall with his drill and swore at it - this is so unlike Ed, I made him an immediate cup of tea and told him to take a break before he had a mental breakdown!

Here is another page to share, using last year's May Cocoa Daisy kit (I'm onto the June one now - yay!), and again it is a photo from our trip to Paris in 2010. We had a really happy and eventful 2010 which I'm quite glad about, considering how awful our 2011 turned out to be!

This page tells the unfortunate story of our trip out to a bar in the Bastille district. It was opposite the Opera House, which can be the only explanatory factor for the prices they charged! Ed wandered off the to toilet as soon as we got there, telling me to order. The waitress was immediately upon me, so I ordered a beer and what looked like a nice cocktail from the French (obviously) drinks menu.

However, when Ed came back, we realised the prices for both the drinks were nearly £25! And my cocktail was horrible. Ed didn't let me forget about it, and finally told my dad the story a couple of weeks ago, which I could have killed him for as my dad hates wasting money in any way and I had been happily hiding the event from him even though he was in Paris with us on holiday.

Still, you live and learn.

I've been trying to take part in the online crop over at I say trying, I'm currently creating my second page. But this is a great creative achievement for me in recent times, and if I can possibly get to four or five challenges completed I will be happy. I'm trying to plough through my old Cocoa Daisy kits and use them up too, horribly aware that time is flashing by and I really need to clear out the spare room in the very near future...

Friday, 13 April 2012

Turning Thirty

Finally, finally I have time to sit down and write a post! As always, the last few weeks of term were entirely hectic, and my time at weekends has been spent on a variety of activities, mostly enjoyable ones.

Firstly, I managed to finish this little set of winter woollies. A little behind the season I know, but they will be great for next year and I'm really pleased with how they turned out. The hat took about two or three days to knit, but the snood took forever because I was sooooo bored with knitting stocking stitch that after a while I put it down and had to force myself to pick it up and knit the last ten centimetres.

 In 'I'm getting old' news, I turned thirty two weeks ago! I always thought I would feel absolutely terrible on my 30th birthday, waving my twenties goodbye and all that, but being pregnant and looking forward to the excitement of the rest of the year kind of took the edge off it. I had a great night out with friends (despite staying entirely sober!) and also had a yummy Sunday dinner with the in-laws.

My mum and dad sent me this gorgeous bouquet - it lasted for ages, and was the same shop I got my wedding bouquet from. It was a shame not to see my folks on the day, but I spent the whole of the Easter weekend with them last weekend instead, so I had a good catch up too. My little sis turned 28 on Tuesday too, so I managed to see her the day before her birthday. I don't often get to see my family on birthdays and special occasions, so I really appreciate the times I do.

In pregnancy news, I am now about 27 weeks pregnant! Time is flashing by and little one is really wriggly now. I am a bit concerned that I am putting on too much weight too quickly - I started at 10 stone 5 pounds and this morning weighed in at a massive 11 stone 12 pounds! Seeing as the most I should reasonably put on for my height is 2 and a half stone, I may need to hold back on the eating - not fun! I depressed myself slightly looking at some pictures of me pre-pregnancy in which I am looking lovely and slim, but it is all for a good cause after all.

One of the reasons I don't have a lot of time to think at the moment is this:

We are doing up our kitchen before the new arrival gets here - it means the house is covered in food/pans/crockery and the kitchen is a bit of a mess. Ed is doing a really good job with it, but has to fit in around work. I'm hoping that we will get finished by May, but I may be being optimistic!

Finally, here is a page to share, another one of my trip to Paris in 2010 and made using the May 2011 Cocoa Daisy kit. I love the effect of the clock mask and the spray ink - I think it is a Tim Holtz one. The page didn't need much added because of the gorgeous background paper with poppies and crosswords bizarrely enough! I haven't made any new pages in a while but I have got about five more to share, which I will do as soon as I can photograph them and get on to blog again.