Saturday, 19 December 2015

PhotoFriday - Small Scale

An old image of Jame's Mysterious Device.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Baby's first Christmas

Had another go on the seamless paper today. She looks so cute in her 'Babys first Christmas' suit that I was trying her for size. The one below was just a snapshot where she'd seen the cat come past, she really loves Leeloo & Dallas.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Santa's Little Helper Redux

I had another go at photographing the little one with the lights (actually used different lights which I was happier for her to get hear her mouth).

I think this time was more successful with the white seamless. The two lights at the back are much closer to the paper (so appear brighter without Mike having to process for me in PS). The downside to this is, because I'm using desk lamps instead of proper (read expensive) studio equipment, they intrude into the frame and the photo needed to be cropped right down in Lightroom. See the original photo unprocessed below. So two lamps at the back and two lamps at the front but quite far away from her. I thought I'd need to use a diffuser on the fore lamps but the light didn't seem too harsh as is. Also, it was a brighter day than when I first tried so the ambient light in the room was higher which I think also helped.

What do you think? Do you have any tips for photographing babies? Please leave a comment below.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Santa's Little Helper

After looking through my 2015 pictures to select the best ones (its a tradition on my other blog, you can see my previous years here). I was disappointed to realise my creativity had fled with the hormones, sleepiness nights and samey routines! Doh. I resolved to do something about it and see if I could try and get a decent picture of the little one. I wanted to photograph her with Christmas lights but it was really hard stopping every two seconds to stop her eating them! So I took the lights away and replaced with something safe to chew. It was the first time trying the 'seamless' paper too (which isn't very seamless when you need it two sheets wide) so it took more processing than I'd like to get it looking even this good. I expect Mike will get it looking tip top in photoshop with his mad skills (I did the adjustments in LR, I opened PS and was flummoxed). I think I need to watch some tutorials or something ;) I'll try again with the lights once I've got the technique down a bit better, one thing at a time methinks, at least she doesn't look like a fish so that's some progress. What do you think? Do you have any baby photographing tips for me? Please leave them in the comments section below! :)

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Thursday, 3 December 2015



Linking up with Jenna and Anne for what I am "Currently..." doing.

Currently I'm....

{wishing}  that I was more organised. Christmas is creeping up on me and I've done nothing this year. Also, these 'currently' prompt words always make me feel so disorganised and rubbish, can't cook or sew or anything else really :-/ Does anyone else feel like this? So perhaps also 'wishing' we had some less 1950s-housewife words to play with? :)

{remembering}  so many great trips! I've been doing a #100YrDiary project, where you fill out 10 pages per year (a double page spread per season plus a highlights and yearly photo spread). Its really nice to revisit the photos of so many of our interesting trips (which I've posted about them on my other blog over the years). It does also mean I'm realising how lax my photo backup organisation has gotten! I have 36 years worth to go back and fill in so some fun to come :) Also, starting one off for my daughter.

{wrapping}  my brain around google analytics, boy thats complicated!

{baking}  absolutely nothing, I cannot cook at all :( I am however percolating some blog post ideas if that counts.

{decorating}  hopefully the tree this weekend if we get around to finding it in the loft.

What are you currently doing?

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Happy #Caturday

I was going to upload a video of Lizzie today but got distracted by how cute Dallas was when we first got him (see below). He's not that tiny any more thats for sure. Poor old Dallas has almost lost his voice these past few days, for a siamese that is a travesty!

Friday, 6 November 2015

PhotoFriday - 'Minimalism' A small cow.

I don't often double post on photo friday but I've been feeling nostalgic recently and looking at old photos. This fit this weeks PhotoFriday theme. I also posted over on my underwater blog with an oldie.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The Snot Rocket

Ewwww... when you have no frame of reference for having a baby its easy to be grossed out by many things about pregnancy and birth but it seems that the fun just doesn't stop coming once the Little One is here. It never occurred to me that a baby's nose couldn't be wiped like a normal person (not something I'd even considered) until Mike announced we had to get a 'snot rocket'. Nice. So we bought this one from Amazon:
They nicely call it a nasal aspirator. Suffice it to say it's more gross than imagined, and if you get icked out easily I'd stop reading now. Its essentially a little tube where you put one end into the babies nose and the other end in your mouth to suck out the contents ... blerg! There is a little filter in the middle so nothing gets transferred but still. It takes a lot of puff and still makes you feel rather ill.

After a few goes of this we knew there must be something else. We searched out and bought this one...

the Vital Baby Nurture Nasal Decongester. So much better, it just sucks out the contents when you squeeze the bottom and its easy to clean. I was speaking to some of the ladies in a baby group the other day and they were still using the sucky one above hence the reason for this post :) And to all the people without children out there - be glad you don't need a snot rocket!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

DIY Blackout Curtains

So it turns out that babies need a lot of sleep! Even on an overcast sort of day like today our dark blue curtains prove woefully inadequate to the task of a dark room during the day, early evening or early morning. Since I'm on maternity leave and super skint I decided that proper blackout blinds were going to be too expensive for just the 3 or 4 months that our little one is in our room (her windows are a different size so we'll think about those later). Cue the DIY project :) So, with some blackout material, some sew & stick velcro and some yellow satin ribbon and we fashioned ourselves some child safe blackout blinds. Below are some before and after pictures, on a sunny day the difference would be even more marked.

What they looked like rolled up...

Nan very kindly sewed the soft side of the velcro to the blackout material at the sewing machine.



We left a lip of material at the top and bottom to prevent light leak so the only place it gets in are where the velcro is stitched in. If we had bigger borders on our windows (more space to stick the velcro higher up) there would have been no leak at all.

The ribbon is purposefully not stitched on so we can change colour or position if we fancy it.

So what do you think?

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Introducing Little L

How time flies. It seems like only yesterday that I was bored out of my brain and laying around like a bloated whale waiting to give birth. At 10 days late little L had grown to a hefty 3.87kg (8.5lb)! We're 3 months later and I've finally got around to using my laptop for more than the occasional bill payment. I'd have been much more regular with the blogposts if the blogger app for my phone wasn't so abjectly awful. Here she is in all her tiny glory and we love her more and more with each passing day.


thanks to Mike, who took most, if not all of the photos.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Happy #Caturday

Siamese Cats

Its time again for another picture of my beautiful babies, on their favourite seat next to Daddies computer.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Currently.... vol13

Linking up with Jenna and Anne for what I am "Currently..." doing. This is vol 13 (May), and the 3rd one for me though.


Currently I'm....

{designing} My hans birthday card, well I should be. I'm mostly laying about on my sofa feeling sorry for myself.

{enjoying} The peace and quiet (but not the waiting) before my baby girl arrives. Due yesterday so hopefully any day now!

{ordering} Baby stuff, its surprising how much they need and how expensive it all is considering the pittance you get for maternity pay.

{celebrating} The Royal Baby! It makes a change for the news to be nice for once. Also, more importantly, the imminent arrival of my own little princess and the fact the Royal Baby didn't commandeer the name we had in mind ;)

{tasting} All the delicious new things on Mikes menu for our lunches since I've been home :) The slow cooker is a hit for stews and the chilli con carne nachos are super yum. I probably shouldn't be eating so much, the wee one gets bigger every day and I'm running out of clothes that fit over the bump now!

What are you currently doing?

Monday, 4 May 2015

Whats in my hospital bag?

All this exciting news about the Royal Baby, I wonder what she had in her hospital bag? Here's what I've packed. Please let me know in the comments if you think I've missed anything??

Just seems sensible:
  • Lip balm
  • water & snacks
  • drinking straws
  • bikini top for birthing pool?
  • waterproof headphones?
  • phone & charger
  • Tens machine
  • camera
  • change for the car park
In case I need to stay in:
  • dressing gown
  • PJs (nursing friendly)
  • clean clothes to leave in
  • spare undies
  • flipflops
  • toohbrush & paste
  • Dry shampoo & comb
  • Deodorant
  • face wipes & face cloth 

For the baby:
  • baby wipes
  • cotton wool
  • nappies (approx 10)
  • baby body suits x2
  • baby sleep suits x2
  • little hat & tiny socks
  • baby blanket
  • muslin squares x3
  • changing mat
  • car seat installed

Recommended by the Midwife:
  • Medical notes - most important ;)
  • Jelly Babies (to keep up energy during labour)
  • lucozade sport (non-fizzy)
  • Maternity pads & disposable undies
  • Breastpads, cream & nursing bras

Other lists:
This seems like a useful resource from mother care

Added to the following Linkies:

The List MaternityMondays

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Happy #Caturday - Not a dog

Leeloo as a kitten

I've been looking through some old photos of the babies recently, this one of Leeloo stood out simply because she still does this. She loves her stick toys and will fetch them for you to throw for her. You would think she's like a dog but she's much less helpful because she never brings it right back to you, you're not involved enough in her game unless you get up to get the stick from her the last foot or so. We are well trained human slaves. *Sigh* Cats.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Things that surprised me about the third trimester

Surprising things about the 3rd Trimester
Everyone seemed to love my previous post, 6 things that surprised me about being pregnant, so I thought I'd do a follow up for the final stages of my pregnancy, all the lovely new symptoms the third trimester held in store (in vaguely chronological order).

Hurting Ribs

An unexpected side effect of having everything squished up inside to make room for the baby is apparently rib pain, especially on the right side for some reason. This article on rib pain during pregnancy explains it quite well. Still sucks though.


I kind of expected to have a tiny bladder again once the baby was pressing on it (this went came and then went again in the first trimester) so getting up in the night was not unexpected. What I didn't expect was not being about to go back to sleep. I've never had problems sleeping so this was especially weird and annoying. No wonder pregnant women are always tired if they are always up since 2am! This didn't seem to last more than a couple of weeks though and I was soon sleeping again (except mandatory loo breaks). I'm thankful for that small mercy!

Night cramps

As if staying asleep wasn't already difficult enough, my feet or calfs decided to get in on the wake-Suzy-up action and start cramping for no reason. This NHS guide explains cramps are normal but gives no real reasons why. The internet (how did we survive without it?) suggested lack of either calcium, magnesium or potassium. I was pretty sure my calcium was covered (with chocolate milk & the small one sucking the white colour from my teeth), but the other two not so much. Bananas. So unpleasant, so full of potassium, a necessary evil once a day then. I found some spray on magnesium which is supposedly helpful. After using it a few weeks Mike seemed to think it was making my skin (where I was applying it on the backs of my calves) a different texture so I stopped using it every day just use it as needed. The cramps have lessened but if I stop having my banana for more than 3 or so days they come back.

Antenatal classes (NHS)

I had no idea what to expect. I figured it'd be some sort of breathing techniques lessons or something. The first one was a large group, all sat in a circle listening to the midwife explain about pain relief methods (gas & air, some injections, epidural etc). She showed us the epidural needle and explained the risks and I went right off that idea! Maybe as a backup if the pain is too great but certainly not as a first choice going in.

The second was after birth care. I think I had a distinct nausea look all meeting for this one, they should make people come to this class as a form of birth control. Breast feeding (with an incredibly dull video) and associated unpleasantness such as Mastitis, how to wash the baby (and the fact that they don't in the hospital and you shouldn't really for 5 days) and something called cord care, where the babys umbilical cord is left to rot off on its own (and can start to smell or get infected).... Ewww. I now have visions of the cord dropping off someone in the living room and the cats eating it - blerg!

The third was supposed to be a speaker (rather than a midwife like the first two) but they didn't book anyone so the midwife brought along a friend who'd given birth locally as a water birth 10 months ago for a q&a session which was actually quite interesting. Also 10mins from the lady who runs baby massage sessions which sound good but I bet they get booked up quickly.

Overall I was surprised there was no huffing & puffing & audience participation but I think that's on the NCT classes (there's about 6 or so I think but no one really told us about those early enough). Everyone said that it was a networking experience for new mums but, although friendly, no one seemed to be networking, maybe that was nct too.

Swollen Feet & Ankles 

Can be a sign of pre-ecplampsia but not in my case. Just excess water pooling in my feet from sitting or standing too long. Nice. This got much worse in the last week & I started sleeping with my feet slightly raised (by stuffing a huge duvet under the end of the mattress) which seemed to help.

In the last week or so... 

I'm now at 38 weeks (tomorrow), in the last week it's been a bit of a struggle to walk any distance. I was working last week (today is my first day of maternity leave) and I was alright once I got there but the usually 15 min walk had turned into about 35mins and was really tough on me. The baby had felt like she'd grown on Sunday (I'm blaming all the chocolate birthday cake), she was much heavier so I had a few more general aches & pains. Also the rib pain mentioned above turned into 3 distinct pains in that area (cue furious googling), 1: the rib pain of a tiny bottom wiggling around as mentioned, 2: a more in the middle of my sternum, burning pain which I concluded was food & drink related and 3: just below the sternum in the middle a pain which I concluded was my stomach muscles splitting & separating (which the midwife had warned about) - ouch! I started being a LOT more careful of not using them after that.

So now I have two weeks off to... err.. tidy the house I suppose. They call it nesting, I'm suspecting its just boredom combined with the discomfit of sitting too long in one place & the foreknowledge that I'll be too zombie-tired to do anything useful once the baby arrives. Feel free to comment below what things surprised you about pregnancy.

Added to the following linkies...
The List MaternityMondays

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Happy #Caturday - Peaceful


Little do they know their peace & quite about about to be abolished when the new baby arrives. Make the most of it little ones.