Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Crazy Hats 9th Annual Charity Walk!

On Sunday morning, we got up very early (with protest I may add!) after a manic few days, to drive down to Wicksteed Park in Kettering for the Crazy Hats 9th Annual Charity Walk!
This is the second year that I have attended. Last year, I was a mere 5 weeks post partum, and bearing in mind the state I was in, I was very proud to have completed two of the five miles, carrying Louie in a pouch sling. Everyone cooed at him whilst he slept most of the way!
Crazy Hats Walk 2010

March 2010, 5 weeks old!
This year, I am proud to have taken part, we marched around the park and completed the 5 miles at 12:00. It is my first charity walk in which I have used my Ergo, which was kindly donated from the Ergo folk in Germany. We plan to do more fundraising events throughout the year.
I am pleased to say that I carried Louie (weighing approx 22lbs) extremely comfortably, and as you can see, he was comfortable enough to have dozed off!
I adorned my crazy statue of liberty hat which I have had for about 15 years, which my Mom bought for me to grow into which is still too big :P Unfortunately I didn't have a silly hat for Louie, but I have one in the pipeline for the future so I will keep you posted! We managed to hit the £100 mark this year too!
Anyway, here are the pictures and proof I did it! 
Marching on ahead!

To prove my 5 miles!

Louie and I with Glennis, the founder of Crazy Hats

With my medal and certificate!

Louie wearing a silly hat with Nana!

You can find out more about the charity here at Crazy Hats Breast Cancer Appeal

Leicester Mercury!

Today, my brother, sister in law and baby niece have gained front page coverage with the story of the arrival of Sophie-Mae!

You can read the article here! http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/news/pregnant-baby-days-later/article-3381136-detail/article.html

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Spring has sprung!

Time for leaving the back door open, picnics, planting seeds, chasing Louie around, playing with Bertie Bee in the garden, walks to the park, not having to haul your winter coat on and welcoming the warmer weather!

This week I have been preparing for Easter, making fabric eggs for Louie's easter egg hunt. They are all pink so far, and I would rather Louie have pink eggs than have fabric go to waste! He won't even know the difference anyway. He loves playing with them already, especially when Nana juggles them!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Sugar and Spice

A little girl can be sweeter oftener than anyone else in the world. she can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves yet just when you open your mouth she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot.

Sophie-Mae Jaquline Raynor - 08/03/2011
Evangeline Florence Sarkis - 19/03/2011
The two new beauties in my life :)
May they be happy and healthy young things. With the world at their feet, who knows what they will achieve. 

Friday, 11 March 2011

Welcoming Baby Sophie Mae

The little whirlwind, Sophie-Mae Jacqueline was born on Tuesday 8th March at around 1am weighing in at a perfect little 6lbs 4ozs!

She has a hair lip and no palate, well, it has grown outside her mouth, which means she is being tube fed at the moment. But when she has grown stronger, they will be able to sort it all out for her :)
She has a lot of complications, but so far, she seems a healthy little thing, very strong, and very aware :)

Welcome to our family Sophie-Mae and massive congratulations to Martin and Becky who have been desperate for a little one for so long :)

Teething Problems

Louie has his molars coming through and has been poorly all week. His tummy has been off, he has barely eaten a thing and he is very clingy :( Hopefully they will come through soon and we will have a lovely Louie back!
Having a poorly tummy means that his normal nappies aren't doing the greatest job :( His poo has gone back to the breastfed consistency as he is barely eating anything, and he is going a good 3-4 times a day at the very least. So we have dished out the Little Lamb fitted nappies out of the cupboard.
They were retired as they are very old and stiff, not to mention bulky when we were using them at night. But they are perfect for days when my little man is feeling rubbish :)
Teamed with a Weehugger wrap, they are functional and ABSOLUTELY cute!

Not to mention Louie's awesome teeshirt which reads 'I Like Milk From My Mum, Not From Just Any Old Cow'!!!

Not that you would know he was poorly from these photos! A rare few smiles as he plays with his book and bunny after lunch. Seriously, how cute is that nappy! And Louie too of course!

Well the weather is improving! The sun has been shining and there is a good breeze in the air, perfect for getting those nappies out again! Their first time on the line this year. 
As Louie has been poorly, I have been washing my nappies with Tots Bots Potion and a good few drops of Tea Tree oil. Tots Bots Potion is antibacterial washing powder specially designed for nappies and the Tea Tree oil is antiseptic so combined, they should wash all the nasties away.
I have recently bought some Soapnuts but have only gotten round to using them once or twice so far because Louie has been poorly and I thought the Potion would be most suitable. My plan was to use Soapnuts regularly and then every two weeks or a month give them a wash with the Potion to give them a really good clean. 

It is brilliant to see the nappies back out on the line!

Saturday, 5 March 2011


It's been a little quiet on the craft front for a while, been a busy bee what with work now. But now that Anna knows she is having a boy, I have no excuses for not getting busy with my sewing!

A few weeks ago was my lovely boss' birthday, she is a lady who relies on her Blackberry so I thought a media case would be a nice little gift.
I adapted (big time) a pattern from the CK Sew book, but it was a simple pattern, with wadding and lining, that took me an evening. Then I went on the hunt for a little toggle to close it. Toggles are very cute!

Since then I have been trying to think of things to make for Baby Splodge! I needed to think of something, so I have made a little drawstring bag, using all the fabrics I have acquired for him. I figure it will be something that can be used for anything. This time I made the pattern myself, and it is a little wonky, but I don't think you would notice once it is in use :) Adds to the characteristics ;)! It is fully lined and feels lovely.

 Anna had a wonderful idea to make a blanket for Baby Splodge, but realised that she didn't have that much time to do it. So why not recruit all her friends and family to knit squares to make a blanket! I think it is the sweetest and most lovely idea, and couldn't wait to be involved. Even Sam has vowed to have a go, as has Dan! So here is my first square. I have done two now and am going to start another one when I have finished this post!

Newborn Cloth Nappies!

I would like to announce that we will be introducing a new member to our family in the near future! My brother and his wife have been trying for a baby for 5 years and due to several problems, have not been successful.
On Sunday, Becky took a pregnancy test which came back positive! On Monday she went to the doctor and he confirmed this. Then on Thursday, she was told she was 30-34 weeks pregnant! What amazing news! Thursday evening, and she is having pains so Mom takes them to hospital, she isn't 30-34 weeks pregnant, but 37 weeks! THIRTY SEVEN!

So my brother asked me to get nappies ready for them. Yesterday I went to the office and made a little newborn starter kit.

 My newborn starter kit contains

1x Nappy Bucket
2x Mesh Bags
1x Wet nappy bag
12x Muslin Squares
3x Nappy Nippas
2x Newborn sized wraps
2x Tots Bots Teenyfits
1x bumGenius XS
10x Fleece liners
1x Cheeky Wipes Mini Kit

Total : £116.35

This kit is designed to be a starter, for the first few weeks (depending on the size of the baby of course). Moving on to a Birth to Potty kit later on. The Muslin squares can be folded either like a terry square and fixed with a nippa (modern type of nappy 'pin' which is completely safe!) or pad folded and just placed in the wrap. The muslin can just be taken out and the wrap wiped clean and used again.

The teenyfits and bumGenius XS will go on just like a disposable nappy, the only problem with these is that they take longer to dry.

The fleece liners are designed to draw moisture away from babies skin. These will need to be used on top of the muslin squares and the teenyfits. The BGs have a stay dry layer already but still could be used to prevent staining.

The cheeky wipes kit is so easy to use. Fill the box with about 2/3cms of water, add a drop or two of the fresh oils and soak the wipes in the water. You don't need the wipes to be TOO wet. Just pop them in the nappy bin or bag and wash with the nappies. Reusable wipes are one of the easiest way of saving HEAPS of money. The kit comes with a small wet bag to transport the wipes when you are out.

Most people think that cloth nappies are a nightmare out and about. That is what wet nappy bags are for! This too will just wash with the nappies no problem.

Once the baby is here, we can arrange some bigger nappies, I am thinking I will put together a set of Smartipants for them, as they are such an easy option, and great value for money.  And they have all the essentials now, so they will just need the one set of bigger nappies.

So there is your lowdown to starting your stash of cloth nappies! And I will be sure to keep you updated on Baby Raynor!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Fairtrade Fortnight

This week is the second week of Fairtrade Fortnight. Fairtrade has always been something I have strived to buy. It is something that the Catholic church really backs and I think CAFOD has a lot to do with, hence how I must have been brainwashed as a child!
Buying Fairtrade means that the poorest people in the chain actually get a decent wage, an honest wage that means that they will be able to provide for their family. I hate that the big corporate companies take such a gigantic cut from sales, it shouldn't be allowed!
In Leicester, we are VERY lucky to have the Just...Fairtrade shop in St Martins Square. If you haven't been, you really should go. They sell everything from beautiful gifts to cupboard essentials, and they ensure that everyone gets a fair cut. And you would be surprised, you might even get yourself a bargain there. Most people have the misconception that fairtrade is more expensive, when often it is not.

So what have I done to switch to fairtrade?
I was actually really stunned at how much fairtrade stuff I actually have. I will only buy fairtrade coffee, and any birthday cards or trinketey presents I try to buy from the fairtrade shop. Yesterday I bought some organic cotton fairtrade face cloths from John Lewis for £1.25 - bargain!
WOMbat is a fantastic online retailer of fairtrade clothes, which is gradually filling up with more ethically produced items. We have beautiful fairtrade toys from Babipur, made by Little Hathi, which are just gorgeous. I have given a few as gifts and everyone loves them! My list really could go on and on. And I really think it is something to be proud of.

At the beginning of the year, I promised to carry on my green crusade, which I have, but hadn't outlined anything specific. Fairtrade fortnight has inspired me to have a 2011 year of fairtrade. It will be my 'thing' to focus on for the year. As well as my handmade pledge.

I seem to have created quite a following on this blog, which is flattering, honestly! Seeing as I started it for myself, not really thinking anyone would even bother to look at it. Just a record for me to look back on. But if each one of you switched one thing to fairtrade for good, it would be a great help to someone who needs it.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


I never thought that I wouldn't breastfeed my children, it was just a given. It is the most natural thing in the world. When it came to it, I was so lucky that we got on so well. I presumed I would stop at six months but six months came around and it seemed absurd to stop. My plan was to maybe feed to a year, then a year came around and again, it just didn't feel right to stop, I didn't want to, Louie certainly didn't want to so why give up on a good thing!
We are at 13 months now and I have been accepted onto a Breast Feeding Peer Support Programme.
I am utterly thrilled at the fact that I will be able to help other people, as sometimes I think it is too easy to give up, and I believe that many people regret the choices they have made.

I will keep you all posted on my progress, I cannot wait to start!
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