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A thirst for knowledge…

Being a new Mom again in my forties, makes me realize how much I’ve grown as a person, I realize how much more knowledge I have about myself, my body and my mind! When I first began breastfeeding 14 years ago I was totally green, I didn’t realize the things I did and ate could affect my newborn child… I blindly learnt to nourish my now teenage boy, did it do him any harm? I would say not, but as a newborn maybe he suffered the pain of gas in his newly developing tummy… This is something we will never know!

Now in this age of the internet, where our thirst for knowledge is answered almost immediately, we can learn about all sorts of things… Our bodies, the way we look after them and the best foods to eat to protect them! Sleep deprivation can be one of those things that drive us to question our diets and what we can do to prevent our tiny babies and their tender tummies from aching!

With all this in mind, I am setting out to try to reduce my gluten and dairy intake. The gluten is a personal thing, due to flare ups of irritable bowel syndrome, I don’t want to be completely obsessed with cutting out gluten, just try to reduce my intake where I can! I honestly believe my huge intake of dairy is affecting my baby boy, I didn’t realize how many things I consume contain dairy… My beloved Starbucks coffees, the cream cheese bagel I ate for lunch, the list goes on… So here is what I’ve done so far, I have replaced the non fat milk in my Starbucks drinks to soy milk, not actually as bad as I thought, at home I bought lactaid milk and low lactose cheese, I have even treated myself to a dairy free chocolate ice cream… Actually I was surprised how good this was and not too badly priced either! So far so good, I actually got a whole 3 hours sleep last night, which I haven’t had for a while and the red spots on my baby boys face seem to be fading a little bit… Of course all of this could be coincidence, but it’s worth trying!

As for the gluten, that is a work in progress, I’ve been researching making my own gluten free flour to replace all purpose flour in recipes, I have also been looking at where I can buy cheaper flours online to reduce the cost! I was surprised in the grocery store when I actually looked for gluten free items, how many of our day to day purchases were now gluten free and also a good price, a lot were on weekly special prices, making a diet change not only a lot easier than I thought but a lot cheaper too!

It’s hard in a large family to concentrate on a full diet change, so I’m aiming to just reduce my gluten intake, go dairy free for about a week and see if it helps my little boy… But of course we are what we eat so healthy eating continues with lots of salads, fruit and all things healthy and delicious… Not sure my older children love it… But that’s just how I roll these days!

Just incase anyone wants to try a gluten free diet I found a couple of links to help you get started…
Olive Garden style garlic breadsticks – gluten free
Gluten free all purpose flour blend
Classic gluten free waffles
Lemon, blueberry waffles – gluten free

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9 months…

Well I’m in my last week of pregnancy… I can’t believe how quickly 9 months has gone by… One minute I was looking at a positive pregnancy test, and thinking ‘REALLY!’, the next I’m thinking ‘REALLY’ again as my c-section approaches much quicker than I’m liking!

It’s been a roller coaster of a ride this time round, age was not on my side, the start of the pregnancy was filled with very negative thoughts, my age led to high risks of chromosome deformities, the morning sickness was all day misery for 16 weeks, and blinding migraine headaches… Our vacation to North Carolina was marred by nausea and tiredness… Also the worry of what was to come in the following weeks with genetic testing!

At 11/12 weeks pregnant I opted for first trimester screening including a new blood test to screen for chromosome abnormalities, but before this test result was back I decided to go for a procedure I had, had done with Florence, a CVS, this is where they take follicles from the placenta and then send them away for screening, it is an invasive proceedure, this time requiring two needles inserted into my stomach, this made me feel very sick afterwards, but with a couple of days of resting up I felt fine! Thankfully both genetic tests came back normal and letting us know he was definitely a boy… REALLY, I had lots of pink baby stuff!

After the complete shock I was having a baby boy again after 14 years, I was elated, a little brother for Florrie, as he carried on growing inside me I really was waiting for the BLOOM of pregnancy, unfortunately this has never happened… My glucose was high, my iron levels were low… Boys always take everything out of me! So now with less than a week to go, I really cannot believe I will be in the hospital this time next week, hopefully minutes away from touching this little boy, that keeps me awake all night, makes me so uncomfortable and has given me some of the worst heartburn I have ever experienced!

Panic has set in, 9 months ago I had months ahead of me before I would have to go through the dreaded c-section again, now I have days before they numb me and cut me open, last time I swore to Paul he would never do this to me again as a full blown panic attack set in… Child birth is a wonderful thing, whether you give birth naturally with all the pain or have real fear of the numbness and going under the knife, you really do forget once you hold your bundle of complete joy in your arms… Well that is until you are faced with doing it all over again!

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March madness…

Today is the first day in March, which means I’m running out of time… My to do list is long and as of tomorrow I will have two weeks until I’m 39 weeks pregnant and in the week I will have my c section! Hopefully by the end of this weekend Florrie and Baby’s room will be finished, when I say finished, I mean painted, blinds and curtain rails hung, toys put away and bed up and ready to use… There will still be lots to do, but it will be one thing checked off my list and an ongoing project! I have some fabric for her drapes but it needs something added to it for length and a lining fabric, so I see a trip to Jo Ann’s in my future, this week! I also need to repaint Mabel’s little Ikea closet, it’s time it gets a makeover so that it matches Florrie’s new room!

Of course my nesting instincts are kicking in, my car needs cleaning out ready and clean for a little newborn to ride in it, but of course the weather is not co-operating, it’s too cold to be out cleaning out my car, let’s hope the forecast warms up before the middle of this month! The house is ready for it’s annual spring clean so after this weekend I’m on a schedule of cleaning and organizing each room! Ideally I would like to replan and redecorate our family room/kitchen, but it is a large room and I’m thinking, well I know this will never happen in two weeks, so I have to sit back and accept that will have to be a job for after this little man arrives, but I do have lots of shabby chic ideas for a complete makeover of this room!

Menu planning is not on the agenda at the moment, I find it hard to concentrate on the here and now, let alone plan a menu for a whole week… Our meals have mainly consisted of casseroles cooked in my crock pot… I think we will all look like pasta soon! We did manage a grocery trip to Trader Joes, which means we have lots of green leafy vegetables for dinners and creamy yogurts for breakfast each morning, much better than binging on coffee, decaf of course and chocolate chip cookies, delicious but not so healthy!

Pregnancy in your 40’s definitely makes you realize each phase of the nine months, I think when I was younger I never fully realized the changes both body and mind go through to prepare you to be a mother… Older and wiser me, can see now how each phase is as important as conception , and I still think pregnancy should be 8 months, this last month is not only uncomfortable but mentally exhausting, as all I can think about is this baby 24/7!

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Fabric, hooks and lots of yarn!

The sun is shining, the temperatures are above freezing, almost tropical… I have no doctors appointments of any kind today, yesterday I had a checkup at the OBGYN, my little man is head down, which explains all the pressure and many, many trips to the bathroom! It is time to catch up on the laundry and get my sewing machine out… Those burp cloths won’t finish themselves!

Burp cloths made and laundered, I moved onto my crochet edge blanket… I am absolutely in love with this blanket, I used a very soft shirting fabric, measured to 31″x36″, hemmed with a 1/4″ double turned in hem, sewn and then it’s ready to get out the yarn… Yay my favorite part! I used a tapestry needle and a no 2 cotton yarn, it was time to blanket stitch around the edges of each of the four sides of the blanket making sure each corner had one diagonal stitch also…

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After all blanket stitches were complete, it was time to add the shelled crochet edge… The finished result is a very cute not too feminine soft and cozy baby blanket… Perfect for a Spring newborn baby!

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I think my body is changing, my hormones are raging, the tears keep flowing and I am so incredibly uncomfortable, pregnancy should be 8 months, this last month is just not the best… So despite not being very organised, and not being actually ready for a newborn baby, my body and head is saying it is more than ready to have it’s little inhabitant out and get it back to me again! At my OBGYN appointment this past week, I had no signs of labor and hopefully next week I should have the date set up for my c-section, 3 weeks Sunday and counting… Carrying 8 children plays havoc on your body and that is why this little boy will definitely be our last child!

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Bye bye January…

I am wondering how I am meant to be resting up at 32 weeks pregnant with 35 minute drives twice weekly for iron infusions, Ultrasound appointments and two weekly OBGYN appointments… I’m doctored out right now, Florrie is fed up of being in the car and I’m really fed up of not being able to wear my normal warm clothing for this time of the year… Moan over!

Everyone says I look a lot better from the iron infusions, thankfully, but I’m still waiting for this magic drug to burst into the much needed energy I need to finish the projects I wanted to complete before this little man arrives, on the plus side I think all this iron is giving this baby super strength, he is a real wriggler and loves head butting my rib cage (he is breach at the moment) and kicking my bladder… All the fun moments of pregnancy… Ha, ha!

I am in love with the Baby Gap at the moment, the baby bargains have been in abundance this January, I think I have managed to get a whole newborn baby boy wardrobe for less than $100, he has long sleeve and short sleeve vests and cute little onesies, I love newborn babies in nighties, boy or girl they look so cute, so I have a few nighties too! I have very cute long johns in a variety of colors and I have my Mum and a close friend on knitting duty, cute little cardigans as I am sure the weather will be chilly and I love newborn hand knitted sweaters… All in all he will be the best dressed March newborn baby boy!

Of course I cannot forget my little Florrie’s spring closet, so I have been picking up a few bargains for her too, I love the Target Osh Kosh girls clothes… They recently had a very Cath Kidston raincoat and boots in there, of course a must for every toddler girls Spring wardrobe, they also have just reduced a few Osh Kosh items by 30%, so I got her a little spring jacket and red spotty dress… With Spring clothes appearing in the shops now, I just cannot wait for the warmer weather to arrive!

I have a small list of need to get items before the birth, but I’m very pleased with my bargain baby buys so far, we got 20% off the stroller! a super cheap managers clearance on our Chicco car seat $60 from $199, lots of clearance items from the Baby Gap, we already have the crib, it just needs converting from a baby girl to a cute boy crib! On my list still to get are little socks, some swaddle blankets, a head comforter for the car seat and a small nesting bassinet that can be used in the crib and our bed if needed… Not too many things left to get, so I am happy!

On a totally different subject, I am now going totally green with my dishwasher, I am totally addicted to Pinterest and have found a recipe for making your own dishwasher powder, I have bought the ingredients and am very keen to try it, our dishwasher does not seem to clean well and items do not sparkle, so in an effort to use less chemicals, be more economical and get the dishes cleaner, I’m trying out this recipe…
dishwasher powder recipe
Wish me luck, I will let you know how it works and report back here with my findings!

Just a few free pattern ideas for all you crafters out there… These are the ones I am loving!
crochet moose beanie… very cute?
crochet striped beanie… various sizes!
crib sheets… they look easy peasy!

Just a few recipes you might want to try this weekend…
The best broccoli and cauliflower cheese… Jamie Oliver style… thanks to friend sending me the link!
Super Bowl Sunday guacamole
Of course the Super Bowl would not be complete without chips and Queso… skinny style!

Happy first weekend in February… Hopefully this means the temperatures will get a little bit warmer, and we will see the grass again soon!

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Handmade Baby Boy!

Life in our house is busy as usual, but I have had to take a step or two back and learn to let others help me out… Not easy for this busy Mom of 7, but I’m learning… My glucose levels have returned to normal, gestational diabetes scare over… Yay, but my iron levels are dangerously low, 60% depleted, so this explains how bad I’ve been feeling! the extreme tiredness, the shortness of breath and the occasional palpitations! This week I start hour long infusions of iron, hopefully this will make me feel so much better, I’ve been adding lots of iron rich food to my diet but I have to give in this time and take the IV, but if I had the choice I would just try the diet for a while longer!

As I am kind of on an in forced rest, my body won’t let me do too much, I get totally exhausted and very breathless easily, I’ve been concentrating on making baby items not only for this little boy who seems to be causing me so many problems at the moment, but later on for my Etsy shop Florrie’s Attic! I love, love, love babies in hats, boys hats are a little more difficult to find something different, so I’m working on ideas for cute baby boy hats! I’m also working on a fabric baby blanket with a crochet edge, at the moment I am using boy colors but the options are endless and I am totally in love with this new thin, spring blanket!

I have found a couple of links to handmade burp cloths and crib sheets, so this is definitely something I would like to try, JoAnn’s is a destination this week for supplies! Here are the links…
Hand made burp cloths
Handmade crib sheets

We are starting our little girl and boy room this week, well I say we, what I actually mean is I am organizing the colors and Paul is starting the manual labor! I have finally decided on a colors and I am very excited… We went to Sherwin Williams yesterday for paint samples, so I am hoping that the colors will be perfect! I love mismatched shabby chic style and I think this room will be perfect for a little girl and tiny boy to share… this is my inspiration!

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On a final note for today, Martin Luther King Day, of course I always have to talk about food… Although I am not actually cooking at the moment, I am in charge of the menu and tonight we have cheesy spinach baked penne I have been using gluten free brown rice pasta from TJ’s, I also like the fact that this recipe uses lots of iron rich spinach, combined with lower fat cheese options like cottage cheese, now I’m not sure my family will love this, but I love cottage cheese, we are going to have this with my favorite baby kale salad from Costco and some kind of protein, not sure what that will be yet, as I need to go to the grocery store, but I’m thinking mine will be baked tofu!

Links I have found for free crochet baby patterns…
Baby girl hat crochet pattern
Triple crochet cocoon and hat pattern
A guide to properly sized crochet hats… a must when you are making hats!
A super chunky baby cocoon
Newborn to 3 months crochet beanie

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Snow Day…

It’s cold and it’s snowing on this Saturday in December, due to children needing our cars today, we have no cars on our drive, so no getting out and about for us today… SNOW DAY! Luckily I planned ahead, my cupboards are stocked with food and I’m prepared for a warm winters day worth of comfort foods… On the menu today for dinner is another flat apple pie and a easy caramel sauce courtesy of the Pioneer woman, a cheesy fondue from Trader Joes and my favorite bread of theirs too, ciabatta together with a wholefoods recipe of pumpkin chili, converted to slowly cook in my crockpot!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for us, not only is Christmas approaching too fast and presents need buying, organizing and then wrapping, my parents have arrived to stay with us, the older boys have all had final exams for this semester and have been working extra long hours due to the festive busy season in retail… Life has been chaotic, busy and just plain exhausting recently! Coughs, colds and sneezes are currently circulating our house, so we have not only had pregnancy doctor visits but doctors appointments to check on the coughs too, thankfully just winter colds, but still not very nice to have… I am not a fan of pumping drugs into my children or myself until I’ve tried more natural remedies, and thankfully my children’s pediatrician agrees with me, so my remedy healthy eating and lots of fluids… Fingers crossed for a germ free Christmas Day!

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Now for a shameless plug for my Etsy Shop Florrie’s Attic, In between all the chaos of the run up to the festive season, I have been crocheting for my shop… Please stop by and take a look Florrie’s Attic on Etsy

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This is a crochet hat and scarf it is made in a size that would fit any 8 to 12 year old girl, it is made in a charcoal gray yarn with a beautiful cream flower attached to the scarf! Although this item is ready to ship it can be made in a variety of colors and in three sizes, toddler, girls and ladies, please message me for details! Also these items can be shipped anywhere again message me for a shipping price!