I have tried, but it's impossible to get a really good shot of this new romper suit on a very busy baby, who will not sit still for more than a second at a time
Still, at least in this shot you can see the gorgeous squidgeyness of Ernest's thighs, which is why I designed the romper in the first place.
This is the first draft of a new pattern I designed with the aid of my new pattern drafting software.
Usually I draft patterns from a basic block with help from the rather fab Aldrich books, and information gleaned haphazardly over the years, but I thought drafting software might save me some time, a precious commodoty around here, so I asked for the software for my birthday.
I did have some reservations, the purist in me thought drafting software was kinda cheating, but actually it's pretty good, and I'm certain once I get the hang of all I can do with it, will be just as creative as all the tracing and graph paper efforts are.
I haven't figured out the pattern piece alterations part yet, so I designed a general shape, and did my usual designing by cutting up the pattern pieces from the basic garment shape, so this romper is half CAD designed, and half scissors, tape measure and pencil designed....am I making any sense?
Probably not, lets just say I'm not a techy!
As a first draft I'm pretty pleased with this design. There are some alterations I'm going to make. More length in the body and more poof in the bodice. I might even hand smock the next one.
Waiting with my heart pounding in my chest for news from someone I love.
Distraction is needed, a little sewing....
And preperation for chickens...
Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments on yesterdays post, they mean more to me than you probably know. x
Florence feels distant to me lately, it's as though she's just out of sight, a glimmer of her in the corner of my eye in a sunbeam,but when I try to find her she's gone.
Maybe I'm starting to accept she is gone? Maybe I've always thought she might be coming back?
I'm not at all sure of anything, except I think this current numbness may well be temporary. I certainly hope so, because I don't want to feel this way forever, I think I prefer the constant tears to this.
A wise person said to me recently that everything I'm feeling is normal, that maybe some of my grief was put on hold while I prepared for Ernest's birth, and again while I dealt with all of his feeding issues.
I think that's certainly possible.
Life doesn't stand still though, each time I think I might be catching up with the now, dragging myself kicking and screaming from July 2009, I find that life is still moving on.
Ernest is 9 months now, he's moving on to older babyhood. He's crawling and pulling himself up, and developing a sense of humour. He loves his Daddy and puts his arms out to him as soon as he's home from work. He's just so alive and wonderful.
I was shopping in the supermarket a week ago. I'd left Woody and the older children arguing over a dessert for dinner, and gone to find shampoo, with Ernest tucked in the sling.
An elderly lady approached us, and commented on what a beautiful baby Ernest is. She asked me if he was my first, and I replied no, that he was my sixth. She asked me if I was catholic, I'm not, but she said she was, though only had one child, then she corrected herself and said she had three, but she had lost two. My heart skipped a beat, and I wanted to say I understood, and my baby was gone too, but she did what I try to do, and she moved the conversation on before I had the chance. I guess she'd had a lot more practice than me.
We chatted for a while, and as we parted she said how much she'd enjoyed chatting, and that Ernest was far too much of an old fashioned name for such a beautiful baby.
I know I'll almost probably never see her again, I know it was just a random polite chat in the supermarket, but I feel guilty that I didn't validate her lost children, I didn't even say I was sorry.
I told her, I'd enjoyed our chat too, and I hoped she'd have a nice evening. I hope she did.
And this is how it is, a million small things,but there's no happy ending, no neatly tied up package. I think maybe I've been waiting for a time when all the grief is done and I'm just accepting.
She's been gone 21 months, and I'm still struggling with forever.
I'll always grieve, maybe sometimes harder than others, maybe accepting that is what I need to do.
I've been archiving all my posts about Florence, slowly going through them. I want to protect those thoughts, put them somewhere safe. I want to put Florence somewhere safe, a pocket inside my heart.
Like many babyloss mamas who blog I feel like a stuck record. Going through my older posts I realise I've repeated myself even more than I suspected I had. I don't know how much longer I can go on doing that here in this space, and still feel I'm keeping Florence safe.
My recent experiences have taught me, that outside of my bubble, actually the *vast majority don't give a shit, and want me to STFU already. To most people Florence was not a person, but "just a baby", and I'm all cured now having Ernest here.
Some people might even think I'm not grateful for what I do have, that I'm wallowing...it has been suggested.
I'm not going to remove my posts from this blog, I'm just putting them somewhere safe too, and pondering what to do next.
*I'm very aware that some of what I'm saying here might hurt and upset those of you reading that do give a shit, and do understand, that's not my intention at all. You are not included in that "vast majority".
I realised what was happening, but it's hard to stop that cycle of stress once it begins. I tried dropping my shoulders, deep breathing, leaving the pump on flutter sucking for longer than usual, positive visualisations, and the milk would flow...eventually.
I'm still pumping enough for Ernest, but my buffer of being a couple of bottles ahead of his needs has gone, and I've had to dip into our freezer stash. while our freezer stash is huge, I'm not really happy with the situation as it is.
Maybe I'm unrealistic, but I want to provide breastmilk for Ernest for as long as possible. My long term goal is two years, which when you consider I would have aimed to breastfeed him for at least three or four years, is still quite a compromise on my ideals.
So, I'm power pumping*, eating porridge for breakfast and back on the motherlove supplements.
And as if that wasn't enough of a time drain, I decided this morning was the perfect time to spring clean my bedroom, and move several pieces of furniture too.
I'm now sat amidst total chaos, with an overtired teething (almost two teeth just breaking through!) baby who is nap refusing...sigh. x
* Power Pumping is mimicking a growth spurt by pumping very frequently, thereby telling the brain that you need to make more milk. Some women set up the pump and simply pump for ten minutes or so every time they pass,(obviously within reason), others pump to a tighter schedule than usual. I'm currently pumping every two hours,(ordinarily I pump every 3/4 hours, and can leave it 5 hours so long as I make up the time later) and will do probably at least until tomorrow. It usually takes a couple of days for my body to get the message I need to make more milk, but everyone is different.
Anyway, after my last post, I had a few requests for Woody's leek and cheese quiche recipe. He's a very instinctive cook, and it took a little nagging to get him to write it down, and lets just say it's not exactly a wordy recipe, but here it is for those who asked.
Leek and potato quiche
shortcrust pastry blind baked in a 26cm quiche dish
approx 100-150ml cream
1 leek chopped and sweated in butter
approx 6 new potatoes boiled and diced
approx 150-200 grams grated Gruyère cheese
salt and pepper
lightly whisk eggs and cream then add all other ingredients and pour into pastry case.
Bake at 180 C for approx 45 mins
Yesterday was my birthday, and I decided I wanted to see Morcambe. Actually, I quite fancied afternoon tea at the recently refurbished, art deco Midland Hotel, but the reality of afternoon tea in a nice hotel with five children in tow put paid to that idea, and we took along our usual birthday picnic.
Daddy's excellent leek and potato quiche, with a mug of hot tea from a kiosk on the sea front, eaten of course in the car in the rain!
After the picnic, we donned wellies and raincoats for a play in Happy Mount Park.
The sun did decide to shine eventually, for the obligatory photos with Eric.
We couldn't resist one of Eric and Ernie..
Ernest even got his first play on a beach. (wearing his new Mummy made reversable dungarees.)
And you know something? I had a pretty good day. x