Author: craftycooke

I now understand.

Before becoming a mum I recall reading stories in the papers or hearing on the news how a parent had shook their child so much that they had caused great harm or even worse, death.

How? How could they do such a thing? How could they bring themselves to that level?

I now understand.

I’ll be completely honest here, there have been moments during the first 2-3 months of my darling sons life that I scared myself. When you’ve had very little sleep, you’ve changed and fed them and still they cry. Those are the moments when you can feel it, those are the moments when it can cross your mind. I’ve thought a few times ‘just chuck him off the balcony’ ‘throw him across the room’. I bet you’re thinking how dare she say such things, but I’m not the only new mum out there to think them. The difference is I know that I won’t action them, the only time I scared myself was when I held Robin firmly in front of me and in a stern voice said “shut up”. I know that doesn’t sound bad but when it’s not in your nature to act that way, it’s scary. The moment when that happened I finally understood how people can crack and end up shaking their child. I never understood how easy it could be even for the nicest of people.

After speaking to friends and them admitting it had crossed their minds too, I didn’t feel as bad. Not that those thoughts are a good thing, don’t get me wrong, but it felt better knowing that I wasn’t alone.

Some good bits of advice given to me, if your child is pushing every single button and the anger grows:

“If your partner is at home, no matter what time of day or night it is, pass your child onto them. If you’re home on your own firstly put them down in a safe place and walk out of that room. Lock yourself in the toilet or something if you need to, then count slowly to 10. You may feel bad that your child is screaming at the top of their lungs but surely that’s better than you ending up doing something you’ll regret.”

 

My Mother’s Day

This is a rather personal post from me, I did hesitate about posting it but I felt like I wanted to share. I’ve left out some elements I’ll admit, but I wanted to make note of my feelings.

It’s been a good few years since I celebrated Mother’s Day with my mum. Father’s Day too in fact!

It all started years ago when my dad wasn’t speaking with my mums side so much, no idea why. Back in 2007 mum and dad sold the house, I went to live with my ex boyfriends mum and then I headed to Australia to go meet him. Mum and dad went off in the caravan together and continued to do the steam fairs that I’d been a part of since a young age. 

I think it was 2008 when I was told that my great Nan had passed, she did well as she was in her 90s, sadly a tumble in the garden and the fact that she knew she would likely have to go into a home was too much. My parents were up north when she was in hospital, I offered to pay for train tickets, whatever it took to get at least mum to come down and see her Nan, she didn’t. Before the funeral I offered to buy dad a suit, mainly because all he had was light washed jeans, shirts and walking boots, he wouldn’t let me. He then somehow got in his head that he wasn’t able to carry the coffin because he wasn’t wearing suitable clothes, I still don’t know till this day why he got that impression. Anyway, the day came, I recall sitting next to my cousins and then I heard the most distressing noise, it was my mum, she broke down, never before had I seen or heard anyone in so much pain. 

Since that day my parents started to see less and less of my mums side and I started to see less of them too. I only really spoke with them on the phone or saw them when they were near by. 

Couple of years went by, I ended up breaking up with my then boyfriend of 4 years. Still they continued to hardly speak to my mums side, my mum hadn’t spoken to her sisters and I think she was hardly talking to her own mum at that point. 

Skipping a few more years, I started to question my parents to why they didn’t speak with my Nan and aunties, I never got a clear answer. Also pretty much all of the conversations were with dad. I was getting so fed up of being the messenger, it wasn’t right, there was no reasoning behind any of it. One New Years ( I think it was 2013) I got a call from my dad, I vaguely recall the actual conversation. I remember being asked what I wanted for a belated Christmas present, but the way the call ended was with dad hanging up on me and then I was in floods of tears. That was the last time I spoke to them. 

Come 2014 my fiancé and I planned to get married the following year. I then had to decide what I was going to do regarding my parents, so I wrote them a letter. Basically it said something alone the lines of ‘if you don’t sort out whatever this is between the family, then I wouldn’t be happy for them to attend their only daughters wedding’. About a month later I received an email from my dad that simply said:

Thanks for your letter a reply will follow shortly and just as honest as yours but maybe more factual also a copy will be sent to Nan so no confusion to be had.

DAD

Neither Nan or I received a letter of any kind. 

The time came for me to start looking at wedding dresses, each time I went to look and try on dresses my Nan came with me, but everyone of those times didn’t feel quite right. I loved having Nan with me of course but mum should of been there too. If anything for her sake she should of been there. I have no idea if that was something she dreamed of but surely most mums want to be part of their daughters wedding journey. 

After no luck I decided to not invite them to the wedding. I’ve known my husband since 2011 and they still haven’t met him either.

After the wedding my dad somehow got hold of some of the official photos and uploaded them to his Facebook page along with this comment:


This was then commented on by their friends saying things like ‘she will regret it’ ‘so horrible of her not to invite you’ etc. I remember laughing and crying, laughing at how ridiculous that statement was and crying because I still couldn’t understand why they were acting like that. I still don’t understand it now. 

Oh and I must mention that the reason we couldn’t visit them at the campsite was due to Jerry’s work commitments and another reason but I forget. To be honest, they never thought to visit us, but somehow found time to see my dads side who live about 30mins away. Anyway…

Communication was reduced further after this Facebook post as then my dad decided to block me. It was hard for me not to reply to the comments made by people I also knew, but it just wasn’t worth the effort. They already believed I was the bad one. 

It’s been about 4 years since I last spoke with them and in the next few weeks we are due to have our first child, their first grandchild. Will they ever meet him, who knows. I know that if they want to then they will have to mend the relationships between my Nan and aunties before they do. Maybe we will never speak again, but I do know that I have no regrets, I’ve done all I can and if they want to act in that childish manner then so be it. 

I don’t actually know what the point of this blog post was or if I should of even wrote it, but I think I just wanted to highlight how important communication is. Life is too short to fret over pointless things. 
Jerry never had a dad growing up, and my parents have changed very much over the years (they were very loving and supportive parents whilst growing up I wish to add). 

Jerry and I both want our child(ren) to know they will always be loved, we will always be there for them even in difficult times and nothing is ever worth fighting about. 

Happy Mum Happy Baby

I had the joy of attending an evening with Giovanna Fletcher at the Guild Hall in Bath on Friday evening. Touring with her new book ‘Happy Baby Happy Mum‘ where she’s documented her thoughts and stories about mother hood.


I can’t really give a review of the book just yet as I haven’t read it (been a busy weekend), but I’ll certainly update this post when I’m done 🙂

It was a lovely evening and was an absolute pleasure to meet Gi, such a wonderful loving person.


Take A Walk Down Look Lane

Take A Walk Down Look Lane

I wanted to write a blog post about this new website called Look Lane that my friends helped build. If you’re a maker and would like to start selling your creations on a great looking website with reasonable selling fees, then Look Lane is certainly the site for you.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwLlRZJEo9c&w=1000&h=563]

Created by Debbie, founder/designer from indie brand Duck & Duffel – she decided to launch a shopping platform that met the needs of both buyers and creators.
As you can see below, the website looks amazing and the fact that you can design your shop front just makes it all that more fun.

looklane_prices

Why not open your shop today! Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest too.

Going For The Chop!

So it all started on the afternoon of Saturday February 6th 2016. I joined my friend Becky and Amy at a local coffee house for a spot of brunch and a lovely mug of hot chocolate. Amazing Amy (as I call her) was then going through chemo for breast cancer.
(To read a blog post about her cancer experience, click here)

Amy pulled out one of the NHS wigs that she had been given and I took the opportunity to give it a try. Then for a laugh I posted a picture or two on my Facebook profile and told everyone that I had gotten myself a new hairdo.

I was rather amazed at how many people fell for it, it was rather amusing. I kept them all waiting whilst we went on a trip to IKEA. Upon our return I thought it was about time to come clean. I then had everyone telling me to just do it! I didn’t see any reason why not to, I’d grown my hair out for the wedding and that had been and gone, so why ever not!

I was inspired by Carrie Fletcher to not only get my hair cut, but to also donate it to the Little Princess Trust. I luckily had just about the right amount to be able to donate.

Fast forward to Saturday March 12th 2016, today was the day I sat in the hairdresser chair, closed my eyes and gave the okay to chop it off! I was pretty amazed with how quickly I got used to it being so short.

I gave it a couple of days to dry out (as requested in the instructions), then it was off to the post office to send away my locks with hope that it would help become part of a wig for a child suffering from hair loss. Few months after that I received a certificate thanking me for my donation 🙂

If you’re thinking about donating your hair, go check out the Little Princess Trust website for more information. Why not try and fundraise for getting your locks cut off too!

(I know this was last year, but thanks to Facebook memories yesterday I thought I would write a post about it)

When You Finally Realise You’re Going To Be A Mum

I’ll be 32 weeks pregnant tomorrow, and only now am I regretting not writing a blog about those previous weeks. My dear husband however was far smarter than I and started writing a physical diary back in September. I’ve not actually read any of it yet (I know right!), I have no idea why. Maybe I’ve been avoiding it for some reason, for an evening where I want to sit in my nursing chair and have a good cry, who knows!

This last week I think it’s finally hit me, in about 2 months I will be a mum. That’s nuts! I know what you’re thinking, how on earth can it take you that long to realise?  Well, it has img_4503so that’s that. Holding my cousins little one last night really made it dawn on me for some reason. Strangely enough the actual giving birth bit doesn’t bother me (yet), but the realisation of becoming a parent has. You ask yourself questions like ‘Can I actually do this?’ ‘What if I’m doing it wrong?’ ‘How does one actually change a nappy?’. But I’m sure every mum-to-be has those thoughts and sometimes you do forget how much of a life changing thing it is that you’re about to go through.

I think what I’m struggling with is the only being able to prepare/organise so much part. Yes the nursery is already sorted, yes we probably have more than enough clothes for him, but now there isn’t much more we can actually do. For someone who likes to plan as much as possible in advance, this is the first time I’ve felt a little lost about what to do next. And the answer to that really is to just be patient and wait until he’s ready to arrive. My due date is the 4th April, most of my family are convinced it’ll be March, we shall see. I’m not really sure how true the whole ‘but your first is usually late’ thing is. After my cousins partner gave birth to her son at 28 weeks, anything can happen really!

Another thing I don’t think I can prepare for is the love I’ll have for him, well that’s what people have said to me anyway. If anything that’s exciting! Obviously being in love with your husband is amazing, but I get a feeling this will be a whole different kind of love. I still very much look forward to the days when he’s a little older and we can go explore places. I was quite fortunate in a way when I was younger, spending most of my weekends at farmers markets or in a field in the middle of nowhere. My parents would be sorting out the trade stall and I would go on mini adventures on my own, exploring the trees, meeting other children and making up fun games to play. That’s what I hope for our child, a feeling of freedom and exploration. Asking all of the questions and wanting to know more about what’s around him and the world, and the universe whilst he’s at it!

I feel like I’m babbling on about a lot of random thoughts now… maybe it’s the terrible night sleep I had, maybe I’m just beginning to think about it all a little more. But I do know that I very much look forward to meeting you little one.

Return to cross stitch

Thanks to a lovely little Secret Santa gift, I have returned to cross stitching! I haven’t done this since, well, April last year when I stitched the dinosaur design for my friends birthday.

I’m very much enjoying doing cross stitch at the moment, mainly because it’s a simple sit on the sofa and crack on with it kind of craft. Also being able to put it down and come back to it even if you’re half way through a row. I’m not one for large cross stitch projects but I do like the mini kits which are perfect for cards. Picked up a couple of other kits the other day and am looking forward to starting on them. Tempted to make some Christmas themed ones this year, as well as doing my other handmade Christmas cards.

Anyway, that’s enough of me going on about my liking of cross stitch, here is the one I’ve just completed and will be sending to s friend today.

suncloudcs_complete

Cot Quilt Success!

I’m pretty proud of myself right now, I’ve just finished my first ever quilt! Now I’ll admit I did have my wonderful nan oversea the event, however I must mention that she did not do anything, purely observed. So I completed this from cutting the squares to hand sewing the back of the edging.

I purchased the stunning fabric from eBay and used a fleece blanket from IKEA for the backing. Oh and to pad it out a little more, nan gave me some other fleece like material to put in between. The cutting and pattern arrangement took me about 2 hours, sewing everything together about 7 hours and the hand sewing on the back about 1 hour.

cot-quilt-002

 

Mustard & Mint – Teething Necklace

I’m currently in a temporary position as a receptionist at a local secondary school. Today I was given the most wonderful thank you present from the ladies that I work with.

I’d never thought about teething necklaces before but oh my what a lovely idea! Great that you can still be fashionable but not have to worry about them getting broken or covered in slobber. This necklace I was given was from Mustard & Mint, I recommend checking out their Etsy page as there is a lovely range of necklaces and bracelets available.

mustardmint_necklace

I hope to give it a proper review when I get to put it into practice.

Wedding Card – by Rocketlolly

I wanted to take this moment to write about my very talented friend Katy (aka Rocketlolly). Yesterday I went do a friends wedding but before that I really wanted a lovely handmade wedding card to give them. Katy currently has this stunning illustrated postcard print on her Etsy store and even offers to add calligraphy text for an extra small charge. I simply trimmed is a little to fit some A6 kraft card stock and there we have it.

Some photos from the wedding day

Pack Up! Unboxing

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dAoTxRBORk]

Whilst playing for Belfast City Rockets, Helen McBride unfortunately broke her leg during training. So not to disconnect from the roller derby community during recovery, she set up a crowd funding campaign to raise money for a roller derby themed subscription box. Helen teamed up with other designers and artists within the community to help launch Pack Up! in May this year.

With a new theme every month, each pack include 5 items. A monthly rolling subscription costs £23 per month, but there is also an option of a One Month Only pack for £25.

**Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a Pack Up! competition**

This months theme was ‘Fresh Meat’. Now, for those of you reading this with no idea what that actually means, it’s the term used for an intake of new skaters.

Stickers from Jammer Candy
Check out their Facebook and online shop

Fresh Meat Patch and Card insert designed by Fiona McDonnell
Visit her website to see more of her amazing illustrations

T-shirt from Butt Crew
Check out their Facebook and online shop

tshirt

Sure Grip Slip-not Moustache laces

Laces

This is a great subscription box for all who are interested in roller derby (including myself). I’d say it was good value for money based on the quality of the contents. And I’m sure each box will improve with new designers and artist Helen comes across.

groupshot

**Competition** (Now closed)

Fancy being in with a chance of winning one of Pack Up!’s mini-packs?
Simply comment below with your favourite item in this review and a winner will be selected at random on 17th July.

Well done to Lyndsey! Please check your inbox for more information on collecting your prize.

Lyndsey winner

Theme: Overlay by Kaira
2019 CraftyCooke