Tuesday, 31 May 2011

My, Haven't We Grown!

Today we had the mums and babies from our NCT Group over to us for our regular weekly meet up and it really struck me how much we've all grown!

When we first found out we were expecting Lily we really had no idea what to expect! One of the things I was keen on from the start was attending some ante-natal classes to hopefully prepare us a little for what was to come. Various friends had recommended the NCT classes so we signed up and were booked on to some sessions during August 2010. I remember before the first class feeling quite nervous, partly because this made the impending birth seem rather more, well, impending, than it had. I was also quite nervous about being thrown into this group of people with whom we only had one thing in common - babies!

As it turns out, I needn't have worried. Ever since those classes almost a year ago, we have met almost every week and shared our many different experiences of early parenthood. As our babies have grown I think we've also grown from that group of acquaintances with only our big tummies in common to a group of friends with all sorts in common (particularly our love of tea and cakes!).

I have always been quite an independent soul, not really feeling the need to rely on others for support, but I have been amazed at the comfort we have offered each other. Just being able to meet up with mums at the same stage has been fantastically re-assuring, knowing that we are all going through similar issues, being able to share ideas and learn from each other. When joining this kind of group, you never know who you might end up with (!) but feel so lucky that we are all so supportive and non-judgemental of each other. We all have different parenting styles and different ideas but we all seem to get along fabulously well and respect each other's ways while offering each other gentle encouragement and guidance when things aren't going so well.

Other than the obvious, one of the things that's upset me most about my imminent return to work was the thought of losing touch with my NCT group. It is so easy when circumstances change to let contacts slip and before you know it a week, a month, a year has gone by and contact is lost. So I was really relieved today when we started talking about this and resolved to continue to make the effort to meet up, even if it's not all together every time and even if it's not every week. In these kind of situations it's easy to make hollow promises, but I have a good feeling that we will all make the effort to make it work. I truly hope so. Vicky, Vicky, Heidi, Katherine, Emma, Joe, Luke, Tom, Doug and William, you have all helped Lily and I far more than you could ever know over the last 8 months. Thank you xxx

Bracknell Bound

A bit of old news this, being from nearly a month ago! However Steve has done a little write up of our trip to the LTV May Bracknell Meet here :)

Monday, 30 May 2011

Boxing Clever

It was Lily's Nanny's birthday this week so of course, all self-respecting Nannies require a Treasure Box to hold on to all those special little keepsakes to remember their first granddaughter's early days. As usual I did a bit of shopping around and found that nothing really fitted the bill properly, so decided to fall back on my crafting skills and make something special instead.

First job - arm oneself with materials.... a lidded cardboard box from Hobbycraft and some pearlised poster paint.

Combine the two together to create....

The box and lid both ended up with two coats of paint inside and out to get a good even finish. Next job, customise the lid:

I used some cardboard cut out letters I picked up in a card shop a while ago. One of those purchases I knew would come in handy at some point! Now I need to decide what to do with the other three sets! I attached them with some super sticky double sided tape (as shown on the letter Y). This stuff is great for projects that might get a bit of extra wear, or for attaching slightly heavier items like buttons for example. I used the same tape to attach the ribbon:

At this point I thought there was something missing so I decided to add a flower and tag. Flowers seem to feature on most of my craft projects in some way. I made this one by layering up some paper flowers with a brad (a little doodah like a mini paper fastener) then sticking the glittery centre over the top (with more super sticky tape).

The tag was made by coating a metal-rimmed vellum tag with glitter glue, and writing a message on a handmade paper tag using a gelly roll pen. Then I used a scrap of ribbon the tie them together and attach them, along with the flower, to the box.

Inside the box I placed one of Lily's first sleepsuits, a hat and some bootees. I also made a little box ready for a lock of hair from her first haircut. This might have to wait a while as her hair is so fantastic that I really don't want to cut it!

The box is made from an origami design using two squares of paper, one slightly smaller than the other, to create a box and lid. It was decorated in the same was as the main box using ribbon, paper flowers and a tag.

In my excitement at finishing this gift, I forgot to take a picture of the completed article! But I will add one soon to show off the finished result! Lily's Nanny was very pleased :)