The last week or so I have been trying to get ready for the impending arrival of the bean. There isn't much I can do about the house itself at this point, although the bedroom is coming along quite nicely, but there is still plenty to do.
Yesterday, apart from the frantic jam-making, I spent most of the day doing paperwork and getting finance stuff in order. I hate doing this kind of work, and by the afternoon I had worked myself up into quite a foul mood. It didn't help that I had to go to the garage *again* to fix something regarding one of our cars. I swear, the guy at the garage is rapidly becoming my new best friend - it seems like I can't do for two days without paying him a visit. First it's MOTs, then my car starts making strange noises, then the radiator starts leaking, then the breaks start packing up on the other car, ... And everytime I need to go there I have to ask MIL to give me a lift. I don't like relying and imposing on others like that, but there is really no way around it.
Still, retrospectively, yesterday was good in a I-got-lots-of-unpleasant-stuff-done kind of way. And today the rest of the jam jars are arriving (another 80 jars or so!), so I will be able to bottle the rest of the jam up AND get started on making apple sauce with some of the apples languishing in the kitchen right now. Other than that, I have another ultrasound today - bean has decided that he rather likes to be head up rather than head down - he's breach. Hopefully he'll still turn on his own (after all, he still has around 4 weeks to do so), but my midwife decided that she wants it checked out anyway.
But back to my preparations. I admit that I have been on a major spending spree. Not that I went out of my way to buy excessively expensive things (in fact, I tried to source a lot second hand), but I am continuing to be amazed at the amount of kit that a baby requires: pram, carseat, cot, moses basket, blankets, sheets, nappy paraphenalia, clothes, ... And that doesn't even touch on all the non-essential yet nice items like little toys or possibly a mobile above the cot. I have been restricting myself to the absolute basics, but have still managed to amass a mountain of baby gear in the spare room (where it is all living for now, waiting to be moved into the yet-to-be-finished bedroom).
We have also decided to do the whole baby thing as green as is feasible for our circumstances. I guess the impulse comes with moving out of the city and goes hand in hand with the jam-making. This means that we have decided to give re-usable nappies a go, at least for at home (if we go on holiday I think we will probably still rely on disposable ones). This opens up another entirely new area of research. Who knew how many types of re-usable nappy were out there?! Not me! I have now ordered a few samples and have also put in an order for other 'green', environmentally friendly baby stuff. The order arrived a few days ago and I felt like an overexcited child at christmas when opening it:
All the exciting new kit! Nappy liners, and cleaning stuff, and changing mats, ... I was a bit baffled by amount of bubble wrap used in the box (not in the picture) - considering this is one of the main green mail order companies in the UK I would have thought they would come up with something a little less plastic-y to wrap the stuff in, but we will re-use all the bubble wrap for our move, so it doesn't matter too much.
Now that I have most of the baby gear together I have also managed to get on with making some items. The knitted cardigan I showed the other day is still awaiting some buttons, but the log-cabin baby blanket is progressing nicely:
It's slow, though. I feel reminded of all the reasons why I don't like knitting blankets and the like - it's boring. This isn't too bad, because at least I get to change colours once in a while, but as the sections grow longer I am becoming more impatient. How big does a baby blanket have to be anyway?!
I have also finally finished the Amy Butler Nappy Bag that I started a while back (I couldn't finish it then because I had run out of fabric for the lining). I am quite pleased with it, although it is rather large. It could also be a great deal neater, but I admit it now - I am terrible at finishing things off neatly. I am too impatient. Especially with sewing this has always been my downfall. Still, I think the bag will do nicely:
Next on the sewing list - a Roman blind for the bedroom window. I have already started it, but need to cut some dowels to size before I continue.