Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Getting ready for the bean...

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.


  1. I used a combination of disposables and cloth diapers when may kids were babies. I remember buying an extra drying rack because I could be washing up to a dozen nappies a day.
    The baby blanket is so gorgeous, especially the colours. It will be worth all the effort, because baby can use it for years. Till today, my kids like to drag out their baby blankets for play or as a lap blanket. Maybe we're blanket people :)

  2. The nappy bag looks beautiful, and the baby blanket can be as large or as small as you wish. If it is small, the baby will grow out of it quicker, but then might use it for a doll or teddy bear.

    Lovely blog.


  3. Anonymous1:24 pm

    Living in the UK, you have some of the best cloth diapers available. I truly love Tots Bots, but only ever had a few of them, between exchange rates at the time, and shipping, it made more sense to buy here in the USA (or make my own)
    I cloth diapered all four of my children, but I agree about travelling. It only took ONE trip where we tried to use cloth... we never did it again, and would always buy a pack of disposables instead.

    Have you knit any wool soakers yet? They are the best diaper covers :) So quick an easy too.

  4. Anonymous7:49 pm

    Way to go, deciding to try cloth! I admit to having given up on cloth altogether about a year ago, but that's forgivable considering my personal circumstances (having my son ill from complications of an e. coli infection that had nothing to do with cloth diapers) but they are really so much nicer. I did use them for quite a while. Chinese prefolds were the best thing I tried. I never bought the fancy stuff that's out there though. Are you going to knit soakers? (Is that what they're called there? I don't remember what other names they go by)

  5. The nappy bag is very pretty, and not at all nappy-bagish.

    We had a nappy service for a while: they took the dirty nappies away and supplied you with clean ones. The local council gave us vouchers towards the cost, and IIRC if you bought your own, they would make some contribution to the cost.

  6. Anonymous4:14 am

    Delurking to say congratulations on your little bean! Best wishes to you!

  7. You are definitely doing major nesting!!

    I love the colours of the blanket and know that it will be appreciated many years from now!

  8. I used a combo of disposable and cloth diapers when the Princess was born. Then came the Frog Prince and I went all disposable. I felt badly but it did help to keep me sane in terms of laundry, etc. since there isn't a diaper service in my city.

    Good luck with the bean turning -- my little guy didn't turn but a specialist was able to turn him two days before delivery so I didn't have to do the csection thing. I'm so thankful!

  9. Your bag is lovely and the blanket is coming along really well. I made a sort of cot-sized blanket which is still useful as a sort of lap blanket on the sofa.

    Well done on going for green nappies. I used them too and couldn't believe the choice a couple of years ago, I think it's even bigger now. I particularly loved Tots Bots and Kissaluv and found really helpful. You'll feel so pround of yourself and that little (or in fact quite large and well cushioned) cloth bottom will look so cute.

  10. Anonymous9:37 pm

    I love your blanket, the colors are vibrant. It makes a change from all the pastel colors usually associated with babies.

  11. Anonymous6:23 am

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  12. My bro and SIL use cloth nappies for my nephews very successfully (most of theirs were from Cuddle Babes, where I've also got washable san. pro. from). They've given up trying to do cloth ones whilst away, especially when camping (!!) but it is possible to get biodegradable disposables which is what they use now when they're on holiday. Waitrose stocks the "Nature" sort and Natural Collection has other ones.

  13. What an exciting time this is for you. I hope the last few weeks don't drag too much (mind you it sounds like you're far too busy for that!)

  14. What an awesome nappy bag! I love it.

  15. Anonymous4:01 am

    OH how funny-I have the same nappy bag pattern and I bought the same fabric for it. I'm not planning any kids but I still thinks it's a great bag. Yours looks well done-I do know what you mean by being impatient at the end. I'm not a very neat finisher myself.